KENTUCKY DERBY 2015 Contenders: An International Horse Star

International Star has been one of my Kentucky Derby 2015 contenders since last September and it was gratifying to see him capture another graded race in the Lecomte.

Earlier this month, the 2015 Derby trail got off to a flying start with El Kabeir capturing the Grade 3 Jerome and Calculator overcoming a wide journey in the Grade 3 Sham.

Graded Recaps

G3 Jerome (95 BSF): El Kabeir sat a wide tracking trip from the outside post and was almost five lengths clear crossing the wire. Runner-up Nasa was almost eight lengths ahead of show finisher General Bellamy.

G3 Sham (97): Calculator was widest of all and much the best in his first career win. Runner-up stablemate Rock Shandy was well clear of the rest.

G3 Lecomte (89 BSF): International Star saved ground from the inside post and kicked away from War Story and Tiznow RJ. Highly regarded post time favorite Eagle could not overcome the outside post in a very disappointing 7th place finish.

Smarty Jones: In a bit of breaking news since they just ran this one a few minutes ago, Far Right made a sneak attack along the rail from off the pace (raced in traffic) under Mike Smith. Bayerd landed the place and Mr. Z invented a new way to lose. The latter was in control turning for home but could not keep a straight line and finished an erratic 3rd way out in the middle of the track. The final time for the one mile race was 1:38.43.

Click on the names of each horse below (Top 5) to view their Horse Racing Nation profile page, which includes pedigree information, results, and video.

Jarrod Horak’s “Exceptional Eleven” Kentucky Derby 2015 Contenders

  1. CARPE DIEM (Giant’s Causeway – Rebridled Dreams, by Unbridled’s Song) carpe diem silks

Trainer: Todd Pletcher – Owner: WinStar Farm & Stonestreet Stables

Latest Published Workout: 3f in :37.40 (2/6) at Palm Beach Downs on Jan 17.

Last Start: 2nd in G1 BC Juvenile at Santa Anita on Nov 1.

Comments: Back in Pletcher’s barn after some R & R at Winstar Farm.

Derby Points (14)

  1. FROSTED (Tapit – Fast Cookie, by Deputy Minister) frosted silks

Trainer: Kiaran McLaughlin – Owner: Godolphin Racing

Latest Published Workout: 4f in :48.10 (5/57) at Palm Meadows on Jan 17.

Last Start: 2nd from the outside post in G2 Remsen.

Comments: He almost certainly would have won the Remsen with a better post position.

Derby Points (4)

  1. BLOFELD (Quality Road – Storm Minstrel, by Storm Cat) blofeld silks

Trainer: Todd Pletcher – Owner: Glencrest Farm

Last Start: 1st in G2 Nashua (8f, 93 BSF) at Aqueduct on Nov 2.

Comments: Blew past pacesetter El Kabeir to win G2 Nashua by five. He skipped the Remsen and will winter in Florida.

  1. AMERICAN PHAROAH (Pioneerof The Nile – Littleprincessemma, by Yankee Gentleman) american pharoah silks

Trainer: Bob Baffert – Owner: Zayat Stables

Last Start: 1st in the G1 FrontRunner at Santa Anita on Sept 27.

Comments: Foot bruise knocked him out of the G1 BC Juvenile. Newly crowned Juvenile Champion is expected to resurface soon.

Derby Points (10)

  1. SOUPER COLOSSAL (War Front – Soaring Emotions, by Kingmambo) souper colossal silks

Trainer: Eddie Plesa Jr. – Owner: Live Oak Plantation

Latest Published Workout: 4f in :49.80 (14/46) at Gulfstream Park West on Jan 17.

Last Start: 7th in G1 BC Juvenile on Nov 1.

Comments: Stumbled at the start and dueled 3-wide before slowly fading to 7th in the BC Juvenile at Santa Anita on Nov 1.

  1. EL KABEIR (Scat Daddy – Great Venue, by Unbridled’s Song) el kabeir

Trainer: John Terranova II – Owner: Zayat Stables

Latest Published Workout: 4f in :49.55 (38/115) at Belmont (dirt training) on Jan 18.

Last Start: 1st in G3 Jerome (95 BSF) at Aqueduct on Jan 3.

Comments: Back-to-back graded wins in G2 Ky Jockey Club and G3 Jerome.

Derby Points (21)

  1. INTERNATIONAL STAR (Fusaichi Pegasus – Parlez, by French Deputy) international star silks

Trainer: Michael Maker – Owner: Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey

Last Start: 1st in G3 Lecomte.

Comments: Lecomte hero might return to Fair Grounds for Risen Star.

Derby Points (21)

  1. TEXAS RED (Afleet Alex – Ramatuelle, by Jeune Homme) texas red silks

Trainer: Keith Desormeaux

Latest Published Workout: 6f in 1:14 (13/19) at Santa Anita on Jan 17.

Last Start: 1st in G1 BC Juvenile on Nov 1 (104 BSF).

Comments: Big, romping off the pace win in G1 BC Juvenile for Team Desormeaux. The San Vicente at Santa Anita on Feb 1 is next.

Derby Points (12)

  1. IMPERIA (Medaglia d’Oro – Cocoa Beach, by Doneraile Court) Imperia silks

Trainer: Kiaran McLaughlin – Owner: Godolphin Racing

Latest Published Workout: 4f in :49 (17/57) at Palm Meadows on Jan 17.

Last Start: 2nd by a head in the G2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill on Nov 29.

Comments: Handled dirt just fine under the Twin Spires on Thanksgiving weekend.

Derby Points (4)

  1. DORTMUND (Big Brown – Our Josephina, by Tale of the Cat) Dortmund silks

Trainer: Bob Baffert – Owner: Kaleem Shah, Inc.

Latest Published Workout: 6f bullet in 1:12.20 (1/28) at Santa Anita on Jan 14.

Last Start: 1st in G1 Los Alamitos Futurity.

Comments: The undefeated G1 Los Al Futurity hero might start next in the G3 Robert Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita on Feb 7.

Derby Points (10)

  1. DAREDEVIL (More Than Ready – Chasethewildwind, by Forty Niner) Daredevil silks

Trainer: Todd Pletcher – Owner: Let’s Go Stable

Latest Published Workout: 3f bullet in :36.53 (1/6) at Palm Beach Downs on Jan 17.

Last Start: 11th in G1 BC Juvenile.

Comments: Was hung out to dry (wide throughout from outer post) in BC Juvenile and retreated to last in a throw out effort. He is back in Pletcher’s barn after some R & R at Winstar Farm.

Derby Points (10)

Honorable Mention: (12) Upstart, (13) Calculator, (14) Ocho Ocho Ocho, (15) Lord Nelson, (16) Mr. Z, (17) Leave the Light On, (18) Firing Line, (19) Far Right, (20) J S Bach, (21) Nasa, (22) Competitive Edge, (23) Hashtag Bourbon

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