2) JUSTIFY (c, Scat Daddy–Stage Magic, by Ghostzapper)
‘TDN Rising Star’ O-China Horse Club, Head of Plains Partners LLC, Starlight Racing & WinStar Farm. B- John D. Gunther (KY). T-Bob Baffert. Sales history: $500,000 yrl KEESEP ’16. Lifetime Record: GISW, 3-3-0-0, $666,000.
Apr. 17 TDN Top 20 Rank: 2
Last Start: 1st, GI Santa Anita Derby, SA, Apr. 7
KY Derby Points: 100
Quick, name the only two Derby winners since 1900 to win the Run for the Roses off only three lifetime starts. Did you guess Big Brown in 2008 and the legendary filly Regret in 1915? Both were favored at around 5-2 odds, and while 3-for-3 ‘TDN Rising Star’ Justify figures to bear the burden of Derby favoritism squarely on his broad chestnut shoulders, I doubt he’ll go off lower than 4-1 considering the depth of the field. This undefeated $500,000 KEESEP Scat Daddy colt represents limitless possibility right now, and it’s been amazing to witness his raw, assertive power, stylish panache, inherent athleticism, and gigantic stride as he’s assembled an impressive dossier of credentials heading into the Derby, going from unraced maiden to Grade I winner in a span of only 48 days. But while the numerous superlatives surrounding Justify haven’t changed since his Apr. 7 GI Santa Anita Derby win, neither have the very real doubts about this colt’s ability to continue to accelerate so rapidly through a very steep and sharp learning curve. Justify has yet to face multi-horse pace pressure, repeated in-race attacks, a field larger than seven, or even shipping and racing away from his home track. So while unrealized potential is very much on this impressive colt’s side, experience is not.
|1st||GI Santa Anita Derby|