Ever a Derby Winner With Better Credentials Than Nyquist?Read this article
X Y Jet Heavily Favored in $150,000 Sunshine Millions Sprint
On Saturday at Gulfstream Park, the track will host the $150,000 Sunshine Millions Sprint Stakes. Restricted to horses bred in Florida, the six-furlong contest has drawn a field of eight colts and geldings.
X Y Jet has been tabbed as the even-money favorite on the morning line for trainer Jorge Navarro. A four-year-old son of Kantharos, he has been on the board in ten of his twelve starts and is a four-time winner. He is coming into this race off of three straight victories and earned his first graded stakes win last time out in the Mr. Prospector Stakes (G3). Jockey Emisael Jaramillo will be aboard and they will break from the outside post.
Wildcat Red training sharply for return
Second choice at morning line odds of 5-2 is Wildcat Red for trainer Jose Garoffalo. A five-year-old son of D’Wildcat, he has won six of his eighteen starts and is a multiple graded stakes winner. He has been freshened since finishing fifth in the Vosburgh Stakes (G1) in September and has been training steadily since then. Javier Castellano will be aboard and they will break from post position five.
Ackeret back off of eight-month layoff
Also in the field at morning line odds of 20-1 is longshot Ackeret for trainer Bill Mott. A four-year-old son of Mach Ride, he has won three of his eight starts including one against stakes competition. He has been on the shelf since finishing seventh in the Chick Lang Stakes in May and has been training at Payson Park Training Center for his return. Jose Lezcano will be aboard from post position two.
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.