Prospective emerged as a budding star on the Triple Crown trail
with his gutsy triumph in the Tampa Bay Derby (G-3). Given
a perfect ride by Luis Contreras and sporting first time blinkers, the dark bay
colt spent the initial stages of the race comfortably on the outside in fourth,
just a length from Cajun Charlie. That one set fairly swift fractions through
the first half, but started backing up after the ½ mile. Prospective was the
first to make a move. He quickly took the lead around the far turn and repealed
a half-hearted bid by Spring Hill Farm.
Recent maiden winner Golden Ticket cut the corner and snuck up the rail.
He appeared to lead for a few steps, but
then Prospective saw him and the race to the wire was on. The two game colts quickly separated
themselves from the pack and were head and head, until Prospective tired of the
game and put away his rival by ¾ length at the finish, stopping the clock in
1:43.35, which is a little more than a second off of the track record.
Prospective has been prominent at Tampa
Bay this year. He started his three year old campaign with a victory in the
seven furlong Pasco Stakes, winning despite a loose bandage. A month later in the 1 1/16
mile Sam F. Davis Stakes, the Mark Casse trainee ran farther than the rest,
stuck five wide on the first turn and six wide on the second. Despite this,
Prospective closed strongly for second place, beaten only 1 ½ lengths by the
well-bred maiden Battle Hardened.
With victories in the Gray Stakes (G-3) as a two year old and his recent win
in the Tampa Bay Derby, Prospective is firmly ensconced in eighth place on the
Graded Stakes Earnings List. He’s
finished first or second in all except one of his seven starts. His only off the
board finish came in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile where he finished the last of thirteen
Last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile has proven to be a key race for
this year’s Derby hopefuls. This year, Two Year Old Champ Hanson dominated the
Gotham Stakes, while Juvenile runner-ups Union Rags and Creative Cause have
also returned to earn graded stakes victories. Speightscity, ninth in the
Juvenile, is multiple stakes placed and diminutive Alpha has topped the New
York series of Triple Crown preps. Now
Prospective adds his name to the list of graded stakes winners who have exited
the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Let’s
evaluate Prospective’s pedigree, conformation and running style to see if he is
indeed a deserving Triple Crown contender.
PROSPECTIVE (Malibu Moon - Spirited Away, by
Awesome Again) has a stamina oriented pedigree, perfect for the
Classic distances. His sire Malibu Moon,
a son of A.P. Indy out of the French Group 1 winner Macoumba, was a precocious
youngster, which is rare for a son of A.P. Indy. The dark bay colt raced only twice, finishing
second in his debut, then beat maidens going five furlongs on the dirt at
Hollywood Park in May as a two year old. Unfortunately, the well-bred Malibu
Moon’s promising career was cut short due to a slab fracture of his right knee.
Malibu Moon started his breeding career in Maryland at Country
Life Farm where he stood for $3,000. The royally bred stallion sired a multiple
graded stakes winner in his first year at stud. The following year, along came 2004
Champion Two Year Old Declan’s Moon. Four years later, Malibu Moon moved to the
big leagues in Kentucky and overall has sired twenty graded stakes winners,
seven of whom have won at 1 ¼ miles. Oddly
enough, all except one of his classic distance winners are fillies.
Prospective’s dam Spirited Away won half of her eight starts
including the Truly Bound Handicap at 1 1/16 miles over a sloppy track.
Prospective is her first foal. Spirited
Away is a half sibling to a stakes placed runner and that is the only other blacktype
in the immediate distaff line. However, Prospective’s third dam North Sider was
Champion Older Mare of 1982. Spirited Away has an
uncommon Mach 1 breeding pattern, meaning she’s bred through her sire and dam
to the same distaff line. Spirited Away is inbred to the blue hen Square
Generation. That one is the third dam of Awesome Again and she is also the
fourth dam of Spirited Away. This has little connotation for racing, but is a
class indicator for breeding.
The Canadian bred Awesome Again, the damsire of Prospective, was a
top competitor on the racetrack. A late maturing type, he earned victories in
the Queen’s Plate and Whitney Handicap. As
a four year old, despite a perfect season cumulating in a victory over Champions
Silver Charm and Skip Away in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, Awesome Again was
denied an Eclipse Award.
Awesome Again has consistently been one of
the top 100 broodmare sires in the country. He’s a fairly young and his
daughters have yet to produce a stakes winner at classic distances. Since
Awesome Again is represented by six winners at classic distances, including
Champions Ghostzapper and Ginger Punch, there is no reason to think that his
stamina won’t transfer to his daughters’ progeny.
Prospective’s second damsire Capote won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile
and was Champion Two Year Old in 1986. He lends a touch of speed to Prospective’s
Malibu Moon has an affinity for the daughters of Awesome. All
three starters have won and one is now a graded stakes winner.
Prospective resembles his sire and overall has the conformation of
a typical A.P. Indy colt. He has the
body of a two turn horse with a deep, slanted shoulder balanced by a powerful
hind end. He’s an average sized (16.0 –
16.2 hands) colt with normal musculature. Prospective is an athletic runner
with no wasted motion and offers a good burst of sustained speed when asked. He’s
shown the ability to stalk and recently, with added blinkers, he’s altered his
running style to sit a length off of the lead. According to his trainer, Mark
Casse, Prospective will race once more before the Kentucky Derby, possibly in
the Wood Memorial. Keep this prospective
Derby contender on your watch list.
By HRN Pedigree Expert, Laurie Ross