TDN Top Triple Crown Contenders

Costa Terra

8) COSTA TERRA (c, Gun Runner–Teardrop, by Tapit)
O/B-Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC (KY). T-Steven M. Asmussen. Lifetime Record: SP, 3-1-0-1, $57,900. Last Start: 5th GI Claiborne Breeders' Futurity. Next Start: Uncommitted. KY Derby Points: 0

Costa Terra is flying under the radar coming off a subpar fifth when last seen in the Breeders' Futurity S. in October. But this homebred for Winchell Thoroughbreds caught the eye with enough gusto in his first two races at Ellis Park to merit consideration as a plucky fighter who has the pedigree (by Gun Runner out of a Tapit mare) to adapt to longer distances.

Costa Terra's July 1 debut in the slop was remarkable for the huge gap he closed in a five-furlong sprint, in which he looked surely beaten from the quarter pole until the final jump. He was third next, beaten half a length, despite a momentum stall on the turn and running up on heels late in the Ellis Juvenile S. before galloping out like he wanted more.

Stretched around two turns at Keeneland, Costa Terra's running line suggests he was a no-impact threat from well back. But he likely got a decent learning experience out of his four-wide journey into the first turn from post 11 before making mild progress on the far bend. He then got a two-month freshening and now has built up a work log of five steady breezes at Fair Grounds.

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