©2018 Calvin L. Carter. All rights reserved.
The Road to the Kentucky Derby takes us to the Empire State Saturday where FIRENZE FIRE will go the starting gate as the 3-5 morning-line favorite in the 148th running of the $150,000 Jerome Stakes (G3) at Aqueduct Racetrack. Post time for the race will be 3:50 p.m. ET.
Firenze Fire comes into this race for trainer Jason Servis with a 3-0-0 record in five starts including a seventh-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Stakes (G1). Here’s the video and chart call of the Juvenile:
FIRENZE FIRE settled off of the inside, entered the stretch four wide but lacked a response when called upon.
Firenze Fire is a talented colt with wins in the Sanford Stakes (G3) (video) and Champagne Stakes (G1) (video). However, with an E Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile®, our analysis of the Juvenile ranked him 10th and he finished seventh.
Poseidon’s Warrior, the sire of Firenze Fire, was a fast, competitive racehorse and graded stakes winner that raced to the age of four compiling a 7-2-4 record in 21 starts with $701,147 in career earnings.
As a two-year-old, Poseidon’s Warrior was 2-1-1 in five starts with a win in the Monmouth Park NATC Futurity, a second-place finish in the Grey Planet Stakes and a third-place finish in the First State Dash Stakes.
As a three-year-old, He was 4-1-1 in nine starts with wins in the East Hanover Stakes, New Castle Stakes and the Le Bagoter Stakes. He finished second in the Gallant Bob Stakes and third in the Valley Forge Stakes.
In seven starts as a four-year-old, Poseidon’s Warrior was 1-0-2 with a win in the Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (G1) and third-place finishes in the Vosburgh Invitational Stakes (G1) and the Fabulous Strike Handicap.
Like most of the horses in the Jerome, Firenze Fire has a low Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® but his Behavior Index makes him competitive in this herd. I like the cut back in distance to a mile and if he repeats the form of his win in the Champagne, he’ll be tough to beat.
A long shot I like is OLD TIME REVIVAL (10-1) who comes into this race with a 1-0-1 record in three starts with a maiden win last out for trainer Kenneth Decker. Here’s the video and chart call of that race:
OLD TIME REVIVAL bobbled at the break, was under a firm hold attending the pace three to four wide outside the leader, moved clear nearing the quarter pole, kicked away after being let out in upper stretch, was kept alert with one crack of the right stick leaving the eighth pole and continued eagerly under steady hand pressure to the wire.
Old Time Revival looked good breaking his maiden on his third start to win by 4¾ lengths. With a B Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® he’s the best-bred colt in this herd.
Brethren, the sire of Old Time Revival, is half-brother to Super Saver and a graded stakes winner that raced to the age of five compiling a 5-2-1 record in 18 starts with $386,465 in career earnings.
As a two-year-old, he was undefeated in two starts. At the age of three, Brethren won the Sam F. Davis Stakes (G3) and finished third in the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) en route to an eleventh-place finish in the Arkansas Derby (G1).
As a four-year-old, Brethren was 1-2-0 in six starts with second place finishes in the Delta Mile Stakes and Tenacious Handicap. As a five-year-old, he was unplaced in five starts.
Old Time Revival appears to be an improving colt and a recent bullet work out could have him ready to take another big step forward.
SEVEN TRUMPETS (3-1) comes into this race for trainer Dale Romans with a 2-0-0 record in three starts including a half-length win in his last race. Here’s the video and chart call of that race:
SEVEN TRUMPETS attended the pace along the inside, shifted out and moved up to engage NUCLEAR OPTION entering the stretch, forged command with a furlong to run and held BATTLE STATION at bay.
Since his off-the-board finish in his debut, Seven Trumpets looked good putting together to back-to-victories to finish the racing season.
Morning Line, the sire of Seven Trumpets, was a multiple graded stakes winner that compiled a 5-4-2 record in 15 starts with $1,251,300 in career earnings.
Morning Line was unplaced in his only start as a two-year-old. At the age of three he was 3-3-0 in six starts with a win in the Pennsylvania Derby (G2) and a second-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1).
In his debut as a four-year-old, Morning Line finished third in the Hal’s Hope Stakes (G3). He went on to compile a 1-1-1 record in five starts with wins in the Carter Handicap (G1) and a second-place finish in the Donn Handicap (G1).
With two starts as a five-year-old, Morning Line was 1-0-0 with a win in the Mervyn LeRoy Handicap (G2).
In his only start at the age of six, Morning Line finished third in the Triple Bend Handicap (G1).
Seven Trumpets is stepping up in class and he’s never raced in a route race. However, he has good speed and his D Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® makes him competitive in this herd.
COLTANDMISSISSIPPI (6-1) comes into this race for trainer Todd Pletcher with a 2-0-0 record in four starts including a fifth-place finish in the Smooth Air Stakes. Here’s the video and chart call of that race:
COLTANDMISSISSIPPI bumped with HANDSOME FRANCO at the start, pressed the pace inside to the turn, and weakened after six furlongs.
Pioneerof the Nile, the sire of Coltandmississippi, was a pretty good middle-distance runner and multiple graded-stakes winner that compiled a 2-0-1 record as a two-year-old including a win in the CashCall Futurity (G1) and a third-place finish in the Lane’s End Breeders’ Futurity (G1).
As a three-year-old, Pioneerof the Nile was 3-0-1 in five starts with wins in the Robert B. Lewis Stakes (G2), San Felipe Stakes (G2) and Santa Anita Derby (G1) in route to a second-place finish in the 2009 Kentucky Derby (G1).
As a stallion, his best runners to date on the Kentucky Derby Trail include Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, Classic Empire and Cairo Prince.
Coltandmississippi has a C Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® and that makes him competitive in this race. However, I’m not too keen on him for the win.
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).
2018 KENTUCKY DERBY LEADERBOARD
Ranking, total points, Trainer, Non-Restricted Stakes Earnings
1. +Good Magic, 24, Chad Brown, $1,200,000
2. McKinzie, 20, Bob Baffert, $240,000
3. Bolt d’Oro, 14, Mick Ruis, $540,000
4. +Solomini, 14, Bob Baffert, $436,000
5. Enticed, 12, Kiaran McLaughlin, $164,080
6. Firenze Fire, 10, Jason Servis, $427,500
7. +Free Drop Billy, 10, Dale Romans, $400,000
8. Greyvitos, 10, Adam Kitchingman, $300,000
9. Catholic Boy, 10, Jonathan Thomas, $290,000
10. The Tabulator, 10, Larry Rivelli, $186,750
11. Avery Island, 4, Kiaran McLaughlin, $170,000
12. Bravazo, 4, D. Wayne Lukas, $109,913
13. +Hollywood Star, 4, Dale Romans, $88,500
14. Combatant, 4, Steve Asmussen, $80,000
15. Instilled Regard, 4, Jerry Hollendorfer, $60,000
16. Tiz Mischief, 4, Dale Romans, $36,800
17. All Out Blitz, 4, Simon Callahan, $20,000
18. Givemeaminit, 2, Dallas Stewart, $152,000
19. My Boy Jack, 2, Keith Desormeaux, $102,000
20. Lone Sailor, 2, Tom Amoss, $71,347
+ = Horses picked as yearlings on my 2016 Keeneland September Yearling Sales list.
EUROPEAN ROAD LEADERBOARD
1. Saxon Warrior (JPN), 20, Aidan O’Brien, $245,017
2. Roaring Lion (USA), 14, John Gosden, $136,807
3. f-Happily (IRE), 10, Aidan O’Brien, $543,648
4. Olmedo (FR), 4, Jean-Claude Rouget, $113,505
5. Nelson (IRE), 4, Aidan O’Brien, $99,826
6. Delano Roosevelt (IRE), 4, Aidan O’Brien, $38,074
7. Masar (IRE), 2, Aidan O’Brien, $101,264
8. The Pentagon (IRE), 2, Aidan O’Brien, $71.981
9. Mildenberger (ENG), 2, Mark Johnston, $64,634
10. Warm the Voice (IRE), 2, Brendan Duke, $12,904
11. Verbal Dexterity (IRE), 1, Jim Bolger, $280,269
12. Kew Gardens (IRE), 1, Aidan O’Brien, $28,605
13. Woodmax (GER), 1, Nicolas Clement, $23,610
14. Petrus (IRE), 1, Brian Meehan, $7,182
JAPAN ROAD LEADERBOARD
Ranking, total points, Trainer, Non-Restricted Stakes Earnings
1. Le Vent Se Leve (JPN), 10, Kiyoshi Hagiwara, $464,985
2. Ruggero (JPN), 10, Yuichi Shikato, $178,045
3. Don Fortis (JPN), 4, Mitsunori Makiura, $437,283
4. Mic Ben Hur (JPN), 4, Yoshihiro Hatakeyama, $106,766
5. Haseno Pyro (JPN), Kenki Sato, $264,191
6. Meiner Yukitsubaki (JPN) 2, Noboru Takagi, $99,210
7. Dark Repulser (JPN), 1, Takashi Kanari, $184,087
8. Bronze Kay (JPN), 1, Koichi Tsunoda, $75.979