As we head into December, a well-funded trainer is looking for a potential Kentucky Derby horse, but does not want a horse based in Southern California. At the same time, a well-funded gambler is looking for a solid Derby horse to bet in the future book, but he, too, is looking away from California. The reason behind their thinking is quite simple.
Bill Mott figured that the Remsen Stakes (gr. II) would be a good test for his promising 2-year-old colt Court Vision, one that would give the trainer an idea of whether the son of Gulch was a legitimate, early Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) candidate.
Bill Mott has a barn full of promising juveniles. But of all of them, Court Vision may have the pedigree, speed and talent to give the trainer a legitimate Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) contender.
You know it's early when you start carving into the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) before your Thanksgiving turkey, but this is a good time to start evaluating the 2-year-olds and get a jump on this week's grade II Remsen and Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes and grade III Hollywood Prevue.
Mike Pegram's Midnight Lute, winner of the TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I), is expected for the Nov. 24 Hill 'n' Dale Cigar Mile (gr. I), which highlights Aqueduct's HolidayFest.
Fields are beginning to take shape for each of the five graded stakes at Churchill Downs Thanksgiving weekend, highlighted by the Nov. 23 $500,000-added Clark Handicap (gr. II).
WinStar Farm's Court Vision made an eye-opening run down the middle of the racetrack, passing four rivals in deep stretch en route to a half-length victory in the $150,000 Iroquois Stakes (gr. III) opening day at Churchill Downs Oct. 28.
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