When it comes to spotting a classic candidate in early January, perhaps the easiest tell is to look for the horse with the best pedigree and the best connections. This year one such touted colt is the promising Ocean Knight, who is running in the Sam F. Davis Stakes this Saturday at Tampa Bay Downs.
OCEAN KNIGHT’S CONNECTIONS
- In my opinion, one of the stables most likely to win a Kentucky Derby who haven’t yet is Stonestreet Stables. They have already won two Preakness Stakes with super horses Curlin and Rachel Alexandra.
- Clearly the operation is aiming for success and it doesn’t take a brilliant handicapper to see that they are going to continue achieving it. Could they have found just the horse in Ocean Knight to get them their first Kentucky Derby winner?
OCEAN KNIGHT’S TRAINER
Ocean Knight’s trainer is Kiran Mclaughlin. Kiran seems to go about his business with humility and grace, and rather than be outspoken about his accomplishments he humbly lets his resume speak for itself.
His towering list of accomplishments includes:
- Training in the United Arab Emirates (where he led all trainers in Dubai three times)
- Winning the Dubai World Cup (the richest race in the world)
- Winning a Triple Crown race (He won the 2006 Belmont Stakes with Jazil)
- Winning the Breeders Cup Classic
- Training a United States Horse of the Year in Invasor (who would later be honored with a first ballot induction into the Hall Of Fame)
- Eclipse Award nominee for the Nation’s Outstanding Trainer (finishing 2nd in the voting to juggernaut Todd Pletcher)
Finished 2nd in the Kentucky Derby (losing by a 1/2 length when his Closing Argument was overtaken in the last 70 yards by Giacomo)
Recently Kiran has inherited a nice group of horses from Stonestreet Stables and if this trainer / owner combo continue to work together, I predict the outcome will be fruitful for both parties.