Barclay on Showing Up: 'He's Very, Very Fast'

Edited Churchill Downs Notes
Barclay Tagg-trained Showing Up made his way around the Churchill Downs grounds Friday morning, one day after the undefeated Lexington Stakes (gr. II) winner arrived in Louisville, Ky., on a flight from New York for Saturday's Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).

"He jogged over to the paddock. He walked around there and we showed him all the people who were there. Then, he jogged back to the six-and-a-half furlong pole and galloped a mile-and-a-quarter. Then, he walked home," said Tagg.

Although Showing Up has run only three times after going unraced as a 2-year-old, Tagg has reasons to believe that the son of Strategic Mission will be ready to compete against more experienced colts in Saturday's 20-horse field.

"He's very, very fast. He's very easy going. He's tenacious. If he's crowded, he works his way out. If there's a hole to go through, he'll go through it. He's not timid about anything. Those three reasons are the only reason I brought him," Tagg said. "I don't have Derby Fever and all of that stuff. It's just that he's a tough little colt who's done everything easily and he's overcome every obstacle that's been in his way. He's the kind of colt you like to come here with."

Showing Up showed his trainer uncommon seasoning for such an inexperienced colt right from the start.

"In his first race, I was completely amazed, he looked like a horse who'd run 10 times. It was kind of fun watching him," said Tagg, whose horse broke his maiden at Gulfstream Park on Feb. 11.

Tagg, who saddled Funny Cide for a victory in the 2003 Kentucky Derby, knows that Showing Up will have to prove himself in Derby 132.

"There's a lot of pace in the race. I'd like to have him camp right on their heels, if I could. That would be ideal. You have to have the luck to get through there and don't have them back up on you. It takes a lot of luck," said Tagg, who noted it was essential for jockey Cornelio Velasquez to avoid losing ground around the first turn.

Tagg reported that the puncture wound in Showing Up's right front leg that he suffered during the Lexington wasn't 100%, but that it hadn't hampered the colt's training.