OTB Race Previews
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OffTrackBetting.com - The wait is finally over - the biggest race on North American soil comes our way this Saturday, May 7. After all of the prep races and all of the speculation, the Kentucky Derby is set for Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky this weekend. Some of the best three year olds in the land will take to Churchill Downs' dirt track and race 1 1/4 miles for a purse of $2 million and the honor of calling themselves a Kentucky Derby champion.
A field of 20 will take to the track in the Kentucky Derby - race 12 on Churchill Downs stacked Saturday card. Post time is 6:34 PM. Let's take a look into the past performances of all 20 combatants for this Grade 1 stakes - the most prestigious race on North American soil.
Nyquist 3-1 - The runaway winner of the Eclipse Award for 2-year-old-male was the first 2-year-old to win three Grade 1 races since Lookin At Lucky in 2009 for trainer Doug O'Neill. In 2015 Nyquist won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, the FrontRunner at Santa Anita and the Del Mar Futurity to go along with the Grade 2 Best Pal Stakes. Nyquist has two starts in 2016 and they produced two more very impressive wins - by 1 1/2 lengths in the Grade 2 San Vicente Stakes at Santa Anita February 15 and the Grade 1 Florida Derby April 2. He has now won all seven starts handily and is the one to catch Saturday with Mario Gutierrez aboard the morning line favorite.
Exaggerator 8-1 - Keith Desormeaux trained colt has four wins, two runner-ups and a third place finish in eight career starts. He arrives on the heels of a terrific win in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby April 9 after an OK third behind Danzing Candy and Mor Spirit in the competitive Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes March 12 and a runner-up finish behind Nyquist in the Grade 2 San Vicente Stakes February 15. He's also posted a terrific win with a 103 Beyer Speed Figure in the Grade 3 $1,000,000 Delta Downs Jackpot November 21, a fourth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, a respectable second in the Grade 1 Claiborne Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland in October and a nice win in the Grade 2 Saratoga Special in August. Exaggerator has been very competitive so far and off a career best effort should be in the mix Saturday - with Kent Desormeaux guiding the second choice from post 11.
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Gun Runner 10-1 - Steve Asmussen trained colt was tops in the Road to the Kentucky Derby Standings. He has five career starts with four wins - two straight ahead of the Derby - last time out in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby March 26 and the Risen Star Stakes February 2- both results at Fair Grounds. His only blemish came before those results - a fourth in the Grade 1 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes in November. Gun Runner hasn't been touched in his last two starts and seems to be peeking at just the right time. Florent Geroux will be in the saddle Saturday from post 5.
Mohaymen 10-1 - Kiaran McLaughlin trained colt finished second (albeit by a wide margin) in Eclipse Awards voting behind Nyquist for two year old males. He was undefeated in his career before a dud last time out when he finished fourth in the Grade 1 Florida Derby April 2- a bit of a concern ahead of this race. Before that effort were five starts and five wins including an impressive 2 1/4 length win in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes February 27, a score by 3 1/2 lengths in the Grade 2 Holy Bull Stakes January 30, in the Grade 2 Remsen Stakes November 28, the Grade 2 Nashua Stakes November 4 and a dominant maiden score at first asking. Mohaymen had been a favorite to win it all before his uncharacteristic effort last time out. He will be out to prove his Florida Derby effort was the exception not the rule. Jockey Junior Alvarado will be in charge from gate 14.
Creator 10-1 - Steve Asmussen trained colt has placed in seven of eight career starts - two wins, four seconds and a third place finish. He arrives off a career-defining win - the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby April 16 which followed a third in his stakes debut - the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes March 19 - both results at Oaklawn Park. Creator has been trending upward indeed but hasn't faced a field like he is going to run against Saturday. Ricardo Santana is scheduled to ride from post 3.
Mor Spirit 12-1 - Bob Baffert trained Ringling has seven career starts with three wins and four second place finishes. He arrives on the heels of consecutive second place finishes - behind Exaggerator last time out in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby April 9 and behind Danzing Candy in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes on that track March 12. Before that were terrific wins in the Grade 3 Robert B. Lewis Stakes February 6 and in the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Futurity with a 96 Beyer Speed Figure December 19. He's also posted a respectable second in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill Downs November 28 and a maiden score by an eye-opening 4 1/4 lengths at Santa Anita October 23. Mor Spirit has been a factor in every race so far and hopes to keep that trend going Saturday with Gary Stevens aboard from post 17.
Brody's Cause 12-1 - will race for the seventh time for trainer Dale Romans having recorded three wins and a third place finish. Last time out was career best effort - a win in the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland April 9 after a career worst effort - a seventh as favorite in the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby March 12. He's also had a third as favorite in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile behind Nyquist and Swipe, a terrific win in the Grade 1 Claiborne Breeders' Futurity and a maiden score in September. Brody's Cause has been a tad inconsistent but off a win has to be in the conversation Saturday. Luis Saez has been tabbed to ride from post 19.
Destin 15-1 - has five career starts for Todd Pletcher with three wins and a second place finish. He enters on a terrific two race win streak - the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby last time out March 12 and by 2 1/4 lengths in the Grade 3 Sam F. Davis Stakes February 13. Before that was his only off-the-board finish - a fourth in the Grade 3 LeComte Stakes at Fair Grounds January 16, a second in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Gulfstream December 18 and a maiden score at first asking - back in October. Destin has been good so far and on the heels of two straight graded stakes scores should be a confident entry with Javier Castellano aboard from post 9.
Outwork 15-1 - Todd Pletcher trained colt has four career starts with three wins and a second place finish. Last time out was a great win in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct April 9 which followed a respectable second behind stablemate Destin in the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby March 12, an Allowance Optional Claiming score February 13 by 4 1/4 lengths, 10 months away from the track and a maiden score by 2 1/4 lengths in gate-to-wire fashion at first asking - at Keeneland last April. Outwork has been impressive so far and looks to keep a roll going Saturday with John Velazquez in the reins from post 15.
Danzing Candy 15-1 - Clifford Sise trained colt has three wins in five career starts. He made his stakes debut March 12 and produced a terrific win by two lengths over Mor Spirit among others in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita. That win followed an impressive 5 3/4 length gate-to-wire Allowance Optional Claiming score on that track February 4 and a maiden score December 26. Danzing Candy recorded a career-worst effort last time out however - a fourth place finish in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby April 9. He looks for a strong bounce back and for his second graded stakes score Saturday with Mike Smith in the reins from an unfortunate outside gate 20.
Suddenbreakingnews 20-1 - Donnie Von Hemel trained gelding has placed in seven of eight career starts - three wins and four runner-up finishes. Last time out was a respectable second in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby April 16 which followed his only off-the-board finish in the Grade 1 Rebel Stakes and a career-highlight win in the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes February 15 - all three results at Oaklawn Park. He also won his stakes debut - the minor Clever Trevor Stakes at Remington Park in November. Suddenbreakingnews steps into a different class Saturday in decent form overall. Luis Quinonez has the mount from gate 2.
Mo Tom 20-1 - Tom Amoss trained colt has three wins and three third place finishes in seven career starts. He won the minor Street Sense Stakes on this track in November and went to on to a good win in the Grade 3 LeComte Stakes at Fair Grounds in January and a third in the Grade 2 Risen Start Stakes February 20 also on that track. Last time out was a bit of a step back however - a fourth place finish in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds March 26. Mo Tom has been OK so far and will be out to make a huge statement Saturday. Corey Lanerie has the mount from gate 4.
Whitmore 20-1 - Ron Moquett trained gelding has placed in five of six career starts - two wins, two seconds and a third place finish. He will be looking for his first stakes win having finished third last time out in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby April 16, second in the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes March 19, second in the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes February 15 and having posted an Allowance Optional Claiming score January 16 - all at Oaklawn Park. He has been decent so far and will have Victor Espinoza in the reins from gate 10.
Shagaf 20-1 - Chad Brown trained colt has four career starts and three wins. He enters off a somewhat disappointing fifth in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial April 9 however which followed a good win in his graded stakes debut - the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes by 1 1/4 lengths at Aqueduct March 5. Before that were a two length Allowance Optional Claiming score at Gulfstream Park January 29 and a maiden score at by an impressive six lengths first asking on this track November 22. He departs from post 16 with Joel Rosario guiding him.
My Man Sam 20-1 - Chad Brown trained colt has a win and two second place finishes in four career starts. He made his stakes debut last time out and finished second in the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland April 9 after a runner-up finish in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Aqueduct March 6, a maiden score on that track January 31 and a fifth in his debut December 19. My Man Sam has been knocking on the door and will be after his first stakes win Saturday with Irad Ortiz in the irons from gate 6.
Majesto 30-1 - Gustavo Delgado trained colt has placed in five of six career starts ahead of this weekend - a win, two seconds and two third place finishes. He made his graded stakes debut last time out and finished a respectable second behind Nyquist in the Grade 1 Florida Derby April 2 after finally breaking maiden February 27 at Gulfstream Park. That win followed a third, a sixth, a second and another third respectively in MSW races. Majesto has been trending upward ahead of this weekend but looks as though he'll be in over his head against the best field he's faced. He will have Emisael Jaramillo guiding him from gate 18.
Lani 30-1 - Japanese bred Mikio Matsunaga trained colt was decent at home in recording two wins and a second place finish in five starts but arrived on the Derby radar with a win last time out in the Group 2 UAE Derby at Meydan March 26. UAE Derby winners usually have a tough time in this race but off a career-defining win Lani could surprise. Yutaka Take has been tabbed to ride from gate 8.
Tom's Ready 30-1 - Dallas Stewart trained colt has just one win in nine career starts to go along with four runner-up finishes. Last time out was a second in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby March 26 after a disappointing seventh in the Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes February 20 and a second in the Grade 3 LeComte Stakes in January - all at Fair Grounds. He chases his first stakes win Saturday in so-so form. Brian Hernandez Jr. gets the call from gate 12.
Oscar Nominated 50-1 - Michael Maker trained colt has three wins and two second place finishes in seven career starts. He made his graded stakes debut April 2 and won the Grade 3 Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park and also won the minor Black Gold Overnight Stakes at Fair Grounds February 27. Before that were consecutive runner-up finishes - the minor Keith Gee Memorial at Fair Grounds January 31 and an Allowance in November. Oscar Nominated has been trending upward ahead of this weekend although not a whole lot is expected from post 7. Julien Leparoux rides.
Trojan Nation 50-1 - Peter Gallagher trained colt has yet to post victory in his career but does have a runner-up finish and three thirds place in six starts. He enters off a good second in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct April 9 after a pair of third place finishes - both MSW at Aqueduct with the last one coming March 5. He looked good last time out and hopes to carry that momentum forward Saturday. Aaron Gryder gets the call from the rail.
Race 12 on Churchill Downs's Saturday card with a Post Time of 6:34 PM.
|1||Trojan Nation||50-1||Aaron Gryder||Patrick Gallagher|
|2||Suddenbreakingnews||20-1||Luis Quinonez||Donnie Von Hemel|
|3||Creator||10-1||Ricardo Santana, Jr.||Steven Asmussen|
|4||Mo Tom||20-1||Corey Lanerie||Thomas Amoss|
|5||Gun Runner||10-1||Florent Geroux||Steven Asmussen|
|6||My Man Sam||20-1||Irad Ortiz, Jr.||Chad Brown|
|7||Oscar Nominated||50-1||Julien Leparoux||Michael Maker|
|8||Lani||30-1||Yutaka Take||Mikio Matsunaga|
|9||Destin||15-1||Javier Castellano||Todd Pletcher|
|10||Whitmore||20-1||Victor Espinoza||Ron Moquett|
|11||Exaggerator||8-1||Kent Desormeaux||J. Desormeaux|
|12||Tom's Ready||30-1||Brian Hernandez, Jr.||Dallas Stewart|
|13||Nyquist||3-1||Mario Gutierrez||Doug O'Neill|
|14||Mohaymen||10-1||Junior Alvarado||Kiaran McLaughlin|
|15||Outwork||15-1||John Velazquez||Todd Pletcher|
|16||Shagaf||20-1||Joel Rosario||Chad Brown|
|17||Mor Spirit||12-1||Gary Stevens||Bob Baffert|
|18||Majesto||30-1||Emisael Jaramillo||Gustavo Delgado|
|19||Brody's Cause||12-1||Luis Saez||Dale Romans|
|20||Danzing Candy||15-1||Mike Smith||Clifford Sise, Jr.|
|21||Laoban||50-1||Cornelio Velasquez||Eric Guillot|
|22||Cherry Wine||30-1||Robby Albarado||Dale Romans|
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