Named a 'TDN Rising Star' off his 14-length debut win and 104 Beyer at Gulfstream two years ago, Hidden Scroll (Hard Spun) disappointed as the favorite in both the 2019 GI Florida Derby and GII Fountain of Youth and only managed one other win during his nine-race tenure in two seasons for Hall of Famer Bill Mott. The former Juddmonte runner was always highly regarded, but frequently tried his connections with behavioral issues which were never more apparent than when going to the Gulfstream gate last January after an eight-month layoff. He became fractious, lost his rider after being loaded in the gate, and was scratched by the stewards. He flashed his ability next out in March with a second double-digit win and a 102 Beyer, but didn't hit the board in four other starts last year.
Entered in last year's Keeneland November sale, Hidden Scroll sold to his new connections for $525,000 as further evidence of the latent ability believed to be bubbling beneath the surface. New conditioner Brad Cox tuned him up with a four-furlong bullet move at Oaklawn Jan. 17 in :47 2/5 (1/125).
Hammered down to 1-2 for his 5-year-old debut, Hidden Scroll broke smoothly and was shuffled back to midpack after steadying slightly in traffic behind a first quarter in :21.77. He was eager and hard held by Florent Geroux, then let go after a half in :46.04 around the six path coming off the turn. The eye-catching move sent him straight to the front and he strolled home a facile winner under a hand ride. Royal Daaher (Daaher) chased him home, 2 1/4 lengths behind in second.
Cox, considered the favorite to be named the outstanding trainer at this coming week's Eclipse awards, had a big day Saturday with another horse he also turned around: his Knicks Go (Paynter) won the GI Pegasus World Cup Invitational S.
Hidden Scroll's unraced dam, Sheba Queen, was sold for $7,500 at the 2017 Keeneland November sale and shipped to Turkey for two years before returning to the U.S. in 2019. She was bred to Mendelssohn for this term after delivering a Flintshire (GB) colt in Turkey in 2018 that also came stateside. Sheba Queen is out of French Group 1 winner Etoile Montante (Miswaki) and is a half to MGSW Starformer (Dynaformer) from the extended family of Juddmonte homebreds Bonny South (Munnings), a GSW & GISP runner of 2020, and Sun Path (Munnings), fourth in last week's Silverbulletday S., who are also in the Cox barn.
7th-Oaklawn, $85,000, Alw, 1-24, (NW3L), 4yo/up, 6f, 1:11.89, my, 2 1/4 lengths.
HIDDEN SCROLL (h, 5, Hard Spun–Sheba Queen, by Empire Maker) Lifetime Record: 10-3-0-1, $155,007. Click for the Equibase.com chart or VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.
O-Marc Detampel; B-Juddmonte Farms Inc (KY); T-Brad H. Cox. *$525,000 4yo '20 KEENOV.