Posted Wednesday, April 15, 2020
From the Steve Asmussen barn, Earner is one to watch off his maiden win.
Posted Sunday, April 12, 2020
Shooters Shoot, a name on the rise from the Peter Eurton barn, is hitting the trail.
Posted Saturday, April 11, 2020
Shooters Shoot and Pneumatic emerged in allowance company Saturday at Oaklawn.
Posted Monday, April 6, 2020
Shashashakemeup is back in the picture after a rallying Oaklawn allowance win.
Posted Saturday, March 28, 2020
Japan's trail has a new leader by Will Take Charge exiting Saturday's final scheduled prep.
Posted Friday, March 27, 2020

Were it not for the presence of more experienced Todd Pletcher stablemates in Saturda’s Florida Derby (G1), perhaps Money Moves would have been a fit for the level.

Instead, the son of Candy Ride landed in a consolation race of sorts, a loaded Friday allowance at Gulfstream Park that figured to produce a 2020 Kentucky Derby hopeful, and maybe two.

Off a local debut victory Feb. 15, Money Moves doubled down when stretching from six furlongs to a mile, absorbing pressure near the front end before prevailing with a rail-skimming ride.

Aside from the May 2 Arkansas Derby (G1), there isn’t a race on the calendar for an improving 3-year-old such as this one. But owners Robert LaPenta and Bortolazzo Stable need not be in a hurry now with the Kentucky Derby postponed until Sept. 5 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

A $975,000 purchase as a 2-year-old in training, Money Moves was away well Friday and up to challenge for the lead inside of Ournationonparade, who clicked through opening fractions of 23.04 and 45.66 about a neck in front of the eventual winner.

Edge of Fire, an Ontario-bred first out winner who looks like a Queen’s Plate candidate, ranged up three-wide off the turn seeking the lead. But Money Moves had plenty in reserve once he cut the corner, showing a nice turn of foot to blast in front and finish up in 1:35.30, more than two lengths clear of Edge of Fire.

Indicating Money Moves partook in contentious pace, Ournationonparade faded to finish sixth.

Other well-regarded runners in the field were Pletcher’s Silver Ratio, trying winners for the second time; Bill Mott’s turf-to-dirt trainee Sprawl; and Soros, a local stakes winner who was actually entered in the Florida Derby before connections opted for this spot.

As for Pletcher’s chances Saturday, he has Gouverneur Morris and Candy Tycoon going in the 1 1/8-mile Florida Derby, a race he has won a record five times.

Posted Monday, March 23, 2020
Get an early look at the prospective Florida Derby field led by Tiz the Law.
Posted Sunday, March 22, 2020
Mystic Guide figures to be Triple Crown-nominated after a smashing maiden win.
Posted Friday, March 20, 2020
Gouverneur Morris may be Florida-Derby bound out of his final work.
Posted Monday, March 16, 2020
With a handful of legitimate prospects for the 2020 Kentucky Derby, Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert appears ready to take a divide-and-conquer approach to the next round of preps.

That includes potentially shipping dual graded-stakes winner Thousand Words to Aqueduct for the Wood Memorial (G2) on April 4. The nine-furlong test offers Derby qualifying points on a 100-40-20-10 basis to its top four-finishers.

Owned by B. Wayne Hughes' Spendthrift Farm in partnership with Dennis Albaugh's Albaugh Family Stable, the bay son of Pioneerof the Nile was handed his first loss when fourth in the San Felipe (G2) on March 7 at Santa Anita last out, a race that was won by stablemate Authentic.

Currently ninth on the leaderboard with 25 qualifying points, Thousand Words broke his maiden in October at Santa Anita before stretching out to two turns to win the Los Alamitos Futurity (G2) on Dec. 7 and the Robert B. Lewis (G3) on Feb. 1, earning 10 points for each race.

"Bob has so many prospects, and he needs to separate them," said Jason Loutsch, racing manager for Albaugh Family Stables. "He said after the San Felipe that Authentic would stay there. We may need more points, and it makes sense that the Wood and Bluegrass [on April 4 at Keeneland] are the two options."

Loutsch spoke before Monday's news that Keeneland had called off its spring meet, and also ahead of speculation that Churchill Downs will push the Derby back to Sept. 5 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Baffert has won the Wood Memorial with Congaree (2001) and Bob and John (2006), both of whom were owned by the late Bob McNair's Stonerside Farm.   

Thousand Words is the first horse that Baffert has trained for Albaugh, and Loutsch sung high praises regarding his experience with the storied conditioner.

"He's a true horseman and he's a businessman," Loutsch said. "
I've been thoroughly impressed with his operations. His communication with his owners has been fantastic. It seems like the second the horse crosses the finish line, he's calling or texting his owners."

Thousand Words was a $1 million acquisition from the 2018 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, where he was consigned by Brookdale Sales. Bred in Florida by Hardacre Farm, Thousand Words is out of the three-time graded stakes winning Pomeroy broodmare Pomeroys Pistol.

"He was just gorgeous. The pedigree was fantastic. His appearance met all our criteria," Loutsch said. "When we bought him, Spendthrift asked if we cared if we sent him to the West Coast. Spendthrift likes to spread their horses out a bit."

Baffert speculated that the grind-it-out sort of colt came too close to the pace in the San Felipe, offering up nothing in the lane of his first defeat.

"The first two races went according to plan," Loutsch said. "We have full confidence that he'll bounce back in his next race." 
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About the Derby Radar

Back for the 2020 Kentucky Derby trail, Horse Racing Nation's Derby Radar seeks to identify promising maiden, allowance and even stakes winners who could target points-paying preps down the line. We'll cover the buzz horses, of course, then using a systematic approach based on past years' Derby contenders identify other talented colts moving up the ladder.

Did we miss one? Email editor Jonathan Lintner ([email protected]) if you know of a horse that should be on the radar.

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