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Next Stop Kentucky

Posted by on 4/7/2015 11:07:41 PM

Three youngsters punched their ticket for the Kentucky Derby last weekend and all have designs of reaching the winner’s circle the first Saturday in May.

In the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct the icing on the cake came in the form of Frosted, who snapped a losing streak to win by 2 lengths.

The runner sat second to last early tracking a very moderate pace, steadily made progress, got within a half-length of the lead at the top of the lane, and drew out to earned a 103 Beyer Speed Figure.

The place horse finished nearly 4 lengths clear and the show horse finished over 6 lengths in front of the 4th finisher.

This son of Tapit, who also won the Wood Memorial, broke his maiden on this surface in his third career start. He was Grade 2 placed twice since that victory but threw in a clinker in the Fountain of Youth when blinkers were added.

He returned with blinkers on Saturday and looked good winning. The colt was a project around the barn and didn’t always put out his best effort but a race like the Wood can turn his confidence completely around. And there is class on the bottom side as his dam Fast Cookie was a Grade 2 winner and earned over $550,000.

At Keeneland in the Blue Grass Stakes another horse seized the day in a big way as Carpe Diem was on the muscle early tracking the pace, had a 3 and a half-length lead with a furlong to go and won the 9-furlong fixture in 1:49 3/5.

This runner is bred to go on as his sire won multiple Group 1 races at a mile and a quarter.

The 95 winning Beyer was a regression and a quote from his rider John Velazquez after the race is a bit of a concern.

Velazquez : “Down the lane, I asked him and he responded right away. Once he gets to the lead, he wants to wait, so I have to make sure he keeps his mind on running.”

Waiting on other horses is not uncommon but it means that the horse is not putting out to his full ability.

The best was yet to come in California in the Santa Anita Derby and Dortmund kept his winning ways intact as he made it 6 in a row winning his final prep by extending late by 4 and a quarter lengths.

He earned a career best 106 Beyer and his style suggests that he doesn’t need to lead to succeed.

The son of Big Brown, who won the Kentucky Derby, won his first several races coming from off the pace.

Trained by Bob Baffert and ridden by Martin Garcia, Dortmund seems to be getting better with racing and unlike Carpe Diem; he seems to have a killer instinct.

Garcia : “Even though he’s won all his races, he’s still learning. He can play around a bit, but when someone comes to him, or I ask him to go, he becomes push-button and he just takes off.”

Things are coming together quickly on the Triple Crown Trail. This appears to be a very good crop of sophomores and although there is plenty of quality, Dortmund will be bet heavily in the Run for the Roses.

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