Purple Egg, the gelding named for the way Goodwood Racing partner Sven Johnson's wife looked in a purple sweater while pregnant, looks well on his way to making the starting gate of the 2013 Kentucky Derby. That was not always the case, though. It took the unusually named son of Lion Heart three tries to even attempt to break his maiden due to bad behavior. The first time he went to the starting gate he reared up and ran off. The second time he turned on his lead pony and knocked the pony girl off despite trainer Jane Cibelli walking out with him.
Such bad behavior resulted in Purple Egg being gelded. The surgery made a world of difference, and the third time became the charm. Sent off as the second choice in his debut, Purple Egg dueled through grueling fractions of 21.95 and 46.11. Such fractions would have burnt out most first time starters, but Purple Egg did not get that memo. Instead, he drew off in the stretch to win by 4 3/4 lengths. The 3-YO gelding following up his dazzling debut with a convincing allowance win and a hard fought stakes win, making him 3 for 3 at three different tracks.
The Gulfstream Park Derby was to have been Purple Egg's 2013 bow, but the gelding missed the race after spiking a fever. His next race could either be the Pasco at Tampa Bay Downs or the Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream, but since he is stabled at Tampa Bay and being pointed to that track's big Kentucky Derby preps, Cibelli will probably choose to run her charge in the Pasco. Regardless of what his next start is, his road to the Kentucky Derby is set to go through Tampa Bay, a road that should get him to the starting gate on the first Saturday of May with little to no trouble.
Over the last ten years, the Sam F. Davis Stakes and the Tampa Bay Derby have not exactly been known for showcasing true Derby talent. Of the last ten winners of the Sam F. Davis, six did not even start in the Derby, and Bluegrass Cat's second place Derby finish was the closest the Sam F. Davis came to producing a Kentucky Derby winner. The Tampa Bay Derby has fared a little better. In 2007, Street Sense won the Tampa Bay Derby en route to a Kentucky Derby victory. The TB Derby also produced the 2009 third place finisher and the 2004 fourth place finisher, Musket Man and Limehouse respectively.
Given such recent history in Cibelli's chosen prep races for Purple Egg, I see no reason why The Egg shouldn't reach the Kentucky Derby starting gate with at least 60 points after winning both races. Though he has yet to race beyond 6 furlongs, distance should not be a problem. After all, his sire ran a good second behind stand out Smarty Jones in the 2004 Kentucky Derby, was a winner at 9 furlongs, and competitive at most traditional route distances up to 10 furlongs. Yes, he may be the Purple Egg, but right now, he's looking pretty golden.