The 5th Running of the G1 SAR Derby
Saturday, August 5, 2023
SAR Race #9 $600.000
3YOs 122 Lbs 1 3/16(T)
#1 Derby Cat (TwinTowersRacing/A. Beschizza): Broke his maiden in a PIM MSW back in May before catching an off-surface at CD in his first crack at winners. Was only 4th in that July N1X but the trainer is giving a chance here. Gets a lot more ground to work with, and, if he reverts to the MSW tactics, he should save all the ground with his rail draw.
#2 Train Wreck (S Dot Farm/P.W. Outs): Claimed for $3.200 in his juvenile finale, new connections have raced him against conditioned runners in five starts this season. Couldnt beat N1X allowance-types in his first two tries before beating claimers in back-to-back races. Tried the N1X level for a third time last out and ran a very good 4th when beaten only a half-length at WO.
#3 Iceberg Slim (Fractious/Mario Gutierrez): Gelding sports a three-race winning streak after out-sprinting two fields going 6.5f at SA and WO, respectively. Stretched-out nicely when taking the $100.000 Cinema going 10-furlongs the last time we saw him. In fact, he’s won four of his five starts this season with an off-the-pace rally. Could be getting good at the right time.
#4 Fear Me Not (Mb Stables/J.R. Velazquez): A G2 winner on dirt, colt was a tough luck runner-up when he tried the turf last month in a G1 at BEL. Gets another crack at the stablemate that bested him that day, and retains the services of his pilot for this return engagement. Doesn’t need to find much more to get the job done here, and he figures to be ready for another battle.
#5 Martinez (Royalty Stables/D. Davis): Gelding has made two nice runs in his first two starts on the lawn; however, he’s come up just short both times. Beaten three-quarters of length when 2nd in a G2, he was only beaten a half of a length when 4th in the aforementioned G1 last month. Hasn’t trained as sharply leading-up to this one, but he usually puts forth a good effort.
#6 Regulatory (Mb Stables/M. Franco): Barn’s 2nd entrant has a bit more tatctical speed, and used that weapon to take the $225.000 Audubon two-back. Tried to cut back to a mile last time in a G3, but he appears to want more ground than he got that day. Seems to be capable of utilizing a high-cruising speed when he gets 9+ furlongs to work with and may find himself right in the thick of it when they turn for home.
#7 On Fire (Mb Stables/L. Saez): MGSW became a G1-winner last out as he out-gamed three rivals as they neared the wire last month at BEL. Has to face two of those foes in here, but he’s the most accomplished horse in the field of nine. Timed his rally just right last time; however, there’s not the same amount of “accomplished” speed in this one and he gets a sixteenth less to work with. Still, the one to beat.
#8 Appeal For Mercy (Diablo Diablo/D.E. Centeno): Moved to the turf for his last two efforts after flirting with the KYD trail in his barn debut. The surface switch seems to suit him as he’s been ultra-competitive with a runner-up in his turf bow before breaking through last out to defeat winners for the first time. Has to carry more weight while going further than he’s ever been, and he faces G1 foes for the first time, but have to like the way he’s coming into the race.
#9 Five Shot Party (Maxmillion Farm/R.M. Hernandez): Maiden will take his third swing against black-type runners, and this time in a G1. His first two attempts against satkes-runners were encouraging enough as he defeated all but one each time. Fortune seems to have switched when the barn started asking him for more speed, and he catches a group that, while tougher than he’s seen, isn’t exactly filled with early gas types. Outside post doesn’t help, but he should get clear and make them catch him.
Final Analysis: Can see this one going a couple of different ways, but we’ll call it 7-9-4 in an interesting renewal of the G1 SAR Derby. Good luck to all involved in this one and all of their races this weekend.