At Gulfstream Park on Saturday, the anchor race on the card is the G3 Marshua’s River Stakes for fillies and mares four years old and upward, but most eyes will be on a race earlier on the card. Race Seven is an allowance optional claiming race contested at a mile and restricted to three-year olds. Among the contenders in the race are Kentucky Derby hopefuls One Sock Down and Discreet Dancer, currently 8th and 21st respectively on the Horse Racing Nation 2012 Kentucky Derby Power Rankings. While these two colts stand out for obvious reasons, it was another colt that grabbed my eye when I was handicapping this race.
In the Beat has not set a track record like Discreet Dancer, and he is not an undefeated maiden winner like the Discreet Cat and Dehere colts and A Boy Named Em. No, it was not his racing record that caught my eye but rather his pedigree. In the Beat was sired by Kentucky Derby winner and 2006’s Champion 2-Year Old Street Sense, and is out of a mare by Fusaichi Pegasus, another Kentucky Derby winner. His sire’s sire is Street Cry, winner of the Dubai World Cup in 2002. Take his pedigree just one more generation back on his dam’s side and you find Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew and influential dirt sire Mr. Prospector.
Despite his intriguing pedigree, In the Beat has so far not shown any indication of the brilliance his sire and grand-sires showed on the track. In his first two starts, he came up empty in the stretch run under jockey Frederic Lenclud. After finishing 5th and 7th in two maiden races, trainer Carl Nafzger replaced Lenclud with Calvin Borel. The new jockey proved to be just the ticket for the colt. Borel kept the colt well in hand and tucked him in along the rail to save ground. Entering the stretch drive, Borel gave the Street Sense colt his patented rail skimming ride, and the duo slipped in between foes to post a half length victory over favorite Radiant Talent.
Calvin Borel has a knack for winning the Run for the Roses using that rail skimming technique. In two consecutive years, he guided Mine That Bird (2009) and Super Saver (2010) to victory in the most prestigious race for three-year olds. Borel and In the Beat obviously clicked, connecting for the win at odds of 25.60; but, aside from their victory, Borel and In the Beat have one other very important connection: Borel piloted Street Sense, In the Beat’s sire, during his career. Borel is obviously looking for a Kentucky Derby mount, and it just might be that the son of one of his previous Derby winners can help him get to the winner’s circle again. Speaking of connections, Nafzger also trained Street Sense during his career, and both In the Beat and his sire are owned by the same connections. This combination did it before, and they may just do it again. I know it is a bit soon to be talking about the Derby when In the Beat has only a maiden win to his credit, but, hey, stranger things have happened.
1.Neck ‘n Neck—3/C—J. Lezcano—I. Wilkes—118
2.In the Beat—3/C—C. Borel—C. Nafzger—116
3.Hollywood Script—3/C—J. Castanon—P. Byrne—116
4.One Sock Down—3/C—P. Lopez—E. Coletti, Sr.—116
5.Two Is to Many—3/G—A. Gallardo—R. Combest—118
6.Da Vinci—3/C—J. Velazquez—T. Pletcher—118
7.A Boy Named Em—3/G—C. Lanerie—E. Kenneally—116
8.Here We Go Joe—3/C—E. Trujillo—J. Pinchin—116
9.Discreet Dancer—3/C—J. Castellano—T. Pletcher—116