2023 Derby Rankings – Week 4

With such a mish mash at the bottom of the Top 15 and basically groping in the dark, and with the 50-point races hopefully about to sort things out, this is a good week to go back to a “Derby Dozen,” and let those at the bottom of the list, those knocking on the door, and those who still have not started this year sort themselves out until we have a clearer picture of what exactly we’re dealing with and who the real Derby contenders are. ~ Steve Haskin

Derby Rankings: Feb. 13, 2023 – Week 4

By Steve Haskin


1—Forte (Todd Pletcher, Violence – Queen Caroline, by Blame)

What do you write about every week about a 2-year-old champion and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner who is still ranked No. 1 on most everyone’s Derby rankings and is not going to run until March 4? That is still three weeks away, which seems like an eternity. What you do is wait for new exciting faces to emerge who you feel are special enough to replace him. Well, we’re six weeks into 2023 and we haven’t found any such horses, unless you feel Arabian Knight, with two lifetime starts and one stakes victory against questionable competition, is one. The fact is, not a single 3-year-old this year has run a faster Thoro-graph number than Forte did in the Juvenile. So, with a dearth of fast horses and exciting performances up to this point we just have to keep finding new things to say about him and keep him on top. Pletcher certainly isn’t rushing him, working him a leisurely five furlongs in 1:03 2/5. I imagine he will start cranking down on him next week, as he will have to be sharp for the Fountain of Youth Stakes with only two starts before the Kentucky Derby. But after watching the Mucho Macho Man and Holy Bull Stakes I have major questions about the talent level of the stakes horses we’ve seen so far in Florida.


2—Tapit Trice (Todd Pletcher, Tapit – Danzatrice, by Dunkirk)

Although he has not run in a stakes yet I have no doubt he would have won the Holy Bull Stakes handily. And his Future Book odds plummeted after his stunning allowance victory on the undercard, so you know how highly he is regarded by the Vegas oddsmakers, and he got pounded down to 15-1 third choice in the Future Wager. I have been raving about this colt for several weeks and that was first based on his neck maiden score. He is the most visually impressive colt I’ve seen this year and there is nothing left now but to look at his speed figures, which all show the kind of progression you want to see. Not only has his Brisnet speed figures gone from an 85 to a 96 to a 99, his late pace figures have gone from a pair of 99s to a 107. So although he started off his career running fastest at the end with strong numbers, he still upped that quite a bit in his last start. His Beyer speed figures have jumped from a 73 to an 87 to a 92, which mirrors his Thoro-Graph numbers. While he still needs to get a bit faster he has shown a steady progression on Thoro-Graph going from an 8 3/4 to a 6 1/2 to a 4 1/2. If he keeps up that pattern of improving two points a race he will be ready for a Derby-winning performance after his next two starts. This progression is far better than if he had made a gigantic leap forward and then have to worry about a “bounce.” Quickly, you might not be familiar with Dunkirk, but he was an exceptionally talented colt trained by Pletcher who we will go into in more detail next week.


3—Arabian Knight (Bob Baffert, Uncle Mo – Borealis Night, by Astrology)

Well, we have two weeks for a ruling to be made whether or not we’re going to see some kind of mass exodus from the Baffert barn. Will we see a repeat of last year when Baffert’s two big Derby horses were sent to Tim Yakteen, who has his own big Derby horse this year, or will we see them spread around, or maybe we won’t see them going anywhere and Churchill Downs will have to bite the bullet and accept Baffert and whoever he decides to run in the Derby. As of now Arabian Knight’s next race is undecided. Having already been to Oaklawn, would Baffert want to ship east again with him, not once but possibly twice and then again to Kentucky? That is a lot of shipping for such a lightly raced horse. The other alternative is to keep him home for the more traditional route, the San Felipe and Santa Anita Derby. But the biggest question is still, how good is this horse? He has dominated both his races, but has he beaten any quality horses? So, there are many questions surrounding this colt. The first answer we need is who will be training him.


4—Practical Move (Tim Yakteen, Practical Joke – Ack Naughty, by Afleet Alex)

He continues to train brilliantly for his next Baffert battle in the San Felipe, working five furlongs in a bullet :59 1/5, fastest of 44 works at the distance. Do you think he might be an overlay at 83-1 in the Future Wager? Like with Forte and several other top 2-year-olds we just sit back and wait for March 4 when we likely will clear up this muddled Derby picture and tell us who the leading contenders really are and not have to go searching into maiden and allowance races to find them. But for a race still three weeks away this colt looks awfully sharp right now. Let’s remember that he already has plenty of bottom with five starts, two of them at a mile and 1 1/16 miles, and in his most recent race, a resounding victory over three Baffert horses, he earned a lofty 105 Brisnet speed figure, by far the best of his career, as well as a career-high 3 3/4 Thoro-Graph number. However, if you follow the Beyer figures he still needs to get faster, so we’ll know more after the San Felipe. Right now he looks solid and that’s enough based on what we’ve seen so far this year.


5—Blazing Sevens (Chad Brown, Good Magic – Trophy Girl, by Warrior’s Reward)

He continues to work well for his debut, likely in the Fountain of Youth Stakes or Tampa Bay Derby, breezing a half in :49 4/5 at Payson Park. I found it interesting that his Brisnet and Beyer figures in his fourth-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile were faster than his victory in the Champagne Stakes the race before. That keeps him on an upward trajectory. And as I mentioned last week, it looks as if the only reason that didn’t hold true on Thoro-Graph is because he lost ground in the Champagne and saved ground in the Juvenile. I also like the fact that he was able to blow his field away by 6 1/4 lengths in his career debut at Aqueduct, overcoming a rough start and racing a bit greenly in the upper stretch, and then being eased in the final 100 yards. And I like the way his Brisnet late pace figures have gone from an 82 to an 84 to a 98 to a 100 while racing at four different distances at three different racetracks. He has no flaws in his stride and just looks like a dependable horse who is always going to run his race no matter what the distance is.


6—Hit Show (Brad Cox, Candy Ride – Actress, by Tapit)

People are going to look at Withers Stakes victory and see the agonizingly slow final time of 1:54 3/5 and closing fractions and toss the race. But we have seen enough of Aqueduct in the late fall and winter to know that time means little here. We saw Early Voting win last year’s Withers in 1:55 4/5 and go on to win the Preakness, running faster at 1 3/16 miles than he did at 1 1/8 miles. We saw Mo Donegal win the Remsen in a hard-fought photo in 1:53 3/5 and then go on to win the Belmont Stakes. So, two of the three Triple Crown race winners last year had run similar slow times at Aqueduct in the fall and winter. There were a lot of positives to take out of his victory. He drew off from a tough stakes horse in Arctic Arrogance to win by 5 1/2 lengths with his ears pricked the final sixteenth. He was trapped down on the inside for a good portion of the race and just roared by Arctic Arrogance, who had already run big going 1 1/8 miles at Aqueduct. His Beyer figures have climbed steadily from 60 to 71 to 82 to 91 and his Thoro-Graph numbers have already made a huge leap from “12 1/4″ to a “4 3/4.” He won despite racing greenly in the stretch, drifting in about five paths after clearing the runner-up, who finished 6 1/4 lengths ahead of the third horse. He had won his previous race impressively with first time Lasix and now won even more impressively without Lasix. This race on this surface got him dead-fit and he can now wait for the Wood Memorial with a ton of bottom under him. He has now run four times at four different tracks at four different distances in three different states. He has done a lot for a May 9 foal who won’t even be 3 on Derby Day, which is why he is still a bit green and why they gave him time to develop. With his stamina-oriented pedigree, his closing kick, his ability to break sharply and then sit anywhere from two to nine lengths off the pace, and his ability to travel and handle any track, how can you not look at him as a legitimate Derby contender.


7—Giant Mischief (Brad Cox, Into Mischief – Vertical Oak, by Giant Oak)

After working five furlongs in :59 4/5 in company with Verifying, second fastest of 62 works at the distance, he no doubt is sharp and ready for a big effort in the Risen Star Stakes. You’re not going to find any big names in the bottom of his female family and none other than Giant’s Causeway in his entire female family, so we have no idea how far it can carry Into Mischief on top. All we can go by for now is what we’ve seen on the track, and we have seen a horse with a big turn of foot who also is a fighter and has won at 5 1/2 furlongs and a mile. Although Cox does start some of his young horses at Horseshoe Indianapolis, the Indiana track is not exactly known as a launch pad for Derby horses. But he just keeps getting better and should have won the Springboard Mile had it not been for a horrendous start. He has yet to face a legitimate Derby contender so we’ll just have to see what he does against classier opposition. He Brisnet Prime Power rating is ranked second of the 39 horses in the Future Wager. Don’t ask for an explanation on what that means, but if you follow Brisnet it obviously is an important rating and worth mentioning.


8—Reincarnate (Bob Baffert, Good Magic – Allanah, by Scat Daddy)

Once again, we are faced with a dilemma trying to figure out what this colt’s immediate future is. Baffert has already lost one promising 3-year-old with Harlocap going to Steve Asmussen to point for the Risen Star Stakes. So we just wait and see if he too will wind up with another trainer. It is so hard to gauge the Southern California 3-year-olds when all the good ones who have run this year are from the same barn. With Cave Rock following Corniche last year as Baffert’s latest big 2-year-old to fail to make it back for the Derby and the loss of Newgate to a minor injury, Reincarnate, a 16-1 winner of the Sham Stakes, has climbed up the Baffert ladder right behind Arabian Knight. But Reincarnate looks to be the real deal as his speed figures continue to get dramatically faster and he has already shown he is a fighter who doesn’t like to get passed in the stretch. And he has the pedigree to run all day. He’s been training brilliantly, with his latest work a six-furlong drill in 1:11 3/5 in company with National Treasure, and we’ll just have to see what the future brings for him and where e shows up next.


9—Banishing (Brendan Walsh, Ghostzapper – Dowager, by A. P. Indy

Walsh fortunately was able to find another allowance race for him at Fair Grounds on Saturday, but this one looks to be a lot tougher than the one he scratched out of, which in a way is a good thing. But I think he fits very well with the Risen Star field, which surely has no world beaters. By missing his last race, Walsh will either have to then squeeze in two stakes races in a short span of time or just put it all on the line in one of the 100-pointers and hope he can get enough points to make it into the Derby. He showed he is back on track with a pair of strong five-furlong works, the most recent being a 1:01 1/5 drill. He still hasn’t faced winners so that is a test he will have to pass on Saturday. Needless to say everything will have to go perfectly from now on, but on the bright side his two races have been at a mile and 1 1/16 miles, so he does have some bottom, and he was brilliant breaking is maiden last out by 8 1/2 lengths, looking a lot more mature and much smoother than he did in his career debut.  Numbers-wise his Brisnet figure jumped from a 78 to a 96 and his Beyer number from a 65 to a 90. Also his Brisnet late pace figure went from a 75 to a 101 and his Thoro-Graph number improved from a “12” to a “7.” So you can see the tremendous improvement he showed all around.


10—General Jim (Shug McGaughey, Into Mischief – Inspired by Grace, by Culin)

The more I watch his races the better I like him. He just runs hard on all kinds of surfaces and I simply like everything I see, whether it’s on dirt or grass, one turn or two turns, and if you like consistency he always manages to be in the same position in the first two calls in all his races. Despite running in the Swale Stakes he doesn’t look like a sprinter, doesn’t run like a sprinter, and isn’t bed to be a sprinter. And to get back on my pulpit, which I have not been on in a number of years, let me ask, what does General Jim have in common with Secretariat, Seattle Slew, Spectacular Bid, Affirmed, Dr. Fager, Damascus, Buckpasser, Citation, Whirlaway, Swaps, Majestic Prince, Arts and Letters, Sword Dancer, Northern Dancer, Riva Ridge, and Foollsh Pleasure, just to name a few, who started off the Derby trail in a sprint, something that’s not done anymore, mainly because Churchill Downs has refused to give points in sprint races and trainers today just don’t do that anymore, except for an old school trainer like McGaughey. Yes, General Jim did race on January 1 in a one-mile race, but that was a drop back to one turn, just as the Swale was a drop back in distance. John Nerud once told me trainers did that to give their horses much-needed sharpness before stretching them out in distance. Obviously no one is comparing General Jim to those horses, but it is good to see a Derby-caliber horse use a race like the Swale to hopefully start him off on the Derby trail, with his next stop likely the Gotham. By the way, how many truly great horses have won the Derby in this century or even back through the ‘90s?

11—Victory Formation (Brad Cox, Tapwrit – Smart N Soft, by Smart Strike)

All I can do is ask the question, how is he going to fare breaking from post 13 in Saturday’s Risen Star Stakes? Fortunately, he does have good early speed and none of the immediate seven horses inside him look like they have the speed to outrun him. So he could wind up in a decent position outside Harlocap and Determinedly, but he is going to have to break sharply and have things set up for him going into the first turn. Flavien Prat sticks with him after their victory in the Smarty Jones Stakes and that certainly will help. Cox also has Angel of Empire and Tapit’s Conquest in the race as he tries to sort out all his 3-year-olds, so another question to ponder is whether Cox runs him or waits for Rebel Stakes the following week where he has already won a stakes. Victory Formation and Tapit’s Conquest worked five furlongs in a sharp 1:00 2/5 in company over the weekend. Let’s also remember that Victory Formation is undefeated and that’s pretty rare with this cop of 3-year-olds, and he knows how to beat you by open lengths or in a tight finish.


12—Red Route One (Steve Asmussen, Gun Runner – Red House, by Tapit)

I easily could have chosen between 10 to 12 horses to fill this final spot. While he doesn’t fit the profile of a Derby winner, he does fit the profile of the late-closing longshot that rallies for second or third. And we know he will stay the mile and a quarter. He is one of those you like to bet on because you’re really never out of it knowing at some point he will come running. Between Asmussen, Cox, Pletcher, and Baffert it is going to take some divine act for the little guy to sneak in this year. But with racing you never know. If he didn’t have such bad luck in the Kentucky Jockey Club he very well could have been a Top 5 horse type of horse. But as it turned out he has to be considered an intriguing Future Wager bet at 58-1.



You know it’s not your typical Derby trail when there are nine horses on the Future Wager list who have started either once or twice. And with a number of last year’s big 2-year-olds making late starts you really have to dig deep to find the true contenders.

We lost two Derby hopefuls this week when NEWGATE and SIGNATOR suffered minor injuries that knocked them off the trail. If you’re wondering why INSTANT COFFEE is no longer ranked, we can only go  by instinct while trying to put the pieces of the puzzle surrounding him together at the risk of being totally off base. First off he has not worked since the LeComte Stakes on January 21. I have found one thing when contacting trainers. If a trainer is good about answering your texts quickly and you ask him why his horse hasn’t worked and if he is OK and you don’t hear back from him you have no choice but to be on alert that something could be amiss. It’s not always the case, but when that trainer then enters three horses in a stakes, and the one horse you expect to see in there as the favorite is not among them then I feel it is best to drop that horse until more is known about what is going on with him. For what it’s worth, Instant Coffee is still taking a lot of money in the Future Wager and was only 18-1 on Sunday afternoon, which would lead one to believe he is still on course for the Derby. What that course is I have no idea. But I feel it is best to put him on the other side of the door this week and if we find out he is doing fine he obviously will jump right back into the fray. Better to be here for now than take up a spot high on the list if there are questions.

The toughest decision this week was whether to put Sam F. Davis winner LITIGATE in the Top 12. The final decision was to wait one more race. The main reason were the dismal performances by DUBYUHNELL and PRAIRIE HAWK, who were never in the race due in good part to terrible trips early on. Litigate overcame a bad post by breaking like a bullet and getting to the inside and then easing to the outside for a clear run. He was hard ridden a long way out and to the wire, closing his last two fractions in a sluggish :26 2/5 and :07. I do like him from a visual standpoint, as he has a nice fluid stride and good low extension. And his pedigree is fantastic, with the best of the Phipps bloodlines on top and bottom, as well as Claiborne and Darby Dan at the very top. This colt needs to get much faster and against better horses, but he definitely is a work in progress. It’s easy to say he looks more like a Belmont horse, but I still want to see how much improvement he can show between now and his next race. All the pieces seem to be there, it’s just a question of how long they will take to come together.

It’s nice to see Eoin Harty with a promising colt for Godolphin again. Harty, who had good success for Godolphin years ago, finished second in the Sam F. Davis Stakes with the 21-1 shot GROVELAND, who closed well along the rail to be beaten 1 1/4 lengths. Trapped for most the race, he attempted a bold move to come inside the pacesetter at the half-mile pole, but had to steady and drop back a bit. He tried to get going again on the turn, but the victorious Litigate had gotten the jump on him. When the leader finally did come off the rail in the stretch, Groveland gave it another shot and was able to get though and close strongly. The son of Street Sense has not finished out of the money in five career starts and has tons of stamina throughout his pedigree, with a Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner, the filly Desert Stormer, thrown in there. Watch out for this guy when the distances stretch out.

Harty sent out another classically bred 3-year-old for Godolphin, SUERTE, who scored an impressive wire-to-wire maiden victory at Tampa Bay Downs. The son of Frosted had to be gelded and started off his career running for a $50,000 claiming tag. He showed some promise, finishing second to Prairie Hawk in his third start, but couldn’t break his maiden until his fifth start when Harty removed his blinkers. He did show his greenness when he ducked out sharply from a left-handed whip from Tyler Gaffalione, but was fine after Gaffalione put the whip away and just showed it to him the rest of the way as he drew off to a three-length score. It’s a shame they had to geld him as he is inbred to an American (Seattle Slew) and English (Nijinsky) Triple Crown winner and has class and stamina all though his pedigree. He also is inbred to Unbridled.

I didn’t like taking VERIFYING off the Rankings, but he most likely will be back next week in preparation for the Rebel Stakes. Although DISARM has been put on a wait and see status I am still high on him, but with such a traffic jam after the Top 12 I have to remind myself he has had only two sprints and hasn’t run in 6 1/2 months. And at this juncture he doesn’t have much time to gain experience, face winners, and get Derby points. So for now we’ll just keep an eye on him.

Looking at the Thoro-Graph numbers for the Holy Bull Stakes, ROCKET CAN ran his third consecutive “8,” so not only does he have to get faster, he has to start showing some improvement numbers-wise. But he did have to go five-wide into the first turn and was wide throughout, so he surely deserves another chance to move forward

Runner-up SHADOW DRAGON, our spotlight horse of the week who like Rocket Can is trained by Bill Mott, went from a “14” in his first two races to a “10 1/4,” so he definitely needs to get a lot faster as well. But I did like what I saw coming off two New York-bred races and a three-month layoff, having to rally from far back through a very slow three-quarters in 1:13 3/5, circling four-wide on the far turn, and not changing leads until the sixteenth pole. He does have two races with triple-digit late pace figures on Brisnet. His sire was a sprinter whose career was cut short after winning the Grade 1 Carter Handicap in only his third career start, and his dam is by Medaglia d’Oro out of Jostle, who was Rick Porter and John Servis’ first big horse, winning the Coaching Club American Oaks, Alabama, Black-Eyed Susan, Cotillion, and Demoiselle Stakes.

Shadow Dragon has the much-coveted Rasmussen Factor, being inbred to Cap and Bells through her daughter Lady Capulet, the dam of El Prado, sire of Medaglia d’Oro, and also through her son Drone, a massive powerhouse of a horse who had superstar written all over him after winning his first four starts by margins of four to nine lengths. Drone, a Claiborne Farm owned and bred son of Sir Gaylord, came along in the same crop as Arts and Letters and Majestic Prince, and his trainer Lucien Laurin called him the best horse he ever trained. Laurin was so distraught after losing Drone to a calcium deposit in his knee while on the Derby trail he said, “This has to be the most heartbreaking game in the world. What an unlucky sonofagun I am.” Shortly after, Laurin retired only to return to train a half-brother to Sir Gaylord named Secretariat. After that the game wasn’t quite as heartbreaking for Laurin, who no longer could complain about being unlucky. As for Drone, you don’t usually see him this close up in a young horse’s pedigree anymore, but if you’re not familiar with him he is the broodmare sire of Kentucky Derby winners Grindstone and Charismatic, as well as the great Dancing Brave, winner of the English Derby, 2,000 Guineas, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, and Eclipse Stakes, and Hall of Famer Princess Rooney, the first Breeders’ Cup Distaff winner. I’m looking to see big improvement from Shadow Dragon. The fact that Bill Mott put him in the Holy Bull when he had Rocket Can says a lot.

Mott sent out another runner this past weekend in ARTHUR’S RIDE, a stunning gray son of Tapit with a big bounding stride. Battling through fast fractions in the one-mile maiden race, he opened up in the stretch and had no problem holding off the Todd Pletcher first timer DREAMLIKE to win by 1 1/2 lengths in a solid 1:36 1/5.

In Week 1 I mentioned a horse who really caught my eye in his career debut was the Pletcher-trained KINGSBARNS, who won despite a horrible trip. Well, he came back Sunday with a perfect trip in a mile and 40-yard allowance race at Tampa Bay and was extremely impressive storming by the leader from the inside near the half-mile pole, opening a clear lead on the turn while still on cruise control and drawing off to a 7 3/4-length victory. He was hit with three right-handed whips in the stretch, but only to keep him from drifting out. He is a classy-looking colt with a beautiful bounding stride and it’s only a question now if he has enough time to get two stakes in and pick up Derby points. He definitely is one to watch.

The comeback performance of the week was turned in by the John Shirrreffs-trainer SKINNER, who made his first start since getting beat 28 lengths in the American Pharoah Stakes and stormed to an impressive 3 1/4-length victory in a one-mile maiden race at Santa Anita Sunday with first time Lasix.

One horse who could very well dominate the remaining Turfway Stakes is Leonatus Stakes winner FUNTASTIC AGAIN, who was always thought of very highly by owner Three Chimneys Farm and trainer Wesley Ward. Three Chimneys stands Funtastic and will often look at his sales horses. They liked what they saw with Funtastic Again, feeling he was an attractive, athletic colt and were able to get him for $60,000 at the Keeneland November mixed sale. They liked him so much they even bought his dam in foal to Not This Time. Funtastic recently breezed five furlongs in 1:02 at Turfway.

Even losing a few Derby hopefuls, Brad Cox still has quite an arsenal. TAPIT’S CONQUEST looks like one of his sleepers who just needs a little more experience to put it all together and he definitely will get in the Risen Star. The ability is there and his numbers are improving, and he showed he’s ready for the next step after working five furlongs in 1:00 2/5 in company with the stakes-winning Victory Formation. Two Cox horses looking for redemption following disappointing efforts in the sloppy Southwest Stakes, JACE’S ROAD and CORONA BOLT, who we had ranked in Week 1, returned to the work tab going a half in :49 1/5 and :48 1/5, respectively.

Speaking of redemption, SUN THUNDER, another colt who impressed us visually, but didn’t show too much in the Southwest Stakes coming off Lasix, finishing a well-beaten fourth, turned in a strong five-furlong work in 1:00 1/5 for the Risen Star Stakes. I haven’t given up on this colt, who I believe is much better than he showed last time. He could be an Interesting longshot.

Another horse who caught my eye early on was the Bob Baffert-trained HARLOCAP, who as mentioned earlier has been turned over to Steve Asmussen and is entered in the Risen Star Stakes where he will come off Lasix after an impressive victory.

On the Risen Star card facing Banishing in the 1 1/16-mile allowance are some names you should be hearing from, including the still green TAPIT SHOES, impressive first out winners FIRST DEFENDER and WILLAKENZIE, and recent allowance winner CAGLIOSTRO.

The hard-knocking DREW’S GOLD had no trouble winning the six-furlong Jimmy Winkfield Stakes at Aqueduct, but trainer James Chapman said he would prefer going for the seven-furlong Bay Shore Stakes next rather than stretch him out in the Gotham. One horse who is headed for the Gotham is the gutsy SLIP MAHONEY, a son of Arrogate who battled Tapit Trice to the wire, losing by a neck, and then fought back to hold off the late charge of the Pletcher-trained CRUPI, winning by a head. His Brisnet figures have improved from an 84 to a 96 to a 98, as has his late pace figures, from an 85 to a 96 to a 99. So he not only can close, he can close off strong middle pace figures. Like many up-and-comers this year he will have to come off Lasix in the Gotham, but he did run big without it against Tapit Trice. With the main body of the Brad Cox army down south he could hold down the fort up in New York. If you’re not familiar with the name, Slip Mahoney was the leader of the Bowery Boys, who were popular on TV in the 1950s.

Last Saturday’s El Camino Real Derby on the synthetic track at Golden Gate was won in workmanlike fashion by CHASE THE CHAOS, who has won two straight and has finished in the money in all six of his starts, including his first two on the grass at Canterbury Downs.

Finally, not only do we have our first filly in the Future Wager, but the undefeated HOOSIER PHILLY, a run-away winner of the Golden Rod and Rags to Riches Stakes, closed as the second choice at 11-1.

Racing historian, author, and award-winning retired journalist for the Daily Racing Form and The Blood-Horse, Steve Haskin was inducted into the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame’s Media Roll of Honor in 2016. Known for his racing knowledge and insightful prose, he has been an exclusive contributor to since 2020.


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