Govenor Charlie (Baffert trained, Mike Pegram owned) cruised to a five-length victory on Sunday in the Grade 3, $800,000 Sunland Derby and snatched 50-Derby points. It was a track record time albeit a largely intentionally made fast surface. Personally I look at 'Charlie' and Black Onyx yesterday without a lot of enthusiasm. 'Onyx' won't run again until the KY Derby.
There's a Bambazonki nominated to the Derby. Weewinnin is more like Welosin. The poorly named Derby nominee was eighth out of 10 in his last start. Whoever named the horse Govenor Charlie must have flunked his or her fourth-grade spelling class.
Fortunately, none of these horses are serious Kentucky Derby contenders, ...
Zing! With a horse now tied for 2nd in the Derby points and presumably guaranteed a starting gate.
You'd think people could come up with something better than Dipsy Drew, but too often they don't. The Kentucky Derby has had its share of horses whose names make you wince. There have been horses named Dunce, Ishkoodah, Shut Up and The Nut. Then there were Degenerate Jon, Paulrus, Tonka Wakham, Tragniew and the immortal Mr. Mutt. What's an Elooto, other than a really bad name given to a 1938 starter who finished ninth at 122-1?
One fellow thought so little of his 1882 Derby starter that he named him Lost Cause. Is it any wonder he ran next to last? Lost Cause ran like a dog, and so did St. Bernard, who was eighth in 1919. Not to be outdone, another owner came back with a horse named St. Bernard. This was another one who dogged it around the track. He was 17th in 1935.
Govenor Charlie received a Beyer Speed Figure of 95 for his victory in the Sunland Derby. Not exactly stellar considering it "set the track record" there
March 25 - Kentucky Derby points standings with 55 horses active, having points, and nominated to the TC. Another 16 horses having points but not TC nominated. Another 8 having points but formally off the trail with injury.
Giant Finish, third in the Spiral; Undrafted, who finished third in Gulfstream Park’s Grade 3 Swale Stakes; Departing, the recent winner of the Texas Heritage Stakes at Sam Houston; and Are You Kidding Me and Narvaez, who are scheduled to run Saturday in the $1 million Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park.
Black Onyx’s owner, Sam Herzberg, made the $6,000 late-nomination payment prior to Saturday night’s deadline.
The other late Triple Crown nominees are Brazilian Court, trained by Mike Maker, Erik the Red (Linda Rice), Hip Four Sixtynine (Bobby Barnett), Infinite Magic (Graham Motion), Storm Fighter (Bruce Headley), Sunbean (Al Stall Jr.), and Wings of Fortune (Maker).
Jon Court who had the mount on Oxbow originally, but was redirected to Will Take Charge retains that mount. He doesn't get back back on Oxbow due to a conflict with the Grade 1, $750,000 Blue Grass at Keeneland the same day and expected to be Will Take Charge's last prep race.
Saturday 3/30 will kick off the first two of the "powerball"-esq Derby points awarding races and they'll be aired live on NBC Sports Network. Each will award 170 total Derby points (100-40-20-10, for finishers 1,2,3 and 4 respectively)
100th running of the $1 million Louisiana Derby - Grade 2
Race 9, off at approx 6:44 p.m. EST
Distance 1 1/8 Miles
PP. Horse, Jockey, ML odds
1. Hip Four Sixtynine, Jamie Theriot, 30-1
2. Palace Malice, Edgar Prado, 5-1
3. Revolutionary, Javier Castellano, 3-1
4. Golden Soul, Calvin Borel, 20-1
5. Whiskey Bravo, James Graham, 30-1
6. Sunbean, Colby Hernandez, 12-1
7. Departing, Brian Hernandez Jr., 8-1
8. Code West, Martin Garcia, 9-2
9. Proud Strike, Corey Nakatani, 10-1
10. Titletown Five, Jon Court, 8-1
11. Mylute, Shaun Bridgmohan, 12-1
12.Brazilian Court, Miguel Mena, 30-1
13. Ground Transport, Mark Guidry, 20-1
14. Nina’s Dragon, Julien Couton, 30-1
All carry 122 pounds
$1 Million Besilu Stables Florida Derby Grade 1
Race 12, off at approx 6:19 p.m. EST
Distance 1 1/8 Miles
PP. Horse, Jockey, Trainer, ML Odds
1. Shanghai Bobby (KY), R Napravnik, T A Pletcher, 5/2
2. Pick of the Litter (KY), J L Castanon, D L Romans, 6/1
3. Itsmyluckyday (KY), E Trujillo, E Plesa Jr., 2/1
4. Pontiff (KY), A Garcia, D L Romans, 30/1
5. Frac Daddy (KY), C J Lanerie, K G McPeek, 20/1
6. Orb (KY), J R Velazquez, C R McGaughey III, 3/1
7. Indy's Illusion (KY), R Maragh, B Tagg, 20/1
8. Merit Man (FL), K J Desormeaux, R B Hess Jr., 15/1
9. Are You Kidding Me (KY), J Lezcano, R L Attfield, 15/1
10. Narvaez (KY), P Lopez, A C Bezara, 20/1
Looks like the 20 entries plus 4 AE's - if the Debry was held today - would mean a cut off at 20-points. With 4 fatty races still to be run that means likely 8 more horses either move up or new horses enter the list. I suspect that 30+ points will be the cutoff.
I wonder if Brit jockey Ryan Moore will get the call (again) aboard Lines of Battle in the Kentucky Derby. The Aidan O'Brien colt improved to 3-1-0 in six starts with his victory in the $2 million UAE Derby. He's owned by the familiar partnership and silks of Susan Magnier, Michael Tabor, and Derrick Smith plus Joseph Allen who bred the horse in Kentucky.
Shanghai Bobby, finished fifth in the Florida Derby, losing by a total of 10¾ lengths to likely derail his Kentucky Derby aspirations.
It's possible that Shanghai Bobby's 24 points could get him in the Derby. But his owners have suggested that if last year's champion couldn't finish in the top four then he didn't need to be in the race.
"It was a little bit of a rough trip, going into the first turn, everybody looking for the same spot," Pletcher said. "I don't think he really settled great in that scenario. And then he flattened out."
"Shanghai Bobby has been at the track for 13 months and his energy level and level of performance has never suggested he needed any time off until now," Starlight's other managing partner, Jack Wolf, added. "It's time to freshen him up and, if all goes well, point for a late summer, early fall campaign."
I wonder who Rosie will be a potential jockey for now ...
At the end of the replay you can see the crazy head-on start of the horse on the far end. Whoa!
Regardless Verrazano goes to the KY Derby undefeated and Chad Brown looks to have his Derby starter with Normandy Invasion puttingin a damn fine 2nd .... going 1 1/4 mi he could've taken down Verrazano.
(Aside, I cannot stand how Cal racing has such a stupid embargo on video replays. They'll go after any on youtube and yes you can sign up free on their site but this isn't 1990 but a far more social society with vid sharing. It is asinine!)