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Track Phantom was an impressive 2024 Kentucky Derby (G1) prep race winner, but he wasn’t the only one, as Aaron explains in the latest news & updates.
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Pros: Two brilliant performances; easily the fastest beyer speed figure in the crop
Outlook: At his best, this horse has been brilliant, including a blowout win in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) at Santa Anita. However, he did show up with a non-effort in the Champagne Stakes (G1), which is a bit concerning.
Pros: Two blowout wins; should be fine going longer
Cons: Bob Baffert can’t run in the Kentucky Derby.
Outlook: With Bob Baffert still unable to run horses in the Kentucky Derby, the road to the roses becomes awkward. Will he go to Tim Yakteen? Will they skip the Kentucky Derby? Hooray…another year of dealing with this crap. At the end of the day, this horse has tremendous talent, so we’ll see what happens.
Pros: Sensational debut win; solid trainer
Cons: Only one start; stretching out is an unknown
Outlook: There is no doubt his 7-furlong debut victory was impressive, but can he do the same thing when he stretches out in distance? That’s the big question mark; however, there is no doubt he has a good amount of ability.
Pros: Getting better with each race; solid foundation
Cons: Seems to be a bit green and needs to figure things out
Outlook: It’s hard to get a read on the Remsen Stakes (G2) winner, but there is no doubt that he is getting better with each race while also stretching out in distance. He is a bit immature, which is a problem, but maybe they can get that worked out.
Pros: Solid win in the Gun Runner Stakes at Fair Grounds
Cons: Numbers are still a tad slow
Outlook: This one looks to be developing well for Steve Asmussen, who is still looking for his first Kentucky Derby victory. If he can continue to improve he is going to be in the mix on the first Saturday in May.
Pros: Grade 1 winner; runner-up in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile; solid pedigree
Outlook: Another Baffert runner who has shown some ability, but it is unclear what will happen with him when it comes to the Kentucky Derby. This is the most accomplished of the Baffert 3-year-olds for 2024.
Pros: Grade 1 winner; great distance pedigree
Cons: Running style; third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile
Outlook: He is one to watch as he should get better as the distances get longer this year. Pletcher is a master at spotting his horse on the Kentucky Derby Trail, which should give this horse plenty of chances at success.
Pros: Solid turn of foot; great pedigree for going longer
Cons: Couldn’t finish the job in the Remsen Stakes (G2); numbers are a litte low
Outlook: This horse showed a lot of promise in his first stakes attempt, running second to Dornoch in the Remsen Stakes at Aqueduct. He should only get better with more experience for a solid trainer in Chad Brown.
Pros: Solid pedigree; great debut beyer of 93
Cons: Lightly raced; must jump onto the scene quickly
Outlook: His debut race was eye-catching and his pedigree says he’ll run even better when stretching out in distance. Pletcher has been outstanding with these types his entire career, and this runner should be no different.
Pros: Impressive debut win at Churchill Downs; solid pedigree
Cons: Lightly raced; no works since his win on 11/4/23
Outlook: His debut effort at Churchill Downs was impressive, while he should improve with more racing for Bill Mott. However, there are currently no plans for when he might start next, which is a little concerning.
Pros: Nice Smarty Jones Stakes victory; solid pedigree
Cons: Still fairly green; numbers need to improve
Outlook: Once he got his mind on business in the Smarty Jones Stakes he cruised by the front runners with ease. He still has some things to figure out; however, he should only get better under Brad Cox.
Pros: Back to back solid wins; tremendous pedigree
Cons: Numbers must improve
Outlook: His Mucho Macho Man Stakes victory was solid. He was boxed in for most of the race; however, he came running fast once he finally got free. This horse should also show great improvement when stretching out in distance.
Pros: Two solid wins; solid pedigree
Outlook: This one seems to be developing nicely for Bill Mott, who will take his time and put him in logical spots. We haven’t seen him in a stakes race yet, but there is no doubt we will soon.
Pros: Already a graded stakes winner; solid distance pedigree
Cons: Will likely take on tougher horses at Fair Grounds
Outlook: He burst onto the scene with a solid win in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs. The Fair Grounds circuit will be tough; however, this horse has shown he can compete at a high level.
Pros: His maiden win was very impressive
Cons: Inconsistent; only 1 win in 3 starts
Outlook: I’m not ready to give up on him yet after a disappointing third in the Gun Runner Stakes last time out at Fair Grounds. He should rebound off of that effort in his next start.
Pros: Improving with each start
Cons: Bob Baffert can’t train in the Kentucky Derby; numbers are low
Outlook: He looks to be getting better with each start, especially since stretching out in distance. This horse showed a lot of heart winning the Los Alamitos Futurity (G2) in his last start.
Pros: Two straight impressive wins
Cons: Both wins came in sprints
Outlook: This horse has the pedigree that says he should stretch out well; however, both of his victories have come in sprints. We’ll know more about this one once he stretches out in distance.
Pros: Kicked off 2024 with a nice maiden win
Cons: Bob Baffert can’t train in the Kentucky Derby; only 1 win in 3 starts
Outlook: It took three races to break his maiden, but he looked solid when finally getting his win in a two-turn maiden special weight at Santa Anita. He will likely be in a stakes race next time out.
Pros: Solid distance pedigree
Cons: Numbers are low; only 1 win in 4 starts
Outlook: He hasn’t been overly impressive; however, he has been consistent. His close second-place effort in the Mucho Macho Man Stakes earned him a spot in our first Top 20 rankings.
Pros: Getting better with each start
Cons: Took 4 starts to break his maiden
Outlook: He seems to be on the improve for a solid trainer, while we’ll see him run Friday in an allowance race at Gulfstream Park. We will know more about him after that race.
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