Kentucky Derby 2020 Radar: Caracaro's a Gulfstream standout

January 12, 2020 10:47am
Kentucky Derby 2020 Radar: Caracaro's a Gulfstream standout
Photo: Courtesy of Gulfstream Park

Among Gulfstream Park’s 11 races Saturday were four events for 3-year-old maidens — two races at six furlongs, and two more at a mile.

Caracaro emerged from one of the longer flights a six-length winner and the newest name on our 2020 Kentucky Derby Radar, which seeks to identify the type of horses fit to go for points preps down the line.

Trained by Gustavo Delgado, who went to his second Derby last year with Bodexpress, the Uncle Mo colt pressed outside of a pace-setting longshot through opening fractions of 23.7 and 46.03 seconds.

Caracaro took over midway through the turn, then widened his winning margin to six lengths. Jockey Emisael Jaramillo only needed the stick a few times to keep his lightly raced mount straight.

Picked up for $95,000 as a weanling, Caracaro runs for Global Thoroughbred and Top Racing, two-thirds of Bodexpress’ ownership group. The colt, who’s out of a War Front mare, ran second to a Jorge Navarro-trained sprinter going seven furlongs on debut before his breakout score Saturday.

Caracaro’s final time for the mile was 1:35.16, nearly two seconds faster than 3-year-old Kingmeister’s 1:36.92 under the same conditions earlier in the card. The Beyer Speed Figure team awarded Caracaro a 92.

RELATED: More names to know on the Kentucky Derby Radar

Delgado’s barn has another to watch on the Derby trail in Soros, the Smooth Air Stakes winner who will be looking to go long this spring, potentially doing so out of town in Fair Grounds’ Risen Star (G2) at 1 1/8 miles.

The Gulfstream Park West-based Caracaro meanwhile will have allowance options for non-winners of two races along with the three local points preps: the Feb. 1 Holy Bull (G3), Feb. 29 Fountain of Youth (G2) and March 28 Florida Derby (G1).

Saturday’s six-furlong maiden winners both appeared ready to move forward into a longer allowance event. In the opener, Todd Pletcher-trained Silver Ratio (Liam’s Map) eked out a half-length win before Violent City (Violence) scored a rare debut win for the Ian Wilkes barn in Race 4. Those winners ran nearly identical final times of 1:10.40 and 1:10.51, respectively.

Gulfstream also carded a 1 1/16-mile allowance optional claimer on Saturday won in style by New York-bred Ny Traffic, a newcomer to red-hot trainer Saffie Joseph Jr.’s care. Also looking like a Derby trail prospect, he took them all the way through modest fractions to win by 6 3/4 lengths but received a more meager 77 Beyer.


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

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