TDN Top Triple Crown Contenders

Crown Pride (Jpn)

13) CROWN PRIDE (JPN) (c, Reach the Crown {Jpn}–Emmy's Pride {Jpn}, by King Kamehameha {Jpn}) O-Teruya Yoshida. B-Shadai Farm (Jpn). T-Koichi Shintani. Lifetime Record: GSW-UAE, SW-Jpn, 4-3-0-0, $734,569. Last Start: 1st G2 UAE Derby. KY Derby Points: 100. Post 7, 20-1.

Crown Pride (Jpn), who celebrated his third birthday May 4, has gotten rave reviews since arriving at Churchill for his poise, posture and footwork during morning training, which has been a unique mixture of dressage-style warming-up and more frequent workouts. And no doubt Japan-based horses have been on a global roll at major racing events over the past six months, with big wins on the Breeders' Cup and Dubai World Cup programs.

He's 3-for-4 on dirt with all three victories at nine furlongs or greater, and a trouble excuse for his sixth when only beaten 3 1/2 lengths. Crown Pride got solidly bumped at the break of the G2 UAE Derby, then unwound with a long drive on his incorrect lead in deep stretch that reeled in the pacemaker on a track that was favorable to speed.

Japan's dominant rider, Christophe Lemaire, will be aboard in Louisville, hoping to break two negative historic trends: Japan-based horses have gone 0-for-3 in the Derby, and winners of the UAE Derby are 0-for-11 (with the best Derby finish among them a sixth, along with two DNF's and a 20th-place try).


Never miss another story from the TDN

Click Here to sign up for a free subscription.