No Clear Favorite in J C Derby

JC Derby – Grade 3 – $500.000

AQU – 1 3/8 Mile – Turf

For Three Year Olds

October 7, 2023

This is only the fourth running of this race. In the previous three years, it was run at a mile and a half. This year it has been shortened to 1 3/8, and eleven entries are ready to line up and challenge that distance.

1 Iceberg Slim (Fractious)

This gelding hasn’t had a win since the Cinema in June. His last two efforts have been less than spectacular, but last out he did finish within a length in seventh. He should not have a problem with the distance, but the competition is pretty tough in this one.

2 On Fire (Mb Stables)

Won the BEL Derby (Grade 1) in July, but he’s another one that hasn’t fared well in his last two. In the SAR Derby, he finished fifth but was only ¼ length off the winner. And he was a close sixth in his last start at KD. If he can get his legs under him early, he could be there at the wire.

3 Kylo Ren (Luz International)

Brilliant this year sprinting in allowance company. He made his stakes debut last start in the VA Derby and finished second by a nose at 1 1/8 mile. It was his first stakes attempt and his first try going long. He will be tested here, and it remains to be seen if he can repeat.

4 Island Drumbeat (Fractious)

The other horse for Fractious is a real contender, after finishing second in his last two starts in graded company going better than a mile. A really good claim for Fractious. We’ll see if he can break through and get his first graded win against this quality field.

5 Brooklyn (Winning Link Stables)

Won the VA Derby (Grade 3) last out in the best performance of his career. Hasn’t been consistent, though, with up-the-track finishes in the BEL Derby and the KD Preview Dueling Grounds Derby. Look for him running late.

6 Nevada Lee (Nakamura Stables)

Winless in seven starts this year. Not much to recommend him in this company. He did finish second by a neck in the Manila (Grade 3) and Third in the La Jolla Handicap two back. Distance and class are both questions for this gelding.

7 Bigmikesbluedress (TwinTowersRacing)

This colt has never run beyond a mile, but last out he won an allowance at AQU at a mile. Seems a bit outclassed in this field.

8 Buccaneers Bounty (Nakamura Stables)

Wired the field last out at a mile on the dirt in optional claiming company. He is a stakes winner at a mile, but he hasn’t won beyond that distance or in graded company on the turf. Could go to the lead again but will have trouble staying there.

9 Train Wreck (Maxmillion Farm

Has already finished behind two of the horses in this field. Changed hands for $275.000 in August. All of his wins have come in claimers or the free side. He did run a very close third in the SAR Derby (Grade 1) and again in the VA Derby (Grade 3) for his new connections. One to watch.

10 Lumpenproletarian (Jerry Garcia Racing)

Won the Saranac (Grade 3) last out in his graded debut and did so in wire-to-wire style. Could be the speed in this field and if he gets to the lead, he will be hard to catch. Distance is a question as is lack of graded experience.

11 Kentucky Pharoah (Arindel)

By far the most experienced horse in the field with sixteen starts, but this gelding has just one win in graded company, and that came in the With Anticipation last year. He has not hit the board at that level since. He is going to have to take a big step up here.

Categories: Grade III, STAKES ARTICLES

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