Kentucky Derby 2019 Radar: Hidden Scroll dazzles on debut

Kentucky Derby 2019 Radar: Hidden Scroll dazzles on debut
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire

Time will tell what an open-lengths, easy-as-can-be debut win means over Gulfstream Park’s track on Pegasus World Cup day. Left sloppy and sealed, it’s also drying out a bit. That means some speed-favoring results.

Hidden Scroll, however, simply looked like a monster unleashed in the fourth race, a maiden special weight event going a one-turn mile. And he has every reason to be on the 2019 Kentucky Derby radar moving forward.

The Juddmonte Farms homebred is trained by Bill Mott and had Joel Rosario in the irons — connections don’t get better than that — plus he’s a son of Hard Spun out of an Empire Maker mare.

From the inside post, Hidden Scroll emerged an absolutely dominant winner in a field of 13.

The colt flew up the rail to enter a pace duel with Robintakincharge, fended that one off into the turn and built a large lead even before the top of the stretch — all of this at odds of 8-1. After clicking off fractions of 22.53, 44.75 and 1:09.43, he was asked a bit late by Rosario, then coasted under the wire in a final time of 1:34.82.

His margin of victory was 14 lengths.

It’s still worth noting that only once since 1882 has a horse gone on to win the Kentucky Derby without a start at age 2. But Hidden Scroll’s debut score had Justify vibes about it, coming from totally off the radar to poise himself for a big spring.

Mott trains a trio of other horses we could see on the trail this spring in Mucho, the Hopeful Stakes (G1) runner-up; Country House, another recent Gulfstream Park winner; and Tacitus, the first foal out of champion Close Hatches who broke his maiden in November.

Mott spoke about each in a recent edition of our Derby Daily report.

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 ( if you know of a horse that should be on the radar.

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