Looking at the horses behind Songandaprayer, most have to start over to prove they're Derby-caliber horses. One who doesn't is runner-up Outofthebox
, who beat the start and crashed into the doors a second before they opened. When the field broke, he was moving backwards and was a mess coming out of the gate, but remarkably got right back into the race. Jerry Bailey moved him up steadily along the inside, then had to hit him left-handed to get him off the rail. The colt kept trying to get back on the rail, and at one point was perilously close to hitting it. With him going one way and Bailey trying to get him to go the other way, he was all over the place in the upper stretch. Still, he managed to finished second in a strong effort. He'll go next in either the Florida Derby or Louisiana Derby.
Third-place finisher City Zip
ran his usual honest race, closing strongly from the three-eighths pole to the wire, but he wasn't gaining at the finish, and we still don't know how far he wants to go. Under the right circumstances, we still feel he'll get 1 1/8 miles with no problem. You really have to admire this colt's consistency and drive. He put in a good long sustained run and was still giving it his all in the final yards, getting beaten only three-quarters of a length for second. Global Gait
, who finished fourth, was the first to go after the winner, and looked like a strong horse as he cut into his lead approaching the quarter pole. But he flattened out in the final quarter. Trainer Bob Baffert believes he got his tongue over the bit after being restrained too much by jockey Corey Nakatani. He brought the gelding back to California and will point him for either the San Rafael Stakes or El Camino Real Derby.
After Global Gait, there really isn't much to say. Holiday Thunder
, who ran an uncharacteristically dull race, bled a little and came back with a slight lung infection. The son of Thunder Gulch looked like he might pick up a piece of it passing the three-eighths pole, but jockey Mike Smith heard him make a noise, then he suddenly came out of the bridle and quit running. Breaking from the 10-hole, Smith had to use him early to try to get a decent position going into the turn. Trainer John Ward will make some adjustments, then point him for the Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park. You can also give some kind of an excuse to Meetyouathebrig
, who broke to the outside from the 11-post, losing momentum right from the start, then was forced about 5-wide going into the first turn. After that he was never in the race. The biggest hard-luck horse was
, who simply got left cold at the break and quickly found himself 5 lengths behind the field. By the time they hit the backstretch, he was dead last. And this is a colt who's used to running right up on the pace. With his lack of experience, having had only two career starts, he was dead from the start, and wound up beating only one horse.Action Aplenty
There were several allowance races worth noting this past week. On Friday, the people who brought you More Than Ready unleashed another talented 3-year-old onto the Derby Trail. You Know Who
, by More Than Ready's sire Southern Halo, turned in a monster stretch run to win a 1 1/16-mile allowance race over heavily favored Mongoose
for his third straight win. Dead-last in the seven-horse field at the top of the stretch, You Know Who came from 10 lengths back to blow by everyone and win going away by 3 lengths. Mongoose, breaking from the outside, didn't get away cleanly and went 5-wide into the first turn, then surprisingly moved up to battle for the lead after a half-mile. He tired nearing the head of the stretch, finishing third, beaten almost 7 lengths. "I wasn't overly impressed with his performance," trainer Bill Mott said. "We'll have to make some adjustments with his running style."
Although many felt More Than Ready had distance limitations, this colt has a totally different running style, and his female family is full of classic influences. In fact, You Know Who has a mouth-watering dosage index of 1.96. This definitely is one to keep an eye on.
On Saturday at Fair Grounds, Strike it Smart
, made it two in a row with a wire-to-wire victory in a mile and 40-yard allowance race. The son of Smart Strike, who runs with his head pretty high, set an easy pace and had more than enough left to hold off the fast-closing Stable Secret
, who came from last in the five-horse field to be beaten 1 1/2 lengths, while changing back to his left lead at the sixteenth pole and drifting in. The winner has a mixture of speed and stamina, but the majority of chef-de-race influences are geared toward speed, which explains his 5.00 DI.
One of the more impressive colts we've seen this year is Tarek
, who turned in his second straight runaway victory in winning a 6-furlong allowance race at Gulfstream Saturday. But the son of West by West is way behind, having never been beyond 6 furlongs, and is not nominated to the Triple Crown. Keep an eye on this brilliant colt, who came around horses on the turn, then blew his field away, winning by 7 1/4 lengths in 1:10 3/5. Nick Zito won a pair of races on Saturday's card, taking a 1 1/16-mile allowance with the well-bred Equinox
and a 6-furlong maiden race with Paducah