©2019 Calvin L. Carter. All rights reserved.
The Road to the Kentucky Derby presents two marquee races this Saturday with the Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity Stakes (G1) at Keeneland Racecourse and the Champagne Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park.
Let’s look at the 106th running of the $500,000 Breeders’ Futurity Stakes (G1) where GOUVERNEUR MORRIS heads a herd of 10 runners as the 5-2 morning line favorite. Post time is 5:39 p.m. ET.
Gouverneur Morris comes into this race off maiden win at Saratoga for trainer Todd Pletcher. Here’s the video and chart call of that race:
GOUVERNEUR MORRIS bumped with a foe just after the start, chased the leading duo from third, went four then five wide early on the turn, ranged up closer in the sixth path passing the five-sixteenths, took over into upper stretch, dropped in while moving clear around the three-sixteenths and drew away under a mild hand ride to win handily.
Gouverneur Morris looked good in the slop winning his maiden debut by an impressive nine lengths.
Constitution, the sire of Gouverneur Morris, didn’t race until he was three years old but was a competitive runner that compiled a 4 -0-1 record in eight starts with $1,031,596 in career earnings.
Despite the late start, Constitution showed promise and was undefeated in three starts including a win the Florida Derby (G1). But a hairline fracture kept him out of the 2014 Kentucky Derby (G1). He came back eight months later to close the season with a third-place finish in the Clark Handicap (G1).
At the age of four, Constitution was 1-0-0 in three starts with a win in the Donn Handicap (G1).
As a stallion, Constitution’s first runners are two years old in 2019. A couple of his runners on the Derby trail are By Your Side (6-1) who is also entered in this race and Tiz the Law who is running in the Champagne Stakes (G1).
Gouverneur Morris has a D Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile®. While he has the breeding to be competitive, there are others I like better in this race.
AJAAWEED (3-1) comes into this race off a nice maiden win for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin at Belmont Park. Here’s the video and chart call of that race:
AJAAWEED gradually worked his way into the pocket proceeding along the backstretch, getting stationed there by mid-point, was patiently ridden keeping watch on the front runners, was forced to remain on hold caught in traffic behind a threesome during the final jumps of the run around the bend, angled to the outside, arrived at the three-sixteenths pole with a freshly created seam in path three for the asking, got cued up and eagerly dove onto it, emerged at the eighth pole as the new leader, one that was full of momentum, kicked clear under good handling.
Ajaaweed looked good breaking his maiden by 4 ¼ lengths. The final time of 1:36.44 is what I like to see young colts run on the Kentucky Derby Trail.
Curlin, the sire of Ajaaweed, 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 seven 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).
Ajaaweed has a B Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® but his Behavior Index makes him competitive in this race.
A long shot I like is ENFORCEABLE (15-1) who comes into this race with a 1-1-1 record in four starts for trainer Mark Casse. He broke his maiden on his last start running nine furlongs at Saratoga. Here’s the video and chart call of that race:
ENFORCEABLE caught leaning to the outside as the field was sent off and running, took up position two wide in mid-pack during the initial stages, began to inch to the outside late on the first bend, eventually taking the three path for entrance onto the backstretch, kept watch on the pacesetter, began to close the gap after the third fraction had been finalized, was bearing down hard on MO AND GO as both headed onto the top of the lane, arrived at the three-sixteenths marker and challenged in earnest, fought its way past a resolute foe, that being the aforementioned one, inside the eighth pole, then edged away stride by stride.
I like the way that Enforceable dug in and fought his way to victory, breaking his maiden on the fourth start.
Tapit, the sire of Enforceable, was a multiple graded stakes winner that compiled a 3-0-0 record in six starts with $557,300 in career earnings.
As a two-year-old, Tapit was undefeated in two starts including a win in the Laurel Futurity (G3). Tapit was troubled by a lung infection for much of his three-year-old season but he did win the nine-furlong Wood Memorial Stakes (G1) in route to a ninth-place finish in the 2004 Kentucky Derby.
At stud, Tapit has sired numerous graded stakes winners including the Belmont Stakes (G1) champions Tapwrit (2017), Creator (2016) and Tonalist (2014).
A full brother to Mohaymen and a half-brother to New Year’s Day, Enforceable is a colt (Hip 76) we profiled at the 2018 Keeneland September Yearling Sale and he has an A Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile®.
MAXFIELD (12-1) comes into this race off a maiden debut win for trainer Brendan Walsh. Here’s the video and chart call:
MAXFIELD broke a tad slow at the start and raced back early on, swung into the sixth path in the turn, rallied down the lane and edged clear in the final stages.
I like the way Maxfield rallied from off the pace to get up and win his maiden debut by three quarters of a length.
Street Sense, the sire of Maxfield, was a multiple graded stakes winner that compiled a 6-4-2 record in 13 starts with $4,383,200 in career earnings.
As a two year old, Street Sense finished third in both the Arlington-Washington Breeders’ Cup Futurity (G3) and the Lane’s End Breeders’ Futurity (G1). He followed that with a win in the 2006 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Stakes (G1) and was tabbed as the Eclipse Champion Two Year Old.
Street Sense won his season debut as a three year old in the Tampa Bay Derby (G3) and finished second in the Blue Grass Stakes (G1) en route to a 2¼ length win over Hard Spun in the 2007 Kentucky Derby.
Maxfield has an A+ Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile®. He has room to improve in his second start of the season and, perhaps, upset at a nice price.
January Won was a colt (Hip 88) we profiled at the 2018 Fasig-Tipton July Kentucky Select Yearling Sale and he has a B Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile®. Life On the Road was a colt (Hip 1775) we profiled at the 2018 Keeneland September Yearling Sale and he has a C Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile®.
A total of 35 races comprise the Road to the Kentucky Derby. In addition, there are seven races on the European road to the Kentucky Derby and there three races on the Japan road to Derby glory.
2019/2020 KENTUCKY DERBY LEADERBOARD
Ranking, total points, Trainer, Non-Restricted Stakes Earnings
1. Eight Rings, 10, Bob Baffert
2. Dennis’ Moment, 10, Dale Romans,
3. +Scabbard, 4, Eddie Kenneally
4. American Theorem, 4, George Papaprodromou
5. Storm the Court, 2, Peter Eurton
6. Lebda, 2, Claudio Gonzalez
7. Letmeno, 1, Ian Wilkes
8. +Express Train, 1, John Shirreffs
+ = Express Train (Hip 1016) and Scabbard (Hip 802) were colts we profiled at the 2018 Keeneland September Yearling Sale.