KENTUCKY DERBY 2015 Contenders: Lord Nelson nips Texas Red

KENTUCKY DERBY 2015 Contenders: Lord Nelson nips Texas Red

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Texas Red began his Kentucky Derby 2015 journey in the San Vicente at Santa Anita on Feb 2 and was rudely greeted in deep stretch by Lord Nelson.

Upstart

Holy Bull hero Upstart joins the Exceptional Eleven – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

The San Vicente was an extended sprint and nothing more than a starting point for Texas Red. He is expected to go next in the G2 Risen Star at Fair Grounds on Feb 21.

Three of my exceptional eleven Derby contenders are in action on Saturday, Feb 7. El Kabeir is the overwhelming favorite in the G3 Withers at the Big A, Dortmund is the choice in the G3 Robert Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita, and Souper Colossal goes in the Texas Glitter at Gulfstream.

Highly regarded, undefeated Blofeld has not had a published workout this year and drops off the list. Holy Bull hero Upstart is his replacement.

Graded Recaps

G2 Holy Bull (105 BSF): The fractions were tepid and Upstart sat a perfect outside tactical trip and got the jump on Frosted en route to an easy victory. Frosted was stuck inside for much of the race and was clearly second best.

Sam F. Davis (93 BSF): Ocean Knight ran his record to 2-for-2 in a neck victory over stubborn rival Divining Rod and it was five lengths back to show finisher My Johnny Be Good. We will learn more about these when they face saltier foes in the near future.

96 Rock (93 BSF): BC Juvenile 4th place finisher The Great War was much the best as the heavy favorite in this Polytrack sprint at Turfway.

G2 San Vicente (91 BSF): Lord Nelson edged BC Juvenile hero Texas Red in this extended sprint with no Derby points attached. Lord Nelson is now 3-for-3 around one turn and Texas Red was using this race as a prep for the G2 Risen Star.

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: 4f in :48.41 (3/14) at Palm Beach Downs on Jan 31.

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

Last Start: 2nd from the inside post in G2 Holy Bull at Gulfstream on Jan 24.

Comments: He followed up a fine 2nd in the Remsen with another solid runner-up effort in the Holy Bull.

Derby Points (8)

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

Trainer: Bob Baffert – Owner: Zayat Stables

Latest Published Workout: 3f in :36.20 (5/22) at Santa Anita on Feb 2.

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

Comments: Foot bruise knocked him out of the G1 BC Juvenile. 2YO Champ returned to the work tab on Feb 2.

Derby Points (10)

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

Trainer: John Terranova II – Owner: Zayat Stables

Latest Published Workout: 5f in 1:01.14 (8/13) at Belmont (dirt training) on Jan 30.

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

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

Latest Published Workout: 4f bullet in :48.60 (1/15) at Gulfstream Park West on Jan 30.

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

Comments: His first 2015 target is the $75k Texas Glitter (5f turf) at Gulfstream on Feb 7, possibly followed by the G2 Swale at 7f on Feb 28.

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

Trainer: Keith Desormeaux

Last Start: Close 2nd in G2 San Vicente on Feb 1.

Comments: The Risen Star is next, followed by the Santa Anita Derby.

Derby Points (12)

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

Trainer: Kiaran McLaughlin – Owner: Godolphin Racing

Latest Published Workout: 5f in 1:01.60 (11/29) at Palm Meadows on Jan 31.

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

Comments: Mike Smith is scheduled to ride in the Risen Star.

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: 4f in :47.60 (3/28) at Santa Anita on Feb 3.

Last Start: 1st in G1 Los Alamitos Futurity.

Comments: The undefeated G1 Los Al Futurity hero is entered 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: 4f in :48.29 (6/19) at Palm Beach Downs on Feb 1.

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)

  1. UPSTART (Flatter – Party Silks, by Touch Gold) upstart silks

Trainer: Richard Violette – Owner: Ralph M. Evans

Latest Published Workout: 4f in :49.45 (4/20) at Palm Meadows on Feb 4.

Last Start: 1st in G2 Holy Bull at Gulfstream on Jan 24.

Comments: Sat a great outside tactical trip and got the jump on Frosted in the Holy Bull.

Derby Points (16)

Honorable Mention: (12) Ocho Ocho Ocho, (13) Lord Nelson, (14) Ocean Knight, (15) Mr. Z, (16) Firing Line, (17) Blofeld, (18) J S Bach, (19) Nasa, (20) Competitive Edge, (21) Hashtag Bourbon, (22) The Great War, (23) Far Right, (24) Khozan, (25) Prospect Park

Injured Reserve

Barbados – Minor knee surgery has him sidelined until May.

Calculator – Emerged from Jan 31 work with an injury and is out for 6 months.

Leave the Light On – Remsen winner is off the Derby trail with an ankle injury.

Mawthooq – Tendon injury knocked him off the Triple Crown trail.

 

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