The TDN Derby High 12 for Jan. 12



Subsequent-race plans are beginning to solidify for a number of the contenders among the many High 12, together with a potential No. 1 vs. No. 4 matchup at Oaklawn in February. Farther down the record, Nos. 5 and 9 will conflict this Saturday within the GIII Lecomte S. at Truthful Grounds.

1) ESSENTIAL QUALITY (c, TapitPleasant High quality, by Elusive High quality)
O/B-Godolphin (KY); T-Brad Cox. Lifetime Document: GISW, 3-3-0-0, $1,335,144.
Final Begin: 1st GI TVG Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, KEE, Nov. 6
Accomplishments Embrace: 1st GI Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity, ‘TDN Rising Star’
Subsequent Begin: Uncommitted
Equineline PPs. KY Derby Factors: 30.

The connections of 3-for-3 ‘TDN Rising Star’ Important High quality are mapping out a marketing campaign for the presumptive divisional champ that would find yourself with the high-energy grey prepping within the GII Louisiana Derby previous to taking intention on the GI Kentucky Derby. However the first race of this Tapit colt’s sophomore season continues to be a shifting goal. After successful the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, “we didn’t give him day off however we backed off on him and he appears to have responded nicely,” coach Brad Cox mentioned. “He was actually good [in his early January training] and we simply have to maintain him that means till the center of February.” Cox mentioned the nine-furlong GII Risen Star S. Feb. 13 at Truthful Grounds is “on the desk,” as is the 1 1/16 miles GIII Southwest S. Feb. 15 at Oaklawn. “The one factor in regards to the Truthful Grounds race is it’s much more [Derby qualifying] factors, in order that makes it somewhat extra enticing. However the distance is the query; can we wish to go a mile and an eighth off not having a race in three months?” Cox added that even when the Godolphin homebred does ship from New Orleans to race at Sizzling Springs, “I’m 99% certain that he would return to Truthful Grounds, and the Louisiana Derby could be in play after that.”

2) LIKEABLE (c, Frosted–Dashing Debby, by Medaglia d’Oro)
O-Repole Secure, St. Elias Secure & Stonestreet Stables LLC. B-Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings, LLC (KY). T-Todd Pletcher. Gross sales Historical past: $350,000 yrl ’19 KEESEP. Lifetime Document: 3-1-1-0, $49,050.
Final Begin: thirteenth GI TVG Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, KEE, Nov. 6
Subsequent Begin: Uncommitted
Equineline PPs. KY Derby Factors: 0.

Likeable, a $350,000 KEESEP colt, owns a blinding 8 1/2-length MSW rating at Belmont final September sandwiched by a much-better-than-it-looks runner-up debut at Saratoga and a “too quick to final” effort within the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. If coach Todd Pletcher can hone this colt’s sharp, pure gate velocity right into a extra environment friendly model of what we noticed from Likeable at age two, look out. Dam Dashing Debby (Medaglia d’Oro) received her debut sprinting by 10 1/4 lengths in a Calder stake again in 2009 and was acquired shortly thereafter by Stonestreet Stables, proper on the heels of one other Medaglia d’Oro filly acquired by Stonestreet–eventual champ Rachel Alexandra. Since then, Dashing Debby has produced two black-type winners–one sprinting on filth and the opposite round two activates grass–plus a yearling colt by Speightstown who hammered for $800,000 on the 2020 KEESEP sale. Likeable’s MGISW sire Frosted figures so as to add depth and backside to the pedigree equation, and this colt is now breezing as much as 5 furlongs at Palm Seaside Downs in prep for his sophomore unveiling.

3) PRIME FACTOR (c, High quality Highway–Haylie Brae, by Bernardini)
O-CHC Inc. & WinStar Farm LLC. B-Two Hearts Farm LLC (KY). T-Todd Pletcher. Gross sales Historical past: $900,000 yrl ’19 KEESEP. Lifetime Document: 1-1-0-0, $24,000.
Accomplishments: ‘TDN Rising Star’
Final Begin: 1st Msw, GP, Dec. 12
Subsequent Begin: Uncommitted
Equineline PPs. KY Derby Factors: 0.

Essentially the most authoritative maiden win among the many High 12? That may belong to Prime Issue, a $900,000 KEESEP High quality Highway colt who ran roughshod over what appeared like a fairly first rate crew Dec. 12 at Gulfstream, incomes a ‘TDN Rising Star’ distinction. This Todd Pletcher trainee widened beneath wraps to bowl house by 8 3/4 lengths in a 1:10.38 clocking (85 Beyer) that went .08 seconds sooner than the one different six-furlong race on the cardboard, the GIII Sugar Swirl S. for older feminine sprinters. The fourth-place finisher from that race, Broadway (High quality Highway), a $500,000 FTSAUG purchase, received a Tampa MSW route race this previous Friday at 4-5 odds, whereas the second- and third-place runners each got here again to run third of their respective races Saturday at Gulfstream. Longer distances look like Prime Issue’s candy spot based mostly on his pedigree. He’s out of a Bernardini mare, and second dam Dance Swiftly is a full-sister to Canadian Horse of the Yr and U.S. Eclipse Award winner Dance Well, winner of the 1991 GI Breeders’ Cup Distaff.

4) JACKIE’S WARRIOR (c, Maclean’s MusicUnicorn Lady, by A. P. 5 Hundred)
O-J Kirk & Judy Robison. B-J & J Stables (KY). T-Steve Asmussen. Gross sales Historical past: $95,000 yrl ’19 KEESEP. Lifetime Document: MGISW, 5-4-0-0, $502,564.
Final Begin: 4th GI TVG Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, KEE, Nov. 6
Accomplishments: 1st GII Saratoga Particular, 1st GI Runhappy Hopeful S., 1st GI Champagne S.
Subsequent Begin: Attainable for GIII Southwest S., OP, Feb. 15
Equineline PPs. KY Derby Factors: 12.

With blowout velocity and an aura of being in a unique league than his overmatched foes, Jackie’s Warrior dominated the division final summer season by means of early autumn. This $95,000 KEESEP Maclean’s Music colt appeared primed to pounce within the Breeders’ Cup, but though he carved out a no-excuse stalking journey behind the Juvenile’s quickest opening quarter since 2014 and its quickest half-mile break up since 2003 and obtained first run on the wilting leaders 1 / 4 mile from the short-stretch end, “Jackie” couldn’t maintain his bid in deep stretch. He’s now two breezes into his return, however though he’s based mostly at Truthful Grounds, coach Steve Asmussen instructed the Blood-Horse final week that the Oaklawn preps may be this colt’s path to Louisville, based mostly on the profitable purses, qualifying factors, and “tempo being as efficient as it’s at Oaklawn.” The connections of No. 1-ranked Important High quality are additionally contemplating the Feb. 15 Southwest S. for that colt’s 2021 debut, doubtlessly establishing an early season showdown of two of the division’s heaviest hitters.

5) PROXY (c, Tapit–Panty Raid, by Embrace)
O/B-Godolphin (KY). T-Michael Stidham. Lifetime Document: 3-2-1-0, $67,700.
Final Begin: 1st Alw, FG, Dec. 19
Subsequent Begin: GIII Lecomte S., FG, Jan. 16
Equineline PPs. KY Derby Factors: 0.

Proxy needs to be a tempo element in Saturday’s GIII Lecomte S., and this Tapit homebred for Godolphin has the distinctive benefit of already having received twice round two turns at this Truthful Grounds meet. Although his Dec. 19 N2L allowance win got here solely towards three different rivals and earned a so-so 76 Beyer, Proxy was tag-team pressured by each horse within the race in some unspecified time in the future and appeared emboldened when mixing it up in shut quarters in his stretch struggle. Jockey Angel Suarez not too long ago suffered a damaged femur, so he’s off Proxy in favor of Mitchell Murrill, whose solely lifetime graded stakes victory was at this distance over this observe. Proxy will even be going again off Lasix (he raced on Lasix for each of his Truthful Grounds wins, however not in his runner-up Monmouth debut in October, wherein he was overwhelmed solely by a neck). “He’s like an enormous, immature child who continues to be studying with racing,” coach Michael Stidham mentioned. “Final time when he received, he was somewhat inexperienced about switching leads coming down the lane, however as soon as he leveled off, he drew away on the finish, so we had been happy with that.”

6) LIFE IS GOOD (c, Into Mischief– Seaside Stroll, by Distorted Humor)
O-CHC Inc & WinStar Farm LLC. B-Gary & Mary West Secure (KY). T-Bob Baffert. Gross sales Historical past: $525,000 yrl ’19 KEESEP. Lifetime Document: GSW, 2-2-0-0, $94,200.
Final Begin: 1st GIII Sham S., Jan. 2, Santa Anita
Accomplishments: ‘TDN Rising Star’
Subsequent Begin: Uncommitted
Equineline PPs. KY Derby Factors: 10.

‘TDN Rising Star’ Life Is Good received the Jan. 2 GII Sham S. in wire-to-wire vogue, ticking the two-turn field on his development guidelines. This $525,000 KEESEP colt by Into Mischief earned a 101 Beyer for clocking a mile in 1:36.63, pulsing across the observe largely unopposed although quarter-mile splits of :23.56, :23.11, :23.99 and :25.97. The 1-5 fave broke inward firstly and bumped mildly with a rival, then cleared the sphere from the outermost 5 gap whereas giving up 4 paths of actual property on the flip, bounding alongside by his lonesome onto the backstretch. Life Is Good remained hand-ridden till deep stretch when 9-1 stablemate Medina Spirit (Protonico) closed the hole whereas beneath a vigorous drive, and Life Is Good drifted out whereas requested for a extra by Mike Smith, who confirmed (however didn’t make the most of) the whip. “I at all times inform Mike to try to save one thing,” Baffert mentioned post-race. “Life Is Good wasn’t as drained as I believed he may have been. He must be taught to chill out somewhat bit higher, however he’ll.” Search for him in about two months, probably within the Mar. 6 GII San Felipe S. at Santa Anita.

7) SPEAKER’S CORNER (c, Avenue Sense–Tyburn Brook, by Bernardini)
O/B-Godolphin (KY). T-William Mott. Lifetime Document: 2-1-0-1, $43,290.
Final Begin: 1st Mdn, Belmont, Oct. 11
Subsequent Begin: Uncommitted
Equineline PPs. Ky Derby Factors: 0.

Speaker’s Nook, a Godolphin homebred by Avenue Sense out of a Bernardini mare (identical cross as Godolphin’s highly-rated Maxfield) competed in two of the stronger MSWs at Saratoga and Belmont final season. This colt’s debut on closing day on the Spa was a inexperienced third, however each Speaker’s Nook and the runner-up got here again to win. And this colt’s maiden-breaking tally regardless of minor journey hassle over seven furlongs at Belmont additionally has the makings of a key race, that includes sharp splits and a reeling in of a next-out winner–Caddo River (Arduous Spun)–who earned ‘TDN Rising Star’ standing upon his personal commencement (the eighth-place finisher from that MSW additionally got here again to win). With a sire who received the 2007 Derby and a second dam who scored within the 2006 GI Breeders’ Cup Distaff, the colt’s pedigree has a longer-the-better-slant.

8) HIGHLY MOTIVATED (c, Into Mischief–Sturdy Incentive, by Warrior’s Reward)
O/B-Klaravich Stables, Inc (KY). T-Chad Brown. Gross sales historical past: $240,000 wlg ’18 KEENOV. Lifetime Document: SW, 3-2-1-0, $124,050.
Final Begin: 1st Nyquist S., KEE, Nov. 6
Subsequent Begin: Uncommitted
Equineline PPs. Ky Derby Factors: 0.

Yearly there’s an undercard 2-year-old winner from Breeders’ Cup weekend whose buzz carries over, and this season Extremely Motivated qualifies as that colt. This Into Mischief bay received the Nyquist S. to run his document to 2-for-3 (all sprints), and three rivals who completed behind him have since come again to win. Klaravich Secure bred Extremely Motivated after racing his Chad Brown-trained dam, the seven-furlong black-type stakes winner Sturdy Incentive. However this colt went by means of the public sale ring for $240,000 at KEENOV as a result of Klaravich was shopping for out a associate who co-owned the weanling. Genuine’s decisive wins within the Derby and GI Breeders’ Cup Traditional final season definitely helped to reply questions in regards to the capability for Into Mischief’s progeny to hold velocity as much as 10 furlongs. However this colt’s dam-sire, Warrior’s Reward, made his mark as a sprinter, registering his lone stakes win at seven furlongs within the 2010 GI Carter H.

9) MANDALOUN (c, Into Mischief–Brooch, by Empire Maker)
O/B-Juddmonte Farms Inc. (Ky). T-Brad Cox. Lifetime Document: 2-2-0-0, $91,252.
Final Begin: 1st Alw, CD, Nov. 28
Accomplishments: ‘TDN Rising Star’
Subsequent Begin: GIII Lecomte S., FG, Jan. 16
Equineline PPs. KY Derby Factors: 0.

‘TDN Rising Star’ Mandaloun will begin favored in Saturday’s Lecomte S. at Truthful Grounds. That would be the route debut for this Juddmonte homebred by Into Mischief out of an Empire Maker mare. “We’ve at all times felt he was minimize out to be a two-turn horse based mostly on his bodily make-up and the way he trains,” coach Brad Cox mentioned. “It reveals how a lot expertise he’s obtained to have the ability to win his first two races at dash distances, and now we’re going to do what we’ve thought he’s needed to do all alongside, and that’s go lengthy.” Mandaloun drew put up 10 with no scarcity of velocity to his inside, which may find yourself being a tactical benefit if he seeks a stalking journey like in his earlier two wins. Mandaloun wanted (and responded to) a rousing experience from the five-sixteenths pole house in his 82-Beyer Churchill allowance rating.

10) CADDO RIVER (c, Arduous Spun–Pangburn, by Congrats)
O/B-Shortleaf Secure (Ky). T-Brad Cox. Lifetime Document: 3-1-2-0, $76,092.
Final Begin: 1st Msw, CD, Nov. 15
Accomplishments: ‘TDN Rising Star’
Subsequent Begin: Smarty Jones S., OP, Jan. 22
Equineline PPs. KY Derby Factors: 0.

Cox confirmed Thursday that ‘TDN Rising Star’ Caddo River will make his debut at two turns in Oaklawn’s Smarty Jones S., the observe’s Jan. 22 opening-day function. This Arduous Spun colt demonstrated capability to face up to severe tempo stress whereas forcing the problem on or close to the lead towards top-notch maiden fields at Saratoga and Belmont previous to punching by means of in a Churchill MSW that he commandeered by 9 1/2 lengths. Although Caddo River has already received on the eight-furlong distance of the Smarty Jones, he’ll need to adapt from the one-turn mile configuration that he relished at Churchill to a short-stretch end round two bends at Oaklawn, the place mile races begin and finish on the sixteenth pole. Nicely-bet, wire-to-wire horses have received every of the final three editions of the Smarty Jones–however none of them went on to make an impression on the Derby path. Caddo River’s velocity ought to stand him in good stead at Oaklawn. However he’s a rangy, leggy colt, and short-stretch route races are sometimes received by horses constructed extra like compact cruisers (taller, lankier striders don’t have that additional sixteenth within the straight to totally uncoil).

11) KEEPMEINMIND (c, LaobanInclination, by Victory Gallop)
O-Cypress Creek LLC & Arnold Bennewith. B-Southern Equine Stables, LLC (KY). T-Robertino Diodoro. Lifetime Document: GSW & MGISP, 4-1-2-1, $394,320.
Final Begin: 1st GII Kentucky Jockey Membership S.
Accomplishments: 2nd GI Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity, third GI TVG Breeders’ Cup Juvenile
Subsequent Begin: Attainable for GIII Southwest S., OP, Feb. 15
Equineline PPs. KY Derby Factors: 18.

Keepmeinmind labored a half-mile in :50.20 Wednesday at Oaklawn (39/94) beneath common rider David Cohen, his first breeze since rallying from final to win the GII Kentucky Jockey Membership Stakes as a maiden Nov. 28. “Very straightforward half, with a pleasant lengthy gallop out,” Cohen mentioned post-work. “He appeared to have matured since his final race.” Breaking a maiden in a stakes should run within the household: His sire, Laoban, wired the 2016 GII Jim Dandy S. at 27-1 odds for his solely profession win. Previous to his first profession victory, Keepmeinmind ran second then third behind No. 1-ranked Important High quality within the GI Breeders’ Futurity S. and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, overwhelmed solely 5 1/4 mixed lengths. You’ve heard that stat in regards to the 36 winners of the Juvenile scoring in solely two Kentucky Derbies? Second- and third-place Juvenile horses don’t fare any higher. These 72 placings have accounted for just one Derby win, with Spend A Buck (third within the inaugural Juvenile again in 1984) the lone exception.

12) KING FURY (c, Curlin–Taris, by Flatter)
O-Fern Circle Stables & Three Chimneys Farm, LLC. B-Heider Household Stables LLC (Ky). T-Ken McPeek. Gross sales historical past: $950,000 yrl ’19 FTSAUG. Lifetime Document: SW, 5-2-0-0, $142,739.
Final Begin: fifth GII Kentucky Jockey Membership S., CD, Nov. 28
Accomplishments: 1st Avenue Sense S.
Subsequent Begin: Uncommitted
Equineline PPs. KY Derby Factors: 0.

With a foaling date of Jan. 12, King Fury is the one member of the High 12 to achieve his precise third birthdate. This $950,000 FTSAUG yearling by Curlin is a clean mover with an ample (5 races at 1 1/16 miles) basis of two-turn expertise. His kind, on paper not less than, misplaced a little bit of shine with off-the-board finishes within the Juvenile and Kentucky Jockey Membership S. However he had minor journey hassle when wheeling again into the Breeders’ Cup on simply 12 days between begins and his blinkers-on experiment as a frontrunner beneath the lights Nov. 28 may need been a tactical aberration. Nonetheless loads of upside right here, and a 2-for-3 document at Churchill received’t harm as the primary Saturday in Could comes extra clearly into focus.

On the Bubble (in alphabetical order):

Brooklyn Sturdy (Depraved Sturdy): This 5,000 OBSAPR gelding upset the GII Remsen S. over 9 furlongs and can intention for repeat at identical distance within the Feb 6 GIII Withers S.

Capo Kane (Avenue Sense): Pace in hand to high of stretch then responded when roused (though a contact inexperienced) in his 84-Beyer Jerome S. rating. Now goals for Withers S.

Sizzling Rod Charlie (Oxbow): Half to 2019 dash champ Mitole ($17,000 FTKFEB; $110,000 FTKOCT) pointed towards GIII Lewis S. Jan. 30 off 94-1 second behind Important High quality within the Juvenile.

Manor Home (Upstart): Saturday’s Lecomte is glutted with velocity, however this colt’s debut wiring of a Laurel MSW by 12 ¼ lengths nonetheless stands out previously performances (76 Beyer; fourth-place horse from that race got here again to win). This colt is cross-entered in a 1x/non-compulsory claimer earlier on Saturday’s Truthful Grounds card and will go for that spot as an alternative.

Mutasaabeq (Into Mischief): Rallied from great distance final to win GII Bourbon S. on turf, then no-impact tenth in GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf. Change of floor and ways when successful the Jan. 2 Mucho Macho Man S. earns this colt one other probably stakes date on filth.

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