Best Kentucky Derby Prep Yet - RESULTS INSIDE! - Super Screener
Super Screener

Best Kentucky Derby Prep Yet – RESULTS INSIDE!

Photo by Carson Dennis/Eclipse Sportswire

G2 Holy Bull

This was clearly the best Kentucky Derby prep on the day and, according to the Super Screener early prep screening criteria, this was the best winning performance of the year thus far. While Audible enjoyed a good trip he did have to track a decent pace but what was most impressive was the fact that he ran that last 1/16th in 6 seconds flat. This single performance resulted in a Super Screener Early Contender Score of a perfect 100 eclipsing strong performances by McKinzie, Mask, Instilled Regard and Mourinho.


Free Drop Billy ran a noteworthy race especially considering he was doing so off the long layoff. He can certainly move off that effort for the Dale Romans barn.


Enticed was a big disappointment, clearly needing a race off that layoff, and running on the inside of the track on this day was certainly not the place to be. Will advance off this one so look for a much better effort in his next race.


Race Flow: Moderate/Fast

Track Bias: Outside Troubled Trips: None

Impressive Performance: Audible

Super Screener ECR (Early Contender Rating): Audible 100; Free Drop Billy 67

Super Screener EPR (Early Prep Rating) Score = B+

Comments: This was one of the better early preps to date and the outstanding performance by the New York-bred, Audible, certainly confirmed for Todd Pletcher that this colt can get two turns and belongs on the Kentucky Derby trail. This was such a big race for Audible earning a 105 BRIS Speed Rating, which was an 11-point jump over his previous race. You have to wonder if he can come close to repeating this monster effort next out and with added distance. Free Drop Billy ran well enough off his long layoff to justify a significant move forward in his next race. As we suspected, Tiz Mischief appears to have reached his maximum performance level as he ran the same race as he did in his prior 3 races. Enticed better take a giant step forward 2nd off the layoff or risk falling off the Kentucky Derby trail.


G3 Robert B. Lewis

On a hot day in Southern California, with the Santa Anita track once again playing kindly to speed, the Super Screener Top Long Shot pick, Lombo, took full advantage of a weak field of essentially NW1X to open up early and never look back at odds of 8-1.  


“The pace projects to be slightly below par and with modest pressure as the sprinter #4 Lombo will take the early lead and will be pressed by the aforementioned headliners and #9 Blame the Rider. Due to these favorable pace conditions, #4 Lombo will stay on much longer than he would had the pace come up more swift and pressured. This makes the grey colt a viable long shot play in the race. He’ll be piloted by Flavien Prat who has opted for this one over #6 Inscom whose connections want to “experiment” on dirt again despite his success on grass and his decidedly “turfy” stride.”


The Super Screener Top Value play, Ayacara, was the best of closers — working against the track bias — to finish a clear 2nd place.  


The Super Screener detected that Dark Vader’s last race was no fluke and that the return to dirt and added blinkers is what resulted in that top race. He essentially duplicated that race here, good enough for a 3rd place finish at odds of 37-1. That outcome triggered a $1066 payoff on the Super Screener suggested Trifecta wager.  


Super Screener assessment of this race as a Kentucky Prep is as follows:


Race Flow: Slow/Slow

Track Bias: Speed

Troubled Trips: None

Impressive Performance: None

Super Screener ECR (Early Contender Rating): Lombo 56

Super Screener EPR (Early Prep Rating) Score = D

Comments: None of the “Big 4” Derby contenders based in Southern California were in this race. In fact, it was really an Allowance NW1X race so it was a pretty darn weak prep. Lombo, making his first start in a route after winning an average maiden race instantly disposed of this field early, opened up and never faced a challenge, lending more credence to the fact that this was a subpar prep race that earned that “D” rating. Don’t look here for any Derby contenders.


G3 Withers

As expected, the Super Screener Top Win pick, Avery Island, won this race with relative ease though did so being forced to chase Pletcher’s “rabbit” in the race, Coltandmississippi through swift fractions. Firenze Fire and Marconi both got perfect trips and it was a good 2nd race for Firenze Fire showing two turns are not out of the question but going any longer is.  If he makes the Kentucky Derby gate, he’ll be a big stand against. Interesting that Pletcher had 3 entered here among the 5-horse field and he couldn’t crack the Exacta. Tells us that all of Pletcher’s “Derby stock” is racing in Florida.


Super Screener assessment of this race as a Kentucky Prep is a follows:


Race Flow: Fast/Slow

Track Bias: Inside Speed

Troubled Trips: Marconi

Impressive Performance: None

Super Screener Early Derby Contender Score: Avery Island 67

Super Screener EPR (Early Prep Race) Score = C-

Comments: There were no performances in this race that hinted at early Kentucky Derby prowess. It is clear that horses that have remained in NY this year will once again be inferior to those running in Florida, California, Louisiana and Arkansas.


G2 San Pasquale

This is a race to put a big asterisk next to as it was quirky in every way.  First, for a race of this caliber the pace was dreadfully slow.  A group of 5 horses bunched together and stayed together heading into the stretch.  Mubtaahij didn’t know what to do with himself on the lead and Top of the Game, who should have been out front, got the easiest of fractions but could not match the late foot of the other rivals.  Accelerate slipped through an opening on the rail to prevail.  This race turned into a 3-furlong sprint race and those with the best turn of foot enjoyed the best outcome.  Pavel got a horrible trip and his performance should be upgraded (with perhaps a rider change next time out).  Mubtaahij probably ran the best race of the bunch as he was the only horse from that original group of 5 front runners that hung around at the end.


Kentucky Derby prep action returns next weekend with the G3 Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs and, while not an official Derby points race, Santa Anita is hosting the always interesting G2 San Vicente Stakes going 7 panels. The G1 headliner of the weekend will be the Gulfstream Turf Handicap. Of course, there will be plenty of other stakes action from these tracks to choose from so another strong weekend of racing heading our way.


Until then, Go Fast and Win!