Ever a Derby Winner With Better Credentials Than Nyquist?Read this article
Palace Facing Eight Rivals in $350,000 Frank J. De Francis Dash
On Saturday at Laurel Park, the featured race is the $350,000 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash. The six-furlong stakes race has attracted a competitive field of nine colts and geldings.
Palace tops the field as the morning line favorite at odds of 9-5 for trainer Linda Rice. A New York-bred son of City Zip, the six-year-old is a twelve-time winner and has one win from four starts this year. He is coming into this race off of a victory in the Hudson Handicap against state-bred company at Belmont Park. Regular rider Cornelio Velasquez will be aboard and they are scheduled to break from post position three.
Stallwalkin' Dude back on short rest
Second choice at morning line odds of 5-2 is Stallwalkin’ Dude for trainer David Jacobson. A five-year-old gelded son of City Place, he is a twelve time career winner and has won six of his fifteen outings this year. He is wheeling back on two weeks rest after finishing eighth in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1). Trevor McCarthy will be in the irons of the multiple stakes winner and they will break from post position two.
Trouble Kid going for fifth straight score
Also in the field at morning line odds of 9-2 is Trouble Kid for trainer Ramon Preciado. A three-year-old son of Harlan’s Holiday, he has been on the board in seven of his eight starts and is a four time winner. He is coming into this race off of a four race win streak and his last two victories have come against stakes competition. Joshua Navarro will be aboard and they will break from the outside post as he goes for his fifth straight win.
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.