SIGNALMAN (c, General Quarters–Trip South, by Trippi)
O-Tommie M. Lewis, David A. Bernsen, LLC & Magdalena Racing (Sherri McPeek). B-Monticule (KY). T-Kenneth G McPeek. Sales History: $32,000 Ylg ’17 FTKOCT. Lifetime Record: GSW & MGISP, 7-2-2-2, $552,990.
Last Start: 3rd, GII Blue Grass S., KEE, Apr. 6
Equineline PPs. KY Derby Points: 38.
Despite being ranked within the Top 12 on this list, Signalman is on the outside looking in where it counts–on the Derby qualifying points list (currently 22nd and needs defections to start). Assuming he makes the cut, I keep going back and forth over whether Signalman is a “glass half full” or “glass half empty” type of horse. On the plus side, this $32,000 FTKOCT General Quarters colt has legitimate excuses for both of his 2019 defeats: He lost a shoe when seventh in the GII Fountain of Youth S., then in the Blue Grass S. he was trying hard but couldn’t make up ground behind a frontrunning winner on a speed-favoring surface. On the negative side, Signalman would head into the Derby without having won a sophomore race, and he really hasn’t uncorked an emphatic performance since winning the Nov. 24 GII Kentucky Jockey Club S., which will be nearly six months in the rearview mirror by the time Derby day rolls around.