©2018 Calvin L. Carter. All rights reserved.
This Saturday, the Road to the Kentucky Derby logs a lot of miles with prep races in New York, California and Florida.
Let’s take a look at the 33rd running of the $350,000 Lambholm South Holy Bull Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream Park in Florida where ENTICED will go to the starting gate as the 3-1 morning-line favorite. Post time is 5:49 ET.
Trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, Enticed comes into this race with a 2-0-1 record in three starts including a third-place finish in the Champagne Stakes (G1) and a win in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2). Here’s the video and chart call of that race:
ENTICED came out at the start, was bumped and bothered into the first turn, fanned into the eight path in the far turn, made a bid three wide down the lane, was under a long drive in the final stages and prevailed at the wire.
Enticed looked good and showed a lot of grit in the stretch drive to hold off a determined Tiz Mischief and earn graded stakes honors.
Medaglia d’Oro, the sire of Enticed, was a good middle-distance runner that compiled an 8-7-0 record in 17 starts with $5,754,720 in career earnings. Overall, he had seven wins and five second-place finishes in 14 route races.
Medaglia d’Oro finished second in his only start as a two year old but as a three year old he won the San Felipe Stakes (G2) and finished second in the Wood Memorial Stakes (G1) in route to the 2002 Derby where he finished in fourth place.
In the Preakness Stakes (G1), Medaglia d’Oro finished eighth but rebounded from that run to finish second in the Belmont Stakes (G1). He went on to complete his racing season as a three year old with wins in the nine-furlong Jim Dandy Stakes (G2) and the 10-furlong Travers Stakes (G1).
As a four year old, Medaglia d’Oro won the nine-furlong Strub Stakes (G2), Oaklawn Handicap (G2) and Whitney Handicap (G1). In addition, he finished second in the 10-furlong Pacific Classic Stakes (G1) and Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1).
At the age of five, Medaglia d’Oro won the nine-furlong Donn Handicap (G1) and finished second in the 10-furlong Emirates Airline Dubai World Cup (G1).
Enticed has an A Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® and I look for him to run a good race.
The next three horses I like in this race were my sales picks as yearlings at the 2016 Keeneland September Yearling Sale.
MISSISSIPPI (5-1) is an improving colt and he comes into this race for trainer Mark Casse with a 1-1-0 record in three starts including a second-place finish in his last race. Here’s the video and chart call:
MISSISSIPPI raced two wide entering the first turn then took lead and secured inside position, vied for lead racing inside of NOBLE INDY, settled nicely with rival on top, came under left-handed drive at head of the lane, battled gamely with NOBLE INDY but could not move on with rival in deep stretch, finished clearly second best.
Mississippi showed a lot of grit in his battle with Noble Indy and I look for him to improve off of that effort. He was a yearling (Hip 888) I liked at the 2016 Keeneland September sale and with an A+ Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile®, Mississippi is the best-bred colt in this race.
Pioneerof the Nile, the sire of Mississippi, 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.
Mississippi has room to improve in his second start of the season and I look for him to run a good race.
Owned by Albaugh Family Stables, LLC and trained by Dale Romans, FREE DROP BILLY (Hip 104) and HOLLYWOOD STAR (Hip 395) were yearlings I liked at the 2016 Keeneland September sale.
Free Drop Billy (6-1) comes into this race for trainer Dale Romans with 2-2-0 record in five starts including a second-place finish in both Sanford Stakes (G3) and Hopeful Stakes (G1), a win in the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) and a ninth-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Stakes (G1). Here’s the video and chart call of the Juvenile:
FREE DROP BILLY settled saving ground, moved up to make a mild bid, but tired after six furlongs and dropped out.
Free Drop Billy is much better than is performance in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) would indicate and I look for him to rebound from that effort.
Union Rags, the sire of Free Drop Billy, was a competitive colt on the trail to the 2012 Kentucky Derby (G1), compiling an overall 5-1-1 record in eight career starts with $1,798,800 in earnings.
As a two year old, Union Rags won the Three Chimneys Saratoga Special (G2) and Champagne (G1) stakes and finished second in the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) stakes.
At the age of three, Union Rags won the Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth (G2) stakes and finished third in the Florida Derby (G1) en route to a seventh-place finish in the Kentucky Derby (G1). He finished his career with a narrow win by a neck over Paynter in the Belmont (G1) stakes.
With an A Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile®, Free Drop Billy has the breeding to be competitive and a recent bullet work out could have him ready to run a good race.
Hollywood Star (12-1) comes into this race with a 1-2-0 record in four starts including a second-place finish in both the Saratoga Special Stakes (G2) and Iroquois Stakes (G3) and a sixth-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Stakes (G1). Here’s the video and chart call of the Juvenile:
HOLLYWOOD STAR angled in at once to save ground, came under a ride with three furlongs to run, angled out entering the stretch and improved position.
Hollywood Star ran better than his stablemate, Free Drop Billy, but he’s also much better than what his performance would indicate.
Malibu Moon, the sire of Hollywood Star, made only two starts as a two year old, compiling a 1-1-0 record, before a slab fracture ended his racing career.
At stud, Malibu Moon sired the 2013 Kentucky Derby winner Orb. In addition, he’s sired several horses that have been competitive on the Derby trail such as Gormley, Danzig Moon, Mr. Z and Stanford.
Other nice runners sired by Malibu Moon include Life At Ten, Devil May Care, Declan’s Moon, Ask the Moon, Prospective, Kauai Katie, Moon Catcher, Moonshine Memories, Ransom the Moon, and Malibu Mint.
With an A Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile®, Hollywood Star has the breeding to be competitive and a recent bullet work out could have him ready to run a good race.
Honorable mention goes to Tiz Mischief (4-1) who barely lost to Enticed last out and Audible (6-1) who comes into this race off an impressive 9¾ length win at Aqueduct on December 6.
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. Firenze Fire, 20, Jason Servis, $517,500
3. McKinzie, 20, Bob Baffert, $240,000
4. Bolt d’Oro, 14, Mick Ruis, $540,000
5. +Solomini, 14, Bob Baffert, $436,000
6. Instilled Regard, 14, Jerry Hollendorfer, $180,000
7. Enticed, 12, Kiaran McLaughlin, $164,080
8. +Free Drop Billy, 10, Dale Romans, $400,000
9. Greyvitos, 10, Adam Kitchingman, $300,000
10. Catholic Boy, 10, Jonathan Thomas, $290,000
11. The Tabulator, 10, Larry Rivelli, $186,750
12. Mourinho, 10, Bob Baffert, $124,360
13. Combatant, 8, Steve Asmussen, $110,000
14. Avery Island, 4, Kiaran McLaughlin, $170,000
15. Bravazo, 4, D. Wayne Lukas, $109,913
16. +Hollywood Star, 4, Dale Romans, $88,500
17. Principe Guilherme, 4, Steve Asmussen, $40,000
18. Tiz Mischief, 4, Dale Romans, $36,800
19. Seven Trumpets, 4, Dale Romans, $30,000
20. All Out Blitz, 4, Simon Callahan, $20,000
+ = 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