Baltas picks up Kentucky Derby 2020 prospect in Czechmight

November 14, 2019 12:44pm

Agent David Meah says that with “these types of horses” — 2-year-old maiden winners poised to hit the 2020 Kentucky Derby trail — private purchase prices can reach past $500,000. That left Meah quite pleased Wednesday when he placed a winning bid of $190,000 on Czechmight, a supplemented entry to the Keeneland November sale.

The Street Sense colt broke his maiden going two turns on Oct. 13 at Keeneland for SF Racing, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables and other prominent owners. But since then, the same partnership brokered a deal to stand Grade 1 winner Eight Rings at Coolmore upon his retirement.

“The rest of the group is to bring in money,” said Brad Weisbord, who consigned Czechmight for ELiTE Sales, “and it’s clearly a good time to sell a horse that’s hitting the Derby trail. You could take him to Oaklawn, Fair Grounds, south Florida and put him in one of these stakes next time.”

Meah, however, will be sending Czechmight west to trainer Richard Baltas. He’ll run for owner Calvin Nguyen, who Meah said has “really stepped up” to begin purchasing more expensive runners. 
Nguyen is in the midst of his most lucrative season as an owner having surpassed $250,000 in earnings running mostly outside the stakes ranks.

“He wants to compete at the highest level,” Meah said. “We’re trying to find that horse for him.”

Out of an Indian Charlie mare, Czechmight seems bred for either surface, and Meah indicated the colt has the build of a turf horse.

“But he’s already overcome it as a 2-year-old to win on the dirt going two turns,” the agent added, with Czechmight improving from a debut fourth at Ellis Park to win a 1 1/16-mile race at Keeneland.

“I’m sure they’ll keep him on the dirt for now because he’s got the dream. The dream’s still alive, right? There’s turf options there, and the turf 3-year-old division in California’s always on the weak side. That’s a big angle for us buying to go to California, too.”

That dream, of course, is of having a Derby horse.

Baltas said Thursday that, at least from afar, Czechmight "looked a little light. We're just going to get him back here, put him in a warmer climate and get some weight on him."

Santa Anita Park runs the Sham Stakes (G3) for Derby qualifying points on Jan. 4. Baltas said it's more likely, however, that Czechmight gets an allowance test before hitting the trail.

Thanks to a relative bargain of a purchase price, Czechmight’s first start is essentially on the house.

“Honestly, we had a few more bids left in the tank,” Meah said. “We’re delighted to get, I guess, free shipping and a free first few months of training with the extra money.”


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