©2015 Calvin L. Carter. All rights reserved.
The “Road to the Kentucky Derby” takes us to Keeneland Race Course Saturday where, in what appears to be a wide-open horse race, Exaggerator heads a herd of 12 young Thoroughbreds as the luke-warm, 7-2 morning-line favorite in the 102nd running of the $500,000 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity Stakes (G1).
Exaggerator comes into this race for trainer Keith Desormeaux off of two back-to-back wins in sprint races including a three-quarter length win in the Saratoga Special Stakes (G3) at Saratoga Race Course on August 16. Here’s the video and chart call of that race:
EXAGGERATOR leaned in and brushed the inside of the gate at the start, was urged along near the rail, advanced alongside HAMMERS VISION coming to the five-sixteenths, waited off heels at that point while the aforementioned rival was able to keep advancing, turned into the stretch in the two path, waited again while directly behind SARATOGA MISCHIEF and full of run at the three-sixteenths, dropped in a touch and replaced the tiring JOHN Q. PUBLIC near the rail, chased into the final furlong under a right-handed whip, switched to left-handed whip while drawing even with the runner-up at the sixteenth-pole and proved best under strong handling.
Exaggerator is stepping up in class and he’s stretching out to 8½ furlongs for the first time. However, his breeding indicates that should not be a problem.
Curlin, the sire of Exaggerator, was undefeated in three starts as a 3-year-old, including a win in the Rebel Stakes (G3) and Arkansas Derby (G2), in route to a third-place finish in the 2007 Kentucky Derby (G1).
Curlin went on to win the Preakness Stakes (G1) by a head and he lost the Belmont Stakes (G1) by a head. He won numerous Eclipse awards, compiled an 11-2-2 record in 16 career starts and earned over $10.5 million dollars.
Brody’s Cause (6-1) comes into this race for trainer Dale Romans off of a maiden win at Churchill Downs on September 11. Here’s the video and chart call of that race:
BRODY'S CAUSE was unhurried into stride, wheeled out seven wide entering the stretch, swamped the leaders inside the sixteenth pole and shook clear. CONQUEST BIG E broke in the air, pulled to contention five wide, forged command inside the furlong marker, kept on well but was unable to resist the winner.
Giant’s Causeway, the sire of Brody’s Cause, was undefeated in three starts as a two year old (all at 7-furlongs), winning the Group 3 Futurity Stakes and the Group One Prix de la Salamandre Stakes. As a 3-year-old, Giant’s Causeway was 6-4-0 in 10 starts, winning from 7- to 10-furlongs and he was selected as the 2000 Cartier Racing Awards European Horse of the Year.
A long shot I like in this race is Wild Man (15-1) who comes into this race with two third-place finishes for trainer Steve Asmussen. In his last race, Wild Man lost by a narrow neck to Sail Ahoy who is a long shot that I like in the Champagne Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park. Here’s the video and chart call of his last race:
WILD MAN took up the chase from the three path, drafting behind TOUGHEST 'OMBRE, got tipped out one wider approaching the five-sixteenth pole and was given his cue, spun into the stretch locked up in a battle as the widest of a trio, lugged in and bumped into the last-named opponent near the eighth pole, fought stubbornly to the end in route for show honors.
Wild Man has yet to break his maiden but he has the breeding to be competitive in this race.
Pulpit, the sire of Wild Man, was a competitive colt on the 1997 Kentucky Derby trail, winning the Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) and the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G1) in route to a fourth-place finish in the Derby.