TDN Top Triple Crown Contenders

WinStar TDN Derby 20 Wrap-Up

by T.D. Thornton

This week's TDN Top 20 examines the GI Kentucky Derby runners according to finish position. For a number of top contenders, it's on to Baltimore for the GI Preakness S. The remainder are in regroup mode, and it's a noteworthy relief that at roughly the 48-hour mark of Derby aftermath, none of the Derby runners appear to have exited the race worsened by injury or illness.

1. (Final Derby 20 Rank: 1) ALWAYS DREAMING (c, BodemeisterAbove Perfection, by In Excess {Ire})

O-Brooklyn Boyz Stables, Teresa Viola Racing Stables et al. B-Santa Rosa Partners (KY). T-Todd A. Pletcher. Sales History: $350,000 Ylg '15 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: MGISW, 6-4-1-1, $2,248,700.

Accomplishments Include: 1st, GI Xpressbet Florida Derby, GP, Apr. 1

Next Start: GI Preakness S., PIM, May 20

Thoro-Graph sheet, Equineline PPs

Always Dreaming authoritatively lived up to his lofty potential with a pace-pressuring Derby victory that clearly stamps him as the division's best and whets the appetite for what brilliance might follow as the Triple Crown rolls on to Baltimore for the Preakness S. The best horse in the race was at once aggressive yet responsive to the subtle, well-timed cues of jockey John Velazquez, and Always Dreaming appeared comfortable and always in control while pressing then seizing the lead down the backside. On the far turn, when Irish War Cry (Curlin) and Battle of Midway (Smart Strike) proved to be the only foes capable of mounting serious challenges, Always Dreaming relished the opportunity for a fight while kicking into an impressive series of overdrive gears that left his opponents reeling while Always Dreaming torqued home with impressive fluidity. Now undefeated in four 2017 starts since transferring to trainer Pletcher, Always Dreaming has shown he can handle intense early pace, multiple attacks within a race, the mud, and Classic distances–while still not appearing to have bottomed out in terms of stamina. The combination of an elite, immensely talented 3-year-old, a seasoned, professional trainer/jockey combo, and a charismatic ownership group all contribute to the tantalizing chance that Always Dreaming can rewrite history as a captivating couple of weeks unfolds on the Triple Crown trail.

2. (14) LOOKIN AT LEE (c, Lookin At LuckyLangara Lass, by Langfuhr)

O-L and N Racing. B-Ray Hanson (KY). T-Steven M. Asmussen. Sales History: $70,000 Ylg '15 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: SW & MGISP, 10-2-3-2, $852,795.

Accomplishments Include: 1st, Ellis Park Juvenile S., ELP, Aug. 6

Next Start: Possible for GI Preakness S., PIM, May 20

Thoro-Graph sheet, Equineline PPs

Someone forgot to tell Lookin At Lee that post one is supposed to be the kiss of death in the Derby. This colt ran a huge race, dropping back comfortably–somewhat reminiscent of 2009 Derby winner Mine That Bird (Birdstone)–while jockey Corey Lanerie hugged the inside rail. “Lee” moved up methodically, really seemed to get into the bit about a half mile out, then quickened nicely when nudged for run three-eighths out. When the field cut the corner, Lanerie's ground-saving tactics made it seem like Lee had just jumped into the race at the quarter pole, but the colt had really been building steady momentum since deep down the backstretch, and he stayed on well considering the apparent gap in talent between the winner and runner-up. It's accurate to say that Lee hasn't been the luckiest horse in terms of post draws: extreme outside gate in three of his first four graded stakes attempts, then the one hole in the Derby. But for a horse who hasn't won a race since Aug. 6 of his juvenile season, Lookin At Lee just made a quantum leap in improvement that is more than likely not a fluke.

3. (8) BATTLE OF MIDWAY (c, 3, Smart Strike–Rigoletta, by Concerto)

'TDN Rising Star' O-Don Alberto Stable & WinStar Farm LLC; B-Thor-Bred Stables, LLC (KY). T-Jerry Hollendorfer. Sales History: $410,000 Ylg '15 FTSAUG. Lifetime Record: MGISP, 5-2-1-2, $490,000.

Next Start: Uncommitted

Thoro-Graph sheet, Equineline PPs

At 40-1, Battle of Midway was in it to win it turning for home in the Derby, and he deservedly gets the award for outrunning his odds with a gutsy performance. But to me, this 'TDN Rising Star's' breakout effort shouldn't have been so difficult to see coming. Yes, he was lightly raced (four starts) and had the “didn't race at age two” angle going against him. But all during his development, this January foal was touted as being a little big bigger and more aggressive than his peers, and he had shown true progression this spring for a patient trainer, running a deceptively good second under demanding early-race pressure in the Santa Anita Derby. Thus it was not exactly a shocker when he broke running in the Kentucky Derby, fought for a contending spot near the top, looked comfortable handling an off going, then stuck around for as long as he could while Irish War Cry cracked and Always Dreaming kicked on down the lane. Battle of Midway is scheduled to fly back to California on Tuesday; trainer Hollendorfer indicated to Maryland Jockey Club officials that a Preakness run was highly unlikely.

4. (4) CLASSIC EMPIRE (c, Pioneerof the NileSambuca Classica, by Cat Thief)

O-John C. Oxley. B-Steven & Brandi Nicholson (KY). T-Mark E. Casse. Sales History: $475,000 Ylg '15 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: Ch. 2yo Colt, MGISW, 8-5-0-1, $2,220,220.

Accomplishments Include: 1st, GI Arkansas Derby, OP, Apr. 15, 1st, GI Sentient Jet Breeders' Cup Juvenile, SA, Nov. 5, 1st, GI Claiborne Breeders' Futurity, KEE, Oct. 8, 1st, GIII Bashford Manor S., CD, July 2.

Next Start: Possible for GI Preakness S., PIM, May 20

Thoro-Graph sheet, Equineline PPs, Caulfield on Classic Empire

Classic Empire's woes at the break of the Derby will be widely replayed as his star-crossed career continues after a commendable fourth-place overcoming of adversity. Trainer Casse made a good post-race point about the big gap between the main and auxiliary gates being so far apart that it created a chasm of lateral space for McCraken (Ghostzapper) to drop down and slam Classic Empire off stride. But the juvenile champion–previously branded as uncontrollably volatile–maintained a polished degree of poise while asked to settle in 13th place, and by the far turn jockey Julien Leparoux realized it was worth the gamble to give up seven paths of real estate by coming wide for the drive atop a horse with a full head of steam. The minor chain reaction caused by others shifting and drifting late in the lane didn't really have an impact on Classic Empire, who, as the Equibase chart caller noted, “regrouped and churned on.” That last description is my biggest takeaway from Classic Empire's Derby: Yes, he is developing a knack for finding (or sometimes creating) his own trouble. But this colt grinds on regardless, and when you compete at the top level of the 3-year-old division, that type of tenacity can end up being a powerful weapon in the long run.

5. (11) PRACTICAL JOKE (c, Into MischiefHalo Humor, by Distorted Humor)

O-Klaravich Stables, Inc. & William H. Lawrence. B-Whispering Oaks (KY). T-Chad C. Brown. Sales History: $135,000 Ylg '15 KEEJAN; $240,000 Ylg '15 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: MGISW, 7-3-2-1, $1,075,800.

Accomplishments Include: 1st, GI Hopeful S., SAR, Sept. 5; 1st, GI Champagne S., BEL, Oct. 8.

Next Start: Uncommitted

Thoro-Graph sheet, Equineline PPs

Although it did not produce a winning Derby effort, jockey Joel Rosario did a commendable job settling down a very keyed-up Practical Joke the first time past the stands and getting him over to a solid stalking spot on the rail from post 19. Practical Joke was content to cruise “on hold” until cranking up a rally on the far turn, and when he was blocked and boxed behind rivals about a furlong out, I liked the way he fought for space (even if that assertiveness caused some chain-reaction crowding). “We've finally seen what his limitations are,” said trainer Brown, who was nonetheless proud of the fifth-place effort. “He's a very fine racehorse. He just can't go that far.” After a freshening, I'll be looking forward to seeing Practical Joke's aggression channeled into extended sprints or one-turn miles. “He's a Grade I racehorse,” Brown added. “He just can't go this Classic distance. I'll talk to the owners, we'll give him a little bit of a breather, and we'll focus on races a little bit shorter than this.”

6. (5) TAPWRIT (c, TapitAppealing Zophie, by Successful Appeal)

O-Bridlewood Farm, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners & Robert V. LaPenta. B-My Meadowview, LLC (KY). T-Todd A. Pletcher. Sales History: $1,200,000 Ylg '15 FTSAUG. Lifetime Record: GSW, 7-3-1-0, $343,902.

Accomplishments Include: 1st, GII Tampa Bay Derby, TAM, Mar. 11, 1st, Pulpit S., GP, Dec. 10

Next Start: Uncommitted

Thoro-Graph sheet, Equineline PPs

Tapwrit was mildly crowded at the break but didn't take the worst of that scrum. He steadied but settled towards the rear, and essentially let loose around the same time that Lookin At Lee advanced from a similar position. He was brushed midway on the far turn then secured an inside position, but he seemed to run only in spots down the lane. Even though he was only about five lengths off the leader between calls in the stretch, sixth was the best Tapwrit could manage. “I got in good position behind Classic Empire but he didn't respond today,” jockey Jose Ortiz said after the race. The Tampa Bay Derby winner reportedly exited the Derby fine and will ship to trainer Pletcher's New York division to await plans for a next start.

7. (6) GUNNEVERA (c, Dialed InUnbridled Rage, by Unbridled)

O-Peacock Racing Stables, LLC. B-Brandywine Farm & Stephen Upchurch (KY). T-Antonio Sano. Sales History: $16,000 Ylg '15 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: MGSW & GISP, 10-4-2-1, $1,170,200.

Accomplishments Include: 1st, GII Xpressbet Fountain of Youth S., GP, Mar. 4; 1st, GIII Delta Downs Jackpot S., DED, Nov. 19; 1st, GII Saratoga Special S., SAR, Aug. 14

Next Start: Possible for GI Preakness S., PIM, May 20

Thoro-Graph sheet, Equineline PPs, Caulfield on Gunnevera

Gunnevera's Derby underscored his main weakness: His performances are too closely dependent on the pace and track conditions. Gunnevera's best races have required ideal speed setups on tracks where the footing is decidedly to his preference, and his losses are usually explained away by his connections as being related to one or the other of those variables not being quite right. In the Derby, the fractions were honest enough, but the slop was apparently unsuitable. “I didn't think he handled the track at all,” said jockey Javier Castellano. “In the beginning, he was holding it together, but when I asked him for speed and to pick it up, he struggled quite a bit. It was disappointing.” Having said that, Gunnevera could be a candidate to blossom in a race like the GI Belmont Stakes, particularly if we get to that point in the campaign with a Triple Crown on the line and a number of fresh, hot-pace horses are entered to keep things lively on the front end. The Preakness S. hasn't been ruled out either, but I still perceive Gunnevera as more of a hits-the-board threat than an all-out win candidate at 1 3/16 miles.

8. (3) MCCRAKEN (c, GhostzapperIvory Empress, by Seeking the Gold)

'TDN Rising Star' O/B-Whitham Thoroughbreds, LLC (KY). T-Ian R. Wilkes. Lifetime Record: MGSW, 6-4-0-1, $410,848.

Accomplishments Include: 1st, GIII Sam F. Davis S., TAM, Feb. 11, 1st, GII Kentucky Jockey Club S., CD, Nov. 26, 1st, Street Sense S., CD, Oct. 30

Next Start: Uncommitted

Thoro-Graph sheet, Equineline PPs, Caulfield on McCraken

A fresh McCraken later this summer is going to be a dangerous horse. His connections, admirably, offered no alibis despite the jostling out of the auxiliary gate and a small cut on this 'TDN Rising Star's' left hind leg that trainer Wilkes said left McCraken none the worse for wear. The colt's professionalism showed when he was able to settle midpack and regain his rhythm, but when he loomed with a bid a half mile out McCraken could not sustain it. “He made a nice little run and I got a little excited but then he flattened out the last little bit,” Wilkes said. “I don't like to make excuses. It was Always Dreaming's day and all of us had to run over the same track.” The Preakness S. is not an option and Wilkes listed the Belmont S. as doubtful.

9. (10) GORMLEY (c, Malibu MoonRace to Urga, by Bernstein)

O-Mr. & Mrs. Jerome Moss. B-Castleton Lyons & Kilboy Estate (KY). T-John A. Shirreffs. Sales History: $150,000 RNA Ylg '15 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: MGISW, 7-4-0-0, $920,000.

Accomplishments Include: 1st, GI Santa Anita Derby, SA, Apr. 8, 1st, GI FrontRunner S., SA, Oct. 6, 1st, GIII Sham S., SA, Jan. 7.

Next Start: Uncommitted

Thoro-Graph sheet, Equineline PPs, Caulfield on Gormley

There was a point in the Derby at the entrance to the far turn when you could see Gormley's silks flashing past a cluster of horses with an outside bid, and even though he ranged up to be within four lengths of the leaders just prior to the furlong pole, the diminutive but hard-trying colt flattened out. There had been concerns going into the race whether or not Gormley could effectively settle, but that was not the problem in the Derby as jockey Victor Espinoza attained a nice stalking spot in the clear while laying in fifth and sixth early on. To claim and maintain that position however, Espinoza did have to race four wide on both turns, although it's doubtful that a more ground-saving trip mired down on the inside would have produced a better placing. While Gormley himself is headed back to California, his silks will travel on to Baltimore to be carried by stablemate Royal Mo (Uncle Mo), who didn't qualify for the Derby on points but is ripe for improvement off his better-than-it-looks third in the Santa Anita Derby.

10. (2) IRISH WAR CRY (c, CurlinIrish Sovereign, by Polish Numbers)

'TDN Rising Star' O/B-Isabelle de Tomaso (NJ). T-H. Graham Motion. Lifetime Record: MGSW, 6-4-0-0, $699,460.

Accomplishments Include: 1st, GII Wood Memorial S., AQU, Apr. 8, 1st, GII Lambholm South Holy Bull S., GP, Feb. 4, 1st, Marylander S., LRL, Jan. 23

Next Start: Possible for GI Haskell Invitational, MTH, July 30

Thoro-Graph sheet, Equineline PPs, Caulfield on Irish War Cry

When Always Dreaming, Battle of Midway and Irish War Cry quickened away from the pack on the far turn in the Derby, there were two instances approaching the quarter pole when jockey Rajiv Maragh sneaked a look back to see who might be barreling up from behind. That's usually a sign that a jockey thinks he has plenty of horse underneath him, but as trainer Motion later explained, “he kind of went from having a lot of horse to not having a lot of horse in three strides.” Motion said his gut feeling is that “Irish” couldn't get ten furlongs. But considering the colt is a May 2 foal who has accomplished a lot in just six months, my hunch is that a fresher, stronger Irish War Cry will be a divisional powerhouse in the second half of the season. This New Jersey-bred will skip the remaining Triple Crown races and instead aim for the Haskell Invitational, so be prepared for the “War on the Shore” headlines 11 weeks down the road.

11. (7) HENCE (c, Street BossFloating Island, by A.P. Indy) O/B-Calumet Farm (KY). T-Steven M. Asmussen. Lifetime Record: GSW, 7-2-1-1, $462,601.

Accomplishments Include: 1st, GIII Sunland Derby, SUN, Mar. 26

Next Start: Uncommitted

Thoro-Graph sheet, Equineline PPs

Trainer Asmussen offered an interesting take on Hence's midpack Derby finish: “I didn't think Hence ran his race. Not that he didn't handle the track, but I think the slop and the kickback in the face was a bit overwhelming. He just jumped up and down the whole way.” Jockey Florent Geroux added that “I just couldn't keep up. I was trying to follow Lookin at Lee but I could never catch up.” I'm still wondering if Hence will be more effective in the future racing closer to the pace. Although he's been rating from far back in his last three tries, he was a decent second, beaten only a neck, going a one-turn mile on the lead as a juvenile, and when he broke his maiden at Oaklawn he stalked throughout, never more than 4 3/4 lengths off the action.

12. (15) UNTRAPPED (c, Trappe ShotExit Three, by Giant's Causeway)

'TDN Rising Star' O-Michael Langford. B-Indian Creek & Jonathan Sheppard (KY). T-Steven M. Asmussen. Lifetime Record: MGSP, 7-1-3-1, $259,658.

Next Start: Uncommitted

Thoro-Graph sheet, Equineline PPs

Untrapped will seek easier spots coming out of his 58-1 twelfth in the Derby. He was really never in the hunt while saving ground, and his seven-wide swing into the lane was more of a pick-up-the-pieces afterthought than a serious bid. Having never won a route race, a return to shorter distances could be in the future for this 'TDN Rising Star.'

13. (9) GIRVIN (c, Tale of EkatiCatch the Moon, by Malibu Moon)

O-Brad Grady. B-Bob Austin & John Witte (KY). T-Joe Sharp. Sales History: $140,000 RNA Ylg '15 KEESEP; $130,000 Ylg '15 FTKOCT. Lifetime Record: MGSW, 5-3-1-0, $874,400.

Accomplishments Include: 1st, GII Louisiana Derby, FG, Apr. 1, 1st, GII Risen Star S., FG, Feb. 25

Next Start: Possible for GI Preakness S., PIM, May 20

Thoro-Graph sheet, Equineline PPs

Girvin has persevered through a lot this spring. His rapid rise through the ranks in Louisiana stalled in April because of quarter-crack issues, and on the first Saturday in May he endured a rough go in the Derby that resulted in him wearing a coat of mud instead of a blanket of roses when the ordeal was over. Despite being caught in tight at the break and losing all momentum on the far turn when boxed and blocked, one thing about Girvin's Derby that was true to his earlier efforts was that he maintained his composure despite those multiple adversities. After seeming to struggle to find good footing early on, jockey Mike Smith got him settled mid-pack on the rail (sometimes an intimidating spot in a 20-horse field in the slop), and Girvin did commence a bid three-eighths out before, in Smith's words, “someone wiped out four of us again.” No plans have been made for Girvin's next start, but trainer Sharp did not rule out the Preakness and/or Belmont S. as options.

14. (16) PATCH (Union RagsWindyindy, by A.P. Indy)

'TDN Rising Star' O/B-Calumet Farm (KY). T-Todd A. Pletcher. Lifetime Record: GSP, 4-1-2-0, $230,020.

Next Start: Uncommitted

Thoro-Graph sheet, Equineline PPs

For a colt with only three starts, a non-functioning left eye, a draw of post 20, and a rookie Derby jockey in the irons, Patch ran a pretty admirable 14th in the ten-furlong first leg of the Triple Crown. He settled well amid the muddy chaos and got pocketed behind tiring horses in the stretch, and although at no point in the race did Patch appear to have serious enough punch to hit the board, the Derby is likely to serve as a valuable learning experience for him moving forward. His effort did produce what I thought was the most glaring price discrepancy in the Derby betting, though: Patch went off way underlaid at 14-1. It is unfathomable, to me at least, that any sizable chunk of this cash can be attributed to “smart money.” Rather, it is a testament to the power of media coverage and the role of storylines as they affect betting markets (there was also evidence of the one-eyed underdog's grass-roots popularity in the huge cheer Patch got from the on-track crowd when introduced in the post parade).

15. (12) J BOYS ECHO (c, MineshaftLetgomyecho, by Menifee)

'TDN Rising Star' O-Albaugh Family Stable. B-Betz/Blackburn/J. Betz/Ramsby/CNHHHNK (KY). T-Dale L. Romans. Sales History: $485,000 Ylg '15 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: GSW, 7-2-1-1, $349,600.

Accomplishments Include: 1st, GIII Gotham S., AQU, Mar. 4

Next Start: Uncommitted

Thoro-Graph sheet, Equineline PPs, Caulfield on J Boys Echo

Granted, J Boys Echo got roughed up in the early crunching shortly after leaving the gate and he took a good deal of muddy splashback. But considering his trainer's stated game plan was to take far back and make one move and that this 'TDN Rising Star's pedigree is supposed to be well suited to slop, I can't say with much confidence that I believe the 15th-place outcome would have been all that different under cleaner, drier conditions. I'm beginning to circle back to my March concern that J Boys Echo's most important win, his 102-Beyer Speed Figure score in the Gotham S., was the result of a squeaky-clean trip behind a pace cave-in, and that that race should not be considered a true indicator of his ability, because the colt has been unable to replicate the same sizzle in two subsequent stakes over increasing distances and against far tougher competition. Trainer Romans has indicated in the past that J Boys Echo isn't an easy horse to train, and the colt has a history for finding trip trouble in his races. There's still plenty of talent here, but a bit of class relief might be in order before it fully shines.

16. (20) SONNETEER (c, Midnight LuteOurs, by Half Ours)

O/B-Calumet Farm (KY). T-Keith J. Desormeaux. Lifetime Record: GSP, 11-0-4-2, $284,445.

Next Start: Uncommitted

Thoro-Graph sheet, Equineline PPs

The maiden Sonneteer was outclassed at every call in the Derby. What boggles my mind is that he went off at a lower mutuel (39-1) than graded stakes winners J Boys Echo (47-1), Irap (41-1), and the Grade I-placed Battle of Midway (40-1). Expect a return to the maiden ranks, where Sonneteer will benefit from a confidence boost–and where he is likely to be another absurd underlay now that he sports a Derby running line in his past performances.

17. (18) FAST AND ACCURATE (c, Hansen–It's Heidi's Dance, by Green Dancer)

O-Kendall E. Hansen. B-John R. Penn (PA). T-Michael J. Maker.

Sales History: $24,000 RNA Ylg '15 KEESEP; $85,000 2yo '16 OBSAPR. Lifetime Record: GSW, 7-3-1-0, $340,362.

Accomplishments Include: 1st, GIII JACK Cincinnati Casino Spiral S., TP, Mar. 25

Next Start: Uncommitted

Thoro-Graph sheet, Equineline PPs

“Not good enough” was trainer Maker's blunt post-race assessment. “We wanted to make the lead but we weren't fast enough,” was how jockey Channing Hill explained it. This might be a spot where you could make a case for the $200,000 Triple Crown supplement being wasted money. But rather than take a jab at connections that are willing to pay dearly to play at the highest level of the sport, let's just say the Derby needs long-shot storylines, and offbeat connections willing to dream big are what keeps the Derby mystique alive. Fast and Accurate harmed no other contenders by mixing it up early then getting out of the way. If he returns on synthetic or turf (the only surfaces over which he's won), keep in mind that this colt did check off the heels of rivals twice within the final three-eighths of the race. If there is such a thing as a “better than it looks” 17th-place finish, this could be it.

18. (13) IRAP (c, TiznowSilken Cat, by Storm Cat)

O-Reddam Racing LLC. B-Aaron & Marie Jones (KY). T-Doug F. O'Neill. Sales History: $140,000 RNA Ylg '15 KEESEP; $300,000 2yo '16 OBSMAR. Lifetime Record: GISW, 9-1-3-1, $772,600.

Accomplishments Include: 1st, GII Toyota Blue Grass S., KEE, Apr. 8

Next Start: Uncommitted

Thoro-Graph sheet, Equineline PPs

Irap got bumped at the break but recovered well enough to attain a solid mid-pack stalking spot on the first turn about four paths off the rail. He never uncorked a threatening move, and although he steadied midway on the far turn, he was not at any point a serious player during the 10-furlong journey. Jockey Mario Gutierrez said he decided to track the speed but that Irap had no response when asked; the colt's eyes were reportedly caked with mud post-race. Trainer O'Neill indicated an attempt at the Preakness S. is unlikely. Both jockey and trainer echoed the “didn't like the track” chorus that was the prevalent excuse among Derby also-rans.

19. (17) STATE OF HONOR (c, To Honor and ServeState Cup, by Elusive Quality)

O-Conrad Farms. B-Manfred & Penny Conrad (ON). T-Mark E. Casse. Lifetime Record: GISP, 11-1-4-2, $382,548.

Next Start: Uncommitted

Thoro-Graph sheet, Equineline PPs

State of Honor was among a bunch of horses whose ability not to get too keyed up in the early stages was a question mark heading into the Derby. He broke with alacrity, got put into a good position by jockey Jose Lezcano, and although he tried hard, State of Honor does not truly have the ability to slug it out with top-level pacemakers like Always Dreaming, Battle of Midway, and Irish War Cry. In retrospect, trainer Casse said he should have told Lezcano to full-throttle send and secure the rail. Both trainer and jockey added “didn't like the track” comments post-race. “I think [on a fast track] he can go longer,” Lezcano said.

20. (19) THUNDER SNOW (IRE) (c, Helmet (Aus)Eastern Joy {GB}, by Dubai Destination)

O-Godolphin Racing LLC. B-Darley (IRE). T-Saeed bin Suroor. Lifetime Record: G1SW, 9-4-2-0, $1,627,692.

Accomplishments Include: 1st, G1 Criterium International, STC, Oct. 30, 1st, G2 UAE Derby, MEY, Mar. 25, 1st, UAE 2000 Guineas, MEY, Feb. 11.

Next Start: Uncommitted

Thoro-Graph sheet, Equineline PPs

Thunder Snow signaled that he might have temperament issues in Dubai when he spooked at infield distractions and jumped tractor ruts in the UAE Derby. He came completely unraveled at Churchill Downs (very rank and bucking as soon as the gates opened) and had to be pulled up in the first sixteenth of a mile. The colt walked back to the barn under his own power and an exam found no obvious injury. Las Vegas odds guru Roxy Roxborough noted after the Derby on Twitter that Thunder Snow had been both 16-1 to win on the tote board and 16-1 to finish dead last in offshore race books. So presumably somebody out there made money before the field even crossed the finish wire the first time.

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