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Dueling Down The Stretch

Kentucky Derby 2013: She Said Itsmyluckyday

Itsmyluckyday 615 X 400
Photo: Eclipse Spotswire
As Kentucky Derby 139 draws near everyone is asking themselves who is the top candidate, who has the best chance to get to the wire first. Many look at this year’s class and are not impressed with the speed figures thrown by many, as there are few horses who have even run a single triple digit Beyer, heading into this year’s Derby.
Even Orb, the top choice of many, including Chris Sorenson of The Dark Horse, has yet to even go above a 97 Speed figure. One horse, however, who has impressed with raw time and speed figures is Itsmyluckyday. The son of Lawyer Ron has run some of the fastest and most impressive races on the road to the Kentucky Derby, when he won the Gulfstream Park Derby and the Holy Bull. In the later he beat Shanghai Bobby, who at the time was the unbeaten juvenile champion, and did so in record time.
Besides his speed there is plenty more to like about this strapping young colt, like his experience. Itsmyluckyday has started 10 times, which is almost unheard of at this point in a top standing, three year old’s career. He has raced at four different tracks, over two different surfaces, and has only ever come out of the top four once. Despite barely getting a break, after turning three, the colt ran a career best race in his 2013 bow, only to come back and top that performance in his next start, less than three weeks later. This tells me that this colt thrives on racing and will only get better the more he runs, where others may falter.
Orb may have the better pedigree of the two, however, pedigree is not what wins races. The horse does that, and the better prepared the horse the better chance they have to win. I would say there are few horses better prepared than Itsmyluckyday. After running hard for nine starts, Plesa backed off his charge and waited 9 weeks for the Florida Derby. The colt was noticeably rusty, after having the longest freshening of his career. His speed figures, while still good, were below the powerhouse performance he’d given us earlier in the season and instead of kicking clear once passing the leader he idled and was passed by Orb.
His final prep was far from his most impressive, but it is not what you want to have your horse peaking in the Florida Derby, five weeks from the big prize. Plesa let his charge shake off the rust and get a taste of real competition again. In addition to that he’s been giving Itsmyluckyday routine one mile breezes, over the deep and sandy Calder surface. Plesa has masterfully brought this colt along, training the stamina into him, something other trainers neglect to do.
Looking at Itsmyluckyday jogging under the Twin Spires, this past weekend, I had to say he looked like a keg of dynamite ready to blow. He simply looks fantastic and knowing how Plesa has brought him along, knowing the experience he already has over his opponents, knowing that he on his best day is among the fastest of his generation, I have to say he is the one to watch. This is a colt that is sitting on a monster effort and should not be underestimated.


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Older Comments about Kentucky Derby 2013: She Said Itsmyluckyday...

Funny Cide had the lead turning for home in the Wood, had it for a short time in the stretch before Empire Maker passed him. It was not by daylight, but under a hand ride. So, if we are being picky, it happened exactly 10 years ago.
Interesting angle, but if Orb doesn't run his race for any of many possible reasons, IMLD could be best of the rest at a fat price.
Dani, my reason for remaining unconvinced on Itsmyluckyday has more to do with Derby history. Perhaps my short-term memory is failing me, but I'm pretty sure there haven't been very many Derby winners who ran their last prep the way IMLD did--getting the lead at the top of the stretch, only to be passed and beaten by daylight. Can you name very many?
Me too>> WWII humor :(.
I have actually never been much of a fan of NI amino. Don't like tapit's over a route of ground and he always seems to hang, never going by the horses. If he proves me wrong then he does, but the longshot i like is Palace Malice.
If they dawdle up front, there will be a battle for position in *the second wave* {like that term, dani, are you a Normandy Invasion fan? } >>It’ll definitely be the place to be for many of the good ones.
Andy, he hasn't led in any one of his races this year. Sat just off the pace in all of them, he actually might have sat the farthest he's ever had in the FL Derby. Again, i emphisize this horse is used to racing, and came into this race off the longest freshening he's ever had, meaning he was probably rusty. He's put on weight since the race, so i have heard, is bouncing over the track, and shook off the rust in his last start. He won't be on the lead, will probably sit just off of Goldencents, Oxbow and Falling Sky. He is a second wave horse, and it's normally those horses or ones in the third group that do the best in the Derby.
I think he has a big shot to win and he will be at good odds. I was in Lexington this weekend and the local weather reports were for a lot of rain Derby Day, an off track might help his chances.
an animal does NOT have to physically be in front to get the designation early.
Both Barbaro and the Brown out franken colt were up there
Only one front-runner has won the Derby since 2000. I don't see IMLD carrying his speed for 10F.
Florida Derby Fractions were slow at best. IMLD was never more than 3 lengths behind the leader. He got the lead in the turn but Orb run him down going away. IMLD should improve off his lsat race but he will then be running against Orb who soundly beat him and several others I think are better. Givin a good post and a clean race he has a chance to hit the board. But win, No! But I have seen stanger things happen in the KD. I will play him for 3-4th.
Have always liked him and because he's by Lawyer Ron makes him an emotional favorite for me. Hope he does really well Saturday!
I like him a lot, but he's definitely not my Derby pick. I can't even really find a fault with him, he's just not my favorite.
Thanks guys :) Always have liked this one. Don't think he has limitations, just was rusty off a long layoff. He looks fantastic, and to be sitting on a big race.
Lucky got a *tactical* ride last time but should be forwardly placed and..>>great write up, great chance.
I like how he performed first off that layoff last time out. He certainly will be fresh and at very playable odds.
I give Laura props just for picking the one with much better odds.
I completely agree :) He is looking fantastic
i agree with everything you have said,,,,hope for a good gate position,,,,,14 15 16 17???????

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Meet Laura Pugh

Laura Pugh got her first taste of Thoroughbred Racing when she watched War Emblem take the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes in 2001. After that point, she fell in love with the sport, reading every piece of news and information she could get her fingertips on.

Laura has a long history with horses in general, taking her first ride on her fifth birthday, with her first official riding lesson when she was eight years old. Both years she attended college she joined her school’s equestrian team, first at the now closed Virginia Intermont College, then again at Delaware State University. Unfortunately, after back and shoulder injuries, she had to hang up her saddle. 

In 2010 Laura came to Horse Racing Nation, but soon branched out to other media outlets, such as Lady and the Track,, and USRacing. She currently works at a local newspaper as a community reporter, while making a return to Horse Racing Nation, where she will once again feature her opinionated columns on the latest in horse racing. 

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