By Calvin L. Carter and Dallas Carter
©2019 Calvin L. Carter. All rights reserved.
The classic trail to the second jewel of the Triple Crown takes us this Saturday to Pimlico Racecourse in Baltimore, Maryland, where IMPROBABLE tagged as the 5-2 morning-line favorite in the 144th running of the $1.5 million Preakness Stakes (G1). Post time is 6:48 ET.
Knowing as much as possible about the Thoroughbred and what it takes to produce a classic champion has been a passion of mine since the early 1990s. My research and study led to the creation of the Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® which is an analytical tool that measures the breeding influences in the five-generation pedigree. The profile is breeding, sales and racing analysis tool used to measure the graded stakes and classic potential of young Thoroughbreds.
In addition to the profile, we have also created a Behavior Index which allows us to identify legitimate and false race contenders and thus move some horses up or down in ranking.
Let’s look at the profile grade rankings for the horses in Kentucky Derby 145.
As you can see in the Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® chart above, five of the horses entered in this race have a grade ranking of A or better and three have a ranking of B.
In the second chart, the Behavior Index has been applied to five horses highlighted in red allowing us to move horses up or down in ranking. In regard to handicapping, if you think that any of the top four horses in the first chart are false contenders, then they could be moved down in ranking and horses like Improbable and Anothertwistafate in the second chart could be moved up in raking.
Let’s look at the morning line favorite as well as others that I like in this race.
IMPROBABLE comes into this race with a 3-2-0 record in six starts for trainer Bob Baffert including a fifth-place finish in the Kentucky Derby (G1). Improbable was placed fourth on the disqualification of Maximum Security. Here’s the video and chart call of that race:
IMPROBABLE went along in striking range covered up in the two path, idled through the far turn in traffic losing some position, shifted out in the drive and offered some mild response.
In our Kentucky Derby analysis, we had Improbable ranked sixth and he finished fifth.
City Zip, the sire of Improbable, ran mostly in sprint races, compiling a 9-5-4 record in 31 starts with $818,225 in career earnings.
As a two year old, City Zip won the Tremont Stakes (G3), Sanford Stakes (G2), Saratoga Special (G2) and the Hopeful Stakes (G1). However, as a three year old on the 2001 Kentucky Derby Trail, his best finish was a third place to Songandaprayer in the 8½-furlong Fountain of Youth Stakes (G1).
Despite his propensity for sprinting, at stud City Zip has sired his share of numerous, good, sprinters as well as several middle-distance runners such as Collected, Get Serious, Alert Bay, Acting Zippy, Dayatthespa, With a City, Unzip Me, City to City, Workin for Hops and Personal Diary.
Improbable has a B Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® and his Behavior Index indicates that he will be competitive in this field. I look for him to run a good race.
WAR OF WILL (4-1) comes into this race with a 3-1-1 record in nine starts including an eighth-place finish in the Kentucky Derby (G1). Here’s the video and chart call of that race:
WAR OF WILL found a good spot saving ground off the leaders under a firm hold, continued along reserved waiting for room into the far turn, shifted outside MAXIMUM SECURITY leaving the three-eighths pole, was forced out by that rival into LONG RANGE TODDY, checked hard off heels, remained prominent in the three path into upper stretch and weakened.
War of Will was running well but lost his momentum when Maximum Security moved out and nearly collided with him.
War Front, the sire of War of Will, was a graded-stakes winner of the 8½-furlong Princelet Stakes which he won by 8-lengths in a final time of 1:41.79. However, most of War Front’s other races were in sprints where he had a penchant for finishing second. However, he did win the 6-furlong Alfred G. Vanderbilt Breeders’ Cup Handicap (G2) by 2½-lengths.
At stud, War Front sired Soldat, winner of the 2010 With Anticipation Stakes (G2) and second-place finisher in the 8-furlong Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Stakes (G2), and 8½-furlong Pilgrim Stakes (G3). Soldat went on as a three-year-old to win the 9-furlong Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2).
He also sired The Factor, a speedy colt who as a two-year-old won the 7-furlong San Vicente Stakes (G2) and went on as a three-year-old to win the 8½-furlong Rebel Stakes (G2).
War Front’s lifetime top runners include: Lines of Battle, Departing, Declaration of War, Warning Flag, Lancaster Bomber, Summer Front, War Dancer, Roly Poly, Avenge, Jack Milton, Air Force Blue, Data Link and Hit it a Bomb.
War of Will has an A+ Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® and his profile makes him a legitimate contender.
BOURBON WAR (12-1) comes into this race with a 2-1-0 record in five starts for trainer Mark Henning including a fourth-place finish in the Xpressbet Florida Derby (G1). Here’s the video and chart call of that race:
BOURBON WAR was unhurried early in the two path, raced three then four wide around the far turn, and improved position without a solid bid.
Bourbon War looked good and appeared to be poised for at least a placing, of not victory, in classic competition.
Tapit, the sire of Bourbon War, 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).
Bourbon War has an A+ Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® and he’s much better than his fourth-place finish in the Florida Derby (G1) indicates. I look for him to run a good race.
I think that three horses mentioned above are solid competitors. Other horses that could be factors in the bottom of the exotics are Anothertwistafate, Bodexpress, Alwaysmining and Laughing Fox.