Secretariat

Kentucky Derby Rankings – Week 3

It took about two minutes following the Holy Bull Stakes for it all to sink in. There is no No.1! After giving it some thought I had no choice but start psycho-analyzing Fierceness in order to keep him on top. Otherwise, where do you put him and who do you replace him with? Then I heard the news from owner Aron Wellman about Locked, and I started wondering if we still have a No. 2. Well, it’s all been sorted out so sit back and enjoy the week we almost started the Rankings with No. 3. ~ Steve Haskin

Derby Rankings: February 5, 2024 – Week 3

By Steve Haskin

1—Fierceness (Todd Pletcher, City of Light – Nonna Bella, by Stay Thirsty)

There are two reasons I’m keeping him at No. 1. The first is that there is no one else to put there…really. The second is to give him the benefit of the doubt based purely on my unqualified analysis of his effort or lack of in the Holy Bull at 1-5. My simplistic reasoning certainly does not boost his chances of winning the Kentucky Derby, only to leave his window of opportunity open and not totally abandon him. Let’s just say that this colt is immensely talented and can beat anyone at anytime and anywhere…when everything goes perfectly. He just, at least so far, has not been able to handle adversity. We saw it in the Champagne and we saw it in the Holy Bull. Although he had his head turned to the left at the start he still broke straight, but got creamed from the outside horse who forced him into the horse inside him, putting him in a tight vice. Then he came in on him again two more times and forced John Velazquez to make a right turn and bull his way out of there, forcing him to go five-wide into the turn and was still five-wide coming out of the turn. All that already put him behind the proverbial eight-ball. Then when we saw the sloth-like fractions of :50 2/5 ad 1:14 1/5 go up we knew this race was already messed up. Velazquez moved Fierceness into a short lead, but when we saw the inexperienced Hades refuse to back off we knew this wasn’t going according to plan. This wasn’t the Fierceness of the Breeders’ Cup. We got that same sinking and stunned feeling we got at the same spot in the Champagne. Like then, when he faced adversity at the start, he just gave up the fight, especially after Hades blew the final turn and forced him very wide. In short, he just turned into an ordinary horse who seemed to lose interest and unable or unwilling to keep up with a lethargic final sixteenth in almost :07 seconds. How does a horse of this caliber go from a 105 Beyer figure to an 84 after training brilliantly up to the race? I realize I may have no clue what I’m talking about, but I am looking desperately for a reason to keep the aura of invincibility around this horse in case he gets a fast track and a completely clean start and trip in the Florida Derby and Kentucky Derby. He is just too brilliant and talented a horse to dismiss off another race in which he was defeated, not because of ability or a better horse, but apathy.

 

2—Locked (Todd Pletcher, Gun Runner – Luna Rosa, by Malibu Moon)

Even if I wanted to move him up to No. 1 that will have to wait after he spiked a fever last week that forced him to miss his debut in Saturday’s Sam F. Davis Stakes. He is doing fine now and back training, but he did miss his final work and will now reboot and head possibly to the Fountain of Youth Stakes or Rebel Stakes, both of which may be better spots for him, as you never know how a horse will handle the Tampa track. Despite the setback I still think he is in good shape. Although he has shown enough in top-class races and there are no concerns about his ability to stay classic distances it is still interesting to note that his dam’s family traces back a number of generations to horses bred in Great Britain and Argentina, with his second dam a stakes winner in Italy and the United States and his fourth dam, a daughter of stamina influence Naskra, having won a group 3 and placed in a group 1 in Italy. But he is one of those horses who has already gone far beyond his pedigree, and being by Gun Runner, out of a Malibu Moon mare is all you really need to know about his bloodlines.  After running Thoro-Graph numbers of 2, 3 ¼, and 3, all excellent numbers, he still has to show that he has made the transition from 2 to 3 and is ready to move forward.

3—Sierra Leone (Chad Brown, Gun Runner – Heavenly Love, by Malibu Moon)

There was a race on January 31 that few people saw or even knew about that did actually prove very interesting and in some ways enlightening. That was the victory by Sierra Leone’s stablemate Tuscan Gold, who romped by 6 ¼ lengths going 1 1/16 miles despite being forced five-wide into the first  turn. What makes this so noteworthy is that Tuscan Gold became the fourth of Sierra Leone’s six opponents in his maiden victory to come back and win. One of them, Change of Command, won his next two starts, including a 6 ½-length maiden score, and is a leading contender in Saturday’s Sam F. Davis Stakes. Another, Ridgewood Runner, won by 4 ¼ lengths at Aqueduct and the final one, Deposition, won by 4 ¼ lengths at Parx. Of the other two, one was a highly regarded Godolphin colt trained by Bill Mott who was 6-5 coming off two solid seconds and hasn’t run since. So this looks to be as strong a maiden race as we’ve seen so far. Sierra Leone, who worked a solid half in :48 4/5, should appreciate the stretch-out to 1 1/8 miles in the Risen Star Stakes February 17. More on Tuscan Gold in Knocking on the Door.

4—Timberlake (Brad Cox, Into Mischief – Pin Up, by Lookin At Lucky)

He breezed a half in :49 1/5. One of the reasons I have him ranked this high is that he was 6-5 when he broke his maiden, 2-1 in the Hopeful Stakes, and 3-1 in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, yet closed at 30-1 in the latest Derby Future Wager, with nine horses at shorter odds. So he could be a big overlay despite his proven class. I know Cox was extremely confident before the Juvenile that he was sitting on a huge race coming off his dominating victory in the Champagne. Even though he never looked comfortable and never fired he still paired up his 2 Thoro-Graph number from the Champagne, he still ran a 103 Brisnet figure, which bettered his Champagne number of 102, and ran his second straight Brisnet triple-digit late pace figure. So nothing seemed to make sense when it comes to his performance in the Juvenile, in which he didn’t run horribly, finishing only 1 ¾ lengths behind Locked, he just never showed any closing kick. He was given some down time and we can only wait and see which Timberlake shows up when he makes his 3-year-old debut. There are no potential world beaters who belong ahead of him based on past class, so we’ll just keep ranking him prominently until he tells us not to and to stop drooling over his dam’s pedigree.

5—Honor Marie (Whit Beckman, Honor Code – Dame Marie, by Smart Strike)

With so many horses who have been ranked in the top 12 heading for the Risen Star Stakes February 17 there no doubt will be a major shake-up after that race. But they all have to beat this guy, who continues to train well for Beckman, who has been around a lot of top-class horses working for Todd Pletcher and Chad Brown. So when Beckman says this is “a heckuva horse and his works have been just that,” I believe him, especially based on what I have seen in his races. As we mentioned last week he has a number of classy European milers in his female family and has already shown that European turn of foot.  Beckman said he has always acted like a turf horse who “just happens to be highly capable on dirt. And his turn of foot on dirt is incredible.” And remember that horses who have run big in turf races have always done well on the Churchill Downs dirt track. We’ll just mention names like Barbaro, Animal Kingdom, Dullahan, and Paddy O’Prado who were all proven on turf and won or placed In the Kentucky Derby. Beckman said Honor Marie, who breezed five furlongs in 1:01 3/5, is “developing the right way and is bigger and stronger than he was three months ago,” which makes sense considering he is a May 4 foal and won’t actually turn 3 until Derby Day.

6—Dornoch (Danny Gargan, Good Magic – Puca, by Big Brown)

He turned in a half-mile work in :49 at Palm Meadows, fastest of the six works at the distance. We have seen what this colt is capable of, with two strong seconds followed by two victories, one in a romp and one coming back gamely from sure defeat to win. But we have also seen him get bumped several times, once at the start and once later in the race; we have seen him have to come from six-wide; we have see him draw off in the stretch despite refusing to change leads; we have see him battle head and head the whole way going 1 1/8 miles; and we have seen him bounce off the rail and lose his lead and then change leads and battle back to win right on the wire after getting passed by a good half-length by Sierra Leone. As we have mentioned before, he has run four races at four different tracks at four different distances from 6 ½ furlongs to 1 1/8 miles, and on fast, muddy, and sloppy tracks. It’s as if he has experienced an entire career in those four races. He’s also had 14 works since July and turned in back-to-back bullet works at the Saratoga meet, one on the main track and one on the training track. His half-mile work in :46 2/5 back in July was the fastest of 119 works at the distance. You have to admire a horse like this, who certainly keeps life interesting for Danny Gargan, but after what we’ve seen on the track you also have to wonder what he’s going to get himself into next.

7—Mystik Dan (Kenny McPeek, Goldencents – Ma’am by Colonel John)

Looking at Mystik Dan’s past performances before the Southwest Stakes it was easy to dismiss him based on several reasons. He earned a super 95 Beyer speed figure in his 7 ¾-length maiden victory going 5 ½ furlongs, run in a blistering 1:03 1/5 and then regressed badly to a 64 Beyer when fifth stretching out to a mile and tiring badly in the stretch. He tired again in the Smarty Jones Stakes, but did earn a respectable 82 Beyer. However, the Smarty Joes was a slowly run race on Thoro-Graph. So how does this colt then come back and look like Flightline demolishing a deep field by eight lengths in the Southwest while coming home his fourth quarter in :24 2/5 and then draw off with a final sixteenth in under :06…:05.93 to be exact? We rarely will see a 3-year-old come home that fast. What happened? Well, McPeek admitted to the owners that bringing him back in only two weeks off his blazing maiden win and stretching him out a mile was a mistake. The colt had backed off his feed before the race. They took blood on him and he was fine, so they went ahead and ran him and he tired after pressing the pace. It was discovered he came out of the race with a lung infection. He didn’t work for a month and went into the Smarty Jones a short horse with only a slow half-mile and three-furlong breeze in 36 days. After the Smarty Jones McPeek gave him long gallops and trained him behind horses and taught him how to go along steadily and stalk and then finish strong the last three furlongs. He seemed to have figured it all and could now control his speed. When McPeek saw him in the paddock before the Southwest and he was acting like an old pony he knew this was a different horse. After his spectacular victory, earning a 101 Beyer, he will now pass the Rebel and wait for the Arkansas Derby.

8—Hall of Fame (Steve Asmussen, Gun Runner – Flag Day, by Giant’s Causeway)

It’s difficult separating him from his future Risen Star entrymate Track Phantom except to say he seems to have a bit more pop and upside, while Track Phantom is the more experienced of the two with a pair of stakes victories already. Hall of Fame, as mentioned, had the edge in numbers when the two ran on the same card and he has shown a big upward move by leaping from a 12 ½ Thoro-Graph number to a 5 in his 10 ¼ -length maiden score. He has a strong pedigree top and bottom, especially with his close-up 3 x 2 inbreeding to Giant’s Causeway, Gun Runner’s inbreeding to Fappiano, and his dam, Flag Day, being out of a Street Sense mare and tracing to Canadian Triple Crown winner Peteski. So with distance not a question he only has to show that maiden victory was for real and that he can come back and compete with what likely will be the toughest field of the year going a mile and a eighth.

9—Track Phantom (Steve Asmussen, Quality Road – Miss Sunset, by Into Mischief)

There isn’t a lot more to say about him other than he has put together two visually impressive stakes victories, which no one else can claim. But the emphasis is on visually as he hasn’t been able to break clear of his string of mediocre Thoro-Graph numbers ranging from a 5 to a 7 following a pair of 9’s. And he did regress slightly from a 5 to a 6 in the LeComte Stakes. None of these are poor numbers, but he just needs to take that big step forward to compete with the horses who have run much faster. He did defeat Snead, who we are high on, in the Gun Runner Stakes, but the latter has been on an upward trend, improving his Thoro-Graph numbers with every start. We’re into February now and it’s time to make a significant move forward. That is the only reason why we don’t have him ranked higher, because you have to like most everything else about him as a racehorse. His sire and broodmare sire are two of the hottest commodities at the sale, but the bottom part of his pedigree is extremely questionable. The only stakes filly in his tail-female family is his dam, who was a top-class sprinter. Regardless of whether you feel he is a serious Derby contender or not, we should know for sure after the Risen Star.

10—Liberal Arts (Robbie Medina, Arrogate, Ismeme, by Tribal Rule)

I am actually moving him up a spot into the Top 10 because the Southwest Stakes was the only race to excite me due to the winner’s monster performance and I thought this was a very good first start back since October and having nothing but short works at The Thoroughbred Center in Lexington and then shipping down to Oaklawn. No one was going to touch the winner who ran out of his skull. But in an 11-horse field and having to rally from ninth off a 1:13 1/5 opening three-quarters and into the fastest closing fractions of any Derby prep this year he did quite well by making more than three lengths on runner-up Just Steel in the final furlong. And Just Steel, who had the fastest Thoro-Graph number (2 ½) of any horse in the field, actually looked like a winner turning for home before that explosive run up the rail by the winner. Liberal Arts not only made up all that ground on him he missed second by a neck and finished a whopping nine lengths ahead of the third-place finisher. Assuming he remains in the next Future Wager field, that is the time to bet him at what promises to be a huge price.

11—Snead (Brendan Walsh, Nyquist – Raffle Ticket, by A.P. Indy)

Because of the unusually large number of previously ranked horses (seven of the 15) all headed for a major showdown in the Risen Star Stakes, and with the Kentucky Derby a lot more wide-open than it was before this past weekend, it seems a study in futility to keep expounding on the virtues of all of them when everything is going change dramatically after the Risen Star, especially with so little separating the big horses pointing for the race. So we will continue the rankings without going over the same material and analysis every week ad try to keep the comments at a minimum. Like with Track Phantom, Honor Marie, and so many others, Snead is in a wait and see mode until all these contenders who have made the top 15 sort themselves out. With him it is mainly about his impressive turn of foot, especially around the turn, and the steady improvement of is speed figures to go along with a classic pedigree. He has seven champions, all Hall of Famers, in his female family alone. I still believe he could be the big Future Wager overlay, even bet down at the end from 89-1 to  69-1.

12—Catching Freedom (Brad Cox, Constitution, Catch My Drift, by Pioneerof the Nile)

I had him ranked No. 13 mainly because the Smarty Jones’ speed figures came up so slow. He still has improving to do, but after what we saw in the Southwest Stakes you can forget those Smarty Jones speed figures. Not only did the victorious Mystik Dan run an outrageous 101 Beyer figure winning by eight lengths, but the Smarty Jones runner-up Just Steel ran a big race and looked like a winner at the top of the stretch. So with that in mind, another look at Catching Freedom’s three-race career, two of them were victories and in his fourth-place finish, he had a lot of trouble in the final furlong and was beaten by Parchment Party, who was ranked very high before he was sidelined. Catching Freedom worked five furlongs for the first time in a solid 1:01 2/5 and now has to be taken very seriously in the Risen Star, which will be a make-or-break race for a lot of good horses.

13—Hades (Joe Orseno, Awesome Slew – The Shady Lady, by Quality Road)

You normally don’t see an undefeated horse who just upset the 2-year-champ and overwhelming early favorite for the Kentucky Derby at No. 13, but I’m just not sure we learned anything from the Holy Bull Stakes, considering the question marks regarding the competitiveness of Fierceness when he faces adversity and a ridiculously slow pace and slow closing fractions that made this race a total enigma and one in which you can make no conclusions or get a true grasp of any of the participants. On a day when they were running :45 and change and :46 halfs and 1:10 and change for six furlongs, how could such a brilliant horse like Fierceness and the others run fractions of :50 2/5 and 1:14 1/5. Gulfstream has had a history of weird teletimer issues, so I’m still not what to believe. But for now the bottom line is that Hades is undefeated and has quite a big notch on his gun. He is still green, however, blowing the final turn and forcing Fierceness and especially Domestic Product out toward the middle of the track. Hades’ rider, Paco Lopez, had to pull hard on the right rein to get him back in and straighten him out. He continued running with his head cocked to the right and drifting out again. To his credit he was able to put the champ away and hold off Domestic Product, but his initial Beyer figure of 84 was something you would expect in an ordinary maiden race. But that has since been bumped up to a 90. That premature 84 when this was first posted probably  cost him a few spots in the Rankings. So once again we are bewildered what to make of this race and will put it on hold for now. But we do want to congratulate Joe Orseno, who was once one of the premiere trainers in the country, but more on him next week.

14—Conquest Warrior (Shug McGaughey, City of Light – Tea Time, by Pulpit)

It probably makes more sense putting his stablemate Change of Command here, considering he may now be the horse to beat in Saturday’s Sam F. Davis Stakes with the defection of Locked and a rather thin field expected, at least as of Sunday. But I still believe in this colt’s ability and high ceiling even though he has won only a maiden sprint and looks to be headed for an allowance race at the end of the month. You know McGaughey is not going to rush him to make the Derby and he will need a huge performance in his final 100-point prep to make the Derby, so the odds seem stacked against him. But I don’t see any of the other 3-year-olds making a solid case to displace him at this point. So we’ll keep him here at least this week and see what develops. Remember, a lot of the horses in the Top 15 who are running in the Risen Star will no longer be in the Top 15 after the race.

15—Real Men Violin (Kenny McPeek, Mendelssohn – Meg Fitz, by Tapit)

Kenny McPeek is really getting him sharp for his first start since the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes, working him five furlongs in a bullet :59 3/5, fastest of 31 works at the distance, in company with his brilliant Mitole filly V V’s Dream, winner of the Pocahontas Stakes and second in the Alcibiades. Let’s remember, this colt was second to Honor Marie and defeated Track Phantom. He still has to get faster, but nothing is really making much sense this year when it comes to speed figures or anything else for that matter. For those who missed it last week, we’ll remind everyone that Real Men Violin’s dam Meg Fitz, a daughter of Tapit, who sired four Belmont Stakes winners, is a half-sister to 2009 Kentucky Derby favorite I Want Revenge, the Wood Memorial and Gotham winner who was scratched the morning of the Derby. Real Men Violin has six races under his belt and every one of them was at a mile or farther on fast, muddy, and sloppy tracks and on turf, and he has never finished out of the money.

KNOCKING ON THE DOOR

Chad Brown keeps popping up in the Derby picture with new faces and now you have to pay attention to DOMESTIC PRODUCT, who seems to have made great progress from 2 to 3 and came within a hair of getting ranked. I just had no one to take off, so consider him No. 15A.  If you throw out his poor effort in the Remsen and just blame the sloppy track, and if you throw out his career debut going six furlongs, there might be enough left over to suggest that perhaps he can turn into a serious horse. Brown was willing to bring him back against the almighty Fierceness in the Holy Bull and removed his blinkers, and he had to be pleased with a second-place finish and finishing ahead of the champ. But in my opinion he could have won that race.

First off, coming off a layoff and with a series of snappy half-mile works over the deeper Payson Park surface, he was sharp for his return. But with the crazy slow fractions of the race and him being down on the inside behind horses it was all Tyler Gaffalione could do to throttle him down by tugging back on the reins. He finally was able to get a clear run on the rail, but Gaffalione decided to get him to the outside. When he did, Hades blew the turn and forced out Fierceness, who in turn forced Domestic Product way out to the middle of the track. I know they came home slow despite the slow pace and the race got a very slow Beyer, but I love the way he was striding out in the final furlong, and I believe if he stays on the rail he cuts the corner all by himself and would have had a great shot to charge to the lead while Hades was still busy goofing off. Remember, this colt broke his maiden by 4 1/2 lengths going 1 1/8 miles in a solid 1:50 4/5, so let’s see if he can build off that race and the Holy Bull.

I was really looking forward to seeing BORN NOBLE tackle some other serious late developers and thrust himself into the Derby picture. Sent off at 2-5, once he took on the speedy MERIT from the start and the pair got away with a :24 1/5 opening quarter I figured this would be a match race that would take both colts at least to the top of the stretch before one asserted himself. Then they really picked it up with a :22 3/5 second quarter and even a sharp :23 4/5 third quarter. They were still at each other’s throat until Born Noble began to inch away nearing the top of the stretch, with only one horse, REAL MACHO, within radar rage, but with still a lot of ground to make up. Born Noble opened a clear lead after turning for home, but it was apparent by the way he was trying to lug in that he was getting tired. Real Macho, taking advantage of the slow :26 4/5 final quarter, kept coming and gave a final surge near the wire to win by a neck in 1:37 2/5 for the mile, with Born Noble 5 ¼ lengths ahead of Merit. Born Noble now has to figure out how to move forward off this race.

Back in 2011, Dean Reeves and his wife Patti bought into a 2-year-old colt after his first start named Mucho Macho Man. After three straight defeats Dean started having second thoughts about his decision. He discussed the possibility of taking the blinkers off the colt for the Risen Star Stakes with trainer Kathy Ritvo, who agreed to give it a try. Well, Mucho Macho Man won the Risen Star and two races later finished third in the Kentucky Derby before going on to win a number of big stakes, including the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Fast forward to 2023 and Reeves buys into a 2-year-old colt named Real Mucho, a son of Mucho Macho Man, after he broke his maiden in his second start. After the colt finishes a well-beaten fifth in his next start, Reeves again has second thoughts about his decision. So once again he discusses the possibility of taking the blinkers off the colt with trainer and co-owner Rohan Crichton, who agrees to give it a try. And, yes, once again the decision results in a victory. So far, history has repeated itself for Reeves. Now let’s see how far Real Macho can take him.

Catching up on other races this past weekend, the mile and an eighth Withers Stakes at Aqueduct did not draw a strong field, and when the consistent and fast New York-bred EL GRANDE O, who was battling on the lead early with two horses, put away the Todd Pletcher-trained KHANATE and opened a three-length lead at the eighth pole, it looked pretty much over. But here came the Robert Reid-trained Parx shipper UNCLE HEAVY, who cut into El Grande O’s lead with every step and nailed him right on the wire with a decent enough final eighth in :12 4/5. Of course, as is always the case at Aqueduct, the final time was a slow 1:53 3/5, so there really isn’t much you can make of the race until we see if these horses can make their presence felt in the Wood Memorial against far better competition.

We didn’t learn anything from the former Parx-trained colt FRANKIE’S EMPIRE’s 3 ½-length victory in the seven-furlong Swale Stakes at 14-1 with the 4-5 favorite LEGALIZE finishing last. So we’ll just watch the winner as he moves forward in sprint or mile races for his new trainer Michael Yates.

As I mentioned earlier, with Locked out of Saturday’s Sam F. Davis Stakes it looks as if CHANGE OF COMMAND is sitting in a great spot to get his first stakes victory and win his third consecutive race for Shug McGaughey. But  we’ll see if any new faces show up now that this race looks a lot more winnable. Change of Command looks to be very versatile, winning by 6 ½ lengths going seven furlongs and winning in a gutsy stretch battle by a neck going 1 1/16 miles. If he can get by this race in impressive fashion and improve his Thoro-Graph numbers significantly, which he will have to, then we’ll start ranking him with the top contenders.

Returning to Chad Brown and TUSCAN GOLD, don’t dismiss this colt as a Chad Brown second or third stringer, as he was always highly regarded in the barn and wasn’t able to show his best in his debut. But in his second career start, his first going two turns and getting Lasix he was ridden more aggressively by new jockey Tyler Gaffalione, who began riding him hard on the turn to put pressure on the Todd Pletcher even-money favorite Skip the Line. He quickly put away the favorite and drew off to win by 6 ¼ lengths despite the short stretch and going so wide into the first turn. And this time Gaffalione kept riding him to the wire. So we know he can be pushed early and still get stronger down the stretch. He also showed a lot of professionalism, running perfectly straight to the wire. He is big striding colt but has a smooth way of going. He is by Medaglia d’Oro, out of a Curlin mare and is a complete outcross, but it must be noted the bottom of his pedigree is not that strong, with a lot of speed influences. All in all, however, from what I’ve seen he definitely is one to watch.

With the success of horses coming off Turfway’s synthetic surface, we have to keep an eye on the Blame colt EPIC RIDE, impressive winner of the Leonatus Stakes, who has now put together two staight big efforts

P.S. NYSOS won the Robert Lewis Stakes looking once again like a potential superstar who should be peaking on the first Saturday in May. Oops, I meant the third Saturday in May. Sorry, force of habit.


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362 Responses to “Kentucky Derby Rankings – Week 3”

  1. Gary says:

    Too early to place Resilience even in the top 20.
    He basically ran the same numbers as he did in his race Nash and Stronghold, was way too far behind Locked

  2. Nelson Maan says:

    Will Steve take Snead out of the ranking?

    If so…who will filling that slot?

    I bet Steve will be including Resilience somewhere among the top 15 …

  3. Nelson Maan says:

    Track Phantom worked yesterday an easy 4 furlongs in 50 seconds flat (27/43) at Fair Grounds… I expected a final drill since his previous work was on February 3.

    The same for Awesome Ruta who also worked yesterday at Fair Grounds clocking an eyecatching 59.80 (1/14) for 5 furlongs .. this was 10-day apart from his previous workout.

    Resilience worked today at Payson 4F in 49 (3/9)

    I was also waiting for a final tuning for Hall of Fame following a 5F-breeze on Februay 3 but it has not happened yet… anyway, Asmussen should have them ready for a good performance for the decisive 50 points of the Risen Star…

    The Risen Star is primed to be the best Derby prep to date…

    • Davids says:

      Fair Grounds, this Saturday- Race 7. an interesting bunch of ‘likely lads’ for the future. I’m keen on the Stonestreet owned/bred Constitution colt Mister Lincoln. Same family as Pauline’s Pearl. Only a 6f race but the promise should be evident enough. Asmussen trained with Joel Rosario aboard.