San Felipe Stakes

2014 Kentucky Derby: Contender Watch List

In this edition of the ongoing series, Trending vs. Descending we take another look at the 2014 Kentucky Derby contenders and analyze their chances of winning the Kentucky Derby or missing the field all together.

As the prep season heats up there are a whole slew of horses trending in the right direction and, that’s the best place to start

Click Here to Continue Reading at The Kentucky Derby Post – Horse Racing Nation

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The Morning Line: San Felipe Stakes

Two Trainers have Two Options Going

Creative Cause

And so we’ve arrived at the San Felipe Stakes, the final prep before the coveted Santa Anita Derby. The lineup is stacked full of possibilities and big names but headlining the show is a pair of trainers that will each be featuring their own pair of contenders. With the anticipation comes a variety of questions and most importantly expectations. In a weekend slated to feature three graded Kentucky Derby Preps from Florida to California we begin where the liveliest group of derby hopefuls are racing.

The G2 $300,000 San Felipe Stakes carries many different outcomes to dissect but let’s first take a look at the horse that is ranked the highest on our Derby Contender Rankings – Creative Cause by Giant’s Causeway and Dream of Summer. An important factor about this colt and this prep is that a very familiar face will be joining him in the starting gate, his stable mate Empire Way. Sometimes are more ideal than others but the timing of progression between the two seems to have prevented trainer Mike Harrington from going any other direction on the derby trail.  (more…)

San Felipe Recap: Like Father, Like Son

Premier Pegasus Charges Home

Going two turns and leaving the blinkers in the barn for the first time in his career, Premier Pegasus drove himself down the stretch and into the Triple Crown picture with a remarkable 7 ¾-length victory in the San Felipe Stakes.  On March 19, 2000 it was Fusaichi Pegasus that took the San Felipe Stakes before moving on to the capture the Wood Memorial followed by the 126th Kentucky Derby.  As a three yr old, Fusaichi Pegasus was a big horse known for finishing races in the stretch by taking the lead and never letting it slip away.  Premier Pegasus certainly listened to his Dad, romping home to score convincingly while adding $150,000 in graded stakes earnings. 

The favorite Jaycito opened his three yr old campaign by breaking last from the gate and well behind before steadily gaining ground, making a five wide turn for home and finishing  2nd.  It will be interesting to see how much he progresses before the Santa Anita Derby as we expect that race to be the true judgement on his chances of enjoying the blanket of roses at Churchill Downs.  Losing for the first time but having enough to take 3rd was California Bred Bench Points with veteran David Flores in the irons. 

#6 Premier Pegasus $16.60 $7.20 $5.00                                                                                         #9 Jaycito $4.60 $3.60                                                                                                                    #7 Bench Points $5.40                                                                                                                    

$1 Exacta (6-9): $24.30, $1 Trifecta (6-9-7): $201.60

Going into the race on Saturday we were aware of the speed that was trying to represent themselves as distance capable but I definitely didn’t expect the suicidal pace that ensued.  Right from the break unproven contenders Runflatout and Albergatti along with class tested Comma to the Top moved quickly to the front.  The three remained bunched through the first turn and throughout the back stretch firing fractions of 21.75 for the quarter and 44.58 for the half.  After a split of 1:08.98 at the 6 furlong mark Corey Nakatani made his move aboard Comma to the Top.  As he tried to open up and move away from the field, Premier Pegasus was just getting started.  Striding beautifully out of the final turn, he took control and didn’t ease.  Compliments to Jockey Alonso Quinonez and Trainer Myung Kwon Cho, who also bred and currently owns the dark bay colt.  In the San Vicente Stakes they had Pre Peg stalking too close to the lighting fast pace set by the winner, The Factor, which ultimately left him tiring in the stretch.  However, with this field they obviously sensed similar fractions coming and benefited a great deal by sitting further off the pace before getting to work at the top of the lane.

As the West Coast’s final stepping stone to the Grade I Santa Anita Derby on April 9th, Saturday’s results in the San Felipe will make the Final Stage of California Preps worth all the Hollywood Hype it’s going to get.  Congratulations to Premier Pegasus who looks to continue to follow dad’s lead and inch closer to a Kentucky Derby dream come true.  Good Luck to you, and your connections.  We hope that all horses returned to their respective barns in good health and that we will also see you down the road.

Written by: Little Brink