Ever a Derby Winner With Better Credentials Than Nyquist?Read this article
Thrilled Making Sophomore Debut in $200,000 Plum Pretty Stakes
On Saturday at Sunland Park, the track will host the $200,000 Plum Pretty Stakes. Restricted to three-year-old fillies, the race will be contested at a mile and a sixteenth and has drawn a field of seven.
Thrilled has been tabbed as the morning line favorite at odds of 7-5 for trainer Todd Pletcher. A bay daughter from the first crop of champion Uncle Mo, she has been on the board in four of her five starts and will be trying to earn her second victory. She has been on the bench since finishing second in the Demoiselle Stakes (G2) in November and has been training steadily in Florida. Javier Castellano will be aboard and they will break from post position two.
Family Tree trying for first stakes victory
Second choice at morning line odds of 2-1 is Family Tree for trainer Bob Baffert. A chestnut daughter of Smart Strike, she was purchased for $225,000 as a yearling and one win from four starts. She is trying to break through and earn her first black type victory and has been third in her last two starts against stakes competition. Martin Garcia will be in the irons and they will break from the rail.
Class test for Where's the D
Also in the field at morning line odds of 4-1 is Where’s the D for trainer Doug O’Neill. A bay daughter of Blame, she was purchased for $100,000 as a two-year-old and has a maiden win so far to her credit. After a seventh-place finish in her debut, she broke her maiden in her second start and was seventh in her first start against stakes company in the Frizette Stakes (G1). Mario Gutierrez will be aboard and they will break from post six.
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.