Derby Alumni: 4 horses return to action this weekend

Derby Alumni: 4 horses return to action this weekend
Photo: Sue Kawczynski / Eclipse Sportswire

Kentucky Derby entrants dominated the Jim Dandy (G2) at Saratoga on July 30. Epicenter cemented his place at the top of the 3-year-old division, dashing a length and a half clear of Zandon. Tawny Port, the other Kentucky Derby contender in the field, was only half a length further back in third.

Tiz the Bomb dropped in class and stayed on the grass for the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame (G2) on Aug. 5, where he flattened late to finish fourth behind Ready to Purrform. Happy Jack returned to the track in an allowance at Ellis Park July 24. He has a rough start, but finished well to be third behind Ethical Judgement, beaten just a neck for top honors.

On Saturday, both Classic Causeway and Ethereal Road return to the track in the Saratoga Derby (G1). Classic Causeway starts for the first time since upsetting the Belmont Derby (G1) over the Belmont grass. Ethereal Road, last seen running third in the Ohio Derby (G3), tries lawn for the first time.

DerbyHorseLast RaceNotes
1Rich Strike6th, Belmont Stakes (G1)Worked 5f Aug. 1 at Churchill Downs
2Epicenter1st, Jim Dandy (G2)Worked 4f July 25 at Saratoga
3Zandon2nd, Jim Dandy (G2)Worked 5f July 23 at Saratoga
4Simplification6th, Preakness (G1)Worked 5f July 29 at Gulfstream Park
5Mo Donegal1st, Belmont Stakes (G1)Sidelined with bone bruising
6Barber Road7th, Belmont Stakes (G1)No works since last race
7Tawny Port3rd, Jim Dandy (G2)No works since last race
8Smile Happy8th, Kentucky Derby (G1)No works since last race
9Tiz the Bomb4th, National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame (G2)No works since last race
10Zozos10th, Kentucky Derby (G1)No works since last race
11Classic Causeway1st, Belmont Derby (G1)Entered in Saratoga Derby (G1) Aug. 6
12Taiba2nd, Haskell Invitational (G1)No works since last race
13Crown Pride (JPN)13th, Kentucky Derby (G1)No works since last race
14Happy Jack3rd, Allowance Optional Claiming (July 24, ELP)No works since last race
15Messier15th, Kentucky Derby (G1)Worked 4f June 18 at Santa Anita
16White Abarrio7th, Haskell Invitational (G1)No works since last race
17Charge It1st, Dwyer S. (G3)Worked 4f Aug. 5 at Belmont
18Cyberknife1st, Haskell Invitational (G1)No works since last race
19Pioneer of Medina19th, Kentucky Derby (G1)Worked 5f July 15 at Belmont Park
20Summer Is Tomorrow20th, Kentucky Derby (G1)Worked 5f July 25 at Belmont Park
SCREthereal Road6th, Ohio Derby (G3)Entered in Saratoga Derby (G1) Aug. 6
SCRRattle N Roll7th, Indiana Derby (G3)Worked 4f Aug. 6 at Churchill Downs

After a promising allowance win May 28 at Belmont, Highly Motivated took a strong step forward July 23 when he won the Monmouth Cup (G3) in convincing fashion. He made a strong move into the lane, opened up to win by a length and three quarters, and broke a 37-year-old track record for 1 1/8 miles on the Monmouth Dirt. (His record would only stand for about two hours, as Cyberknife would eclipse it in the Haskell.)

Keepmeinmind made his first start for new trainer Todd Pletcher on July 22; he posted a smart 2 3/4-length allowance victory at Saratoga. Like the King turned up in the Niagara Stakes over the Woodbine grass on July 30, where he was forward for much of the race and held on to finish third, 1 1/4 lengths behind Who's the Star.

Two other 2021 Kentucky Derby entrants raced recently, though both ran off the board. Mandaloun made his second start back from Saudi Arabia in the San Diego Handicap (G2), and ran fourth behind long shot Royal Ship. Soup and Sandwich tried Tapeta in an allowance optional claiming race July 22 at Woodbine; though he ran eighth, he was beaten only three lengths by winner Last American Exit.

Hot Rod Charlie will return to the track Saturday to contest the Whitney (G1). It will be his first start since finishing a game second behind Mind Control in the Salvator Mile (G3).

DerbyHorseLast RaceNotes
1Medina Spirit2nd, Breeders' Cup ClassicDeceased
2Mandaloun4th, San Diego Handicap (G2)No works since last race
3Hot Rod Charlie2nd, Salvator Mile (G3)Entered in Whitney (G1) Aug. 6 at Saratoga
4Essential Quality3rd Breeders' Cup ClassicStands for $75,000 at Darley America
5O Besos3rd, Commonwealth (G3)Worked 3f Aug. 2 at Churchill Downs
6Midnight Bourbon5th, Dubai World Cup (G1)Deceased
7Keepmeinmind1st, Allowance (SAR, July 22)No works since last race
8Helium2nd, Michael G. Schaefer Memorial StakesWorked 4f July 29 at Churchill Downs
9Known Agenda4th, 2021 Belmont Stakes (G1)Stands for $10,000 at Spendthrift Farm
10Highly Motivated1st, Monmouth Cup (G3)No works since last race
11Sainthood5th, 2021 Belmont Derby (G1)No works since last race
12Like the King3rd, Niagara S.No works since last race
13Bourbonic7th, Queen's CountyWorked 4f July 29 at Churchill Downs
14Hidden Stash7th, Monmouth S. (G3)Worked 4f June 30 at Keeneland
15Brooklyn Strong3rd, Saginaw StakesWorked 5f July 27 at Belmont
16Super Stock6th, Blame S.No works since last race
17Rock Your World9th, Twilight Derby (G2)Stands for $10,000 at Spendthrift Farm
18Dynamic One1st, Suburban Stakes (G2)Worked 5f July 29 at Saratoga
19Soup and Sandwich8th, Allowance Optional Claiming (WO, July 22)No works since last race

Despite stumbling at the start in the Jeff Hall Memorial Stakes, a 6 1/2-furlong dirt race at Ellis Park on July 24, Necker Island nonetheless delivered as the 1.28-1 favorite. He battled on to the finish and won by a neck over Tut's Revenge. Necker Island switches back to grass for the Twin Spires Turf Sprint Aug. 7 at Ellis Park, where he drew post No. 8 in a field of 10.

On July 30 at Saratoga, Ny Traffic stepped back into top company for the Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (G1). Near the rear of a compact field, he could not muster the needed kick in the lane and finished fourth, six lengths behind division leader Jackie's Warrior.

In the Wickerr Stakes July 24 at Del Mar, Storm the Court sent forward after a slow break. He flattened in the lane to finish sixth, 2 1/2 lengths behind winner Irideo.

DerbyHorseLast raceNotes
1AuthenticRetiredStands for $75,000 at Spendthrift Farm
2Tiz the LawRetiredStands for $35,000 at Ashford Stud
3Mr. Big News4th, Allowance Optional Claiming (CD, Sept. 17)Worked 6f July 20 at Churchill Downs
4Honor A. P.RetiredStands for $15,000 at Lane's End
5Max Player4th, Suburban Stakes (G2)No works since last race
6Storm The Court6th, Wickerr StakesNo works since last race
7Enforceable8th, Allowance Optional Claiming (April 15, KEE)Worked 4f June 19 at Woodbine
8Ny Traffic4th, Alfred G. Vanderbilt (G1)No works since last race
9Necker Island1st, Jeff Hall Memorial S.Entered in Twin Spires Turf Sprint Aug. 7 at ELP
10Major Fed4th, Allowance Optional Claiming (May 13, CD)No works since last race
11Sole Volante5th, Elkhorn (G2)No works since last race
12Winning Impression3rd, Allowance (Nov. 12, 2020, CD)Deceased
13Money MovesRetiredMoney Moves was retired for retraining at New Vocations.
14Attachment Rate7th, Allowance Optional Claiming (Feb. 21, OP)Worked 5f May 11 at Churchill Downs
15South Bend5th, Michael G. Schaefer Memorial StakesWorked 4f July 27 at Churchill Downs

On July 30 at Saratoga, Long Range Toddy returned to Grade 1 company for the first time since May, contesting the Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap. He tracked in range early, though he was carried out near the nine-sixteenths, flattened, and finished sixth and last behind Jackie's Warrior.

Tax, who won his return in the Battery Park Stakes on July 9, worked for the first time since that race. He drilled four furlongs in 50.78 over the Saratoga dirt. No next spot has been confirmed for the Danny Gargan trainee.

DerbyHorseLast raceNotes
1Country HouseRetiredStands for $7,500 at Darby Dan Farm
2Code of HonorRetiredStands for $10,000 at Lane's End
3TacitusRetiredStands for $10,000 at Taylor Made
4ImprobableRetiredStands for $35,000 at WinStar Farm
5Game WinnerRetiredStands for $30,000 at Lane's End
6Master Fencer (JPN)4th, 2021 Hakusan Daishoten 
7War of WillRetiredStands for $25,000 at Claiborne Farm
8Plus Que Parfait10th, Jebel Ali Mile (G3) 
9Win Win WinRetiredStands for $5,000 at Ocala Stud
10Cutting HumorRetiredStands for $1,500 at McDowell Farm
11By My StandardsRetiredStands for $7,500 at Spendthrift Farm
12VekomaRetiredStands for $17,500 at Spendthrift Farm
13BodexpressRetiredStands for $5,000 at Barton Thoroughbreds
14Tax1st, Battery Park StakesWorked 4f Aug. 5 at Saratoga
15Roadster7th, Oaklawn Mile (G3)Worked 4f July 31 at Delaware Park
16Long Range Toddy6th, Alfred G. Vanderbilt (G1)No works since last race
17Maximum SecurityRetiredStands for $15,000 at Ashford Stud
18Spinoff4th, 2021 Woodward (G1)No works since June 6, 2021
19Gray Magician4th, $12,500 claiming (June 5, SA)Worked 5f July 15 at Santa Anita

Only one Kentucky Derby horse from before 2019 has worked or raced recently: Noble Indy, who ran 17th in the 2018 Kentucky Derby. Based at Gulfstream through May 2022, he raced in the Clásico Barbosa Memorial (G1) at Camarero in Puerto Rico on July 24. In range between horses early, he weakened to finish seventh, 21 1/2 lengths behind winner Sope.

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