maiden/allowance winners could become tomorrow's latest sensation on
the Kentucky Derby trail. each month leading up to the Kentucky Derby, we'll
take a closer look at the race
records and pedigrees of twelve intriguing colts who are galloping
under the radar. Many of them are slated to make their next start in
a stakes race.
(Lion Heart - Grandestofall, by Grand Slam)
Record: 3-2-1-0 ($66,100)
caught attention with a 1 ¾ length allowance win over a full field
of ten promising colts traveling 1 1/16 miles. The third place
finisher, Cerro, came back to wire the field at 1 1/8 miles by 2 ½
lengths. Bradester's pedigree is a bit light for Classic distances,
although he might handle 1 1/8 miles. His pedigree is also rather
modest. However his third dam, Zealous Connection foaled the multiple
stakes winning veterans Here's Zealous, There's Zealous and She's
is nominated to the Fountain of Youth (G-2) Feb. 23.
(Mr. Greeley - Ballette (IRE), by Giant's Causeway)
Record: 5-2-0-1 ($46,125)
H. Graham Motion
by the connections of Animal Kingdom, Cerro wired the field at 1 1/8
miles by 2 ½ lengths in an allowance race at Gulfstream. The
Irish-bred colt is a half brother to stakes placed Sachem Spirit (by
Mr. Greeley). There is little blacktype in the first two generations
of Cerro's pedigree, however his third dam Sex Appeal produced the
Champions El Gran Senor and Try My Best. This family also gave us
Breeders' Cup Mile hero Domedriver, United Nations hero Chinchon and
Japanese Group 1 winner Fusaichi Pandora. In an odd route to the
Kentucky Derby, Cerro will contest the Palm Beach Stakes (G-3) on
March 3 and then the Spiral Stakes (G-3) on March 23.
( Bernardini - Sincerely, by Meadowlake)
Record: 1-1-0-0 ($33,600)
his first start a memorable one, Demonic took the long way around the
oval, racing three and four wide the whole way behind horses. Going
widest of all around the far turn, he powered his way up to the
leaders to prevail in a blanket finish by a head over Tiz The Truth.
That one came back to beat maidens in his next start by 7 ¾ lengths.
A $400K Keeneland September Yearling, Demonic is a half brother to
multiple G-2 placed sprinter Silver Edition (by Silver Deputy). Their
dam Sincerely won the Delaware Oaks (G-2) at 1 1/16 miles as well as
the Go For Wand Stakes. Demonic's second dam was also a stakes winner
and his third dam was 1967 Champion Three Year Old Filly Furl Sail.
Demonic's pedigree for 1 ¼ miles is borderline. We'll likely see him
compete in the San Felipe (G-2) on March 9.
Record: 4-3-0-0 ($90,600)
Strike has won his last three starts, including a one-length victory
in the one mile Miracle Wood Stakes at Laurel. He certainly has the
pedigree to excel at 1 ¼ miles. His sire Smart Strike is an
Intermediate/Classic Chef-de-Race. Dynamic Strike's dam is a stakes
winner at 1 1/16 miles and she was second in the 1 ¼ mile Delaware
Handicap (G-2). We may see him face stakes horses in New York to earn
Derby Points in his next race.
( Street Cry (IRE) - Alwajeeha, by Dixieland Band)
Record: 5-1-1-1 ($50,154)
out to 1 1/8 miles, Elmutahidwon his maiden in his fifth start by 4 ¼ lengths. He is
the first foal out of the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes
(G-1) winner Alwajeeha and is by Street Cry, the sire of Kentucky
Derby Champ Street Sense and the spectacular Zenyatta. Other than his
multiple stakes winning dam, Elmutahid
has little blacktype in the first two generations of his distaff
family. Breeders' Cup Turf winner Dangerous Midge and Jim Dandy hero
Scorpion are part of this distaff line. Elmutahid is bred to get 1 ¼
miles. We may see him jump directly into stakes competition in the
Fountain of Youth (G-2) Feb. 23.
( Street Sense - Pilfer, by Deputy Minister) half to THAS
Record: 2-1-0-1 ($45,200)
won his maiden in his second attempt. During an eventful race,
Elnaawi bumped at the start, raced three wide while pressing the pace
and drew off to a four length victory going a mile. Elnaawi's
pedigree may look familiar. He's a half brother to To Honor And Serve
(by Bernardini), hero of the Cigar Mile (G-1) and 1 1/8 mile Woodward
Stakes (G-1). Elnaawi has been training steadily at Belmont Park
and is a candidate for the Gotham (March 3) or Wood Memorial (G-1).
(Malibu Moon - Lady Liberty, by Unbridled)
Record: 5-2-0-1 ($81,050)
won his maiden last November by two lengths over a nice field that
included Withers Stakes (G-3) victor Revolutionary. In his first
start of the year, Orb came from off of the pace at Gulfstream Park
to win an 1 1/8 mile allowance contest at Gulfstream Park. An
additional furlong should suit Orb perfectly. He descends from the
Phipps Family bred mare Shenanigans, dam of the legendary Ruffian.
Closer up in the pedigree, Orb's second dam Mesabi Maiden won the 1
1/8 mile Black Eyed Susan Stakes (G-2) over the good mare Cara
Rafaela, who would later foal Classic winner Bernardini. Orb is
pointing for the Fountain of Youth (Feb. 23).
Record: 3-1-2-0 ($71,135)
Malice generated some buzz at Satatoga with a 3 ½ length victory
over maidens. Included in that field was Breeders' Cup Juvenile
Sprint Champ Hightail. Palace Malice went to the sidelines for the
rest of the year and surfaced in January with a good second place
finish against optional claimers. He was beaten only 2 ¼ lengths and
it was eight lengths back to the third place finisher. Palice Malice
is from Horse of the Year Curlin's first crop. His dam won a stakes
race over turf and she is a half sister to a stakes winning sprinter.
We don't know how far Curlin's offspring will want to run, but
Palace Malice has plenty of stamina through his female family. His
damsire Royal Anthem was a long-winded turf router whose victories
include the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Handicap (1 3/16 miles) and
Canadian International (1 ½ miles). Now that he has a prep race
under his girth, Palace Malice should be ready for stakes
competition. The Pletcher team has indicated that Curlin's son will
head to the Risen Star Stakes (Feb. 23).
Record: 3-1-1-1 ($36,180)
Strike was an impressive 7 ½ Length maiden winner going 1 1/16
miles at the Fair Grounds in his third start. By Intermediate/Classic
Chef-de-race Smart Strike out of a daughter of Kentucky
Derby/Preakness hero Pleasant Colony, Proud Strike descends from a
blue-blooded distaff line and is bred to relish 1 ¼ miles. He's a
full brother to the multiple stakes veteran Pleasant Strike, winner
of the Arlington Classic (G-3) at 1 1/6 miles over the turf. Two
other full siblings, Curlinello and Desert Myth are stakes placed and
a half sibling, Colonial Empress (by Empire Maker), is also stakes
placed. Proud Strike traces his linage back to the Champion Handicap
mare and blue hen Gallorette. This is the same distaff branch that
foaled Horse of the Year Saint Liam, Irish Champion Filly Minstrella
(Proud Strike's second dam), Del Mar Futurity hero Rolling Fog, and
Mother Goose heroine Buster's Ready. We'll likely see Proud Strike
in the Risen Star on February 23.
Record: 4-2-1-0 ($86,480)
Ninety Nine gained ground and was beaten only ½ length in the
Hollywood Prevue. Bred on the same Pulpit/Unbridled cross as Wood
Memorial hero and popular sire Tapit, Super Ninety Nine has the
pedigree to handle 1 1/8 miles, but his pedigree is borderline for 1
1/4 miles. His half sister Elusive Horizon (by Elusive Quality) is a
multiple stakes winner at 1 1/8 miles. Their dam Exogenetic is a 3/4
sister to Exogenous (by Unbridled), winner of the Beldame and Gazelle
Handicaps, both G-1 races. She also placed in the 1 1/4 mile Alabama
Stakes and 1 1/2 mile CCA Oaks, as well as the 1 1/8 mile Mother
Goose Stakes. All are G-1 races. Super Ninety Nine will contest the
Southwest Stakes on February 18.
Record: 3-1-1-0 ($45,150)
promising Baffert colt, Tiz The Truth put in a game run in his second
start, only to lose by a head to Demonic. The son of Tiznow put it
all together in his next start, beating a small group of maidens by 7
¾ lengths in a one mile event. The wow factor isn't the number of
lengths by which Tiz The Truth won. He ran his last quarter in
:23.48, faster than the preceding two, (:24.09, :24.41). Tiz The
Truth has a stamina over speed pedigree up close, however his second
damsire Exclusive Native (sire of Affirmed and Genuine Risk) balances
the speed contributed by French Deputy. Tiz The Truth is a half
brother to Notional, winner of the Risen Star, (G-3), San Rafael
(G-2) and Salvator Mile (G-2). Baffert isn't shy about running
maidens back against stakes competition, so we may see Tiz the Truth
take on winners in the San Felipe March 9.
( Bernardini - Habiboo, by Unbridled's Song)
Record: 6-1-1-1 ($68,250)
took five rehearsals for the light bulb to go on, and Transparent won
his maiden decisively in his sixth start. He powered home a 5 ¾
length winner traveling 1 mile 70 yards at Aqueduct. Transparent, a
$725K Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Yearling, has the pedigree to handle 1 ¼
miles. His young Horse of the Year sire has already produced winners
at 1 ¼ miles and his son Stay Thirsty was second in the Belmont
Stakes. Transparent's dam is a multiple graded stakes placed runner.
She's also a half sister to the Grade 1 winning sprinter Street Boss
(By Street Sense). Transparent could jump directly into stakes
competition in the Gotham (March 2) or squeeze in an allowance race
before tackling Grade 1 foes in the Wood Memorial.