Ever a Derby Winner With Better Credentials Than Nyquist?Read this article
Harmonize Trying to Hit the Right Notes in $1 Million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf
The stakes action will continue at Keeneland on Friday with the $1 million Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. A one mile event, the Grade 1 has attracted a full field of fourteen fillies.
Harmonize headlines the competitive field as the morning line favorite at odds of 7-2 for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott. A bay daughter of Scat Daddy, she has won two of her three starts and is coming into this race off of consecutive wins against stakes company. Last time out, she went from last to first to take the Jessamine Stakes (G3) at Keeneland over thirteen rivals. Junior Alvarado, her regular rider, will be aboard from post position eight.
Illuminate (IRE) unproven around two turns
Second choice at morning line odds of 9-2 is Illuminate (IRE) for trainer Richard Hannon. A bay daughter of Zoffany (IRE), she will be stretching out to a mile for the first time and has sprinted in all four of her starts. She has three wins and one runner-up effort to her credit and was second in a Group 1 last time out. Frankie Dettori will be back aboard and they will break from post position ten.
Ruby Notion getting a class test
Also in the field at morning line odds of 12-1 is longshot Ruby Notion for trainer Wesley Ward. A bay daughter of Great Notion, she has won three of her four starts. Her lone blemish came when she made the trip to Royal Ascot where she was fifth in the Windsor Castle Stakes. She won an off the turf stakes race at Laurel Park last time out and will break from post five under Brian Hernandez, Jr.
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.