TDN Top Triple Crown Contenders

Pioneer of Medina

14) PIONEER OF MEDINA (c, Pioneerof the Nile–Lights of Medina, by Eskendereya) O-Sumaya U.S. Stable. B-International Equities Holding, Inc. (KY). T-Todd A. Pletcher. Sales History: $485,000 RNA ylg '20 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: GSP, 6-2-1-2, $181,350. Last Start: 3rd GII Louisiana Derby. KY Derby Points: 25. Post 11, 30-1.

Pioneer of Medina, a $485,000 RNA at KEESEP, will be looking to avenge the second-place finish by his sire, Pioneerof the Nile, in the 2009 Derby. This colt was third and fourth on the Louisiana prep route to Louisville–not badly beaten, lengths-wise, but not a high-impact player, either. He'll be taking blinkers off Saturday after four races with them (they were added after start number two and propelled him to MSW and allowance wins). Trainer Todd Pletcher is technically 0-for-10 when removing blinkers in graded stakes over the past five years. But that small sample also includes the DQ of Vino Rosso from first in the 2019 GI Jockey Club Gold Cup–and that colt in his next start won the GI Breeder's Cup Classic sans blinkers, too.


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