Kentucky Derby 2020 Radar: Mr. Monomoy in at Fair Grounds

December 15, 2019 11:23am
Kentucky Derby 2020 Radar: Mr. Monomoy in at Fair Grounds
Photo: Coady Photography

They call the marathon 14-race card “Super Santa Saturday” at Fair Grounds, where draws are already done for a Dec. 21 slate that’s a gift to fans of the 2020 Kentucky Derby trail.

Maiden special weight, allowance and stakes flights in New Orleans could each produce starters for Fair Grounds series of preps, which have taken on a new look this season. The Jan. 18 Lecomte (G3) was lengthened to 1 1/16 miles, the Feb. 15 Risen Star (G2) to 1 1/8 miles and the March 21 Louisiana Derby (G2) to 1 3/16 miles.

Here’s a glance at the races, with an emphasis on the final two events for 2-year-old…

Race 4: This 1 1/16-mile maiden race lacks standouts on their race form, but two colts enter with connections sure hoping they start running to purchase prices. West Point Thoroughbreds and partners campaign Cavalry Charge, a $375,000 son of Honor Code who has hit the board once in three starts for trainer Dallas Stewart. Cernan, a $500,000 Malibu Moon colt from the Steve Asmussen barn, might have more room to improve after breaking slow on debut. This marks his second start.

Race 8: Another maiden event, this one at six furlongs, features connections with plenty of past Fair Grounds success. Bret Calhoun and Chester Thomas’ Allied Racing will send out Ready to Roll, a $270,000 son of City Zip from the same team that saw By My Standards win the 2019 Louisiana Derby. Asmussen has first call rider Ricardo Santana Jr. on the Stonestreet Stables homebred Paul With All, a son of Atreides out of a Pioneerof the Nile mare.

Race 10: The $75,000 Sugar Bowl Stakes sees Shashashakemeup on schedule for trainer Keith Desormeaux, for whom “the goal is definitely the Derby,” he said after the Calumet Farm runner rolled to a 5 1/2-length victory first out on Nov. 17 at Churchill Downs. In to challenge is Gold Street. The Asmussen trainee took four starts to break his maiden but then drew off to win by seven lengths Nov. 23 over a sloppy Churchill track. The first four in last year’s Sugar Bowl — Gray Attempt, Manny Wag, Hog Creek Hustle and Super Steed — all went on to the Derby trail.

Race 13: If the Sugar Bowl ran longer than 3/4 of a mile, Mr. Monomoy may have landed there as a favorite. Instead, the younger half-brother of champion Monomoy Girl will run back from his front-running maiden score at Churchill against eight fellow winners in the 1-mile, 70-yard allowance optional claimer. Three other last-out, well-connected Churchill winners landed here, too: $600,000 colt Sharecropper (Al Stall Jr./Spendthrift Farm); $285,00 Lynn’s Map (Mark Casse/Dubai interests); and $290,000 Race Driver (Casse/John Oxley). As for Mr. Monomoy, he picked up a new jockey in Florent Geroux and a new style Nov. 16 under the Twin Spires, going on to win easily for the Brad Cox barn.


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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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