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  •  Beholder romps home a winner in the Santa Lucia!Posted 6 hours ago
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  •  Imperative shocks 'em all in the Charles Town Classic!Posted 1 day ago
  •  Dynamic Impact edges Midnight Hawk in the Illinois Derby!Posted 1 day ago
  •  Mr Speaker rolls in the Lexington Stakes!Posted 1 day ago
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  •  Sisterly Love game in the Doubledogdare!Posted 2 days ago
  •  Daring Dancer rolls in the Appalachian!Posted 3 days ago
  •  Stormy Lucy flies late to win the Santa Barbara!Posted 7 days ago
  •  Ready to Act wins the Beaumont!Posted 7 days ago

The Derby March Has Begun

12 months ago to the day, the Kentucky Derby trail began in earnest when a full field of sophomore colts competed in a one mile allowance race at Gulfstream Park. The winner that day was a son of Giant’s Causeway. Perhaps you’ve heard of him, his name being Eskendereya. Flash forward a year and Gulfstream came back with the same race today. While assuming that any horse comes out of it with near the talent of Eskendereya, would be a longshot, but it has produced another good looking winner. Breaking a half-step slow from the rail, Black N Beauty rushed up to take command early and then confidently repelled each threat to his front running victory. On the wire, the dark bay colt was 2 ½ lengths clear of his closest competition, and completed the distance in 1:37.48.
 
Black N Beauty is an Ontario bred son of Devil His Due out of the Boston Harbor mare, Harbor Girl. Trained by Dale Romans for Zayat Stables, the bargain basement yearling purchase, has shown marked improvement with each of his four starts. After running fourth in a key maiden race for a debut, Black N Beauty returned to give the much talked about Brethren all he wanted in a 1:08 4/5 slugfest in October. Leaving the Big Apple turned his fortune, as he rolled home in a Churchill Downs maiden by 2 3/4 lengths in his next start. Today’s win brought his record to 4-2-1-0, which coincidently is the exact same record Eskendereya left January 7th with last year.
 
As you all know, Eskendereya won the Fountain of Youth and Wood Memorial by a combined 18 ¼ lengths in his next two starts, before being injured and retired before he could run as a Kentucky Derby favorite. Trainer Dale Romans does not plan on following the same conservative trail with Black N Beauty as Todd Pletcher chose for his star last year. The trainer, who hit the board in all three triple crown races last year with Paddy O’Prado and then First Dude, is looking to bring today’s winner back in three weeks time for the Holy Bull Stakes. Expected entrants for the grade 3 test include one of the best juveniles in 2010, Boys at Tosconova, so it should prove to be a major test.
 
We should find out more soon on the ability of Black N Beauty to become a real Derby threat, but the first shot on the 2011 trail was officially fired today. Do I think Black N Beauty has a big future in front of him? Let’s just say he has moved right to the top of my list. The top of my Queen’s Plate list, that is.

 

What the Nation is saying about The Derby March Has Begun...

Wando was a good one PITIFULLY managed by the connections who tried to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear to pad his credentials for the breeding shed and forced him to run on the green when that one had NO talent for it and the embarassment, in part, has kept this one OUT of the Hall of Fame in Toronto.
True. Alydeed and Peteski would have been other great ones to mention, but in the 21st century ... not much. Wando may have been the best of the bunch.
Skip Away won HOY that year but it should have gone to AA on the basis that they both had great seasons but AA won the head-to-head showdown that counted. It was a case of Amercian-bias,,, voters couldn't bear to give the award to a non-American bred.
Don't forget Awesome Again in that list of great Canadian breds. Won the 1998 BC Classic against the best field ever assembled and was undefeated in '98 in all 6 races including the Stephen Foster, Whitney, BCC, and others. Would have loved to see him race at 5 and 6 years but he was retired. The usual money-grabbing instincts of most wealthy owners who don't care about the fans of the sport. At 4, AA was the dominant horse in north american racing.
Exactly, any horse that can compete in our Derby preps becomes the horse to beat in the Queen's Plate. They had some great ones, Izvestia, Dance Smartly, With Approval, and going back a little farther, Northern Dancer. Lately it has been much weaker.
Totally agree with these comments. A very impressive and rapidly improving career so far. He's also my early favourite for the Queens Plate. But considering the pathetic quality of young Canadian breds in the past few years, the QP would barely qualify as a Grade III in the USA. Perhaps Hump-Free, the know-it-all around here (at least in his own mind), could explain the woeful quality of Canadian breds in the past decade?
I saw the race and thought he looked very good. I don't know if he is a horse that can win the Kentucky Derby, but considering the quality of the Queen's Plate lately I think you are dead on in calling him the early favorite. I read he cost $2,500 at auction, that's amazing!
Really looking forward to seeing how this horse does going two-turns, potential is there for him to keep getting better.
I love this horse's stride. I also love the way he came home, final 1/8 in 12.25 seconds and he only got one tap of the whip. Him and Boys will be a very interesting race.

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Meet Brian Zipse 

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing since birth. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. 
  
As Managing Editor of Horse Racing Nation, Brian authors a daily column as Zipse at the Track, or ZATT for short, and adds his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Brian also serves on the the Board of Directors of ReRun Thoroughbred Adoption and is a Vox Populi committee member. 
  
A graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives in Suburban Chicago with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra, where he is a professional golf instructor when he is not following the horses.  



Kentucky Derby 2014