Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Kentucky Derby Contender Will Rise on Saturday

The horses returned to the Woodbine backstretch this weekend and I am at once reminded that Spring is just around the corner...and as long as I don't look out a window or venture outside I can keep that happy thought alive.

Queen's Plate contender Mobthewarrior worked 4F in 51.90 on dirt at Palm Meadows on Feb 17/10. I have been busy updating the Queen's Plate contenders page with all the recent workouts and results. I will be updating the "standings" on Monday as Giant's Tomb stock surely rises off his hard fought second place finish at the Fair Grounds on the weekend.

Queen's Plate contender Giant's Tomb second by a nose at Fair Grounds

This coming weekend a Kentucky Derby contender will rise from the Fair Grounds into the thrust of media limelight. Can Canadian-bred Hotep win the G2 Risen Star Stakes? Let's take a look at the field.

10th Race. Post 4:43PM STAKES
The 37th Running of
Purse $300,000 Guaranteed 1 1/16 Miles

1 BRAVO WHISKEY Howard, N Bourque, C C 116
Smart Strike runner was well beaten by Hotep on Feb 1st at Fair Grounds and would be a surprise here.

2 TEMPTED TO TAPIT Klesaris, S Cohen, D 116
Tapit colt takes the lead and then least in his first three tries. On Jan 18 at Aqueduct this monster mudded to the lead and opened up down the stretch winning by more than 11 lengths. Huge class test here.

Tempted To Tapit romps to an 11 1/2 length victory at Aqueduct

3 MOUNTAIN JUSTICE McKeever, A Sellers, S 116
Improving Afleet Alex colt broke his maiden going a mile at Fair Grounds last November and came back to finish a solid second in an allowance event at the end of December. Certainly the breeding is there but a lot of proven runners in this event have me looking elsewhere.

4 DISCREETLY MINE Pletcher, T Castellano, J 116
He has been the betting favourite in four of six lifetime starts but only one win to show for it. Then again, losses to Dublin, D'Funnybone (G2 Futurity) and HomeboyKris (G1 Champagne) demonstrate class. He did not like the slop last out or maybe it was the bump and bobble throughout?

Discreetly Mine chases home D'Funnybone in the Belmont Futurity

5 RANDOM MOVE Lovell, M Mena, M 116
Random Move was soundly beaten previously by Stay Put so he dropped into an easy maiden claimer and got the job done on Jan 16 at a wet Fair Grounds. Distance should not be a problem, the depth of this field will be though.

Random Move breaks his maiden going 1M 1/16 at Fair Grounds

6 DROSSELMEYER Mott, W Desormeaux, K 116
WinStar Farm colt by Distorted Humor was valued at $600K at Keeneland Sales. Never worse than third in five lifetime starts, the William Mott trainee has won his last two starts in impressive fashion even if the Beyer numbers are not what some punters would like them to be. Lots to like.

Drosselmeyer's impressive allowance win going 1M1/8 at Gulfstream

7 NORTHERN GIANT Lukas, D Jacinto, J 116
It took six tries but Northern Giant finally broke his maiden in an 11 1/2 length romp at Oaklawn Park in the slop. The Giant's Causeway colt has been in tough company from the get go losing his first try to Discreetly Mine last August at Saratoga. Recent defeats by Stay Put and Down With Dixie are not bad races.

8 WORLDLY McGee, P Valenzuela, P 116
This one broke his maiden on Nov 8/09 at Churchill Downs by a nose over Clizeo keeping Stay Put a further two lengths back. A subsequent 3rd place finish in the G2 Kentucky Jockey Club to Super Saver with William's Kitten in second helped push his stock. His first two races in 2010 have been losses to Stay Put in an allowance event and a fifth place finish in the Lecomte won by Ron The Greek. The A.P. Indy colt could improve here.

9 STAY PUT Margolis, S Theriot, J 116
Two wins and two thirds in four starts. Last two races saw the Broken Vow colt defeat fellow entrants Worldly, Random Move, Hotep, Letsgetitonmon and Northern Giant. The Jan 3rd win going 1M40 was an impressive last to first charge.

Stay Put gets it done in impressive fashion

10 LETSGETITONMON Asmussen, S Bridgmohan, S 116
This one made a belated run to get past Hotep and chase home Stay Put and Worldly in the above video Jan 3rd at Fair Grounds. Can he improve?

11 RON THE GREEK Amoss, T Graham, J 120
Dismissed at nearly 8-1 in the Lecomte, Ron The Greek rallied last to first to win his third race in four starts. The Full Mandate colt was 15 lengths back at the half in that event and the impressive stretch run suggests the Derby distance would not be a factor.

Ron The Greek surges down the lane to win the LeComte

12 HOTEP Frostad, M Albarado, R 116
The Sam-Son colt is a full brother to Queen's Plate winner Eye of the Leopard. The result in the Risen Star will define his 2010 campaign. A win will see Hotep become a top Derby contender. Anything less makes him the second choice for the Queen's Plate behind Hollinger. Hotep's impressive victory on Feb 1 at Fair Grounds demonstrated the determination I recall from Hotep breaking his maiden at Woodbine.

Hotep dismisses the field Feb 1 at the Fair Grounds


1. Discreetly Mine
2. Ron The Greek
3. Stay Put
4. Hotep

I hope I'm wrong as I'd love to see Hotep take the next step towards the Derby but this field looks particularly tough. The field is loaded with plenty of front runners to keep the pace honest and I suspect that Ron The Greek will be coming late to catch Discreetly Mine. The Pletcher trained Discreetly Mine has been in some tough races and is battle proven for this test. The improving Stay Put should stay put for show. Hotep is a determined colt and will not back off from a fight in the stretch which will surely be the case in the Risen Star.

Comments and your own picks are most welcome.

To view FREE past performances for the Risen Star Stakes, I invite you to visit the FREE contest being run on The Knight Sky blog.


The_Knight_Sky said...

Thank you for the video on Tempted to Tapit. It was good to see that raw power once again.

Also thanks for the plug to the contests. To clarify I will be conducting three specific contests on Saturday at my blog:

The Risen Star
The Fountain of Youth
The Southwest stakes (rescheduled)

As always, my contests are free and open to all comers.

$100 cyberdollars maximum
WPS / exactor / trifector.

Please post in the official contest thread. I hope to see some new players on the leaderboard throughout the Derby season. :-)

Keith McCalmont said...

Thanks for the clarification TKS.

This is a huge weekend for all the Derby preps. I'm hopeful that some of my Derby Futures picks will rise to the occasion!