Ibboyee, the 8-5 morning line favorite, heads a field of eight 3-year-old thoroughbreds today in the $65,000 Count Fleet Stakes at Aqueduct.
Trained by Todd Pletcher, Ibboyee comes into the race with four wins in five starts, finishing off the board in the Sleepy Hollow Stakes last October at Belmont. In his last effort, Ibboyee drew clear in the 1 mile, 70-yard Damon Runyon Stakes at Aqueduct to win by 2 ½ -lengths and posted a 100 Brisnet Speed Figure. So Ibboyee should be tough in this spot today.
Turbo Speed, trained by Thomas Houghton, is the 7-2 second choice. Undefeated in three starts, Turbo Speed comes into the race with a 1 ½-length victory in the Pennsylvania Nursery Stakes at Philadelphia Park. Turbo Speed has never run in a route race but he gets plenty of stamina from his sire Louis Quatorze who won the 1996 Preakness and his damsire, Proud Truth, who won the 1985 Breeders’ Cup Classic.
The 5-1 third choice, Peppi Knows has never been out of the money in five starts (5, 3-1-1) and he comes into the race with a second-place finish to Buddy’s Saint in the Remsen Stakes (G2). Peppi knows also has a nice pedigree. His sire, Stephen Got Even, sired the G3 winner Don't Get Mad and 2005 Eclipse champion and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Stevie Wonderboy.
The horse that most intrigues me in this race is Laus Deo (6-1) and I’m watching to see if he moves forward off of his maiden-win in a 7-furlong sprint last out. His trainer, Tony Dutrow, says that Laus Deo has some maturing to do but he is improving with every race.
"He was a big dummy, needed the experience," said Dutrow in a David Grening Daily Racing Form news article. "I wanted to keep him two turns. I reluctantly ran him seven-eighths when the two-turn race didn't fill. He's an improving horse on the come."
Dutrow’s top 3-year-old, Winslow Homer, is on track to run in the the Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream. Winslow Homer is also one of my top Kentucky Derby picks but if Laus Deo posts an impressive win and continues to improve, he could become my top pick.
I really like the breeding of Laus Deo but you never know how these youngsters will do until they go to the track. In the past, there have been horses that I really liked but they were mediocre at best on the track. So, today, I will hold off on elaborating on Laus Deo’s breeding until he shows me that he may live up to it.
Stay tuned for more.
Turfway Prevue – Turfway Park
Try as I might, I just could not get excited about this race. At this point on the Derby Trail, it is hard for me to get excited about a sprint race and I’m anxious to see these youngsters stretch out to route races.
Kera’s Kitten, bred and owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey, is the 5-2 morning line favorite in the field of nine entered in the $50,000 Turfway Prevue at Turfway Park. Kera’s Kitten adds blinkers, cuts back from a route to a 6 ½ -furlong sprint and tries dirt for the first time.
Lucky Chuck and Successful Score are the 3-1 second choice. In his last four races, Lucky Chuck has three impressive wins and a third-place finish. I like that.
Fish (5-1) looks like an interesting horse. With the success in recent years of Musket Man, The Pamplemousse and War Pass I’ve been following the Cherokee Run sire line thoroughbreds. So far I have not found any on the Derby Trail to match the success of the previously mentioned thoroughbreds.