Risen Star, Southwest Kentucky Derby Contenders Emerge - Super Screener
Super Screener

Risen Star, Southwest Kentucky Derby Contenders Emerge

Photo courtesy Oaklawn Park

Admit it, you caught a little bit of Kentucky Derby fever this weekend with all those nice 3-year-olds throwing it down across the country. This exciting set of preps is just a taste of what’s to come, and the big Southwest score is just one in what we hope is a profitable prep season! If you haven’t already, be sure to get your subscription so you don’t miss a prep!

G3 Southwest Stakes

The projected pressured pace on the sealed muddy track materialized and the Super Screener Top Board Hitter pick, My Boy Jack, leveraged that to his advantage with a perfect ground saving trip throughout to run away with the easy win at odds of nearly 9-1.  Combatant benefited from the pace battle taking a wider trip but was clearly 2nd best.  

Here’s what the Super Screener had to say about this top ranked pair:

“With the pace set up projected to be quite pressured on a surface that can be kind to horses on the outside that sit off the pace (even on a wet track), the Super Screener has landed on #10 Combatant to turn the tables on #4 Mourinho against whom he finished a game 2nd in the Smart Jones Stakes.  He gets a more favorable set up here and, like #4 Mourinho, he projects to take another move forward in his form cycle.  Look for #10 Combatant to be taken back 2 lengths or so off the pace leaders sitting in a very comfortable trip in the clear and in the 3 path.  Will offer far more value than #4 Mournho and #2 Sporting Chance.

Connections of #1 My Boy Jack went back to the dirt after the layoff and he finished 3rd many lengths behind the top Kentucky Derby prospect, McKinzie.  Faces much easier here and gets the badly needed pressured pace set up as his energy distribution profile is middle/late.  He was forced out of that running style in that last race as he ran close to a slow pace. Looks for a significant move forward here 2nd off the layoff as the Super Screener Top Board Hitter pick.”


Sporting Chance really ran a super race here considering it was his first race since September, his first attempt at a route and he was part of that pressured pace, but held on gamely to beat Mourinho by a neck for 3rd.  He also got knocked around in the stretch losing a length or two in the process.  Mourinho also ran a good race in defeat dueling throughout and holding on to 4th.  Zing Zang just needs a lot more ground and he is certainly a pace dependent sort.  If he can make it into the Kentucky Derby field, he looks like one of those types that could bump up in the Superfecta at a big price.


My Boy Jack and Combatant were the top two Super Screener ranked horses and as result, suggested Exactas and Trifectas returned $2,171.


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

Race Flow: Fast/Moderate

Track Bias: None

Troubled Trips: Sporting Chance

Impressive Performance: Sporting Chance

Super Screener ECR (Early Contender Rating): My Boy Jack 44%

Super Screener EPR (Early Prep Rating) Score = C

Comments: My Boy Jack got the perfect trip and earned a 101 BRIS Late Pace figure. Super Screener would have liked to see a bit more than for a higher Early Contender Rating in a race that earned an Early Prep Rating of a C.  Sporting Chance submitted the most impressive effort making is first try at a route off a long layoff while being part of the pressured pace but holding on to third place gamely despite trouble encountered mid-stretch.  He has every right to move forward in his next race which will likely be the Rebel Stakes.


El Camino Real Derby

The Super Screener selected the Exacta ice cold with the Top Win pick Paved easily scoring an off-the-pace win and the Super Screener Top Long Shot pick, City Plan, closing from near the back of the field to run a game 2nd.  Here’s what the Super Screener had to say about this pair:

“The lone filly in the race, #1 Paved, has moved forward in a big way in each of her last 2 races after a slow start in her debut.  Her last win was dominating and it was achieved at today’s 1 1/8 miles distance on the turf which is a big plus considering no other rival has run that far to date.  Snuggly fits the winning profile of horses that have historically won this race.

#5 City Plan makes his 3rd race off the layoff and form cycle analysis projects that no horse will improve more heading into this race than this Eoin Harty-trained colt.  Has experience on this surface winning at first asking with first Lasix and then got trounced against the top early Kentucky Derby contender, McKinzie next out.  Will appreciate the extra distance leveraging that balanced energy distribution profile.  Returns to a competitive level and offers a ton of value.”


As the Super Screener anticipated, the favorite, Choo Choo finished a disappointing 5th at 5-2 and did not take a step forward confirming that the horse has clearly peaked.

Super Screener suggested Exaca, Trifecta and Superfecta wagers came back to pay about $650 with the chalk on top.

Despite 10 Derby points going to Paved, this “prep” race has no implications on the Kentucky Derby field.

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

Race Flow: Fast/Slow

Track Bias: Off the pace

Troubled Trips: None

Impressive Performance: None

Super Screener ECR (Early Contender Rating): Paved 33%

Super Screener EPR (Early Prep Rating) Score = D

Comments: Paved got the perfect trip sitting off the hot pace before passing tired horses for the victory.  City Plan also benefited from the pressured pace just grinding down each runner as the race progressed to grab second place.  No implications for the Kentucky Derby coming out of this prep.


G2 Risen Star

Beware of the merry-go-round race as this one turned out to be. With the top four horses basically running around the track in the same position,  Bravazo just got his nose down at the wire for the win over Snapper Sinclair who was ranked 4th by the Super Screener and went off at odds of 41-1 versus the Morning Line odds of 8-1.  Instilled Regard, as the race favorite, showed some vulnerability here finishing where he started…4th place. The Super Screener correctly tabbed Principe Guilherme as a vulnerable favorite and he fulfilled that prognostication with a 7th place finish.  High North basically ran in 5th place around the track not making the expected quick move late.  

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

Race Flow: Moderate/Moderate (merry-go-round)

Track Bias: None

Troubled Trips: None

Impressive Performance: None

Super Screener ECR (Early Contender Rating): Bravazo 67

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

Comments: The flow of this race with nary a change in the running order of the top four horses indicates that the pace was very modest and the quality among that group of horses being quite similar.  Bravazo and Snapper Sinclair clearly each moved forward in their 2nd starts off the layoff.  Noble Indy ran a very similar race to his last with no move forward.  Instilled Regard also duplicated his last race with no advancement in his form cycle and he may not be up to the challenge of the Derby trail as has run without a break since his debut in September and the waters only get deeper from here.  With 50 Derby points going to the winner of this race, Bravazo is assured a spot in the gate come the first Saturday in May.


G2 Rachel Alexandra

Monomoy Girl went off as the odds-on favorite and for a minute there, it appeared her poor start may have removed her from contention but she came on like a freight train late gobbling up the field heading into the final turn and then drawing away (despite shying from the whip) for an easy win.  Classy Act did duel with a foe through the first quarter but was able to break free with a clear lead through the ¾’s pole and as a result she held ground for a game 2nd.  Wonder Gadot got up for third and it appears this is becoming a tired filly that could use a break.  Her form is clearly beginning to regress.

G2 Barbara Fritchie

The equine herpes virus continues to plague horses based in NY resulting in numerous scratches at Aqueduct and Laurel Park this Saturday.  The G2 Barbara Fritchie Stakes was no exception as the raced was reduced from 11 to 5 runners.  This made Ms Locust Point the lone speed and a lock to win the race which is exactly watch she did when opening up on the field early and never looking back for the runaway win.  #7 Moiety became the clear second choice for the Super Screener as she would appreciate a softer pace than what was originally projected before scratches reduced the field to 5 horses.  Berned ran a good race to finish third but really needed a hot and contested pace to do any further damage.  

The Super Screener suggested wagers narrowed in on Ms Locust Point over Moiety Exactas which, collectively, came back to return $816.


We are without a Derby prep next weekend but there is plenty of stakes action to choose from across the nation.  Many of those races will feature full fields adding more value potential which is definitely something to look forward to.


Until then, Go Fast and Win!




UPDATE! Congrats to these Super Screener readers who CASHED BIG!