Mendelssohn Coming Back to US for Breeders’ Cup Campaign
We all know Mendelssohn has to better than his finish in the Kentucky Derby, where it seemed he had not been prepared to get a good break and take up a good position to begin with. Aidan O’Brien plans to bring him back for a Breeders’ Cup campaign. Good luck, team Mendelssohn.
Derby trail: Justify undefeated in Santa Anita Derby
In his stakes debut Justify takes the Grade 1, 9 furlong, $1 million Santa Anita Derby over Bolt d’Oro. Trained by Bob Baffert and ridden by Mike Smith, Justify stays undefeated in three starts. Collecting Road to the Kentucky Derby points for the first time, Justify gets in to the run for the roses with 100 points. One of the top choices in this weekend’s Kentucky Derby future wager, Justify will try to become the first horse since Apollo in 1882 to win the Kentucky Derby without having raced as a two-year-old.
With McKinzie out of the Triple Crown series due to a bruised hock, Bob Baffert made a daring change in plans, to run Justify against Bolt d’Oro in this Saturday’s Santa Anita Derby instead of shipping him to the Arkansas Derby (April 14th). Unbeaten in two starts won by a combined 16 lengths, Justify makes his first start in graded/stakes company and gets one chance to earn enough points to get into the Kentucky Derby. That’s Saturday, April 7th at 3:30 PM Pacific time. Watch and wager with free PPs.
Daily Racing Form’s Mike Watchmaker and Jay Privman discuss the Santa Anita Derby, Blue Grass (a frosty one is forecast), and Wood Memorial in this weekend’s races for Kentucky Derby points. All Road to the Kentucky Derby races on Saturday have a points scale of
100-40-20-10. That will leave just two Derby preps to go on the 14th (Arkansas Derby, and for very minor points the Lexington).
Justify is now two for two, this time winning a $75,000, 1 mile optional claimer at Santa Anita over a muddy track by 6 ½ lengths. He was bet down to just five cents on the dollar. In Justify’s debut, the son of Scat Daddy won by 9 ½ lengths. On this very wide open Derby Trail the door is considered to be open for new challengers like Justify, even though he was unraced at two. Of course, the horse has yet to race in a race worth Kentucky Derby points. Trainer Bob Baffert has a few colts on the Derby trail, which one of the final Derby prep will he send Justify to for enough points to get in the gate for the Kentucky Derby? The Santa Anita Derby or the Arkansas Derby?
Stewards place Bolt d’Oro over McKinzie in G2 San Felipe thriller
The 1 1/16 mile, G2 San Felipe goes to Bolt d’Oro after stewards reversed the order of the top two finishers. Initiated by McKinzie, the bumping between the top two earns McKinzie a penalty, but may be the subject of some debate. Kentucky Derby points scale for this race:
.The Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby is Saturday, April 7th, worth a Kentucky Derby points scale of
TCI reviews last weekend’s Derby trail performances, and previews this weekend’s races for Kentucky Derby points. Horses running today include Bolt d’Oro, McKinzie, Free Drop Billy, Tiz Mischief, Vino Rosso, and Firenze Fire.
Tampa Bay Derby G2 1 1/16 mile – Tampa Bay Downs race 11, local post time 5:20 PM Eastern.
Gotham G3 1 mile – Aqueduct race 10,
local post time 5:42 PM Eastern.
San Felipe G2 1 1/16 mile – Santa Anita Park race 6,
local post time
TCI reviews the winners of last weekend’s Kentucky Derby points, and previews this weekend’s lone Road to the Kentucky Derby race, the Grade 3 Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs. Plus, a look at the Grade 2 San Vincente at Santa Anita, where Bob Baffert could be seeing if one or two horses can graduate to a big Derby prep next, but they’ll each have to best some respectable foes in the field.
Those two Baffert horses are Ax Man (by Misremembered (Candy Ride), who won first time out by 9 ½ lengths and a BRIS speed figure of 101; and Nero, a son of Pioneerof the Nile (Baffert’s 2009 Derby entry, and sire of American Pharoah). Nero, a $950k purchase who also just broke his maiden (by a nose), reunites the Triple Crown winning team of Baffert and jockey Victor Espinoza.