Recent Winners of Derby Prep Races – Part Two

Our look at the recent winners on the Road to the Kentucky Derby continues with the fallout from the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, won by Shanghai Bobby as he extended his winning streak to 5-0. In this section, we cover the remainder of the 2-year-old races, and we finish with the first Kentucky Derby prep of 2013, the January 5 Sham Stakes. In thoroughbred racing, the age of a horse is determined by the calendar year, so all the 2-year-olds became 3-year-olds on New Year’s Day.

November 17, 2012: Grade 3 $1-million Delta Jackpot Stakes (1 1/16 Mile, Dirt, Delta Downs)

Also known as the Delta Downs Jackpot, this race saw Goldencents pick up his first victory on the Road to the Kentucky Derby. He went into the race as the second favorite at 5-2 behind Bern Identity, who had won the Jean Lafitte Stakes and was pegged at 9-5. Goldencents took the lead as he often does, stalked by the longest shot in the nine-horse field, Heaven’s Runway (67-1). Bern Identity rallied down the stretch, but Goldencents had no problem keeping him at bay and winning by 1 3/4 lengths. Mylute, a 25-1 shot, finished another 1 1/4 lengths behind in third.

This victory convinced trainer Doug O’Neill to point Goldencents at the Kentucky Derby. “He had a clean trip and kept on going,” O’Neill told reporters after the win. “He came back awesome. He came back in great shape, and the future is bright with him.”

November 24, 2012: Grade 2 $250,000 Remsen Stakes (1 1/8 Mile, Dirt, Aqueduct)

Named after Colonel Joremus Remsen, who led the American forces at the Battle of Long Island in 1776, the Remsen Stakes has produced four Kentucky Derby champions: Northern Dancer (1964), Pleasant Colony (1981), Go for Gin (1994) and Thunder Gulch (1995). Overanalyze will try to join the list after winning the 2012 Remsen in a photo finish over Normandy Invasion. Coupled as the 8-5 favorite with fellow Todd Pletcher horse Micromanage, Overanalyze pressed the front-running Delhomme all the way to the 1/16 pole before taking over. Normandy Invasion rallied and briefly held the lead, but Overanalyze re-rallied for the narrow victory. Delhomme settled for third.

“He’s a horse that won first time out going wire-to-wire at Saratoga in 0:57 1/5,” Pletcher told reporters when asked about Overanalzye following the Remsen. “He’s got speed and the ability to carry it. He’s a ratable horse, tractable, smart horse.”

November 24, 2012: Grade 2 $150,000 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (1 1/16 Mile, Dirt, Churchill Downs)

Uncaptured shook off his disappointing result at the Grey Stakes, making the move south to Churchill Downs and winning both the Grade 3 Iroquois Stakes (Overanalyze was third) and the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes. Track Rocker set the pace at the beginning, although Uncaptured was fast out of the gate and could have overtaken him at any point. That point came at the far turn, as Uncaptured surged ahead with Frac Daddy gaining the whole time after stalking the leaders. The two horses battled to the wire, exchanging the lead before Uncaptured making the last move and winning by a neck. Dewey Square took third place.

Trainer Mark Casse was beaming when all was said and done. “Honestly, at the eighth pole I thought he was beat,” Casse admitted. “Very seldom does a 2-year-old get headed, be on the inside and come back and win. He showed his gameness today.”

December 15, 2012: Grade 1 $750,000 CashCall Futurity (1 1/16 Mile, Synthetic, Hollywood Park)

Formerly known as the Hollywood Futurity, 11 horses competed on the Cushion Track at this race, with Violence going off as the 6-5 favorite following his maiden victory and another at the Grade 2 Nashua Stakes. Make it 3-for-3, as Violence took the CashCall by 1 1/4 lengths over Fury Kapcori. Really Mr. Greely set the early pace with Violence stalking, then passing at the eighth pole and winning going away. Den’s Legacy was third.

“I had a lot of confidence in this colt,” jockey Javier Castellano told The USA Today. “He is so calm and handles himself very professionally. I think he is a special horse and I am really looking forward to big times.”

January 5, 2013: Grade 3 $100,000 Sham Stakes (1 Mile, Dirt, Santa Anita)

Another race, another win for Goldencents. He took the points lead on the Road to the Kentucky Derby with an easy win at the Sham Stakes, going off as the 2-5 favorite in a field of five horses. Manando set the pace; Goldencents rated behind, started his push near the quarter pole, then caught the tiring Manando in the final furlong and won by 1 1/2 lengths over Den’s Legacy. Manando held on for third place.

“When we turned for home, it felt like it was going to be a tough battle,” jockey Kevin Krigger admitted to reporters. “But by the time we got about 50 yards from the eighth pole, I could feel him gathering himself up to make that huge surge. He galloped out real good. I can’t complain.”

About Tennessee Leduc

Born in Summersville Kentucky, Tennessee is an impassioned fan of horse racing, women, civilized debauchery, and... mint juleps. He writes, he reads, he listens, but above all he experiences the world he lives in.

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