Carpe Diem

Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Jockey: John Velazquez

Trained by Todd Pletcher, this colt was a $1.6 million auction purchase at Ocala last year, and it did not take long to see he had talent, breaking his maiden in his debut last September at Saratoga in impressive fashion, and he was no secret, sent off as the 7-5 betting choice.

He went straight into stakes company where he won the Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland on Oct. 4, his first start around two turns. He beat a strong field in that outing that included Bold Conquest, Mr. Z and Keen Ice, each still on the Derby trail.

Next up was the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and a chance of winning the Eclipse Award for top juvenile. The colt was sent off as the 9-5 betting favorite, but was no match for Texas Red in the stretch and had to settle for the runner up spot.

We had to wait four months to see this guy in action as a three-year-old and he did not disappoint. He won the Tampa Bay Derby, picking up 50 points and assuring himself a starting spot in the gate for the Kentucky Derby.

Pletcher may have as many as six or seven runners in the Derby, and this colt appears to be his best shot of improving on his 1 for 40 record in the race. His final Kentucky Derby prep will come at Keeneland in the Blue Grass Stakes on April 4. A big effort in his final prep and he will be one of the top betting choices in the Derby.

Jockey John Velazquez is Pletcher’s main jockey, and it appears he will stick to this colt, but bettors should note if Velazquez is on another runner from this barn on Derby Day.

The colt is by Giant’s Causeway out of the stakes winner Rebridled Dreams. The colt will head to Louisville with just five starts under his belt, and still appears to have a ton of upside.