By My Standards (Goldencents), an impressive last out maiden winner at Fair Grounds Feb. 16, pulled off a 22-1 upset in Saturday's GII Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby. It was 3/4 of a length back to runaway Tampa optional claiming winner Spinoff (Hard Spun) in second. Sueno (Atrides) was third.
“How do you put this in perspective?” winning owner Chester Thomas of Allied Racing Stable said. “It hasn't sunk in yet. Life is good right now. It doesn't get any better than this. You know what, if you look at the [GII] Risen Star, this horse finished the last five sixteenths faster than the winner of the Risen Star [when breaking his maiden that day]. That gave us a lot of confidence. The Beyer numbers didn't come back to support that, but we still felt good about our horse. He progressed from it.”
By My Standards sat a dream trip while saving ground just behind the leaders in fourth through early fractions of :23.63 and :47.68. Loaded for bear at the top of the stretch as Spinoff revved up to the front with a four-wide bid, By My Standards punched through an inviting opening toward the inside as they straightened and outkicked that one home to pull off the upset.
“I've been excited about him all along,” winning trainer Bret Calhoun said. “Pretty much I think the maiden win was crucial for him. He bounced back [after a third-place finish] and put them away in his next effort and that's when the light bulb came on. He was a different horse in the morning from that point on. I mean his breezes were unbelievable. There were some fast works in there and none of them were intentional. He just turned into a different horse.”
Calhoun added, “It gives you a lot of confidence beating a group like that. I knew we were up against it today. I didn't know how we were going to stack up to those kind of horses. But I knew my horse was doing very, very good and deserved a chance.”
By My Standards hit the board in each of his first three trips to the post, including a third-place finish after leading in the stretch in New Orleans Jan. 19. He was working bullets, headed by a five-furlong move in :59 (1/48) Mar. 9, following his aforementioned 4 1/4-length victory last time.
War of Will (War Front), favored at 4-5 off the heels of runaway wins in the GIII Lecomte S. and GII Risen Star S., took some awkward steps shortly after the start. He raced in sixth for most of the way before crossing the line a disappointing ninth.
“We think what happened was about four jumps out of the gate, he actually broke in front and if you watch, he buckles on his right hind,” trainer Mark Casse said. “And we believe, maybe it was stumble of some sort. But when he did, we think he strained maybe a muscle or whatever. But he was significantly off after the race. I've just been on the phone with Dr. Robert McMartin, he's my main guy, and he thinks he maybe caught his stifle or something. We feel like he'll probably be a little better tomorrow and we're going to further evaluation him.”
As for Kentucky Derby plans, Casse added, “I mean it is [too soon]. I would not absolutely rule him out because this is something that he can get over very quickly. We'll see. The good news is he hasn't broken anything. It's a muscle strain of some sort. We're confident of that.”
By My Standards was picked up by Josh Stevens Bloodstock on behalf of Allied Racing Stable for $150,000 after breezing an eighth in :10 3/5 at last year's OBS April Sale (ThoroStride Video). He is the first graded stakes winner and fourth black-type winner for Goldencents, whose first crop are sophomores. The Louisiana Derby win helped the two-time GI Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile winner leapfrog from second into the leader's position on the current second-crop sires list. By My Standard's dam, whose last reported foal is juvenile colt Gentle Soul (Tapizar), had her previous moments in the sun when notching the 2013 Megahertz S. and the 2012 Swingtime S., both at Santa Anita, as well as finishing second in the GII Goldikova S. in 2012 over the same course. All but one of her 15 career wins or placings came on the turf. Her dam was a half-sister to Devils Disciple (Devil His Due), a multiple stakes winner who also placed in the 2004 GI Hopeful S. Broodmare sire Muqtarib, a son of Gone West, has also sired the dam of one other stakes winner, 'TDN Rising Star' Barry Lee (Violence), victor of the 2017 Arlington-Washington Futurity.
Saturday, Fair Grounds
TWINSPIRES.COM LOUISIANA DERBY-GII, $1,000,000, Fair Grounds, 3-23, 3yo, 1 1/8m, 1:49.53, ft.
1–BY MY STANDARDS, 122, c, 3, by Goldencents
1st Dam: A Jealous Woman (MSW & GSP, $469,956),
2nd Dam: Miss Free Bird, by Fly So Free
3rd Dam: Stormfeather, by Storm Bird
1ST BLACK TYPE WIN, 1ST GRADED STAKES WIN. ($150,000
2yo '18 OBSAPR). O-Allied Racing Stable, LLC; B-Don Ladd (KY);
T-W. Bret Calhoun; J-Gabriel Saez. $600,000. Lifetime Record:
5-2-2-1, $653,710. Werk Nick Rating: A+. Click for the
eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Spinoff, 122, c, 3, Hard Spun–Zaftig, by Gone West.
O/B-Wertheimer Et Frere (KY); T-Todd A. Pletcher. $200,000.
3–Sueno, 122, c, 3, Atreides–Class Above, by Quiet American.
($1,500 Wlg '16 KEENOV; $61,000 Ylg '17 KEESEP). O-Silverton
Hill LLC; B-Hill 'n' Dale Equine Holdings, Inc (KY); T-J. Keith
Margins: 3/4, 5, 3/4. Odds: 22.50, 4.30, 7.80.
Also Ran: Country House, Mr. Money, Roiland, Bankit, Hog Creek Hustle, War of Will, Limonite, Lemniscate. Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.