Dueling Grounds Derby to Close to Call

Dueling Grounds Derby – Grade 3 – $750.000

KD – 1 5/16 – Turf

For Three Year Olds

September 3, 2023

Mb Stables brings a one-two punch into this race with Love Of The Derby and Fear Me Not. But they aren’t the only contenders in this field. Down Royal looks fit and ready to take them all on.

1 Hamilton Library (First Flight Stable)

Hasn’t won since the Davis (Grade 3) on dirt back in February, but he’s been close in stakes company twice, including a third in the WV Derby (Grade 3) last out. Needs to bring his A game to compete here.

2 Expresso (Smokey Stover)

Won in optional claiming company last out and did it impressively by three lengths. His only graded stakes effort came in the Transylvania in KEE where he finished fourth by six lengths. Will need to step it up against these.

3 Fear Me Not (Mb Stables)

Second by a nose in the SAR Derby last out and in the BEL Derby before that. This colt is due for a graded win and just might get it here.

4 Down Royal (Mo Mentum Farm)

This gelding is riding a three-race win streak that includes the KD Preview Dueling Grounds Derby. Could get a piece of the purse, and a win wouldn’t be a surprise.

5 Traveller (Royalty Stables)

Second in the Read Stakes (Grade 2) at DMR last out. Only failed to hit the board once in seven starts. Could in the mix at the wire.

6 Island Drumbeat (Fractious)

Very consistent gelding since changing hands in February. Has not broken through to win in stakes company yet though. Don’t expect that to happen here.

7 Appeal For Mercy (Diablo Diablo)

Allowance winner hasn’t had much luck in stakes company. Seems a bit outclassed here.

8 Iceberg Slim (Fractious)

His four-race win streak came to an end last out when he tried graded company in the SAR Derby. Another one that seems outclassed here.

9 Azov Battalion (TwinTowersRacing)

Winless this year in five starts. Closest finish came last out in allowance company when he finished second. Big step up for this one.

10 Love Of The Derby (Mb Stables)

Riding a two-race win streak that includes the Manila (Grade 3) and the National Museum of Racing (Grade 2). Looks like a real contender coming into this race.

Categories: Grade III, STAKES ARTICLES

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