TDN Top Triple Crown Contenders

Highly Motivated

8) HIGHLY MOTIVATED (c, Into Mischief–Strong Incentive, by Warrior's Reward)
O/B-Klaravich Stables, Inc (Ky). T-Chad Brown. Sales history: $240,000 wnlg '18 KEENOV. Lifetime Record: 3-2-1-0, $124,050.
Last Start: 1st Nyquist S., Kee, Nov. 6
Next Start: Uncommitted.
Equineline PPs. Ky Derby Points: 0.

During the two-day Breeders' Cup meet at Keeneland, six dirt-track records were established and speed-centric horses accounted for 10 of 14 dirt winners. This $240,000 KEENOV Into Mischief colt was one of them, and it's logical to question whether Highly Motivated's stalking 6 1/2-furlong Nyquist S. score was primarily the product of a quick track that played to his liking. But those thoughts are starting to be offset by how decently that undercard stakes is shaping up as a key race. It has now yielded three next-out wins from the second-, third-, and fifth-place horses, and they were all favorites (in the Sugar Bowl S. at Fair Grounds, a Churchill open allowance, and a Louisiana-bred stakes at Fair Grounds, respectively). In the same key-race vein, Highly Motivated's maiden win at Belmont Sept. 27 was 1 3/4 lengths better than Known Agenda (Curlin)'s runner-up effort, and that colt broke his maiden next out at 3-5 odds and then went on to run third in the Dec.5 GII Remsen S. So Highly Motivated has been keeping relatively classy company. But he's yet to race beyond 6 1/2 furlongs, which is the chief reason his ranking wasn't elevated a peg or two on this list.


1st Nyquist S.
1st Maiden
2nd Maiden