Kentucky Derby 2018 Daily: Enticed a legacy for late mare

March 14, 2018 04:16pm
Kentucky Derby 2018 Daily: Enticed a legacy for late mare
Photo: Robert Mauhar/NYRA

Welcome to Horse Racing Nation’s Kentucky Derby Dailywhich will each day leading up to the May 5 race at Churchill Downs detail all the news and notes related to contenders in one convenient space.

Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin’s pair of Godolphin-owned 2018 Kentucky Derby hopefuls have switched courses in recent days.

Avery Island appeared the top prospect with multiple stakes wins and a target race, the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby, as his last prep before a trip to Churchill Downs. But in what McLaughlin called an “unusual situation,” the colt showed lameness after his most-recent work and is on his way to Kentucky for further evaluation.

Meanwhile, Enticed bounced back from a flat effort in Gulfstream Park’s Holy Bull, shipping North to win Saturday’s Grade 3 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct. The colt’s 121.6 Brisnet Class Rating is best so far in the major preps, even better than Bolt d’Oro and McKinzie, the two West Coast stars who also ran over the weekend.

Despite the setback for Avery Island, McLaughlin said Tuesday that “where we stand today is pretty neat.” And that’s because he also trained It’s Tricky, the Grade 1-winning dam of Enticed, who’s by Medaglia d’Oro.

It’s Tricky died not long ago due to foaling complications along with her Pioneerof the Nile colt. She also produced un-raced 4-year-old Medaglia d’Oro filly Too Complicated and has a 2-year-old filly by Ghostzapper that could make it to the races later this year.

For now, and likely for good, Enticed is It’s Tricky’s legacy as a broodmare.

“Its sad what happened to her,” McLaughlin said. “Things happen. But it’s a neat story for him to be a homebred after she was one of the best fillies we’ve trained — we being Team McLaughlin. It’s great to have this colt out of her.”

Enticed has the points now to get in the Kentucky Derby field, and he’ll stretch back out from the Gotham’s one-turn mile in his final prep, the Grade 2 Wood Memorial.

“That’s probably the way we will go,” McLaughlin said. “He came out of the race in good shape. He’s back in Florida. He’ll go to the track (Wednesday) and train on. It was an excellent race.

“We had said that the Holy Bull was unfortunate that the one hole, he didn’t like it down inside taking dirt and being crowded. The opposite happened Saturday in the Gotham. He was in (post) nine of nine and had a clean race. It was exactly what we wanted to see.”

Justify’d reactions?

In his second start Sunday, Justify won by 6 1/2 lengths under a hold going two turns for the first time. And it’s been interesting to see the debate continue about his legitimacy as a Kentucky Derby prospect.

Certainly, he appears to have the speed, though possibly not enough seasoning.

The Scat Daddy colt earned a 104 Beyer Speed Figure upon debut, and a 100 for the follow-up effort. Brisnet saw him speed up, from a 100 to a 104. He dropped from a 131 to 125 from TimeformUS.

“He currently has 0 Kentucky Derby points and is attempting to become the first horse since Apollo in 1882 to win the Kentucky Derby without having raced as a two-year-old,” said Brisnet’s Ed DeRosa, “but there’s no denying he’s fast, as he joins Kentucky Oaks hopeful Paved as the only three-year-olds this year to register multiple triple-digit Speed Ratings.”

Added TimeformUS’ Craig Milkowski, a 2018 Kentucky Derby Media Poll voter: “Justify showed on Sunday that he will be a force to be reckoned with as he joins the Derby fray next out.”

A look at the fields

The draws for both of this Saturday’s points-paying Kentucky Derby preps go down Wednesday.

Turfway Park revealed that its Grade 3, $200,000 Jeff Ruby Steaks — the lone remaining domestic prep on synthetic could attract an overflow field with as many as 12 allowed in the gate. Renamed this year, and formerly known as the Spiral Stakes, the race will award its Top 4 finishers with points on a 20-8-4-2 scale. While its role has been diminished on the trail, the race falls earlier, enough so that the winner could pick another spot before the first Saturday in May.

The Jeff Ruby Steaks probables:

We’ve seen no changes to the prospective Grade 2, $900,000 Rebel Stakes field since originally listing it on Sunday. The race marks Solomini’s 3-year-old debut, and plenty of attention will be paid to Todd Pletcher-trained Magnum Moon who has a nearly identical resume to Justify. Points for this one will go on a 50-20-10-5 scale.

The Rebel Stakes probables:

Derby links

 Javier Castellano has committed to ride Bolt d’Oro in the Santa Anita Derby, the Los Angeles Times reported. The move is interesting given he also rides two other top Derby hopefuls, including one who may run in that same prep.

 After a weekend in which we saw each of Bolt d’Oro, McKinzie and Justify in action, who’s the Kentucky Derby favorite? See the latest Las Vegas Kentucky Derby odds.

 HRN’s Candice Curtis continued her Kentucky Derby pedigree insights (look for it each Tuesday!) with a rundown on Quip, the upset Tampa Bay Derby winner. Does he want the Derby distance?

 It’s on to the Grade 2 Wood Memorial for Firenze Fire, who’s close on points as of now, but also in need of a break. Trainer Jason Servis discussed the decision with us.

In case you missed it…

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