Big Moves on the 2017 Kentucky Derby Trail - Super Screener
Super Screener

Big Moves on the 2017 Kentucky Derby Trail

Photo by Liz Lamont/Eclipse Sportswire

G3 Fountain of Youth

What the heck happened to Irish War Cry?  Why could he not be rated off Three Rules who ran one heck of a good race?  That was really disappointing. This is what his trainer, Graham Motion, said after the race:


“I certainly considered not running him yesterday,” Motion said. “From a handicapping point of view, he jumped so far forward in the Holy Bull there was every opportunity he was going to regress in this race but I felt that his regression would still be good enough to be very competitive, and he certainly trained so well I had no reason to think that he couldn’t run on Saturday. He was in such great form in everything he’d done since the Holy Bull.


Our top board hitter pick did what our Gotham top board hitter pick did…won the race.  Gunnevera looked super impressive here in the way he distributed his energy in such a balanced way moving slightly forward in his form cycle as predicted.  This sets him up for what should be a good outcome in the Florida Derby which will be his next race.  Questions about his ability to get the Derby distance will start emerging so let’s see how he distributes his energy in that race and see if that yields any clues.  In the meantime, this is what the Super Screener said about Gunnevera before this race:


#2 Gunnevera belongs with these even though he was no threat to #8 Irish War Cry in the G2 Holly Bull.  Should move a bit forward off that effort 2nd off the layoff.  Will sit mid-pack and get more pace then he did last out which is crucial considering his middle/late energy distribution profile.  Super Screener most reliable board hitter pick.  TOP BOARD HITTER has the inside post advantage and the balanced energy distribution profile well-suited to the race set up.  Did not threaten Irish War Cry last out.  Training well up to this and a slight move forward is projected.”
Practical Joke had an explosive middle move off the layoff and then flattened a bit in the stretch like he did in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.  Chad Brown thinks he can go 2 turns but admitted he might be his absolute best at a 1-turn mile.

G3 Gotham

True Timber went right at El Areeb’s throat early, creating just the opposite pace outcome predicted by the Super Screener, enabling the perfect set up for J Boys Echo, who submitted one of the best Derby preps to date throwing back really solid numbers across all pace points and the final speed figure.  Screener really liked how he was able to move rapidly into contention into the hot pace and then sustain a powerful run past the wire.  He was the Super Screener top board hitter pick and he certainly achieved that and then some.  He now has enough points to be in the Derby field.  Look for a maintenance type run in the Blue Grass Stakes which will be the location of his final Derby prep.  Here’s what the Super Screener said about the top board hitter pick reflecting the wrong assumption that the pace would come up soft:


“(J Boys Echo) TOP BOARD HITTER Keeps improving.  Sure could use some pace but won’t get it here. Finished a solid 3rd behind #4 El Areeb last out.  Moves up in a big way 2nd off the layoff and that last sharp work only lends more confidence.”


El Areeb was game enough to hold onto third after doing all the work up front.  He deserves another shot at Derby points and will pointed to the Wood Memorial for his final Derby Prep.  Joining him will be the 2nd place finisher in this race, Cloud Computing, out of the hot Chad Brown Brown.  Was admittedly rushed back after just 3 weeks for this one so while talented, he is in hurry up, offense mode, but only needs an “on the board” finish in the Wood Memorial to secure a position in the Kentucky Derby field.
Suggested wagers needed El Areeb on top or in 2nd so nothing popped despite having J Boys Echo and Cloud Computing liberally included throughout.

G2 Davona Dale

This race had value written all over it as a rare field of 14 fillies with favorites not invincible gathered to knock heads going the mile distance.  Miss Sky Warrior ruined the party carrying her form over from her November race to win this by a half length over a crazy, determined Jordan’s Henny who was a Super Screener top long shot bomber pick that went off at 19-1 (odds dropped pretty quickly as they neared post time).  Here’s what the Super Screener surmised about Jordan’s Henny:


“(Jordan’s Henny) TOP LONG SHOT  Lots of routing experience but does face tougher.  Was on a brilliant form cycle progression prior to the break.  Super balanced energy distribution profile and great inside post combine for a big bomb shot.”


Our top win picks finished third and fourth in solid efforts at 8-1 to 9-1 odds.  Pretty City Dancer disappointed and the Screener did like Summer Luck to finish ahead of that one as she did.


“(Summer Luck) TOP VALUE Less regarded stablemate to #12 Pretty City Dancer that did start poorly last out, then floated super wide on the final turn and finished with determination.  Wants more ground and gets faster pace.  Key horse here.”


Brahms Cat, the other Super Screener top long shot bomber pick did finish a late closing 5th  at 30-1 besting the other 6 big long shot fillies in the race.  


Screener faded Miss Sky Warrior for the win spot and the lone back up ticket didn’t click and that was very frustrating since we had the bomber Jordan’s Henny and the two 8-1+ picks of Summer Luck and Modacious right in the mix.

G3 Palm Beach

The Super Screener needed the top pick, Kitten’s Cat, to hold on for the win but he was passed by Ticonderoga who went from 8th to 1st in an impressive return to racing since last seen finishing 4th in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf.  The Screener penalized this one too much for the layoff and the projected easier pace did not materialize providing the right pace set up for Ticonderoga’s late turn of foot.  This was one of several wins for trainer Chad Brown on the day.  


Top win pick, Kitten’s Cat, ran a gutsy second cutting all the swift fractions dueling with Sailing Home throughout but managed to hang on for the place.  Here’s what the Super Screener said about the top value play:  


“( Kitten’s Cat) TOP VALUE  Sneaky good colt out of the Joe Sharp barn.  Last race speed rating is deceptive since the pace was super slow.  Just sitting on huge race here 3rd off the layoff as recent strong works indicate.  Gets perfect trip.”


The Super Screener top board hitter pick Snap Decision did not disappoint doing a Ticonderoga impression leveraging the swift and pressured pace to come from last to 3rd as anticipated.


“(Snap Decision) TOP BOARD HITTER Below par pace will not help this confirmed closer but no one will be running faster late and this one is the most reliable candidate to hit the board for Shug McGaughey.  Cut back and Form cycle are a plus.”
The Super Screener top long shot bomber picks have been hitting the board on a regular basis but Mott’s charge Pagliacci was wrapped up on by jockey Javier Castellano as they approached the stretch. Hoping that charge is okay.  Cowboy Culture was also a big disappointment as Fair Grounds shippers continue to struggle at Gulfstream Park.  


Spotlight moves to hopefully what will be a dry Santa Anita next Saturday as the G2 San Felipe Derby prep is on tap along with three G1 Stakes race so plenty of action next weekend. A few of the horses who skipped the Fountain of Youth, and the Sam F. Davis runners-up, will turn up in the Tampa Bay Derby this weekend, too!


Until then…Go fast and win!




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