Goldencents, ridden to perfection by Kevin Krigger, came out of his
length and a half victory in Saturday’s Grade III Sham Stakes in top
shape but no decision has been made on the colt’s next race on the
Triple Crown trail.
“No plans right now,” trainer Doug O’Neill said Sunday morning.
“But he ate up great and his legs are ice cold. We’ll meet up with the
owners over lunch in 10 days and map out an agenda.”
Goldencents picked up 10 Kentucky Derby qualifying points for
his Sham score and is the current point leader in the Run for the Roses
with 24 overall.
From the outset, Saturday’s Sham had the look and feel of a
major derby prep as Goldencents had to deal with two Bob Baffert
trainees early, as Baffert’s Den’s Legacy, who drew the rail and was
ridden by Garrett Gomez, came outward and bumped Goldencents leaving
the gate. Baffert’s Manando, who broke from the outside with Martin
Garcia, cut to the rail, causing Krigger to steady off heels while
having to settle for second position into the Club House turn.
“We thought that with Baffert having two horses in the race, one
closer (second-place finisher Den’s Legacy) and one speed horse
(third-place finisher Manando), we figured Garcia would send really
hard,” said O’Neill. “Kevin said he could sense leaving the gate that
Garcia was doing that, so he wasn’t going to get caught up in a crazy
pace duel . . . As the waters get deeper, you’ve got to be versatile and
I think Goldencents and Kevin showed their versatility today.”
O’Neill’s recent 3-year-old acquisition Mudflats, a
disappointing seventh after attending the pace to the three-quarter
marker in Saturday’s mile and 70 yards Grade II Jerome Stakes at
Aqueduct, also came out of the race none the worse for wear.
The gray son of Tapit was beaten some 16 lengths by 11-10 favorite Vyjack.
“He came out great,” O’Neill said. “He’ll fly to California
Tuesday or Wednesday and hopefully we’ll regroup and develop a plan.”