Kentucky Derby 2020 Radar: Ashaar professional on debut

October 13, 2019 10:03am
Kentucky Derby 2020 Radar: Ashaar professional on debut
Photo: Courtesy of NYRA

After Ashaar ran to a professional 2 1/2-length victory Saturday at Belmont Park, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin joked that the Into Mischief colt had “to overcome my first-time out training.”

Yes, usually they need one coming out of this barn.

“Most of them that win first time out are graded stakes winners,” McLaughlin added in an interview with Maggie Wolfendale, “so hopefully he fits that category.”

This debut winner looks like a horse we’ll be hearing about into the spring, putting him on the 2020 Kentucky Derby Radar, which seeks to highlight the type of 2-year-olds fit to jump into points-paying prep races.

McLaughlin’s last two to make it to the starting gate the first Saturday in May -- Mohaymen (fourth, 2016) and Enticed (14th, 2018) -- also won first out. None of his contenders in the last decade debuted out of the exacta. Talent is there, and the training program leads you to believe they'll improve.

Running for Shadwell Stable, Ashaar was a $650,000 yearling purchase who seemed to do everything right Saturday.

At the seven-furlong distance, he could have been facing both future sprinters and routers. Ashaar broke on top, then did well to settled in second under jockey Joe Bravo. Extreme Force went out to lead through opening fractions of 22.98 and 46.31 before Ashaar ranged up outside, headed him leaving the turn and went on to hit the wire under wraps.

The final time was 1:22.52.

“He ran very well. He’s always trained well. Well-bred,” McLaughlin said. “Joe did a great job. He broke well, then sat second and finished up great. Great sire and nice horse.”

Ashaar’s out of the Coronado’s Quest mare Well Spring, who also produced, among others, Mendip. That half-sibling won a number of two-turn races in Dubai, lastly the 2012 Al Maktoum Challenge Round 2 (G2) that leads into the Dubai World Cup (G1).

Their are sprint influences in the pedigree as well, however. His second dam, Shaposa Springs, won the 1995 Test (G1) and 1996 Ballerina (G1).

As far as what’s next, Ashaar certainly looks like a stakes candidate. The Nashua (G3) on Nov. 3 at Aqueduct  — Mohaymen once won that one — precedes points-paying Derby preps over the winter in New York. McLaughlin also two years ago took Churchill Downs’ Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2) with Enticed.

This makes two on the 2020 Derby Radar for McLaughlin and Shadwell. Ajaaweed, a Curlin colt who excelled in a Sept. 11 maiden event at Belmont, ran fourth last weekend in Keeneland’s Breeders’ Futurity (G1) and looks like a candidate for the same races as Ashaar moving forward.


comments powered by Disqus

Related Pages

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.

Best of the Blogs

Top Stories