©2017 Calvin L. Carter. All rights reserved.
This Sunday the European road to the 2017-2018 Kentucky Derby takes us across the pond to Naas Racecourse in County Kildare, Ireland, where Saxon Warriorhas been tabbed as the 9-5 Twinspires.com morning line favorite in the Juddmonte Beresford Stakes (Group 2).
Post time is noon EDT. An original field of 10 had been pre-entered in the Beresford but with the expected soft to heavy going only five horses will enter the starting gate.
Saxon Warrior comes into this race off of a win in his maiden debut for trainer Aidan O’Brien. Here’s the video and chart call:
Held up in rear, still towards rear and plenty to do 2 furlongs out, soon taken to outer and pushed along, strong run to lead 100 yards out, soon clear, comfortably.
Saxon Warrior showed a good burst of speed in the final strides to easily win by 3¼ lengths.
Deep Impact, the sire of Saxon Warrior, was a talented Thoroughbred selected twice as Horse of the Year in Japan at the age of three and four. During his racing career, he compiled a 12-1-0 record in 14 starts with $12,825,285 in earnings including numerous graded stakes victories and Japan’s prestigious Thoroughbred Triple Crown.
At stud, Deep Impact is the current leading stallion in Japan, an honor he’s held since 2012. He’s sired numerous graded stakes winners including the champions Deep Brilliante, Kizuna, and Makahiki, winners of the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby); Santono Diamond, winner of the Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger) and Dee Majesty and Al Ain winners of the Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2,000 Guineas).
Like most of the horses in this race, Saxon Warrior has an A+ Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® and I look for him to run a good race.
Rounding out the field are Delano Roosevelt (3-1), Kew Gardens (7-2), Riyazan (5-1) and Warm the Voice (7-1).
This is the sixth consecutive year for Churchill Downs to use a point system to determine eligibility to get into the Kentucky Derby starting gate. A total of 36 races comprise the Road to the Kentucky Derby and a significant change to the schedule is the addition of the Springboard Mile at Remington Park on December 17.
In addition to the Japan road to the Derby which features the Cattleya Sho Stakes (November 25), Zen-Nippon Nisai Yushan Stakes (December 13) and Hayacinth Stakes (February 2018), Churchill Downs has added a European road to Derby glory consisting of seven races: Juddmonte Beresford (September 24), Juddmonte Royal Lodge (September 30), Qatar Prix Jean-Luc Lagardère (October 1), Racing Post Trophy (October 28, Road to the Kentucky Derby Condition Stakes (March 1), Patton (March 2) and the Burradon (March 30).