Kentucky Derby Hopefuls to Watch


Two-Year-Olds With Kentucky Derby Potential

By: Christopher Ado


Beach Bum (Arch – Chili Cat, by Storm Cat)

He made his debut on closing day of the Autumn meet at Santa Anita and it was the most impressive performance by a two-year-old. where this son of Arch ran fast throughout the seven furlong distance. The Bob Baffert trainee showed excellent early speed to the prompt the early pace three-wide through fast fractions of 21.84 and 44.39. He shook free of his two pace rivals to open up into the stretch and kicked away easily to win the seven furlong race in 1:22.83. The early fractions were faster than that of Allowance N1X/Optional Claiming older fillies and mares that ran one race later: 22.09, 44.89 and final time ⅕ of a second faster. A $400,000 Keeneland September 2015 purchase, Beach Bum is a son of Arch and is bred to run farther with his excellent stamina-laden female family. He is a half to Cat Claw who won the 1 ½-mile Waya Stakes at Saratoga. His second dam, Matlacha Pass, produced Grade 1 winners Pine Island and Point of Entry. Owned by Gary and Mary West, Beach Bum is an exciting prospect with a future pointing towards the first Saturday in May.


Mastery (Candy Ride – Steady Course, by Old Trieste)

Trained by Bob Baffert, Mastery broke his maiden in his career debut on October 22 — and broke it in stylish fashion. After a slow beginning, he cruised up to set the early pace with minimal early pressure, shook free of his nearest pace adversary approaching the quarter pole, and won under minimal encouragement to the wire. This son of Candy Ride works alongside solid company during morning workouts with Gr. 1 Del Mar Futurity winner Klimt and stablemate Big Grey Rocket. The bay colt flaunts an excellent pedigree, especially with his second dam, Steady Cat, who produced Gr. 2 Saratoga Special winner Jump Start. He’ll look to take on stakes company in his next start.


Show Me Da Lute (Midnight Lute – Tough Tiz’s Sis, by Tiznow)

This son of Midnight Lute has one critical factor over the two aforementioned rivals listed above: a maiden win around two turns. He debuted on October 29 in a 1-1/16 maiden special weight and it required all of jockey Victor Espinoza’s strength to get this colt to the wire. His early speed established the pace thru fractions of 23.71 and 48.50. The Bob Baffert trainee was pushed along after a half mile and was under a hard drive — headed by eventual second place finisher Troubledwithatee — into the stretch but re-rallied along the rail to prevail. He lacks the brilliance that Beach Bum and Mastery have shown, but has grit and stamina. He is a full brother to Gr. 2 Bayakoa winner Tiz Midnight and will only get better with experience.


Seau (Distorted Humor – Supercharger, by A.P. Indy)

This regally bred son of Distorted Humor is still a maiden, but he made his debut on October 10 in a 5-½ furlong maiden special weight and finished an excellent second — he will only improve with distance. The Jerry Hollendorfer trainee showed good early speed tracking a three-horse speed duel and was forced to wait behind the leaders around the far turn before swinging out five-wide into the stretch. He leveled off nicely during the final sixteenth of a mile to finish second just 2 ½ lengths behind winner Sword Fighter. In his second career start, on November 6, he managed to split the twelve horse field to finish fifth behind runner-up Royal Mo and winner Beach Bum. Sprinting is too short for him as he is a half brother to multiple stakes winner Cyrus Alexander and Gr. 1 Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver. He will be seen next in a two turn maiden special weight during the Bing Crosby meet at Del Mar or on opening week of Santa Anita’s winter meet.


Royal Mo (Uncle Mo – Royal Irish Lass, by Saint Ballado)

Another maiden, but this son of Uncle Mo has flashed qualities of substance in his two starts for trainer John Shirreffs. In his career debut on August 21 at Del Mar he flashed early speed going three-wide in a four horse speed duel and battled for the lead around the far turn to put away his pace adversaries heading into the stretch. He was worn down by Baffert-trained Irish Freedom by a mere three-quarters. In his second start, on November 6 at Santa Anita, he stretched out to seven furlongs and finished second, 5 ½-lengths behind Beach Bum, but would have posed a real threat with a clean start. Despite the troubled start, Royal Mo rallied throughout and galloped out very well after the wire. He showed a new dimension rallying from off the pace and should result in a top two-turn runner for the same connections as Kentucky Derby winner Giacomo.






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