Tracking the Odds on I’ll Have Another, Future Book KY Derby Longshot Winner

Here on we partner with Wynn Las Vegas to provide the future book odds for premier horse racing events such as the Kentucky Derby, Triple Crown and the Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championships. I know of several sharp horseplayers who made a nice score by tabbing I’ll Have Another as the potential winner of Kentucky Derby 138 some months ago by placing future book wagers down at triple-digit odds.

Since we keep an archive of the Wynn Las Vegas Future Book odds, I figured it would be interesting to track the drop in price on this horse from earlier this year up until mid-April and then, of course, race day itself.

2012 Kentucky Derby future book odds courtesy of Wynn Las Vegas — October 24, 2011

I’ll Have Another listed at 200-1

Kentucky Derby 2012 Future book odds – as Nov. 28, 2011

I’ll Have Another still listed at 200-1

Kentucky Derby 2012 Future book odds – as Jan. 3, 2012

I’ll Have Another drops to 150-1

Kentucky Derby 2012 Future book odds  – as Feb. 8, 2012

I’ll Have Another drops sharply to 65-1 after upsetting the G3 Robert B. Lewis Stakes.

Kentucky Derby 2012 Future book odds  – as Feb. 28, 2012

I’ll Have Another drops sharply to 30-1

Kentucky Derby 2012 Future book odds  – as March 27, 2012

I’ll Have Another remains steady at 28-1

Kentucky Derby 2012 Future book odds – as April 9, 2012

I’ll Have Another wins Santa Anita Derby on April 7th and drops to 14-1

Kentucky Derby 2012 Future book odds  – as April 17, 2012

I’ll Have Another actually rises to 16-1 after a huge weekend of racing

Kentucky Derby 2012 Future book odds – as April 23, 2012

I’ll Have Another drops back down to 14-1

Actual Post Time odds on Kentucky Derby 138, May 5, 2012

I’ll Have Another wins at odds of 15.30-1, returning $32.60 for every $2 bet to win.

Clearly the “sweet spot” for this horse, and no doubt many future book winners others over the years, was in the months of December and January. That is when the big score could have been made, and it was for some shrewd horseplayers.

PPs Ill Have Another

2012 copyright and Equibase

2012 Kentucky Derby Contenders, Borderline Horses, and Throwouts – Part X

Here are the final five analysis of Kentucky Derby 138 probable starters from As always, the Wynn Future Book Odds (from 4/16/12) are listed next to the horse.


PPs Ill Have Another

2012 copyright and Equibase

I’LL HAVE ANOTHER (16/1, # 12 on Money List)

This son of Flower Alley has done little wrong for owner J. Paul Reddam, who has owned such top horses as Wilko, Red Rocks and Square Eddie. After scoring an easy win in the Robert B. Lewis Stakes, he followed that up with a game win over top California horse Creative Cause in the G1 Santa Anita Derby. He gutted out a nose victory after a tough final stretch duel. That is not the type of prep you want to see going into the Derby, in this handicapper’s view. There is nothing wrong with a tough race, but I believe there is a good chance that I’ll Have Another will regress off that Santa Anita Derby victory.

Two other things I don’t particularly like about this colt. In the Robert B. Lewis win, which was visually impressive, he switched back to the wrong lead at the 1/16th pole. Let me assure you that is not a positive sign. It is often the sign of a horse with a physical ailment.

In addition, there are several horses in this year’s field that have a similar running style. I believe he would need a perfect trip to overcome the pace scenario and outfinish those rivals.

I’ll Have Another will be ridden by jockey Mario Gutierrez, a very talented rider who made his mark at Hastings Park in Vancouver, Canada but has never ridden in the Kentucky Derby.

Status: Borderline Horse for the Exotics.


PPs of Gemologist

2012 copyright and Equibase

GEMOLOGIST (7/1, # 7 on Money List)

Last year in the G2 Kentucky Jockey Club, Gemologist overcame a tough outside post with the short run to the first turn, and a three-wide trip on every turn, to claim a gutsy win in the prestigious fall meet stakes.

After the win, trainer Todd Pletcher said he was envisioning a two-prep plan next year, reminiscent of Super Saver.

“We’ll give him a little bit of a break off that, and I’ll get with Elliott[Walden], and we’ll come up with a game plan,” Pletcher said. “I’d say we’d try to follow a similar path — hopefully two starts before the big race, if things go well.”

Everything has gone according to plans this year. His first start off the year with an impressive win at Gulfstream Park with the short field spread out behind him. He followed that up with another impressive win, this time in the G1 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct. A lot of people talk about runner-up Alpha’s troubled trip around the first turn, but Gemologist didn’t exactly have a clean trip either. He was involved in the “five way crush of horses” as Tom Durkin called it.  In fact, the race around the first turn was the type one often sees in the Kentucky Derby each year. Gemologist’s tactical speed and button-push acceleration helped avoid major trouble around the first turn. In the process he was used up some to maintain a good position behind a quick pace once they cleared the first turn.  In the stretch run I believe Gemologist starting loafing a bit. Once he saw Alpha range up on him, he pulled away from that rival nearing the wire. They could have gone around the track a second time and Alpha never would have caught Gemologist.

His victory in the Wood was his fourth career win over as many different racetracks. He now returns to Churchill Downs where he is undefeated in two career starts.

Gemologist has improved with each career start, and as a son of superstar Tiznow, the distance of the Kentucky Derby is not a question.

Status: Contender


2012 copyright and Equibase

OPTIMIZER (85/1, # 21 on Money List)

Trainer D. Wayne Lukas is back in the Kentucky Derby, this time with longshot Optimizer who gets in at the last minute due to the defection of another longshot, Mark Valeski.

This turf specialist has a main track dirt record that reads like this: 6-0-1-0 (six starts, zero wins, 1 place, zero show). His lone good effort on the dirt was a fast-closing 2nd to miler Secret Circle in the G2 Rebel Stakes. For that “visually impressive” late run, he earned an 88 Late Pace figure. That might win you an allowance race on the undercard, such as  a “non-winners of two life” which this son of English Channel is eligible for.

Status: Throwout


2012 copyright and Equibase

SABERCAT (35/1, # 8 on Money List)

The only thing this colt from the Steve Asmussen barn has going for him is his closing running style. Kentucky Derby 138 figures to feature a fast pace and that will benefit the closers. Sabercat was crushed by Bodemeister in the G1 Arkansas Derby and he couldn’t even pass miler Secret Circle in the final furlong, as that rival was staggering down the stretch run at Oaklawn Park. Secret Circle’s best lifetime BRIS Speed Rating is a 94, and to say that “doesn’t cut it” would be an understatement.

Sabercat is 2-0-0-1 at Churchill Downs.

Status: Throwout


PPs Union Rags

2012 copyright and Equibase

UNION RAGS (9/2, # 3 on Money List)

Despite his troubled third in the G1 Florida Derby, Union Rags remains the horse to beat in Kentucky Derby 138. The son of Dixie Union has never run a bad race for trainer Michael Matz of Barbaro fame. His two huge wins in graded stakes in New York last year made him the strong favorite in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Breaking from the ten hole that day, he suffered a wide trip and just could not catch the loose leader, Hansen, in the stretch run. This has turned out to be the strongest running of the BC Juvenile in its history, with no less than 9 horses coming back to eventually win stakes races.

The hype continued into his three year old season when he scored a smashing win in the G2 Fountain Of Youth Stakes, but Union Rags had a perfect trip and set up that day. That was not the case in the FL Derby when he raced throughout in traffic and was shuffled back heading into the far turn. When he finally got clear, he could not run down the top two finishers, including wire-to-wire winner Take Charge Indy.

In his two starts this year, he has earned triple digit speed figures and 113 and 115 BRIS Late Pace Ratings, respectively, which are monster numbers.

Since arriving in Louisville, he has been working exceptionally well. He appears to be on top of his game and another typical, strong effort should be expected. It doesn’t hurt that top jockey Julien Leparoux, who has been on fire this year, is anxious to made amends for the last race.

Status: Contender

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2012 Kentucky Derby Contenders, Borderline Horses, and Throwouts – Part IX


2012 copyright and Equibase

DADDY NOSE BET ( 20/1, #13 on Money List)

This runner from the Steve Asmussen barn has become the “hype” horse over the past 7-10 days. He has been working well over the Churchill Downs surface and drawn rave reviews from some of the experts.  Yada, yada, yada.

The son of Scat Daddy owns a win in the G3 Sunland Park Derby, which I will concede has been a positive race in the Triple Crown and other higher profile events over the past three years. However, Daddy Nose Bet has only faced top competition once in his career and that resulted in a fair sixth place finish in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf. He has never faced Grade One quality on the dirt.

I bet him when he won the G3 El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate earlier in the year, and one of the main reasons I liked him was because I thought he could transfer his turf form to the synthetic Tapeta surface. He scored by a “nose” that day under Julien Leparoux at very generous odds of 4.10-1.

Daddy’s main track dirt record is 3-1-1-0, with two of those starts coming in maiden races last year. I am not sure he is at his best over a traditional dirt surface, and that is certainly not a question mark you want to have going into the Derby. More importantly, I don’t think this colt is good enough to compete against the top runners in this field. This is one of the strongest Kentucky Derbies in recent memory, and Daddy Nose Bet has done nothing to indicate in his past performances that he can upset the apple cart.

Status: Borderline Horse for the Exotics


2012 copyright and Equibase

LIAISON (35/1, # 14 on Money List)

As a two year old the Bob Baffert trainee won three races in a row, culminating with a win in the G1 Cash Call Futurity in December. His three year old season has been a stark contrast, and there is nothing to indicate a turnaround is in the works. Baffert has stated that Liaison did not like the track at Santa Anita, but considering he broke his maiden there impressively in October, that excuse is hard to buy.

As a son of Indian Charlie, he doesn’t figure to move forward with added distance. His workout the other day at Churchill Downs also left a lot to be desired. Jockey Rafael Bejarano is bailing on the horse. We’ll pass on this longshot.

Status: Throwout


PPs of FL Derby winner Take Charge Indy

2012 copyright and Equibase

TAKE CHARGE INDY (18/1, # 9 on Money List)

Calvin Borel’s mount in the Kentucky Derby does not seem to be getting a lot of attention. This is probably because the colt has only had one race since January, and his two year old races were a notch below the nation’s best. However, he has the markings of a horse that has improved dramatically from age two to three.

For starters, pedigrees don’t get any better. He is a son of world class sire A.P. Indy and out of the multiple Grade 1 winning mare Take Charge Lady. He is bred to get better with age and distance, and that is exactly what this sophomore colt has done. His two races this year were outstanding. First, he ran 2nd to El Padrino in an allowance race, but he earned a monster 109 BRIS Speed Rating in the process. He proved that was no fluke when Borel put him on the lead, for good, in the G1 Florida Derby. All the talk after the race was the “questionable” ride by Leparoux on heavy favorite Union Rags, but there wasn’t much discussion about the impressive win by this colt. Sure, he had things his own way on the lead, but he was challenged by not one, but two horses on the far turn, easily disposed of those two rivals and maintained  command in the stretch.

In addition, by being down at Palm Meadows training center, he has been training out of the public eye by trainer Pat Byrne. Here were Byrne’s post-work comments the colt’s last serious drill on April 26th:

“To sum it up in a word — magnificent,” Byrne said. “The track here is in great shape. It was a super work. He couldn’t be doing any better. He’s ready to go. He was just stretching his legs this morning. I’m delighted…he has never been better. He worked absolutely fantastic. It was visually impressive and he outworked his company.”

Although Take Charge Indy won the Florida Derby on the front end, he does not need the lead to win. Of course, in this year’s Kentucky Derby, that is an important trait to have for a colt that does possess a lot of early speed.

Status: Contender

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2012 Kentucky Derby Contenders, Borderline Horses and Throwouts – Part VII


PPs of KY Derby contender Hansen

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HANSEN (14/1, # 1 on Money List)

The G1 Blue Grass Stakes featured a large field of 13 three year olds, highlighted by the presence of 6/5 morning line favorite Hansen, who was fresh of an impressive win in the G3 Gotham Stakes on March 3. But a big problem for the prohibitive favorite was not only the large field but an abundance of early speed, which would likely force rider Ramon Dominguez’ hand early. In this handicapper’s view, the 9 furlong race set up big time for two particular horses – Prospective and Dullahan – and worked against the speedy gray Hansen.

Hansen was pretty “wound up” in the post parade and appeared to be using up some of his valuable energy prior to entering the starting gate, which is never a good sign for any horse, especially a  betting favorite. Despite that pre-race issue, compounded by the presence of a lot of other speed, Hansen burst to the lead into the first turn and dictated the way for 8 1/2 furlongs. However, he could not hold off the powerful late run of the fresh closer, Dullahan, who stormed down the middle of the track, catching the leader at the 1/16th pole and drawing off to a 1 1/4 length victory in very fast time.

The son of Tapit has never run a bad race, having finished first or second in all six career starts. His Gotham win was something special as he overcame a wide trip from a brutal outside post to crush 12 other rivals. The show horse was left 9 lengths in his wake. In the process Hansen earned a big 105 BRIS Speed Rating, which topped his 103 fig from the Breeders’ Cup score.

Although he will enter the Derby with remarkably different credentials, Hansen reminds this handicapper of longshot Derby upsetter War Emblem. He is a route horse with a tremendous amount of early speed and a huge heart, to boot. That’s a dangerous combination. This is a horse handicappers should not easily dismiss.

Status: Contender


copyright 2012 and Equibase

ROUSING SERMON (60/1, # 21 on Money List)

I am not going to waste a lot of time on this horse. The Jerry Hollendorfer trainee is a nice Grade 3 horse but he doesn’t fit in the Kentucky Derby.  The only thing he has going for him is his closing running style in a year when there figures to be quite a bit of early pace.  But the son of Lucky Pulpit is no where near as fast as some of the other closers. His lifetime best BRIS Speed Rating is a 94. He also doesn’t appear to have improved any as a three year old (over his two year old form), which is a very negative sign.

Status: Throwout


copyright 2012 and Equibase

DADDY LONG LEGS (35/1, # 13 on Money List)

This son of Scat Daddy is a physical specimen. He broke his maiden first time out overseas going 7 furlongs on the grass, and two races later captured a group 2 event at the prestigious Newmarket meet. He was shipped to Churchill and, instead of contesting the Juvenile Turf (G1), he was entered in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), where he never lifted a hoof en route to a next-to-last finish in the field of 13.

The connections were not discouraged by that, and they still were thinking KY Derby when then entered this guy in the UAE Derby on Dubai World Cup day. He responded with a smashing win in the 9 1/2 furlong stakes. That race came over the synthetic surface at Meydan, so Daddy is still unproven over a conventional dirt surface. In addition, he only has one race coming into the Kentucky Derby and has to ship overseas for this start.  He is owned by Derrick Smith, Mrs. John Magnier and Michael Tabor, who have had success winning graded and group stakes around the world.

This is a very difficult horse to judge because he clearly has a ton of talent and he can run all day. Even worse, he is expected to arrive next Wednesday, leaving little time to judge how he looks over the Churchill surface.  I don’t know what happened last year in the Cup, but this horse has a pedigree on both sides that screams dirt. He should be able to handle the main track. For that reason, coupled with his proven talent, Daddy Long Legs is a sleeper for Kentucky Derby 138.

Status: Contender

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2012 Kentucky Derby Contenders, Borderline Horses, and Throwouts – Part VI


PPs of KY Derby favorite Bodemeister

2012 copyright and Equibase

BODEMEISTER (5/1, # 11 on the Money List )

This son of Empire Maker may have peaked in the G1 Arkansas Derby, when he overcame a very tough outside post that afternoon to crush the field by 9 1/2 widening lengths. He got the final 1/8th of a mile in a shade under 12 seconds, which is simply phenomenal and explains why he won by so far. In the process he earned a very strong 105 BRIS Speed Rating and an even bigger Beyer speed figure.

I was on Bodemeister when he broke his maiden in his second career start, Feb. 11 at Santa Anita. That day it was a similar performance, as the young colt dictated the pace and then drew away to 9 1/4 length win in fast time. Off that impressive maiden win, he was stepped up to the G2 San Felipe by Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert and the result was a strong 2nd place finish to Creative Cause, the top horse in California.

This handicapper really likes Bodemeister, but I am also a value player and there are several problems with this talented horse when it comes to Kentucky Derby 138. Here are the six reasons that I will not be keying my bets around Bode:

1) Bodemeister will be the favorite in the Kentucky Derby, despite what other people think. He is coming off a monster win and a huge Beyer figure. Union Rags is coming off a disappointing 3rd.  Factor in Bob Baffert, and there is no doubt in my mind who goes off favorite. It’s hard to bet on an underlay in any Kentucky Derby, but especially so this year when the field appears to be very strong.

2) No Kentucky Derby winner since Apollo in 1882 has been unraced as a two year old. That’s 1882 not 1982. Different trends have been falling by the wayside in recent years, but this is the negative trend of all negative trends. The last big-name victim of this trend was eventual Horse of the Year Curlin.

3) Check out this post-race quote from the Arkansas Derby. “The key to this horse is keeping him quiet in the post parade,” trainer Bob Baffert said. “He got really hot in his last race [San Felipe]. It’s exciting to see a young horse develop like this.” Welcome to the Kentucky Derby Day paddock, Bode.

4) The runner-up, Secret Circle, from Oaklawn can’t run a lick past 8.5 furlongs, and the rest of the field was pretty lackluster. Bottom line: he didn’t beat much.

5) He has bounce written all over him. Oftentimes horses bounce because they don’t get the same situation in their next start. See reason #6.

6) This may be the most scary reason for those planning on supporting Bodemeister. He owns two lifetime wins and in both races he did not pass a horse. Bode has never passed a horse en route to winning a race. I’m not saying he isn’t capable of doing that but he is unproven rating. There is a ton of pace in this year’s Kentucky Derby and that potentially hurts Bode big time.

Status: Contender. Value players will consider tossing him due to the reasons discussed above.

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2012 Kentucky Derby Contenders, Borderline Horses and Throwouts – Part III


2012 copyright and Equibase

PROSPECTIVE (85/1, #16 on Money List)

I really liked this Mark Casse colt going into the Bluegrass Stakes (G1). There was a ton of early speed present in the field, and consequently, the race set up for two horses in particular – this guy and the eventual winner Dullahan. Prospective was fresh off two solid efforts at Tampa Bay Downs and appeared to be coming into the race the right way. He had a good post and the surface was not an issue, as he was already proven over Polytrack.

Things could not have been better in the first six furlongs of the race as Prospective sat a beautiful trip. But when the real running started, Prospective threw out the anchor. He finished sixth, beaten only about 6 lengths, but that is actually a pretty sizeable margin on the synthetic surface.  This was not a good performance, especially given the circumstances and the favorable race setup. The son of Malibu Moon isn’t good enough to be competitive in Kentucky Derby 138.

Status: Throwout

2012 KY Derby runner Mark Valeski pps

2012 copyright and Equibase

MARK VALESKI (25/1, #22 on Money List)

This colt comes off a nice, closing 2nd place finish from an outside post in the Louisiana Derby (G2). It’s just too bad for this guy’s chance that this particular stakes race was one of the worst renewals I can ever recall. It was a pretty bad field, especially for a “major” prep 5 weeks prior to Kentucky Derby 138. The horse who beat him at Fair Grounds (off at odds of over 100-1) returned to run a poor race in the Bluegrass Stakes (G1) at Keeneland.

One positive with this horse is trainer Larry Jones, who is one of the best in the business and has Derby experience in his corner. Another positive note about the son of Proud Citizen is that he is an honest runner. Aside from his fourth place finish in his career debut going 5 furlongs, he has never run a bad race. However, the Kentucky Derby is going to be a huge step up in class, and he has not shown the type of ability against top class runners to think he can overcome that hurdle. He has only surpassed a 94 BRIS Speed Rating in one career start and that was his 101 in the Risen Star.

Mark Valeski is the type of longshot that could get 4th in the Derby at big odds and it would not be a huge surprise based on his overall honesty and consistency. However, hitting the board seems out of the question.

Status: Throwout



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2012 Kentucky Derby Contenders, Borderline Horses and Throwouts – Part II


KY Derby contender El Padrino

2012 copyright and Equibase

EL PADRINO (15/1, #23 on the Money List)

Inbred to both Mr. Prospector and Secretariat, it goes without saying that El Padrino hails from a very class family. His dam is an offspring of the Mr. Prospector mare Chic Shirine, who produced two Grade 2 winners and is a full sister to 1991 Champion Older Mare Queena. So, I don’t believe that distance is any type of concern for this son of Pulpit. Class and stamina are present throughout in his bloodlines.

El Padrino was the “hot” horse after his smashing win at Fair Grounds in the Risen Star Stakes (G2). Although he only scored by a nose, he did so in pretty good time, with the runner-up well clear of the show horse in the large 11-horse field. The Todd Pletcher trainee caught many players’ attention in his prior start, his first of his three-year-old year, when he ran a monster 111 BRIS Speed Rating in an allowance win. He then ran a 101 when winning the Risen Star, and followed that up with a 100 fig when racing an even fourth in the Florida Derby (G1). His Florida Derby effort was just fair and he was clearly no match even for the show horse, Union Rags, who had a less than ideal trip.

This colt may be good enough to win the Kentucky Derby but I believe his first two starts of the year have caused a regression. He is not coming into the first Saturday of May the right way – peaking. In a year when the Derby is very strong and there are many serious contenders, that is enough for me to throw El Padrino out.

Status: Throwout

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2012 Kentucky Derby Contenders, Borderline Horses and Throwouts

It’s 17 1/2 days to the 2012 Kentucky Derby and this year’s race shapes up to be one for the ages. Just a few weeks ago it looked like Union Rags would be the prohibitive betting favorite on May 5, but with his loss in the Florida Derby (G1) and some huge wins by other horses, that has all changed.

Every day here on I am going to analyze one or two entrants for Kentucky Derby 138. Is the horse a contender, a borderline player, or a complete toss? I haven’t always been right about the Kentucky Derby. A few years ago the New York-bred gelding Funny Cide made me look a tad foolish. But when you’re right on Derby Day, as I was last year with Animal Kingdom, it makes the opinions of horses like Funny Cide a distant memory.

Today we will look at Alpha and Went The Day Well.  The current Wynn Future Books odds are listed next to the horse name.

PPs for Derby horse Alpha

2012 copyright and Equibase

ALPHA (12/1)

This son of Bernardini certainly has the pedigree to run all days and that bodes well for his chances. After back-to-back wins over the inner track at Aqueduct, he then finished a troubled 2nd behind Gemologist in the Wood Memorial (G1). He has only run one poor race in his lifetime and that came in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), contested at Churchill Downs.

Unfortunately, I don’t think this colt is fast enough, and I don’t like that he campaigned over the Aqueduct winter track. Although he has run decent 100, 100, and 101 BRIS Speed figures in his three sophomore starts, he is tad slower than the best runners on May 5. Those are typically not the numbers of a horse sitting on a Derby victory. His Late Pace Ratings are decent as well, but again, he just doesn’t show the brilliance of a Kentucky Derby winner. He is certainly a horse that could hang on for a piece and get owner Goldolphin Stables their first in-the-money performance, but I don’t like him for the win.

Status: Throwout for the Win.  Contender for the Exotics.

KY Derby contender Went The Day Well

2012 copyright and Equibase


The Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes (G3) was held at Turfway Park on Saturday, March 31, and again the red hot Team Valor stable had a live contender in the field in Went The Day Well. In 2011 Team Valor won the race decisively with Animal Kingdom, and Went The Day Well was nearly as impressive as his older stablemate’s victory. The son of Proud Citizen sat a stalking trip, covered up during part of the running. He moved into contention turning for home but then quickened when asked to maintain his position inside of longshot Heavy Breathing, trained by Todd Pletcher. That duo continued to outrun their rivals into the straightway, with Went The Day Well still on his wrong lead and racing a tad greenly. John Velasquez pulled on the right rein to show him the other horse and prompt him to switch leads, and Went The Day Well responded. He switched leads, quickened again and pulled away from Heavy Breathing to win going away at the wire.

It seems like every week that Team Valor International is capturing graded or group stakes somewhere in the world, and they have another live longshot this year with this runner. Their colt earned a 103 BRIS Speed Rating, a career best, for his Spiral win. He is certainly an improving horse at the right time of the year and has already proven that he can handle dirt. He hails from a female family that passes on a lot of class and stamina, and therefore, should have little trouble with the added distance that the Derby presents.

Status: Contender

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