Kentucky Derby 2020 Radar: Untitled 'could be exceptional'

January 11, 2020 11:10am
Kentucky Derby 2020 Radar: Untitled 'could be exceptional'
Photo: Courtesy of Gulfstream Park
Trainer Mark Casse’s pointing one of his barn’s newcomers to an upcoming Gulfstream Park stakes that could springboard him to the 2020 Kentucky Derby trail.

Untitled, a recent private purchase by Gary Barber, put in his first workout at the Casse Training Center on Jan. 4, traveling a half mile in 48 seconds. Casse was impressed enough to book the Khozan colt for the Grade 3, $150,000 Swale Stakes on Feb. 1.

“With Untitled, we’re keeping our fingers crossed,” Casse said. “He still has a lot to prove but he does look like he could be exceptional.”

Previously trained by Ralph Nicks, the 3-year-old colt drew off by 11 lengths in his Dec. 14 debut when facing fellow Florida-breds at six furlongs.Barber purchased a majority share of the colt while Michael Sebastian, part of the previous ownership group, retained a minority stake. 

“This time of year, (the Kentucky Derby trail) is what everybody is looking for,” Casse said. “When we looked at him in order to buy him, we wanted to know if he was a two-turn horse. He has everything you would want.

“He’s 16.2 (hands). He’s a big, leggy horse and a great-moving horse. You would think, just looking at his physique, he’s a two-turn horse.”

Casse doesn’t hold reservations about Untitled’s pedigree. The colt is out of the Elusive Quality mare Cindy Says, and as for first-crop sire Khozan, he’s plenty familiar with the Todd Pletcher trainee, who raced just twice but ranks in the Top 10 of the first-crop sire list.

“Khozan was an interesting horse in himself,” Casse said. “He looked like he was one of Todd’s best horses -- looked like a Derby prospect. He broke his maiden then won an allowance race impressively then was unfortunately hurt. I almost bought him as a 2-year-old for Mr. (John) Oxley.”

Al Shaaqab Racing went to $1 million for the son of Distorted Humor, who now stands at Journeyman Stud in Florida.

After the one-turn Swale, which runs on the same card as Gulfstream’s Holy Bull (G3), the Feb. 29 Fountain of Youth (G2) and March 28 Florida Derby (G1) are left locally for Derby points. But Casse, with his wide-ranging operation, will have options to ship, too.

Casse trained Vanish to a fifth-place finish in the 2017 Swale in his only previous attempt at the race.


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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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