The Brock Talk

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Pletcher Considering Lucky Seven With Filly

With trainer Todd Pletcher confirming that Bonnie Miss Stakes (gr. 2) winner Devil May Care (photo) is a possibility for the Kentucky Derby present by Yum! Brand, it is now possible we will see another filly take on colts in the Run for the Roses.

Pletcher said much depends on how Devil May Care ships into Churchill Downs and works over the surface Saturday or Sunday morning. Pletcher also indicated that the Kentucky Derby has been a consideration all along for Devil May Care, who has plenty to qualify for the Derby with $363,000 in graded earnings. Her work at Palm Meadows Training Center in Florida Saturday may have also been a catalyst in the consideration after she covered five furlongs in 1:01.05, almost a full second faster than four of Pletcher's other Derby contenders who worked five furlongs that day. Wood Memorial (gr. 1) winner and probable Derby favorite Eskendereya was timed in 1:02 over five furlongs while Louisiana Derby (gr. 2) winner Mission Impazible went 1:02.25 and Rule stopped the clock in 1:02.25 seconds.

Pletcher was quoted in after the works as saying "Eskendereya, at this point, is a very fit horse and we weren’t looking to overdo it. I thought Mission Impazible was very good. He seems like he’s an improving horse. Rule, you know, wasn’t as sharp, but it was sort of consistent with the way he breezes. Discreetly Mine was good.”

Pletcher also has Arkansas Derby (gr. 1) runner-up Super Saver and Interactif, fourth in the Toyota Blue Grass (gr. 1) as possible Derby contenders.

Should Devil May Care run in the Kentucky Derby, she will be the 40th filly to try the classic against males. Regret (1915), Genuine Risk (1981) and Winning Colors (1989) (photo) are the only fillies to win the Kentucky Derby. Two fillies have finished second, including the ill-fated Eight Belles in 2008 and Lady Navarre in 1906 while five fillies have finished third with the most recent being Prudery in 1921.

Regret and Prudery, running as an entry with the colt Tryster (fourth), are among the only fillies to start in the Derby as the post time favorite. The most recent fillies to accomplish wagering favoritism were Serena's Song, who finished 16th in 1995 running as an entry with Timber Country (third) and Excellent Meeting, 5th in 1999 coupled with General Challenge (11th).

More Derby Notes
The Bob Baffert Derby team of Lookin at Lucky and Conveyance had works over the Churchill Downs surface Wednesday morning with Looking at Lucky going six furlongs in 1:12.01 with exercise rider Dana Barnes aboard while Conveyance also worked six furlongs in 1:12.16 under jockey Calvin Borel... Both Eskendereya and Devil May Care arrived at Pletcher's barn at Churchill Downs Tuesday and had easy gallops Wednesday morning... Santa Anita Derby (gr. 1) winner Sidney's Candy, who has never started on a natural dirt surface, seemed to take to the Churchill track very well Saturday morning working five eighths of a mile in :59.80 seconds, the second fastest work of the morning at that distance. With trainer John Sadler in California, assistant Larry Benavidez oversaw the effort and said "It gave me some goose bumps this morning. That work was phenomenal.”... Noble's Promise, a disappointing fourth in his last race in the Arkansas Derby (gr. 1), appears to have recovered from a small lung infection that may have hampered his effort in that race. Tuesday morning trainer Ken McPeek sent Noble's Promise through a work in company with stablemate and Breeders' Cup Juvenile Filly (gr. 1) runner-up Beautician. The duo went the first half-mile together in 47.20 before Noble's Promise drew away and finished five furlongs in 1:00.40, two full seconds faster than Beautician... Jockey Jon Court, who rode Line of David to victory in the Arkansas Derby, will be replaced in the Derby by Rafael Bejarano. Bejarano was the regular rider on Line of David in his two previous wins against maiden special weight and allowance company in February and March.


John said...

Well, I'm not going to say that one of the country's premiere trainers, who has done everything right this year, is wrong to consider Devil May Care for the Kentucky Derby. Personally, I wouldn't do it however, unless she had already run a prep race, ideally a major prep, other stakes, or at the very least a competive allowance, against males. She hasn't done that, and as useful as workouts can be, training situations are not the same as racing situations where there are so many factors involved in winning or losing; and especially in the 20-horse Derby, which has been almost exclusively a bastion of male talent, and which is, IMO, the most difficult race to win in America.

Anonymous said...

with a 1 in 20 chance, is it not statistically the hardest race to win?

Rhett Fincher said...

That sucks for Jon

Brock Sheridan said...

I doubt Pletcher will run Devil May Care unless he might be getting some pressure from the ownership. Especially with Eskendereya in the barn. But that's just speculation.

The large field makes it a very difficult race with the traffic and 1-20 probability alone. Add on the 126 lbs. and the distance, the crowd, the pressure leading up to the race, etc. and it becomes even more difficult than the numbers.

Brock Sheridan said...

That is a rough one for Jon Court but it may be a case where that was known before the Ark. Derby and Jon was expecting the change. Just speculation, but I still feel for a genuinely good guy and good rider.

Anonymous said...

I hope Devil May Care doesn't run in the Derby just because her entry would mean horses like Jackson Bend and Backtalk will have little or no shot of getting in the field.

Lookin At Lucky and Sidney's Candy both had great works, but Lookin At Lucky's was a stand-out. He looks like he's ready to run the race of his life.

John said...

Railrunner just mentioned yet another reason why I'd prefer that Devil May Care doesn't run. Jackson Bend has danced the dances this year, never finishing lower than second. He belongs.

I like the fact that Sadler has two horses in the Derby and here's a guy who's never won it before. Not sure he's ever even had a horse in it. I have to admit though, when I heard that Court had been taken off Line of David, it immediately soured me. However, we don't really know what went into the decision, whether it was purely an owner call, or trainer input. And Brock makes a good point with the possibility of this being in the cards all along. Since we don't know, it's best to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. I am disappointed but this is a business.

Brock Sheridan said...

Sadler has had one horse in the Derby. Corby finished 6th in 1993. I would have thought more and yes... I had to look it up.

ReneC said...

I would like to see Devil May Care run again. What if she's another Rachel?

Jet Pilot said...

Brock great article it really gave me Derby fever. Only this year don't try to confirm the diagnosis with that thermometer of yours.