Friday, March 9, 2018

Gotham Stakes Racing Roundup

©2018 Calvin L. Carter. All rights reserved.

The Road to the Kentucky Derby will log a lot of miles this Saturday with qualifying races in the Gotham Stakes (G3) and Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby (G2) on the east coast and the San Felipe Stakes (G2) on the west coast.
At Aqueduct Racecourse, FREE DROP BILLY has been tabbed as the 9-5 morning line favorite in the $300,000 Gotham Stakes (G3). Post time is 5:42 p.m.
Owned by Albaugh Family Stables, LLC and trained by Dale Romans, Free Drop Billy comes into this race with a 2-3-0 record in six starts including a win in the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) and second-place finishes in the Sanford Stakes (G3), Hopeful Stakes (G1) and Holy Bull Stakes (G2). Here’s the video and chart call of the Holy Bull Stakes (G2):

FREE DROP BILLY settled nicely and well spotted racing four to five wide just off contested pace, crept along outside of AUDIBLE to race near equal terms for lead in far turn, could not move on with winner entering the lane, drifted out wider, kept under right handed urging and finished clearly second best.

Free Drop Billy ran good in his debut as a three-year-old, just off the mile split of 1:35.89 and final time of 1:41.92 set by the winner, Audible.
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.
Free Drop Billy was a yearling (Hip 104) we profiled at the 2016 Keeneland September sale. With an A Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile®, Free Drop Billy has good breeding and room to improve in his second start of the season.
Trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, ENTICED (7-2) will go to the starting gate with a 2-0-1 record in four starts including a third-place finish in the Champagne Stakes (G1), a win in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2) and a fourth-place finish in the Holy Bull Stakes (G2). Here’s the video and chart call of the Holy Bull Stakes (G2):

ENTICED was rated saving ground through the backstretch, hustled up in the far turn, continued with response just off inside entering the lane then failed to sustain bid.

Enticed may have not liked being on the rail for much of the race and it’s hard to say if the jockey change to Joel Rosario had anything to do with his lackluster run.
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.
FIRENZE FIRE (5-2) comes into this race for trainer Jason Servis with a 4-1-0 record in seven starts including a win in the Jerome Stakes and a second-place finish in the Withers Stakes (G3). Here’s the video and chart call of that race:

FIRENZE FIRE broke out at the start taking over the lane of MARCONI and forcing that rival to be briefly taken in hand, raced inside through the first turn before tracking the leader from the two path down the backstretch, remained patiently handled through the far turn just off the top pair, came under coaxing near the quarter pole as the top rival was shaking away, got set down angled three wide into upper stretch, offered up a mild kick to cut into the winner’s margin slightly while chasing him home in tandem with MARCONI latched on to the outside.

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.

Firenze Fire is a talented colt with wins in the Jerome Stakes (video), the Champagne Stakes (G1) (video) and the Sanford Stakes (G3) (video). However, with an E Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile®, his best racing has been at a mile he should be tough in this spot.
A long shot I like is OLD TIME REVIVAL (15-1) who comes into this race with a 1-1-1 record in five starts for trainer Kenneth Decker. In his last race, he earned second-place honors in the Miracle Wood Stakes. Here’s the video and chart call of that race:

OLD TIME REVIVAL cleared early while keen to go, set a rated pace off the inside, wandered outward nearing a drive mid-stretch, dug in when confronted near the sixteenth pole and continued gamely.

Old Time Revival nearly pulled off the upset as the $34.60 long shot but narrowly lost by a neck to the multiple stakes winner, Still Having Fun.
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 is an improving colt and he has room to improve in his third start of the season. With a B Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® Old Time Revival has the breeding to be competitive in this race.
Honorable mention goes to Beautiful Shot (8-1) who ships in from California for trainer Keith Desormeaux.


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).

Ranking, total points, Trainer, Non-Restricted Stakes Earnings

1. Bravazo, 54, D. Wayne Lukas, $349,913
2. +Good Magic, 24, Chad Brown, $1,200,000
3. Firenze Fire, 24, Jason Servis, $567,500
4. Snapper Sinclair, 22, Steve Asmussen, $301,810
5. McKinzie, 20, Bob Baffert, $240,000
6. Instilled Regard, 19, Jerry Hollendorfer, $196,000
7. Bolt d’Oro, 14, Mick Ruis, $540,000
8. +Free Drop Billy, 14, Dale Romans, $467,200
9. +Solomini, 14, Bob Baffert, $436,000
10. Catholic Boy, 14, Jonathan Thomas, $330,000
11. Avery Island, 14, Kiaran McLaughlin, $320,000
12. Enticed, 13, Kiaran McLaughlin, $180,880
13. My Boy Jack, 12, Keith Desormeaux, $402,000
14. Combatant, 12, Steve Asmussen, $210,000
15. Mourinho, 11, Bob Baffert, $149,360
16. Greyvitos, 10, Adam Kitchingman, $300,000
17. Audible, 10, Todd Pletcher, $208,320
18. Lombo, 10, Mike Pender, $90,000
19. Noble Indy, 10, Todd Pletcher, $40,000
20. Tiz Mischief, 6, Dale Romans, $70,400
+ = Horses we picked as yearlings at the 2016 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. Good Magic = Eclipse Champion Two Year Old Male.

Ranking, total points, Trainer, Non-Restricted Stakes Earnings

1. Saxon Warrior (JPN), 20, Aidan O’Brien, $245,017
2. *GRONKOWSKI, 20, Jeremy Noseda, $43,235
3. Roaring Lion (USA), 14, John Gosden, $136,807
4. f-Happily (IRE), 10, Aidan O’Brien, $543,648
5. Court House (IRE), 8, John Gosden, $12,946
6. Olmedo (FR), 4, Jean-Claude Rouget, $113,505
7. Nelson (IRE), 4, Aidan O’Brien, $99,826
8. Delano Roosevelt (IRE), 4, Aidan O’Brien, $38,074
9. Fortune’s Pearl (IRE), 4, Andrew Balding, $8,273
10. Masar (IRE), 2, Aidan O’Brien, $101,264
11. The Pentagon (IRE), 2, Aidan O’Brien, $71.981
12. Mildenberger (ENG), 2, Mark Johnston, $64,634
13. Warm the Voice (IRE), 2, Brendan Duke, $12,904
14. Verbal Dexterity (IRE), 1, Jim Bolger, $280,269
15. Kew Gardens (IRE), 1, Aidan O’Brien, $28,605
16. Woodmax (GER), 1, Nicolas Clement, $23,610
17. Petrus (IRE), 1, Brian Meehan, $7,182
          *Gronkowski is the only horse nominated for the Triple Crown on the European Leaderboard.

Ranking, total points, Trainer, Non-Restricted Stakes Earnings

1. Sumahama (JPN), 30, Ryo Takahashi, $291,287
2. *Ruggero (JPN), 16, Yuichi Shikato, $220,861
3. Taiki Ferveur, 12, Mitsunori Makiura, $299,689
4. Le Vent Se Leve (JPN), 10, Kiyoshi Hagiwara, $463,935
5. Don Fortis (JPN), 4, Mitsunori Makiura, $436,916
6. Mic Ben Hur (JPN), 4, Yoshihiro Hatakeyama, $122,696
7. Great Time (JPN), 3, Hideaki Fujiwara, $186,586
8. Haseno Pyro (JPN), 2, Kenki Sato, $263,981
9. Meiner Yukitsubaki (JPN) 2, Noboru Takagi, $151,796
10. Dark Repulser (JPN), 1, Takashi Kanari, $200,920
11. Bronze Kay (JPN), 1, Koichi Tsunoda, $75,979
* = Nominated to Triple Crown.

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