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2013 Kentucky Derby Update: Orb Posted a 97 Beyer

The Kentucky Derby Prep season is starting to heat up. Now that the first leg of the Championship Series is live, it's pretty clear that a win and 50 points will make the field. Based on those estimates, two horses have successfully secured their spots in the 139th Running of the Kentucky Derby.  

 

Orb – Although he sits right behind I’ve Struck a Nerve in the points standings he still earned the Beyer Speed advantage in the Fountain of Youth: 97. Very nice number and performance, this horse is definitely on the right path. 

 

Trainer Shug McGaughey wouldn’t say for sure what the next Kentucky Derby prep will be for his colt but he did narrow it down to either the Florida Derby or Wood Memorial. I can’t say it with 100% certainty but I expect to see Orb return to Gulfstream Park. 

 

On another interesting note, it was his opening graded stakes race. Therefore, his total graded earnings has now gone from $0 to $240,000. Even though this no longer counts towards qualification it would be enough to make the field in either of the last two years. Last year, Optimizer rounded out the field at just over $184k in graded stakes earnings while Derby Kitten concluded the 20 horse field with $120k in 2011.  

 
 
Ive Struck a Nerve – Trainer Keith Desormeaux has confirmed that his Kentucky Derby Points leader will enter the G2 Louisiana Derby next. This year the $1 Million dollar Louisiana Derby on March 30th celebrates its 100th anniversary. So, because Desormeaux is a native of Lafayette, LA and is considered a long time Fair Grounds Race Course conditioner, it is highly unlikely that he will opt for other major prep. 
 
 
His official Beyer Speed rating in the Risen Star Stakes was 95. The thrilling come from behind victory brings his graded stakes earnings total now to $248,000. Although that amount would not vault him into first place under the old qualification format it would likely guarantee him a spot in the Kentucky Derby.
  
 
The highly regarded Normandy Invasion suffered a huge set back in the G2 Risen Star Stakes. The slow start left him with too much ground to make up and resulted in a 5th place finish. More importantly, it also resulted in 0 additional points. Now Normandy Invasion will have to continue to travel down the trail with only 4 points until he goes for more. Currently he is being pointed toward the Wood Memorial.
 
 
One thing we can expect from his connections before his next time out is a jockey change. Jose Lezcano was the rider in Normandy Invasion’s previous 3 starts but his effort in the Risen Star seems to have made his connections want to go in a different direction before the Wood.
 
 
Nothing is certain as their still much more time to decide but Majestic Hussar’s remaining moments on the Kentucky Derby trail appear to be limited. Trainer Eddie Kenneally said he is leaning toward switching Majestic Hussar back to one-turn races. The main reason is because he appears to be a sprinter. A perfect example of this was in the FOY when he led the field through lightning fast fractions. He clipped the opening half in 45.45 and 1:08.85 at the three-quarter pole. But that was all that he had left. He faded from there and finished 9 1/4 lengths behind Orb. Kenneally didn’t rule out a final effort in attempt to make the Kentucky Derby field but I don’t foresee that happening.
 
 
In other news Dewey Square is headed away from the dirt. According to Dale Romans he has been breezing very well over the turf course at Gulfstream Park and the upcoming G3 Palm Beach is an excellent fit. An alternate decision may be made after the Palm Beach but it is likely that the only way Dewey Square makes the Kentucky Derby field is through the G1 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland on April 13.
 
 
Finally, if you’re interested in how some of our Kentucky Derby contenders are training then you won’t want to miss the latest report. 
 
 

 

 

Up next: The G3 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct this Saturday (3/2). Here are your Probable Starters

 

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Older Comments about 2013 Kentucky Derby Update: Orb Posted a 97 Beyer...

Don't give up on Normandy Invasion just yet ... should run well in the Wood.

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