Ever a Derby Winner With Better Credentials Than Nyquist?Read this article
Big Macher Trying to Repeat in $100,000 Cary Grant Stakes
On Sunday at Del Mar, the featured race is the $100,000 Cary Grant Stakes. Restricted to California-bred contenders, the seven-furlong race has attracted a field of eleven colts and geldings.
Big Macher has been installed as the heavy favorite at morning line odds of 8-5 for trainer Richard Baltas. A five-year-old son of Beau Genius, the bay gelding is a multiple graded stakes winner and has won a total of seven of his eighteen career starts. He won this race last year and will be trying to rebound after a tenth-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1). Rafael Bejarano will be aboard and they will break from post position five.
Forest Chatter going for second straight stakes win
Second choice at morning line odds of 5-1 is Forest Chatter for trainer Richard Mandella. A four-year-old son of Dixie Chatter, the dark bay gelding has won five of his ten starts and is a minor stakes winner. Though not consistent, he notched his first stakes victory last time out in the California Flag Handicap and will try for his second consecutive victory. Mike Smith will be in the irons and they will break from post position eight.
Richard's Boy taking on older rivals
Also in the field at morning line odds of 8-1 is Richard’s Boy, one of four horses in the race for trainer Peter Miller. A three-year-old son of Idiot Proof, the gray gelding has been on the board in eight of his ten starts and is a six-time winner. The multiple stakes winner will be stepping back up in class after winning an optional claiming race at Del Mar and will have the recently-married Joe Talamo aboard from the outside post.
For all the negative buzz about Nyquist's average speed figures and vulnerability, the newly crowned and much-deserving 2016 Kentucky Derby winner might just have the most impeccable credentials of any Derby winner in the illustrious history of the race - and certainly in the modern era.
On Friday at Churchill Downs, the field has been set for the 142nd running of the $1 million Kentucky Oaks. The Grade 1 event, carded at a mile and an eighth, has drawn a full field of fourteen three-year-old fillies with one listed as an also-eligible.
With the final round of Kentucky Derby preps in the books, it seems improbable, but arguable that the March 12 Tampa Derby was the most useful and review-worthy of the 24 official point-bearing races in 2016.