Several horses did not run in the Kentucky Derby. Early Voting sat out the Derby for the Preakness. Un Ojo missed the Derby due to an injury. Creative Minister, Skippylonstocking and Shake Em Loose were not eligible for the Derby.
Let’s take a look at these new shooters and see how they stand up to the rest of the field.
CREATIVE MINISTER (KY) will be moving way up in class. The Creative Cause colt out of Tapit mare Tamboz ran a seriously game race in his first start at Gulfstream Park March 5 and placed a very close second.
Under trainer Kenny McPeek, the striking gray/roan colt broke his maiden next start at Keeneland April 9 with Brian Hernandez Jr. aboard at 1 1/16 miles.
Starting from post 5 Creative Minister stayed in mid-pack in the field of 11 and came off the pace at the stretch to win by 1 ½ lengths
He won his next race, an AOC at Churchill on the Derby undercard, by 2 3/4 lengths with an Equibase Speed Figure of 108.
His best work was March 26 breezing four furlongs in 47.07 ranking 1/113.
Style: Off the pace. Speed. PTW Early Odds: 50-1*
Record: 3: 2-1-0, $140,595
EARLY VOTING (KY) broke his maiden on first asking at Aqueduct Dec. 21, 202, taking command of the race from the stalking position at the ¾ pole.
The son of Gun Runner out of Tiznow mare Amour d’ete followed up by going gate-to-wire in the G3 Withers winning by 4 ½ lengths.
In his last start in the G2 Wood Memorial, the dark brown almost black colt broke first, led the entire race until being passed at the wire by Mo Donegal who rallied from eighth to win by a neck. He earned an Equibase Speed Figure of 102.
Early Voting was held out of the Derby to run in the Preakness by his trainer, Chad Brown, and owner, Seth Klarman of Klaravich Stables. His jockey is Jose Ortiz and with the aforementioned Early Voting has a formidable team.
Style: Front-running. Speed. Graded Stakes winner and placed. PTW Early Odds: 10-1*
Record: 3: 2-1-0, $321,500
SKIPPYLONGSTOCKING (KY) has had a lot of starts—nine. One must say something for experience.
The son of 2016 Preakness winner Exxagerator (out of War Chant mare Twinkling) had his first start at Gulfstream July 10, 2021, where he finished 4th at 5-1/2 furlongs.
The Saffie Joseph trainee broke his maiden in his third start Sept. 26 winning by 10-1/2 lengths at a mile.
In his first stakes October 31, 2021 at Churchill Downs, the Street Sense (L), Skippylongstocking and under Tyler Gaffalione finished a respectable fourth.
Running in a one mile AOC at Gulfstream Dec. 5, 2021, Skippylongstocking missed second by a nose after running in in second for most of the race.
He ran in the Mucho Macho Man (L) Jan. 1, 2022, was outclassed and finished last in the race won by Simplification.
The bay colt’s second of only two wins came in an AOC at Gulfstream March 2 under Junior Alvarado. He rallied from fourth to win by 2 ½ lengths. He earned an ESF of 100.
In Skippylongstocking’s last start he finished third in the Wood Memorial 3-1/2 lengths behind Early Voting and his former nemesis, Mo Donegal.
Owned by Daniel Alonso, Skippylongstocking’s last work was at Palm Meadows on May 7 breezing five furlongs in 1:01.30. His best work was March 26 breezing three furlongs in 35.05.
Style: Off the pace. Some speed. Graded stakes placed. PTW Early Odds: 50-1*
Record: 9: 2-1-2, $165,100
UN OJO (NY), the son of Laoban out of A.P. Indy mare Risk A Chance (an omen?) had a lackluster first outing at Keeneland Oct. 9, 2021. He followed that up breaking his maiden at Delta Downs winning by 4 ¼ lengths going 6 ½ furlongs under Ashley Broussard.
Trained by Ricky Courville, the colt got his first taste of stakes two weeks later at Delta Downs in the Jean Lafitte with a strong rally from 10th to finish fourth going one mile under Devon Magnon.
Next, the dark bay colt traveled to Aqueduct to run in the New York Stallion Stakes Series Dec. 18 at seven furlongs where he just missed winning his first stakes by a neck under Trevor McCarthy. It was a fantastic result especially considering Un Ojo had been bumped at the start and in the stretch. (In fact, all of the horses were bumped in a race that ran like a demolition derby).
Staying in New York, Un Ojo next competed in his first graded stakes, the G3 Withers Feb. 5, 2022, at a 1 1/8 miles again under McCarthy. He closed well to place second to his Preakness competition, Early Voting.
Owners Cypress Creek Equine and Whisper Creek Farm took their colt to Arkansas to run in the G2 Rebel at Oaklawn Feb. 26. Un Ojo came off the pace to win by ½ length over Ethereal Road with Barber Road 1 ¼ back.
After time off Un Ojo returned to Oaklawn. His run in Arkansas Derby April 2 under yet another jockey, Ramon Vazquez, resulted in a disappointing 8th place finish. The Equibase comments stated: Off the pace, saved ground into the far turn, was idling when in tight, checked up and fell back, did not recover.
Style: Off the pace. Able to rally. Graded Stakes winner and placed. PTW Early Odds: 20-1*
Record: 7: 2-2-0, $782,571
SHAKE EM LOOSE (KY) has also had a lot of starts—eleven. Rallying for second in his first outing, Aug. 7, 2021, at Pimlico, he didn’t break his maiden until his sixth start Nov. 19 at Laurel. It was then he was claimed for $16,000 by Rodolfo Sanchez-Salomon for new owner J R Sanchez Racing Stable.
Under his new connections, Shake Em Loose ran in and won his first stakes earning Black Type in the Heft Stakes at Laurel Dec. 29. He rallied from seventh to win by ¾ of a length.
His first start in 2022 was the Spectacular Bid in which he was totally outclassed finishing ninth of ten.
The son of Shakin It Up out of West By West mare No Cash No Credit returned to AOC level and won at a mile by 3 ¾ lengths under Charlie Marquez. The leader from the ¾ pole, Equibase comments about Shake Em Loose were: Bold and driving.
The dark bay gelding followed that up with a win at 1 1/16 miles in the Private Terms, on March 19, again, earning Black Type. Again, he came off the pace at the ¾ pole to take the lead.
Shake Em Loose’s last race was in the Tesio at Laurel on April 16 where he finished third to Joe (1st) and Mr Jefferson (2nd), both entered on the Preakness undercard. He was unable to rally from mid-pack in a field of nine.
He breezed five furlongs at Laurel on May 10 in 59.60 ranking 1/26.
Style: Come from behind, rally. Speed. Eager to run. Stakes winner (Black Type). PTW Early Odds: 30-1*
Record: 11: 4-1-2, $197,375
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Photo: Chad Brown’s Early Voting winning the Withers at Aqueduct. (NYRA/Susie Raisher)
* PTW Early Odds not related to Morning Line Odds and are purely for entertainment purposes.