MASK (c, Tapit–Hidden Expression, by Yonaguska)
‘TDN Rising Star’ O-Lane’s End Racing. B-Gainesway Thoroughbreds (KY). T-Chad Brown. Sales History: $685,000 yrl KEESEP ’16. Lifetime Record: SW, 2-2-0-0, $105,760.
Last Start: 1st, Mucho Macho Man S., GP, Jan. 6
Next Start: Uncommitted
KY Derby Points: 0
The sight of completely composed 7-5 favorite Mask gliding off the turn under a hand ride while the jockeys aboard the second-and third-favorites in Saturday’s Mucho Macho Man S. were flailing and driving several widening lengths behind him was enough in and of itself to get this lightly raced (2-for-2) potential powerhouse onto the Top 12 list ahead of other candidates who have deeper seasoning. Beyond what Mask showed on the track, his steady, focused state is what trainer Chad Brown and jockey Javier Castellano were raving about after the 6 1/4-length tally. “The horse has always trained like he was something special,” Brown said post-race. “Very professional. Second start, he handled himself perfect in the paddock.” Added Castellano: “The most important thing is he’s got such a good mind and is mature with everything he does.” Exiting this one-turn mile win, Brown said the next challenge for this ‘TDN Rising Star’ will be a two-turn affair that has yet to be decided.