The AR Derby (Grade 1) (KYD)- $1,000.000 Purse
OP- For Three Year Olds
One Mile and One Eighth on the Dirt
April 10, 2021
This is it! This is the last chance to pick up points in order to get a horse into the KYD. After this weekend, we will have a much better idea about who is going to be racing at CD in what is now only three weeks away. The AR Derby has seen some well known horses end up taking home the trophy, including Mrs Bombastic in 2010. A couple others who have been successful may be more known as sires now, as Condottieri, Copper Beast, Lord High Admiral and Indistinguishable are past winners. Last year, it would be the late Notorious Temper getting to the wire first in what ended up being his final career win. 100 points are up for grabs for the winner, and the gate is full of fourteen horses hoping to get that. Oh, by the way, getting a cut of that $1,000.000 is quite desirable, too! Here’s the field!
#1- Power Walk (Mb Stables, ridden by E Jaramillo)- We are starting things off with a filly, and from a barn that has had a terrific prep race season up to this point. Mb Stables does not need to get Power Walk into the race, since he has four in the top ten, but he is loaded for the KYO, as well. This filly was last seen running third in the FG Oaks three weeks ago, and has won two of her four career starts.
#2- Grayte Cruise (Gdp Inc., ridden by Ru Fuentes)- This horse has done nothing wrong in his career, winning all three of the races that he has been in. His last race was here for the Grade 3 Southwest, which he won, but he has been idle since then. It’s a bit of a surprise that the trainer would not have run him in March, at all. While he has been resting, others have been moving by on the leaderboard, and his ten points won’t cut it. Might be the class of the field here, but so much can happen in a race.
#3- Breath Of The Wild (Smokey Stover, ridden by D Davis)- It’s back out to the track for this horse after just two weeks to catch his breath from the FL Derby. He was third, which was a good bounce back from disappointment in the Rebel two weeks before that. So, should he actually make it into the KYD, that would be four races in seven weeks. 21 points is on the bubble considering that Aer & Mb won’t get all their runners in, but you don’t want to be the first one out, either.
#4- Turbocharged (John Henry, ridden by F Geroux)- New silks for this one from the last time he was seen, as he was sold from Aer Stables to John Henry for $250.000 on March 25th. Paced the field in his last race, the LA Derby, but couldn’t hang on in the stretch, dropping to fifth despite still being within a length. This race is a little shorter than that, so will John Henry go with the same type of plan, or something much different?
#5- Agassi (Mo Mentum Farm, ridden by J Stein)- Broke his maiden in his last start, and did so with a good looking race time. Overall, he is working really well, but the spotlight of the KYD has the trainer running him again on two weeks rest. Has not seen anything near this good in any of his races.
#6- Kentucky Growl (Alabarda Stable, ridden by I Ortiz Jr)- What’s better than getting a horse into the KYD? Getting two in! Not being satisfied, Alabarda is well aware of the talent that he has here in Kentucky Growl, but he is going to need to be better than he was in the Fountain of Youth. He pulled a no show there, but was very impressive in overnights before that. If he’s getting jealous of Added Value back at the barn, it’s time to show he can do it too!
#7- Sacred Order (Alydar Stables, ridden by L Contreras)- After breaking his maiden in the middle of February, Sacred Order was sent right to the LA Derby. While starting from the outside, this colt stalked the leaders most of the way, and would get up for third at the end. That got him 10 points, and it showed what he is capable of doing. Needs to follow that up here, another third should get him into the KYD.
#8- Oleg (Arindel, ridden by S X Bridgmohan)- I’ve been seeing this horse pretty regularly now, and he just has not got me excited over his last two efforts. Both came in LA, at the Risen Star and the LA Derby, where he was unable to hit the board. The talent is there, but I can’t have confidence in him right now. Still has just four KYD points.
#9- Intolerable- Scratched
#10- Resident Fox (Fractious, ridden by J R Velazquez)- He was down at GP two weeks ago, running in the FL Derby, and finishing fourth. Right now, he has 20 points, and that places him 27th on the leaderboard. A top four should get him into the top 20, where he would be the third entry from Fractious, should the trainer send them all. Biggest question with him is the short turnaround.
#11- Greatest Game (Fractious, ridden by D Saenz)- Like his stablemate, Greatest Game was last on the track two weeks ago. He was on the other side of the country, however, running in the Grade 3 SUN Derby, and finishing fourth. So far in his career, he has one win in five starts, and Resident Fox excites me more than him.
#12- War Chant (Aer Stables, ridden by A Cedillo)- This horse has become well known to the regulars here at OP, and he will return for his third prep race here. He’s been second twice, doing so in both the Rebel and the Southwest, so maybe the third time will be the charm for him. I like that he is on a normal rest here, too. He’s 20th on the leaderboard, and fifth of the Aer entries, as that trainer has done a fantastic job this spring. Will he climb even more and give Aer hard decisions on his chosen three?
#13- Fauci (D J C Racing Stables, ridden by T Gaffalione)- At the moment, the trainer is on the outside looking in for the KYD, so Fauci is his last shot. The Local Hero gelding has struggled quite a bit in his last two races, being well up the track in both the Risen Star and the LA Derby. Needs to find his form from 2020, but is hard to throw support behind here.
#14- Devil Made Me Doit- Scratched
#15- Sensei (Saratoga Stud, ridden by Ru Gonzalez)- Picked up in private sales for $250.000 from Barcelona Farms about a week after he ran fifth in the San Vicente. He would remain at SA, but did not do much better in the San Felipe, where he was a non-factor. The trainer is confident, and his work on March 22 is why, but will he race to that on the track?
#16- Crack Stone (Mb Stables, ridden by J K Court)- Just for days after running sixth in the Grey Stakes, Crack Stone was sold to Mb Stables for $300.000 in private sales. At the moment, Gdp Inc is the winner in that transaction. However, Crack Stone did run fourth in the Battaglia Memorial Stakes in late February. This is a much stronger field.