TDN Top Triple Crown Contenders


3) NADAL (c, BlameAscending Angel, by Pulpit)
‘TDN Rising Star’ O-George Bolton, Arthur Hoyeau, Barry Lipman & Mark Mathieson. B-Sierra Farm (KY); T-Bob Baffert. Sales History: $65,000 yrl ’18 KEESEP; $700,000 2yo ’19 FTFMAR. Lifetime Record: GISW, 4-4-0-0, $1,053,000.
Last Start: 1st GI Arkansas Derby, OP, May 2
Accomplishments Include: 1st GII Rebel S., OP, Mar. 14; 1st GII San Vicente S., SA, Feb. 9
Next Start: Uncommitted Equineline PPs. KY Derby Points: 150.

Nadal’s division of the GI Arkansas Derby came up tougher on paper, and this ‘TDN Rising Star’ winning performance ended up being the stronger of the two splits from visual, tactical, time, and speed figure perspectives. This physically imposing bay ($65,000 KEESEP; $700,000 FTFMAR) transitioned adeptly into stalk mode when Wells Bayou (Lookin At Lucky) stole the lead from the outside gate, and they settled for the backstretch run with Nadal hounding him while into the bit, but not overly keen. Nadal appeared to be relishing the pursuit of prey while applying incremental pace pressure, and three-eighths out, the balance of power shifted when the leader was pumped on for run while Nadal swept on by. Joel Rosario waited until three-sixteenths out to set this colt down, and despite relentless pursuit from a pesky King Guillermo (Uncle Mo), Nadal already had a big jump and plenty left in the tank if he needed it. The performance looked polished and professional, and Nadal’s 98 Beyer–stablemate Charlatan (Speightstown) ran a 96–was punctuated by a final furlong (:12.71) that was clocked .45 seconds faster than Charlatan’s first division.