©2016 Calvin L. Carter. All rights reserved.
The Road to the Kentucky Derby takes us to Gulfstream Park, Saturday, where a much anticipated matchup between Mohaymen and Nyquist will take place in 69th running of the $1 million, Xpressbet.com Florida Derby (G1). Post time is 6:48 ET.
Undefeated in five starts, Mohaymen has been tabbed as the morning line even money favorite and he comes into this race for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin off of a 2¾ length win in the Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2). Here’s the video and chart call of that race:
MOHAYMEN raced unhurried early while never far back, advanced three-wide through the back-stretch, reached ZULU with a quarter to run, vied into mid-stretch, opened a clear lead and held that rival at bay with little need of urging.
His time of 1:36.06 at the mile marker and final time of 1:42.84 is what I like to see in a young colt on the Kentucky Derby Trail.
Mohaymen is a sire-line descendant of the Bold Ruler Ancestral Herd and with a B Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile®, he has the breeding to be competitive and make another move forward in the Florida Derby (G1).
Tapit, the sire of Mohaymen, was undefeated in two starts as a 2-year-old including a win in the Laurel Futurity (G3). As a 3-year-old, Tapit was troubled by a lung infection for much of the season but did win the nine-furlong Wood Memorial Stakes (G1) in route to a ninth-place finish in the 2004 Kentucky Derby.
Regular jockey Junior Alvarado returns to the irons and a bullet work out on March 18 could have Mohaymen ready to run a good race.
Nyquist (6-5) is undefeated in six starts for trainer Doug O’Neill and he comes into this race off a win in the seven furlong, San Vicente Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita Park on February 15. Here’s a look at the video and chart call of that race:
NYQUIST had good early speed and dueled a bit off the rail then inside on the turn, inched away off the inside into the stretch, drifted out a bit in upper stretch, responded when challenged in mid-stretch, edged away again under urging a sixteenth out, drifted out slightly in deep stretch and gamely prevailed.
Nyquist is one of several Uncle Mo colts on this year’s Derby trail and he has a low Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® score. However, some horses with a low profile score can win races that are shorter than the classic 10 furlong distance and Nyquist’s Behavior Index and other Data Mining variables have made him competitive.
Uncle Mo was undefeated in three starts as a two year old with wins in the Champagne Stakes (G1) and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Stakes (G1) and he was picked as the 2010 Eclipse Champion Two Year Old Colt.
As a three year old, Uncle Mo won the Timely Writer Stakes and finished third in the Wood Memorial Stakes (G1). The Friday before the Kentucky Derby, Uncle Mo was scratched from the race with a mysterious ailment which was later diagnosed as a liver disease called cholangiohepatitis.
The best Uncle Mo could run nine furlongs was third in the Wood Memorial Stakes and it will be interesting to see how well Nyquist handles the stretch out in distance.
A long shot I like in this race is Takeittotheedge (20-1) who romped to a 7¾ length win in his maiden debut on March 7 at Gulfstream Park. Here’s the video and chart call of that race:
TAKEITTOTHEEDGE sprinted clear at once, raced off the rail while setting the pace, remained in control into the stretch, drifted out nearing the eighth pole and was ridden out to the wire to be kept to task.
Takeittotheedge looked impressive in his maiden win and with an A Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® he’s the best bred colt in this field. However, he’ll have a lot to overcome stepping up in class and stretching out in distance and I’d like to see him given more time to develop.
Broken Vow, the sire of Takeittotheedge, did not race as a 2-year-old but he was a good middle-distance runner that only finished out of the money once in 14 starts and in 12 route starts he compiled an 8-2-2 record.
At the age of three, Broken Vow was undefeated in four starts including the Sir Barton Stakes. As a 4-year-old, Broken Vow won the Philip H. Iselin Stakes (G2), Ben Ali Stakes (G3), R.R.M. Carpenter Jr. Memorial Stakes and the Skip Away Stakes.
At stud, Broken Vow sired the outstanding middle-distance runner Unbridled Belle who had over $1.9 million in career earnings. And his best runners to date on the Derby trail have been Interactif, Private Vow and Done Talking.
Honorable mention goes to Fellowship (15-1) who finished third to Mohaymen in the Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) and Majesto (20-1) who comes into this race off of a maiden win at Gulfstream Park on February 27.
The Florida Derby (G1) winner will receive 100 points, second-place finishers will receive 40 points, third-place finishers will get 20 points and fourth-place finishers will get 10 points. Here’s a look at the current top twenty Derby qualifiers:
2016 KENTUCKY DERBY LEADERBOARD
Rank, Horse, Points, Trainer, Non-Restricted Stakes Earnings
1. Gun Runner, 51, Steve Asmussen, $849,200
2. Lani, 100, Mikio Matsunaga, $1,300,119
3. Mohaymen, 70, Kiaran McLaughlin, $760,350
4. Destin, 51, Todd Pletcher, $338,000
5. Cupid, 50, Bob Baffert, $540,000
6. Danzing Candy, 50, Cliff Sise, Jr., $240,000
7. Shagaf, 50, Chad Brown, $240,000
8. Mor Spirit, 44, Bob Baffert, $416,800
9. Tom’s Ready, 44, Dallas Stewart, $270,670
10. f-Polar River, 40, Doug Watson, $700,000
11. Mo Tom, 32, Tom Amoss $328,326
12. Nyquist, 30, Doug O’Neill, $1,700,000
13. Exaggerator, 26, Keith Desormeaux, $1,028,000
14. Whitmore, 24, Ron Moquett, $300,000
15. Sunny Ridge, 23, Jason Servis, $505,600
16. Laoban, 22, Eric Guillot, $92,000
17. Forevamo, 20, All Stall, Jr., $210,000
18. Dazzling Gem, 20, Brad Cox, $100,000
19. Zulu, 20, Todd Pletcher, $79,200
20. Outwork, 20, Todd Pletcher, $70,000