TDN Top Triple Crown Contenders


GORMLEY (c, Malibu MoonRace to Urga, by Bernstein)

O-Mr. & Mrs. Jerome Moss. B-Castleton Lyons & Kilboy Estate (KY). T-John A. Shirreffs. Sales History: $150,000 RNA Ylg '15 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: MGISW, 7-4-0-0, $920,000.

Last Start: 9th, GI Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands., CD, May 6

Accomplishments Include: 1st, GI Santa Anita Derby, SA, Apr. 8, 1st, GI FrontRunner S., SA, Oct. 6, 1st, GIII Sham S., SA, Jan. 7.

Equineline PPs, Caulfield on Gormley

Gormley has earned “sleeper” status in the Belmont S. at 8-1 odds. I like to think of him as a small-of-stature overachiever with an outsized reserve of physical energy, and he enters the final leg of the Triple Crown as a relatively fresh horse who has been battle-tested against top divisional foes since the autumn of his 2-year-old season. His ninth-place Derby finish is deceptively better than it seems on paper: He was four wide on both turns, stalked and settled effectively (something that had been an issue for Gormley in prior races), flashed past a cluster of horses with an outside bid after taking mud in the face, then ranged up to be within four lengths of the leaders just prior to the furlong pole before tiring from his efforts. Beyond that eventful Derby trip, consider Gormley's company lines: He's four-for-seven lifetime, and the only horses to win races against him–Classic Empire (Pioneerof the Nile), Mastery (Candy Ride {Arg}), and Always Dreaming (Bodemeister)–were all considered to be kingpins of the division at the time of their victories. One glaring weakness, however, might be reflected in Gormley's speed figures. According to the Beyer scale, this colt has racked up a pattern of running slower races in three consecutive starts in 2017 dating to his Jan. 7 win in the Sham S., which is not something you want to see going into a Triple Crown race.




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