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LOUISVILLE, KY – Trainer Chad Brown told reporters Tuesday morning that he expects “an improved performance” in the Kentucky Derby (G1) from Highly Motivated, who was a neck behind the current Derby favorite Essential Quality in last month’s Blue Grass Stakes (G2).
Essential Quality Edges Highly Motivated in Blue Grass
“I think this horse is really going to move forward off that race,” said Brown, whose best Derby finish to date was Good Magic’s runner-up effort in 2018. “That was his first time he’s ever been on the lead in a race. I think he’s more effective with a target. What I’m hoping for is more pace in the Derby, where he can be close but following somebody. If that happens, you’re gonna see this horse get the mile and 1/4 without any problem.”
Highly Motivated won the one-turn Nyquist Stakes at Keeneland on the Breeders’ Cup undercard to end 2020, then finished third in the Gotham Stakes (G3) at Aqueduct prior to the Blue Grass.
Watch the full interview here:
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