It’s 11 months until the 2015 Kentucky Derby, but hopes and dreams of winning the 141st Run for the Roses start next Sunday at Santa Anita with the running of the $125,000 Santa Anita Juvenile for 2-year-olds at 5 ½ furlongs.
Doug O’Neill, who won the 2012 Kentucky Derby with I’ll Have Another, has two prospects for the Juvenile in Henry’s Holiday and Wake Up Nick, impressive winners of their debut races.
Henry’s Holiday, a Kentucky-bred son of Harlan’s Holiday, won at first asking going 4 ½ furlongs on May 9, winning by 3 ¼ lengths at 9-1. Wake Up Nick was less of a secret, winning by 9 ¼ lengths as the 1-2 favorite on May 1, also at 4 ½ furlongs. A California-bred son of Cindago owned by J. Paul Reddam, who also owned I’ll Have Another, Wake Up Nick likewise scored at 4 ½ furlongs.
“They’re both very talented,” said O’Neill, a three-time Santa Anita training king who held a 22-16 advantage over Peter Miller through 30 days of the Spring Meet. “To have won first time out shows they’ve got special quality.
“They’re still very much babies at this time of year, but we’re just excited about both of them.”
Henry’s Holiday and Wake Up Nick each worked five furlongs Sunday, the former going in 1:01.40 and the latter in 1:00.60.