Wildcat Red and Intense Holiday garnered 50 Kentucky Derby 2014 points each in Saturday’s Fountain of Youth and Risen Star.
Wildcat Red and General A Rod threw down the
gauntlet right out of the gate and battled all the way to the wire in
the FOY (101 BSF). It was a virtual replay of their GP Derby battle but
Wildcat Red got his nose down at the finish this time. Both are quality
speed horses with stamina questions to answer. They were helped by the
speed friendly oval on Saturday.
Beaten post-time favorite Top Billing rallied to finish a respectable 3rd.
To his credit, he broke from a disadvantageous outer post in a full
field over a speed favoring surface. He ended up sitting a decent trip
and had every chance to catch the top two but failed to do so. Longer
distances and a fair track will help his cause in the future but it
looks like the late runner needs multiple factors in his favor to beat
Last year, Orb showed class, versatility, and the ability to close
into slow, fast, and moderate fractions and win vs. allowance foes and
in the FOY and Florida Derby at the speed favoring Gulfstream oval for
Shug McGaughey. Top Billing has not shown that same adaptability, but of
all the horses to run in the FOY and Risen Star, he might be the most
likely to make some noise on the first Saturday in May, especially with a
strong pace at 10f. I am still not sure that he is top class and he
will have to show more in the graded ranks next time.