Proxy Looms Large in Lexington

While trainer Mike Stidham isn't fully closing the door on a run in the GI Kentucky Derby for his pupil Proxy (Tapit), Saturday the colt will divert from the big-stage preps in an attempt for a confidence builder as he figures a prohibitive favorite in the GIII Stonestreet Lexington S. at Keeneland. A second-out graduate Nov. 26 at Fair Grounds, the Godolphin homebred repeated in an allowance there Dec. 19 before passing the class test with a good second in the GIII Lecomte S. Runner-up in the GII Risen Star...

[ Read More ]
Mandaloun Looks to Solidify Claim in Louisiana Derby

Juddmonte Farms' TDN Rising Star Mandaloun (Into Mischief) attempts to follow up on a professional last-out score in the GII Risen Star S. in Saturday's GII Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds. Earning Rising Star status first time out going six panels at Keeneland last October, the bay followed up with another solid win while adding an additional furlong in a Churchill Downs optional claimer the following month. Heavily supported for his seasonal reappearance in the Jan. 16 GIII Lecomte S. in New Orleans, he had to settle for third,...

[ Read More ]
This Side Up: Seconds Out for the Next Round

No getting away from it: even 107 previous runnings, a million bucks and 170 starting points can't dress up the recent misfortunes of the GII Louisiana Derby as a springboard to the first Saturday in May. Maybe that's because it falls between stools, in terms of scheduling, the previous cycle of rehearsals having left trainers scope for one more start before the GI Kentucky Derby. Not many around, nowadays, who'd even be thinking about running again with just six weeks to go. Credit to the Fair Grounds team, then,...

[ Read More ]
Mike Stidham Joins the TDN Writers' Room

Trainer Mike Stidham joins this week's TDN Writers' Room fresh off a win with Godolphin-owned 4-year-old Mystic Guide in the GIII Razorback H. Stidham recaps the victory and talks on his relationship with Godolphin, the demise of Arlington Park and more.

[ Read More ]
TDN Derby Top 12 for February 17

The weather-related rescheduling of Oaklawn's GIII Southwest S. to the final weekend in February will cause some havoc for downstream prep races. The GII Rebel S. on Mar. 13 will now have only a two-week spacing within the Oaklawn series and Southwest participants who figured to run back in the Mar. 20 GII Louisiana Derby also might balk at having just three weeks off between preps and then six weeks until the GI Kentucky Derby itself. But our sport has gotten quite used to unexpected schedule switches over the last...

[ Read More ]
This Side Up: Proxy Steps In to Try that Unique Fit

Derby dreams at this time of year can prove as ephemeral as the vapours rising into the glacial air of Hot Springs. But the owner of the champion juvenile knows perfectly well that plans, with Thoroughbreds, can only ever be provisional--and that the postponement of Monday's Oaklawn card is a relatively trivial inconvenience to Essential Quality (Tapit). To recall the graver vexations that can unravel a Derby colt, Sheikh Mohammed needs only rewind to the last cycle, and the last colt that offered to requite perhaps the greatest single ambition...

[ Read More ]
Homebreds Are Dominant On This Year's Derby Trail

The Week in Review by T.D. Thornton In a departure from recent seasons, homebreds are dominating the GI Kentucky Derby trail through the early portion of the 2021 prep-race season. In the TDN Derby Top 12 that will be published in the Feb. 2 edition, no fewer than seven of the leading dozen race for the same owners who planned their matings, raised them as foals, and got those colts into the starting gate. That 7-of-12 ratio is as high a number of homebreds within the Top 12 at any...

[ Read More ]
The TDN Derby Top 12 for Jan. 12

Next-race plans are starting to solidify for some of the contenders among the Top 12, including a possible No. 1 vs. No. 4 matchup at Oaklawn in February. Farther down the list, Nos. 5 and 9 will clash this Saturday in the GIII Lecomte S. at Fair Grounds. 1) ESSENTIAL QUALITY (c, Tapit--Delightful Quality, by Elusive Quality) O/B-Godolphin (KY); T-Brad Cox. Lifetime Record: GISW, 3-3-0-0, $1,335,144. Last Start: 1st GI TVG Breeders' Cup Juvenile, KEE, Nov. 6 Accomplishments Include: 1st GI Claiborne Breeders' Futurity, 'TDN Rising Star' Next Start: Uncommitted Equineline...

[ Read More ]
Tapit Son of Panty Raid Makes it Two in a Row in NOLA

1st-Fair Grounds, $48,500, Alw, 12-19, (NW2L), 2yo, 1 1/16m, 1:45.56, ft, 2 1/2 lengths. PROXY (c, 2, Tapit--Panty Raid {MGISW, $1,052,380}, by Include) missed by a neck in his off-the-turf debut at Monmouth Oct. 24 and broke through next out here Nov. 26. Hammered down to 3-5 favoritism in this four-horse affair, the Godolphin homebred seized the early advantage as he did in his graduation and was hounded by his rivals through a :24.97 first quarter. Briefly headed by Assumption (Medaglia d'Oro), the bay regained command as the half went...

[ Read More ]
Exit Box x

Never miss another story from the TDN

Click Here to sign up for a free subscription.