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HRN Original Blog:
The Kentucky Derby Post

Goldencents Vaults to the Top with Sham Win

 
For the first time since before Shanghai Bobby even entered his first Kentucky Derby qualification race, he has now fallen from the ranking of overall point’s leader. Although it took our new leader an extra race to pull ahead by four points, the leader board has shifted and Goldencents is our new leader. 
 
His win in the G3 Sham Stakes brings the Doug O’Neill trained colt to 24 points, 10 of which were earned today at Santa Anita Park. Coming into to the first qualification race of the 2013 Kentucky Derby Prep season Goldencents was already well regarded after he ended the 2012 season ranked in second behind the same horse that he was unable to beat in their first qualification race. But, after finishing  second to Shanghai Bobby in the G1 Champagne Stakes he came back to remedy that defeat with a big win in the G3 Delta Downs Jackpot. 
 
But, while his road to the first Saturday in May got off to another good start in 2013, my response to ranking him alongside his points standing is: not so fast. It’s not that I didn’t like what I saw today. In fact, Goldencents accomplished what he and his connections set out to do. However, as it is in the early prep season I just didn’t see a powerful win that made me reconsider where he stands on the list of viable Kentucky Derby contenders. 
 
Breaking from the second post in this six horse field, jockey Kevin Krigger got him away clean and tucked him in nicely in 2nd position behind the Bob Baffert trained Manando. Racing just to his outside and trailing by no more than a 1 ½ length Goldencents wasn’t struggling but he along with the majority of the field appeared to be racing a little tight behind modest fractions (23.00 and 46.31). Clipping through the next split in 1:10.06 is where things began to finally heat up and the Sham Stakes became a three horse race down the stretch. 
 
Manando made a strong turn for home in his attempt to wire the field but he also found himself in the middle of it. Goldencents remained to his outside but the other Bob Baffert horse, Den’s Legacy, was charging gamely to his inside. Big races are often won in the final furlong and that is the best way to sum up the Sham Stakes win for Goldencents. He and Krigger dug in and got by Manando at that marker before holding off a final surge by Den’s Legacy along the rail. The final time in the 1 Mile Sham Stakes raced over a Fast Santa Anita Dirt track was 1:36.50. 
 
The win makes it the first Sham Stakes victory for Doug O’Neill and Kevin Krigger as well as the owners, W. C. Racing, Kenney, Dave and RAP Racing. Doug O’Neill would not confirm the next race for Goldencents but he did give us a clue. He estimated that we would see Goldencents again in about 1 month. Therefore, it is reasonable to believe he was referring to the G2 Robert B. Lewis stakes on February 2. If so, it will put Doug O’Neill in a nice position to score back to back victories as this stakes is where last year’s Kentucky Derby champion I’ll Have Another began his 3-yr-old racing season. 
 
Again, I give Goldencents and his team a lot of credit for keeping a good thing going but I’m still going to need to see more his next time out. The biggest concern that most may have will be the distance factor. That can be a valid point mainly because the final fractions came back slower than the opening splits. If anyone in the field looked primed to be training towards the Kentucky Derby distance most people would vote for Den’s Legacy. 
 
His second place finish in the Sham is a nice follow up to his 3rd place finish in the CashCall Futurity. That was the first Kentucky Derby qualifier race in which he was able to score points so when you add the points he notched today it brings his overall total to 6. By Medaglia d'Oro - Sunshine Song, Den’s Legacy is a horse that I’m going to keep my eye on. Right now he seems to have the look of a horse that may be slowly finding his form after staggering through the early part of his 2-yr-old season. Having a place in Bob Baffert’s barn is a big time advantage as well but I won’t be able to make any confident predictions on his derby chances until I see him again in the 3-yr-old season. 
 
As for this stable mate Manando, I'm not so sure we will see him again on the Derby trail. Of course Bob Baffert may have other ideas but the distance factor is a very big question for this colt by Bluegrass Cat right now. This was his first attempt at both Graded Stakes and a Kentucky Derby qualifier so maybe a decision on his chances will need to be made after one more attempt on this level.  Does anyone else think that we'll see him again?
 
Either way it can still be tough to come out of the gate with an impressive performance this early in the season. So, when you consider the style of racing in this year's Sham (tight) it allows  Manando and anyone else in the field to return to their barns and loosen up through training before they race again.    
 
And that’s where the beauty of the 3-yr-old season begins. We may be in the same calendar year now but that only answers very few questions. There’s still so much time to correct any flaws, train through the distance limitations and to keep discovering new things. What that does is make the road to the Kentucky Derby even more intriguing now that we begin again in 2013. I might not be sold on Goldencents yet but that can quickly change in one single race. But will it? 

 

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Older Comments about Goldencents Vaults to the Top with Sham Win...

Whats not to like. He has won 3 out of 4 on 4 different tracks. Beyer average of 93. Only loss has been to SB in his second race after being shipped from LA to NY. I 've watched his run outs and he refuses to get passed. He has the intangibles most do not. If the Sham was 1 1/16 he could have won more impressively.
It was nice to see Goldencents slightly rate off the pace, but it looked like he had trouble putting those 4th tier horses away at 1 mile.
7 out of 10, at least! Most impressive. May I inquire as to how many horses you picked each year?
As much as I would love to see Goldencents win the Derby, he is coming up a little short on my derby prospect must haves... I do believe he deserves to make the field and probably will but asking him to win it might be a bit much, and even though I know its early im not sold on Shanghai Bobby either, I dont believe he is gonna be in the winners circle either and I know I have picked at least the last 7 out of 10 derby winners but we will see...
Nice win for O'Neill, as Mudflats was a very disappointing 7th in the Jerome at AQU today.

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About Me

Meet Bryan Brinkmeyer – Chicago, IL

 

Growing up I spent a lot of days in the Bluegrass State. Although I was born and raised north of the mighty Ohio River in Southwest Indiana, I was still next door to thoroughbred racing; Ellis Park, Henderson, KY 

 

Likewise, the first Saturday in May was always a celebrated family event. As my two brothers and I got older the battle for picking the next winner began to heat up. In 2000, I made my inaugural Kentucky Derby appearance. Since then I’ve made it an annaual tradition because there’s no other city or weekend in the racing world like Louisville, KY on Derby Day. 

 

Although the story of a Kentucky Derby winner is legendary, following a champions trail is what The Kentucky Derby Post is all about. The coverage begins when the 2-yr-old preps commence but it does not quit racing until all results are official, the field is set, the picks are made and the roses are worn. But that’s not all because the road doesn’t stop on the First Saturday in May. The elusive quest for the next Triple Crown has reached 35 years so I invite my readers to remain in the saddle through all three legs as we await the next Champion of Champions. Cheers.

 

 

Kentucky Derby 2014

2013 Kentucky Derby