Kentucky Derby 2020 Radar: Great Power's strong on debut

September 30, 2019 12:43pm
Kentucky Derby 2020 Radar: Great Power's strong on debut
Photo: Benoit

Fewer than three weeks ago, the team of Qatar Racing and trainer Simon Callaghan went to $1.2 million at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale for a son of Medaglia d’Oro. The hope with him is for an ownership group with deep European ties to land a Kentucky Derby contender.

Perhaps Qatar Racing chairman Sheikh Fahad Al Thani won’t have to wait that long — not after another of his horses, Great Power, looked like a real runner in his Sunday debut.

A son of Blame also campaigned by JSM Equine and Lewis Lakin, Great Power rolled to a 3 1/4-length victory at Santa Anita Park in maiden special weight company, earning a spot on our 2020 Kentucky Derby Radar, which seeks to highlight the type of 2-year-old winners who are fit to jump into points-paying prep races.

“He took a little bit of time to come to hand,” Callaghan told TVG before Sunday’s race. “He was battling some shins earlier in the year. We just backed off him — gave him some time — and he’s really come into himself recently.

“I expect him to run a good race today, but I think he’s a horse that’s going to build on today’s performance.”

With a clear, outside trip, Great Power stalked a pair of dueling leaders under jockey Flavien Prat before positioning three-wide into the turn. Longshot Royal Thunder dropped out of contention to the inside, setting up a stretch duel between Great Power and Thunder Code, a second out runner for trainer John Shirreffs who showed a strong closing kick to be third on debut.

The Top 2 were well in front of third-place Three Footer, who finished 10 lengths back of Great Power, who hit the wire in 1:17.07 for 6 1/2 furlongs over a slow Santa Anita surface.

The bay colt is out of an Unbridled’s Song mare, Lifeinthefastlane, who sold for six figures as a 2-year-old in training but didn’t win a race. Among Lifeinthefastlane’s other progeny are Eightyfiveinafifty and March, both graded stakes winners. March is also by Blame and, after winning the 2015 Woody Stephens (G2), stretched to be second in the Hollywood Derby (G1) going nine furlongs on the Del Mar turf.

The Breeders’ Cup comes back quickly, and there’s a question of whether Great Power would qualify off a win that grants him $30,000 in earnings. Del Mar’s Nov. 16 Bob Hope Stakes (G3) is next for 2-year-olds in California before the Dec. 5 Los Alamitos Futurity (G2).


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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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