CANDY BOY—He may only have one win in five
starts, but this colt is one that I feel is on the upswing. He made an
explosive early move in the CashCall that took him from the back of the field
up to the lead, but then he did not have enough left to hold the lead. If he
hadn’t moved so soon, he may very well have won that day, or at the very
least made winner Shared Belief work harder for the win. This will be his
2014 debut, but his works have been solid. Contender.
|CANDY BOY (Candy Ride (ARG) - She's an
Eleven, by In Excess (IRE)) has zero early speed, unusual for the offspring
of Candy Ride. As Ashley observed, he
made an explosive middle move in the CashCall, but melted in the later
stages. The premature move may have
cost the race and I expect Gary Stevens won’t make that mistake again. Candy Boy’s Brisnet speed figures have
improved in every race. He and his
stakes winning dam own the only blacktype in two generations, although Test
Stakes (G-1) heroine Leave Me Alone is part of this distaff family. I’m sweet
on this colt and the right ride could have the rest looking like suckers. Contender.
DIAMOND BACHELOR—At this point, I’m not really
sure what to do with this son of War Front. His only prior start on dirt was
a 9th place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. He’s been
working well on dirt in the mornings, but how that form transfers in the
afternoons remains to be seen. He gets a good bit of turf influence from both
halves of his pedigree and may ultimately end up being best on that surface.
Front - Seasoned, by Pulpit) showed all signs of becoming a really nice horse
in his first three races. I felt the
colt had a decent shot in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf. Then his trainer Biacone, known for being a
trainer of primarily turf horses, throws the colt into the wrong Breeders’
Cup Juvenile race. Diamond Bachelor’s sire does get almost 40% dirt winners
and his dam placed once in a minor stakes on the dirt at 1 1/16 miles, but ultimately,
she carved out a career as a turf miler. Diamond Bachelor has been working
well over the dirt. But here’s the
thing about turf horses. It isn’t that
they can’t handle the dirt surface, they aren’t accustomed to - and don’t
like - the dirt kickback in their
faces. Diamond Bachelor’s front
running style may minimize this, but I think his connections are trying to
turn the colt into something he isn’t.
Turf trainer? Check. Turf Jock? Check.
MIDNIGHT HAWK—By Midnight Lute, Midnight Hawk
is the first half of the undefeated duo California stalwart trainer Bob
Baffert sends out in this race. Baffert has always maintained that Midnight
Lute could have gone longer had he had the chance, but though Midnight Hawk’s
pedigree is riddled with sprinters, his Dosage Index indicates that he will
be able to go longer. He looked good when winning what was essentially a
match race last out in the G3 Sham. He retains jockey Mike Smith, and Smith
and Baffert have been winning at a 29% clip together. Contender.
|MIDNIGHT HAWK (Midnight Lute -
Miss Wineshine, by Wolf Power (SAF)) is a large, long striding colt who
should appreciate the extra distance in the RB Lewis, and not because of his
Dosage points, which, incidentally, are received from Fappiano (I/C), His
Majesty (C) and Round Table (S). All
three stallions are found four generations back in the pedigree. Any attributes they offer have been passed
along to through their sons and daughters. Undefeated in two career starts, including
the G-3 Sham, Midnight Hawk is still learning. His works are typical Baffert fast. Read more about Midnight Hawk’s pedigree
and Derby chances here.
HOME RUN KITTEN—The name says it all…a son of
Kitten’s Joy. The Robert B. Lewis will be his first start on dirt, but
Kitten’s Joy’s progeny generally run best on turf. Add in the turf influences
from the bottom half of his pedigree, and you have a colt whose pedigree
screams “run me over the green stuff!” Pass.
|HOME RUN KITTEN
(Kitten's Joy - Grand Slam Girl, by Grand Slam) is
another turf colt trying his hooves over the dirt. His dam’s only placing came
over the dirt, her pedigree is primarily dirt oriented (Grand Slam, Tabasco
Cat Forty Niner, Secretariat) and
Kitten’s Joy gets 30% winners over dirt. That being said, Ashley is batting
1000 with her comments on this contender. Pass.
COOL SAMURAI—When the speed up front starts to
backpedal, Cool Samurai is going to be running late to pick up the pieces. He
ran into Wicked Strong in his debut but bounced back in his second start to
break his maiden. I don’t think he’s quite in the same class as some of the
others, but he could fill out the exotics. Worth a look at the right price.
|COOL SAMURAI (First Samurai - Uzume, by
Unbridled's Song) won his maiden in his second start, traveling a mile over
the Santa Anita dirt in 1:36.47. Two
weeks later, Midnight Hawk won the Sham in 1:36.48. Cool Samurai finished second in his debut
behind Remsen third place finisher Wicked Strong, however, he had to check in
the stretch, which could have cost him the victory. Cool Samurai’s dam is a half to Del Mar
Derby winner Madeo and the second dam Passion Flower is a stakes winner, so
there’s some quality in the chestnut gelding’s immediate family. I agree with Ashley that this guy is worth
a second look. Contender.
EL NINO TERRIBLE—Dismissed at double digit odds in
both of his U.S. starts, El Nino Terrible finally managed to break his maiden
in his 3rd career start when stretching out and setting the pace
for the first time. He has the pedigree to go longer and already has a win at
this distance on this track. His chances are certainly not terrible.
|EL NINO TERRIBLE
(Malibu Moon -
Shadow Giant, by Giant's Causeway) held on to win a 1 1/16 mile maiden contest
in his last race. The pace was average/slow,
but this colt’s classic-oriented pedigree indicates that he’ll improve with
time and distance. His dam is a half to the multiple graded stakes placed Ender’s
Shadow and Ender’s Sister, while his third dam was the popular graded stakes
veteran, Fit for a Queen. I think this colt can sit off of the pace and make
a big move. I concur, Ashley, his chances are not terrible at all! Contender.
CHITU—Out of the winning A. P. Indy
mare Sea Gift, Chitu is the second half of Baffert’s undefeated duo. He has
never been a route of ground before and gets a good dose of sprinting speed
from both halves of his pedigree. With the outside post, jockey Garcia will
have to gun him out of the gate in order to get the preferred front-running
spot for the colt. I’ll go with the first Baffert rather than the second.
|CHITU (Henny Hughes - Sea Gift, by A.P.
Indy) the other Baffert
horse, has a speed over stamina pedigree. 1 1/16 miles should be within his
scope. His second dam Ocean Queen Bay set a new course record in the 1 18
mile Meadows Breeders' Cup Derby (G-3) and two well-regarded Europeans,
Toylsome, Champion French Sprinter, and St. Leger (Gr.1) hero Leading Light
are relatives of hers. Chitu flashed blazing
speed in both starts at six furlongs and now adds an extra 2 ½ furlongs. He
has :21 first quarter speed and can get a good position from the outside.
Whether or not he can sustain it is another story. Last year Baffert completed the exacta in
the RB Lewis. I’ve learned the hard
way not to ignore the higher priced stablemate from a top barn. Contender.