©2018 Calvin L. Carter. All rights reserved.
The takes us to the Empire State Saturday where will go to the starting gate as the 6-5 morning line favorite in the 103rd running of the $250,000 (G2) at Aqueduct Racetrack. Post time is 3:12 p.m. ET.
Undefeated in two starts, Maximus Mischief comes into this race for trainer Robert Reid, Jr. off an impressive allowance win at Parx on October 20. Here’s the and of that race:
MAXIMUS MISCHIEF ducked out while breaking like a bullet, bore out and was rank in the opening furlong while under a stout hold, settled nicely as he was steered closer to the rail on the backstretch, remained in hand, easily shook loose of ABSENTEE entering the stretch and extended his lead through the stretch in another eye-catching performance.
Maximus Mischief was just two much the best as he cruised to an easy six-length victory to run his combined total win margin to 14¾ lengths in two starts.
Into Mischief, the sire of Audible, was a precocious colt and multiple graded stakes winner that compiled a 3-3-0 record in six starts with $597,080 in career earnings.
As a two-year-old, Into Mischief easily won his maiden debut by 2½ lengths at Santa Anita Park on October 21, 2007. He went on to finish second in the Hollywood Prevue Stakes (G3) and followed that with a win in the 8½-furlong CashCall Futurity (G1). His finish time of 1:40.82 was just a few ticks off of the record time of 1:40.74 set by Afternoon Deelites and the second fastest time of 1:40.78 set by Valiant Nature.
In his debut as a three-year-old in February 2008, Into Mischief finished second to Georgie Boy in the San Vicente Stakes (G2). He came out of that race with an injury to his right-hind foot and he was taken off the Triple Crown Trail.
After an extended break, Into Mischief returned to racing in October winning the Damascus Stakes by two lengths. In December, Into Mischief finished his racing season with a second-place finish in the Malibu Stakes (G1).
Into Mischief’s best runners on the Kentucky Derby Trail have been Audible, Goldencents, Practical Joke, Vyjack and Vicar’s in Trouble. Audible won the Holy Bull Stakes (G2) and Florida Derby (G1) en route to a third-place finish in the Kentucky Derby (G1). Goldencents won the Santa Anita Derby and finished 17th in the Kentucky Derby (G1). Practical Joke finished second in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G2) and fifth in the Derby. Vyjack finished third in the Wood Memorial Stakes (G1) and 18th in the Derby. Vicar’s in Trouble won the Louisiana Derby and finished 19th in the Kentucky Derby (G1).
Harlan’s Holiday, the grandsire of Audible, won the Florida Derby (G1), Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G1) and finished seventh in the Kentucky Derby (G1).
Maximus Mischief has a low H Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® but his Behavior Index potentially makes him competitive in this race. Time will tell if he can if he can successfully stretch out to nine furlongs like previous Into Mischief colts have on the Kentucky Derby Trail.
A long shot I like is (15-1) who ships in from Gulfstream Park West with a 2-1-0 record in four starts for trainer Jaime Mejia. Here’s the and of his last race which he won by a nose.
GLADIATOR KING vied three wide for early lead and then lost some ground on CAROTARI when inside rival checked at three eights pole, re-challenged rival approaching quarter pole then lost some ground on out of the turn, roused back to duel outside path of CAROTARI, foe held slight edge then pair exchanged noses nearing wire and got nose up in time.
I like the way Gladiator King kept running with determination to finally prevail by a nose at the wire.
Curlin, the sire of Gladiator King, was an outstanding racehorse that compiled an 11-2-2 record in 16 career starts with $10,501,800 in career earnings.
Curlin did not start as a two-year-old. But, at the age of three, Curlin was 6-1-2 in nine starts with $5,102,800 in earnings including wins in the Rebel Stakes (G3) and Arkansas Derby (G2) en route to a third-place finish in the 2007 Kentucky Derby (G1). He went on to win the Preakness Stakes (G1) and he finished second in the Belmont Stakes (G1).
Other important stakes wins include the Breeders' Cup Classic (G1), Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1), twice, Dubai World Cup (G1), Stephen Foster Handicap (G1), Woodward Stakes (G1), and the UAE Jaguar Trophy Handicap.
In six crops as a stallion, Curlin has sired the 2013 Belmont Stakes (G1) winner Palace Malice and the 2016 Preakness Stakes (G1) winner Exaggerator. In addition, Curlin produced the classic-placed runners Good Magic (second, 2018 Kentucky Derby), Tenfold (third, 2018 Preakness), Ride On Curlin (second, 2014 Preakness), Keen Ice (third, 2015 Belmont) and Irish War Cry (second, 2017 Belmont).
Gladiator King has an A+ Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® and he’s the best-bred colt in this herd of runners. He has good speed and his breeding indicates that he should be able to extend his speed in the stretch out to nine furlongs.
I look for Gladiator King run another good race and, perhaps, upset at a nice price.
JUNGLE WARRIOR (8-1) comes into this race for new trainer James Jerkens off a fifth-place finish in the Summer Stakes (G1) at Woodbine. Here’s the video and chart call of that race:
JUNGLE WARRIOR, rated off the pace, came four then three-wide through the turn, chased into the stretch and rallied gamely.
Jungle Warrior ran at the back of the herd until the stretch when he made a move to improve position and get up for fifth-place at the finish.
Animal Kingdom, the sire of Jungle Warrior, was a multiple-graded stakes winner and Classic Champion Thoroughbred that compiled a 5-5-0 record in 12 starts with $8,387,500 in career earnings. In my December 2010 Kentucky Derby Outlook blog I wrote that Animal Kingdom would perhaps be my 2011 Derby favorite.
As a two-year-old, Animal Kingdom only made two starts, breaking his maiden on the second start. As a three-year-old, he compiled a 2-2-0 record in five starts with wins in the Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes (G3) and Kentucky Derby (G1). He finished second in the Preakness Stakes (G1) and sixth in the Belmont Stakes (G1).
Animal Kingdom made only two starts as a four-year-old and he finished second in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1). As a five-year-old, Animal Kingdom made three starts finishing second in the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap (G1) and winning the Dubai World Cup sponsored by Emirates Airlines.
Animal Kingdom was a versatile, world-class runner that won on dirt, turf and artificial surfaces and he won races on two continents.
Jungle Warrior has an A+ Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® and his finish time in the Summer Stakes (G1) is what I like to see young colts run on the Kentucky Derby Trail.
He’s been training well at Belmont Park and has room to improve in his third start of the season.
I look for Jungle Warrior to run a good race.
TAX (15-1) comes into this race off a maiden claim for $50,000 for new owners Hugh Lynch and Corms Racing Stable. To date he’s compiled a 1-1-0 record in two starts and in his last race he broke his maiden at Keeneland Racecourse. Here’s the video and chart call of that race:
TAX tracked the pace early, shifted into the three path in the far turn then drove past the leader down the lane and cleared the field in the final stages.
Tax tracked the leader in second place until the far turn when he made a move and took the lead in the stretch to win by two lengths.
, the sire of Tax, was a multiple graded stakes winner that compiled a 5-1-0 record in seven starts with $480,969 in career earnings.
Arch made only one start as a two-year-old easily winning a maiden special weight at Keeneland in October 1997. As a three-year-old, Arch won an allowance race at Keeneland in April 1998 and compiled a 4-1-0 record in six starts including wins in the 10-furlong Super Derby (G1) and the 9½-furlong Fayette Breeders' Cup Stakes (G3).
As a stallion, Arch’s best Top Lifetime Runners include: , , , , , , and .
Tax has an A+ Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® and the breeding to finish in the money or hit the board. However, his finish time last out was a bit slower than what I like.
Tax has been training well at Belmont Park and has room to improve in his third start of the season. A recent bullet workout could have Tax ready to run a good race and only time will tell if he can step up to earn graded stakes honors.
Honorable mention goes to maiden winner Bourbon War (5-1). He also has an A+ Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® and the breeding to finish in the money or hit the board. However, his final time for the mile in his maiden debut was slower than what I like, and, stretching out to nine furlongs in his second start may be a bit much too soon.
A total of 35 prep races comprise the USA Road to the Kentucky Derby. In addition, there are seven races on the European road and four races on the Japan road to Derby glory.
2018/2019 KENTUCKY DERBY LEADERBOARD
Ranking, total points, Trainer, Non-Restricted Stakes Earnings
1. Game Winner, 30, Bob Baffert, $1,460,000
2. Knicks Go, 18, Ben Colebrook, $656,085
3. Signalman, 18, Ken McPeek, $392,840
4. Complexity, 10, Chad Brown, $275,000
5. Cairo Cat, 10, Ken McPeek, $86,490
6. Gunmetal Gray, 4, Jerry Hollendorfer, $120,000
7. Code of Honor, 4, Shug McGaughey, $100,000
8. Tight Ten, 4, Steve Asmussen, $67,900
9. Plus Que Parfait, 4, Brendan Walsh, $36,400
10. Call Paul, 2, Jason Servis, $194,000
11. Mr. Money, 2, Bret Calhoun, $100,000
12. Rowayton, 2, Jerry Hollendorfer, $96,000
13.+Standard Deviation, 2, Chad Brown, $50,000
14. Limonite, 2, Steve Asmussen, $18,200
15. Pole Sitter, 2, Brad Cox, $17,950
16. Sombeyay, 1, Todd Pletcher, $158,500
17. Tobacco Road, 1, Steve Asmussen, $63,400
18. +Aurelius Maximus, 1, Chad Brown, $30,000
19. Jefe, 1, Keith Desormeaux, $18,000
20. King for a Day, 1, Todd Pletcher, $9,100
+ = Horses picked as yearlings on our 2017 Keeneland September Yearling Sales list.
EUROPEAN ROAD LEADERBOARD
Ranking, total points, Trainer, Non-Restricted Stakes Earnings
1. Royal Marine (IRE), 10, Saeed bin Suroor, $264,968
2. Magna Grecia (IRE), 10, Aidan O’Brien, $185,000
3. Mohawk (IRE), 10, Aidan O’Brien, $128,702
4. Japan (GB), 10, Aidan O’Brien, $75,316
5. Phoenix of Spain (IRE), 4, Charlie Hill, $157,944
6. Broome (IRE), 4, Aidan O’Brien, $140,871
7. Sydney Opera House (GB), 4, Aidan O’Brien, $40,956
8. Mount Everest (IRE), 4, Aidan O’Brien, $24,254
9. Anodor (FR), 2, Freddie Head, $99,215
10. Western Australian (IRE), 2, Aidan O’Brien, $43,084
11. Cape of Good Hope (IRE), 2, Aidan O’Brien, $41,515
12. Power of Now (IRE), 2, Michael O’Callaghan, $11,489
13. Boitron (FR), 1, Richard Hannon, $44,917
14. Victory Command, (IRE), 1, Mark Johnston, $35,108
15. Circus Maximus (IRE), 1, Aidan O’Brien, $24,368
16. Sovereign (IRE), 1, Aiden O’Brien, $5,106
JAPAN ROAD LEADERBOARD
Ranking, total points, Trainer
1. f-Make Happy, 10, Koichi Shinkai
2. Kingen (JPN), 4, Kunihide Matsuda
3. Johaan (JPN), 2, Yasuyuki Takahashi
4. Romantico (JPN), 1, Kazuo Fujisawa