Enforceable fit for Fair Grounds’ longer Kentucky Derby preps

January 19, 2020 11:08am
Enforceable fit for Fair Grounds’ longer Kentucky Derby preps
Photo: Hodges Photography/Jan Brubaker

When announcing that its 2020 Kentucky Derby preps would run at elongated distances compared to years past, Fair Grounds’ racing secretary, Scott Jones, said the track “consulted with key participants from recent years, and they were in favor of the slight alterations.”

Months later there was Enforceable, the right horse for the year as a nine-furlong maiden winner at Saratoga, taking Saturday’s Lecomte Stakes (G3) for the same Mark Casse barn that prevailed in the 2019 renewal with War of Will.

Last season's Lecomte measured the traditional 1 mile and 70 yards. Enforceable, who closed from a second flight of horses, benefitted from an extension to 1 1/16 miles, making for a longer run into the first turn from post 10 in the field of 13.

“He broke like he usually does, not as fast as others,” said jockey Julien Leparoux.

Enforceable had just two rivals beaten the first time by, then crept up the back stretch. Positioned wide throughout, he ran evenly, and that was enough to loop the field and win by 1 1/2 lengths with a sustained rally.

Similar to War of Will, expect John Oxley’s Enforceable to stay in town with assistant trainer David Carroll for the remainder of the Derby trail. The Feb. 15
Risen Star (G2) is next, and it too has lengthened from 1 1/16 miles to 1 1/8.

“That would be the No. 1 race,” Carroll said, pending conversations with Casse and Oxley.

The March 21 Louisiana Derby (G2), formerly a nine-furlong event, will then go at 1 3/16 miles this season, up from 1 1/8 miles.

By Tapit, and out of the Dixie Union mare Justwhistledixie, Enforceable is a full brother to the graded winners Mohaymen and Kingly. He’s also a half-brother of New Year’s Day, the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner sire of Maximum Security.

That’s part of what made Enforceable a fit to break his maiden fourth out when running a rare distance for 2-year-olds during the summer at Saratoga, nine furlongs. Since then, Enforceable had finished third in Keeneland’s Breeders’ Futurity (G1) and fourth in Churchill Downs’ Kentucky Jockey Club (G2).

Carroll saw the colt fill out over the winter, and connections lauded his calm demeanor, atypical of Tapit’s progeny.

“Terrific attitude about training and in the barn he eats and sleeps,” Carroll said. “He just makes our very job easy. Obviously, having talent makes it even more enjoyable.”

Enforceable advanced to No. 2 on the Derby points leaderboard, with Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Storm the Court’s 22 the only total better than his 13 earned with two preps still to go.

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