Yesterday we saw three races involving 2018 Kentucky Derby hopefuls: the Holy Bull, the Withers, and the RB Lewis. Interestingly enough while all the winners picked up some bandwagon members, I think the best three year old to run yesterday wasn’t in a stake and didn’t even win. We’ll come back to that in a minute.
Audible took the Holy Bull at Gulfstream Park impressively for Todd Pletcher. He ran away and hid from some well regarded rivals from Dale Romans barn and Kieran McLaughlin as well. His bandwagon got a little crowded when you keep in mind a mile and a sixteenth with the short finish line and Todd Pletcher in the winter in Hallandale is a far cry from Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May. I wouldn’t be surprised if a few of the horses behind him are more serious threats come Derby time.
The Withers went to Avery Island who just outclassed a weak bunch.
The RB Lewis was won wire to wire by stretching out sprinter Lombo under a nice ride by Flavien Prat. It was a classic lone speed win with Peace from Richard Mandela being a disappointment with the addition of blinkers. he didn’t fire at all.
Now to who very well may be the best of yesterday’s lot. Bob Baffert won the 2nd race at Santa Anita, a 6 Furlong Maiden Special Weight race with Curly’s Rocket who lost a gut wrencher last out to Nero. Bob also finished second with Once On Whiskey who he expected A) might need one and B) wanted more distance. This colt flew home exactly like Bob thought and had quite the burst the last sixteenth of a mile. His gallop out was as good as I have seen in a long time.
The Apollo curse just could be in jeopardy this year with this colt. Look out. He could be a rocket albeit making the Kentucky Derby would be a lot to ask. He does have the right trainer though.