HIDDEN SCROLL (c, Hard Spun–Sheba Queen, by Empire Maker)
‘TDN Rising Star’ O/B-Juddmonte Farms, Inc. (KY). T-William I. Mott. Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0, $31,800.
Last Start: 1st, Maiden Special Weight, GP, Jan. 26
Next Start: Uncommitted
Equineline PPs. KY Derby Points: 0.
Part of the “Wow!” aura surrounding ‘TDN Rising Star’ Hidden Scroll has do with how infrequently trainer Bill Mott sends out debut winners, especially at a mile or over (3% win clip according to DRF stats), and how infrequently Mott cultivates early-season Derby prospects. Winning from post one in the slop at first asking in a 13-horse field is difficult enough, but to see the way this Hard Spun homebred opened up daylight margins through sizzling fractions in his maiden debut on the GI Pegasus World Cup undercard was something otherworldly. His winning time of 1:34.82 blew away the 1:36.22 clocking by older stakes horses five races later, and Mott told TDN‘s Bill Finley the day after the breakout maiden win that because there is no suitable allowance race coming up in the Gulfstream condition book, a stakes shot could be next. “New Orleans, Hot Springs, Tampa, Gulfstream–we know when they are available,” Mott said. “We liked him and I’m not surprised that he won. But you never know when you’re going to see a performance like that–winning by 14 and being eased up.”