Since the turn of the
century six Kentucky Derby winners have entered the Derby Trail eligible for a
non-winner of two lifetime (N2L) race.
These six horses did not win their second race until their three year-old
The past two years this
has been the case for the Derby winner. I'll Have Another broke his maiden as a two year-old but did not earn his second
lifetime victory until February of his Derby year in the Robert Lewis Stakes
(G2). Animal Kingdom was a juvenile maiden winner, but did not reach the
winner’s circle again until he took the Spiral Stakes (G3) in March of 2011.
Big Brown was another winner as a two-year, but he won his second time in a March 2008
allowance race. That allowance
victory continued Big Brown’s win streak that went on with the Florida Derby,
Kentucky Derby, and Preakness.
the 50-1 long shot Kentucky Derby winner of 2005, broke his maiden as a two
year-old, but he left the N2L condition on the first Saturday in May.
century began with Fusaichi Pegasus and Monarchos both waiting until
they were three year-olds to win their first race. Fusaichi won his second race
in an allowance and he went on to take the San Felipe (G2) and the Wood Memorial
(G1) before the Derby. Monarchos won the Florida Derby (G1) followed by a
second in the Wood before he won the roses.
In 2013 there are many
horses with only one career victory that fit this meaningful angle to the glory
of a Kentucky Derby win. Clearly they are not the horses at the top of the
current Road to the Derby points
list. Actually you must go all the way down to Tesseron at the number 11 spot with five points to find a horse
that has only won a maiden race.
Several horses have four
points that they earned in qualifying stakes races. He's Had Enough and Know More are both from Doug O’Neill’s Kentucky
Derby winning barn and have only a maiden victory. The third place finisher in
the 2012 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, Capo Bastone, has just one win that happened at Del Mar before the horse moved
to Todd Pletcher’s barn. Dynamic Sky is unique in that his only
win came in a restricted stake at Woodbine for the dangerous combination of
owner John Oxley and trainer Mark Casse.
Normandy Invasion and Frac Daddy, who are high
on many Derby Top 10 lists after impressive second place finishes in graded
stakes races, need to get their second win and pick up some more qualifying
points to add to their four points.
In addition there is a
long list of horses that have impressive maiden wins, but no Road to the Derby
points. For Pletcher there is Verrazano, Revolutionary, Palace Malice, and
Darwin. Bob Baffert has Flashback, War Academy, and Belvin. It seems like
everyday at Gulfstream we could add another new winner to the list.
Overanalyze, Violence, and Goldencents are impressive winners of more than one race
and are the rightful early favorites for the Derby. However the current N2L
list seems like a great place to find alternatives to the favorites.