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Derby Radar

Kentucky Derby 2019 Radar: Improbable to make stakes debut

In two of the last three years, the winner of Churchill Downs’ Street Sense stakes has gone on to run in the Kentucky Derby. The horse who took up residence in Justify’s stall at Bob Baffert’s barn — a sign of expectations? — will get his chance at continuing the trend.

Elliott Walden, president and CEO of WinStar Farm, said Monday that Improbable will ship with Baffert’s Breeders’ Cup runners and go in the $100,000 Street Sense run on “Future Stars Friday,” Nov. 2.

“He looks like he’ll go long,” Walden said. “He’s got a beautiful stride — out of an A.P. Indy mare.”

The son of City Zip, whose dam is Rare Event, broke his maiden on debut Sept. 29 at Santa Anita Park. A $200,000 auction purchase, Improbable sat behind horses before out-dueling Stretford End, bought by his connections for $600,000.

The final time for six furlongs was 1:10.44.

That same day at Gulfstream Park, the connections of WinStar Farm, China Horse Club and SF Racing unveiled another promising 2-year-old, Bulletin. The Todd Pletcher trainee won the Hollywood Beach Stakes on grass by a widening seven lengths to earn his trip to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint.

Could Bulletin — also by City Zip — have a switch to dirt in his future?

“We’ll wait to see how he runs here,” Walden said of the Juvenile Turf Sprint, also on Nov. 2 at Churchill Downs. “That was an impressive race, and we’re excited about him as well.”

Both Improbable and Bulletin checked all the boxes signaling a Kentucky Derby Radar prospect at first writing.

As for the Street Sense Stakes, the mile race was won in 2015 by Mo Tom and 2016 by McCraken. In 2017, Lone Sailor and Bravazo, who also went on to the Kentucky Derby, finished second and third, respectively. Overall, the Street Sense has produced a Derby runner each year since first run in 2013.


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About the Derby Radar

New for the 2019 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 next out. 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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