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HRN Original Blog:
A New York State of Racing

Does the Gotham City Derby Prep Have a Future Superhero?

Saturday is the 60th running of the Gotham Stakes, a race that has been held in New York since 1953. The race gets its name from the nickname for New York City. The dictionary app on my laptop defines Gotham as, “a nickname for New York City, used originally by Washington Irving and now associated with the Batman stories.”
Washington Irving was an American author in the early 1800’s most known for the Legend of Sleepy Hollow. He is credited with giving New York City the Gotham nickname in an article from 1807, in which he made fun of the city. Gotham comes from a village in England, which according to folklore was “inhabited by fools”.
Gotham became popularized when in 1940 the Batman comic book #4 identified the home of the caped crusader as Gotham City. Batman’s popularity has been maintained beyond the comics, in the movies and on television. On TV there was an animated cartoon series and, of course, the campy show that starred Adam West and Burt Ward as Batman and Robin.
The television series ran for three years from 1966 to 1968, and included an episode, “A Horse of Another Color” (season 3 number 5), that first aired on Oct. 12, 1967. That episode titled had a goofy plot line that was set at the racetrack.  Regrettably I could not find any clips from that episode, but here is a plot summary from imdb.com.
The Penguin steals a priceless folio of famous parasols from the Gotham City Library. He plans to wager the $10,000 earned from its ransom on a rigged horse race. Aided by his partner-in-crime Lola Lasagne, he disguises the favored entry Parasol as the unknown "Bumbershoot," then enters a nag known as "Parasol". With everyone betting their money on the fake horse, it looks like the Penguin will make a fortune when the real Parasol wins the race. But he wasn't counting on a last-minute entry of Bruce Wayne's horse, Waynebow, ridden by none other than Batgirl.
The $400,000 Gotham Stakes (G3) is the third race on the New York Derby Trail.  As part of the Road to the Kentucky Derby Championship series, a total of 85 points is up for grabs for the first four finishers 50-20-10-5.
Fun Facts About the Gotham Stakes
Secretariat 1973 is the only horse to win the Gotham and the Kentucky Derby.
•The Gotham field includes two graded stakes winners: Overanalyze (Futurity – G2 and Remsen – G2) and Vyjack (Jerome – G2).
•Four horses in the Gotham field have earned Road to the Derby points: Overanalyze (10 points – rank 9), Escapefromreality (4 points – rank 31), Siete do Oros (2 points – rank 38), and Amerigo Vespucci (1 point – rank 46).
•The full field of 12 includes two NY-breds and one each from PA, CA, and FL. The other seven are KY-breds.
•Kiaran McLaughlin has three runners that have only won a maiden race with two from Darley Stable and one from Shadwell. They were all purchased at auction in 2011 as yearlings for $725,000, $375,000, and $500,000 for a total of $1.6 million. To date the three horses have earned $149,450.
•Vyjack broke his maiden at the highest odds of 17.8-1 and Transparent at the lowest odds .40-1.
Gotham Analysis

The morning line favorite Overanalyze (5-2) draws the far outside post in the full field of 12. Overanalyze is the leading money winner with two grade two victories and the Dixie Union colt also has 10 Derby points. I love the courage and versatility that this horse has shown in his victories. He won coming off the pace in the Futurity and up close in the Remsen. The combination of the outside post on the Aqueduct inner track and the long layoff since November has me concerned that this will be a tough spot for the Repole/Pletcher runner’s return.
Vyjack is undefeated in three starts which have all come at Aqueduct, where he is stabled. I was very impressed with this geldings win on the inner track in the Jerome in January. Trainer Rudy Rodriguez stated after that race that he would give Vyjack a brief rest and then go in the Gotham. The home track advantage and his tactical speed will make the morning line second choice (3-1) my pick.
The Kiaran McLaughlin trio of Transparent, Now and Then, and Elnaawi are a serious threat. Elnaawi is a regally bred half-brother of To Honor and Serve.  I will be watching to see if any of the McLaughlin runners can make a big improvement and influence the outcome of the race. 


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Older Comments about Does the Gotham City Derby Prep Have a Future Superhero?...

Now and Then and Elnaawi look formidable
I like Now and Then, I am not too sure about either of the favorites and this one could turn out to be a nice horse.
It's funny how little impact some of these races traditionally considered KY Derby preps actually have on the KY Derby.
Impressed with Rodriguez and his race schedule for Vyjack so far. I'm hoping that he finishes in the top 2 so that he can earn some serious points and become a big player to pay attention to leading up to the wood.
I'm not thrilled about Overanalyzed or Vyjack... for the Derby. So it's fine that either wins this one since Big Red is the only one to win the Gotham and KY Derby. Would like to see Elnaawi give a good account of himself then return to win the Wood.
kiaran 1st time lasix elnaawi. guy is around or over 50% this year 1st time lasix
No Gotham winner has won the Derby other than Secretariat? Wow ... I'm shocked!

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Matt Shifman has been on the Horse Racing Nation staff since 2011 and currently serves as Assistant Editor. Matt covers Aqueduct, Belmont Park, Monmouth Park, and Saratoga in his two HRN blogs Racing at the Jersey Shore and New York State of Racing.


Matt’s articles and tweets frequently appear in the America’s Best Racing weekly Notebook. In 2012 he became a voter in the NTRA weekly polls for the Top Thoroughbred and Top Three-Year-Old.


The best way to get to know Matt is to check out some of his favorite articles from the past couple years.

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• What is the Best Kentucky Derby Running Style?



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