Gotham Stakes preview

by TCI 2 years ago

The TCI Boys recap the Fountain of Youth & Risen Star stakes and discuss their shake-up in the TCI Top 10. They also look forward to Saturday’s $400,000 Gotham S. (G3) at Aqueduct, where another 85 points are up for grabs towards the Kentucky Derby. Can a new shooter break Vyjack’s undefeated streak and upset Overanalyze’s seasonal debut?

Watch it. Comment.

TCI Top 10

Rank Name Bris Comments
1 Flashback 98 Assumes top spot from the injured Violence; Training forwardly and is the horse to beat in Mar. 9 San Felipe.
2 Revolutionary 103 May be Pletcher’s best classic contender now; Will Violence’s injury effect decision of his next start?
3 Tiz the Truth 92 Maiden winner moves into Top 3 on his tremendous upside for the classics; Must return to work tab soon.
4 Orb 102 The lone new shooter in the Top 10 is a big one; Showed his quality in FOY win and will only get better.
5 Verrazano 104 Not many 3yos can breeze 59 1/5 at Palm Meadows; Will be huge favorite in Mar. 9 Tampa Bay Derby.
6 Oxbow 98 Gets one pass, as quirky track surface made the Risen Star a head-scratcher, and he had legit excuses.
7 Goldencents 101 Honest colt has a lot to like; Will get his biggest two-turn test to date against top one in Mar. 9 San Felipe.
8 Itsmyluckyday 111 Likely FL Derby favorite is clearly the fastest 3yo by speed figs right now, but still has plenty to prove.
9 Shanghai Bobby 103 Champ is as classy as they come, however, he seems the least likely from this list to excel at 1 ¼ miles.
10 Palace Malice 102 Less excuses than Oxbow in Risen Star, but he did run greenly most of the stretch, then galloped out well.

Discussion

  • Nick

    Joel, I believe the Fairgrounds track on Risen Star day was biased to runners on the outside, therefore, kudos to Code West for the performance he put up throughout entire race running against the bias down on the inside.

    • Joel Cunningham

      Nick, I agree with you completely on the outside bias. It did seem the rail was potentially better than the 2-3 path though, but even that is hard to say with complete confidence. In the Mineshaft I was surprised that Infrattini was in prime position stalking Hero of Order through a crawling 6f in 1:14 4/5, yet still finished 5th while Hero of Order (who obviously loves the track) came back along the inside and out-finished him…and obviously Cool Street closed from last to be beaten only a length despite the show pace, which can only be explained with the outside bias. Code West kept grinding away and ran well, and I still feel that Oxbow had multiple excuses that added up to make me believe with confidence that he ran much better than his 4th-place result. But the Risen Star was definitely a head-scratcher, which makes our jobs that much more challenging trying to identify the top prospects!

  • Joe Polander

    Hi Joel – I’m going to Thistledown tomorrow to make 2 more KY Derby Future Exacta Box wagers. I already have Oxbow at 26-1 from FP 1 with several other contenders. I agree with you, that he ran a decent race in the Risen Star, and hopefully he will run strong in the LA Derby to qualify for the KY Derby. The other 2 horses that I will add in pool 2 are Treasury Bill, and Titletown Five. Titletown Five is a very intriguing horse. He was on the shelf for a while due to having surgery to remove a chip from his knee. He seems fine now. He was beaten in the Gazebo stakes at 6F by a good sprinter related to Henny Hughes. Titletown Five is by Tiznow , so you have to like his pedigree to go 1 1/4 on Derby day. He loves the CD track. He has one win by 9 lenghts over 2 pretty good colts, Bradester and Proud Strike. Reading his racing form, I couldn’t help but to notice that at Saratoga in August of 2012 at 7f. he was 2nd by a neck to Violence. Orb was 3rd in that race. He was keeping good company on that day. I know that Titletown five is getting a late start. He doesnt have any derby points yet, and most likely will only have 1 prep before the Derby, unless Lukas wheels him multiple times, which is possible. What do you think his realistic chances of making the Derby are? I like it that he has tactical speed, has good breeding, has faced good horses, possibly seems to be healthy now, and likes the CD surface. He is in the same boat as several of the top derby contenders, his next stakes race, with derby points, will be a crucial one for him. I see that he is 70-1 on FP 2 after day 2. He seems at least worth to take a shot at, and box him with several of the top contenders at those odds. What are your thoughts Joel? Also surprised that Shakin it up is 64-1 after day 2 of FP 2 wagering. I am adding him as a contender on my list. I am feeling good about Treasury Bill going into the Rebel. He needs to get some points there, then go on to the AK derby where he will try to qualify for the Derby.

    • Joel Cunningham

      Hey Joe! Agree on Oxbow! I think he’ll run better next out.

      I’ve been a big fan of Titletown Five, especially since that Churchill maiden win where he looked like a real top-level colt. You would think being by Tiznow he would run all day, and I could see him being a front-running two-turn horse… But he has such a quick action and is so naturally quick that I do wonder how far he really wants to carry that speed and still be at his best. His dam was a Graded SW at 1 1/8 miles and was very fast too… but she is by more of a sprint sire (Forest Wildcat), and her only other foal to race is by Distorted Humor – who like Tiznow is a great stamina influence – and that filly was a crack sprinter during her racing career. So while I like Titletown Five, I’m not completely sold right now he wants to be a Classic type of colt. I didn’t mind his comeback yesterday, as his work pattern suggested he would come up a bit short IMO, and that appears to be what happened…Lukas loves the colt and is clearly trying to get him to the Derby, so I think it’s pretty clear they have accelerated his schedule to try and get him to the first Saturday in May. I would not be shocked one bit to see him back in the Rebel in two weeks, which I think would be a bad idea for multiple reasons..one being he’d have to probably run with Super Ninety Nine early on the pace. My prediction is Lukas points for a race in 4 weeks, either the FL Derby or La Derby…that way if the horse still needs points after that then the Lexington S. at Keeneland 3 weeks later could be a fallback plan. Of course, he could always just train him up to the Ark Derby and then run in the Lexington 2 wks later as an option if points are needed — but I get the feeling based on how fast he was rushed into yesterday’s race that they’ll be looking for a start before the Ark Derby…we’ll see…the horse only had 5 works off a 4-month layoff which is on the lite side.

      I don’t know what to think of Shakin It Up yet..my feeling is that he’s probably not a Derby horse at this point. Treasury Bill is very intriguing simply because of his pedigree upside when he gets around two turns, so it will be very interesting to evaluate him in his next start when he gets to finally do that. There is some promise there for sure.

      Speaking of Future Wagers, I’m attracted to All Others in Pool 2 of the KY Oaks! It’s up to 8-1 and if it stays around that at the close of the day then I’m in. There are some talented fillies out there like Cue the Moon…8-1 is a great price!

  • 1JoeP

    Hi Joel – The Kentucky Derby preps now seem to be getting in full swing. This Saturday Flashback will try to cement his status as a solid derby contender as he squares off with Goldencents. I look forward to Dynamic Sky running against Verrazano in the TB Derby. He could be a sleeper for the KY Derby. The Rebel should be an interesting race in a couple of weeks. 2 of my Future Wager horses will be running in that race. Oxbow and Treasury Bill. I am glad to see Oxbow picking up hall of fame jockey Mike Smith. Hypothetically a 3rd in the Rebel and a 3rd in the Arkansas Derby would give Oxbow 46 Derby points, which should be enough to get him to Louisville. Treasury Bill should appreciate the added distance and is a real threat. I see that Titletown five, another Lukas trained horse, who like Oxbow, likes CD, will be pointed to either the Sunland Derby or the LA Derby. I hope Lukas opts for the LA Derby and swings for the fences. A 2nd place finish would get the speedy Tiznow colt 40 Derby points, possiby enough to get into the Derby. Revolutionary seems to be his biggest threat should he run in the LA Derby. However I like Titletown Five’s chances. Revolutionary will have to pass alot of horses in what will likely be a 14 horse field, whereas Titletown Five could be the one to catch at a 1 1/8. These Future Exacta Box Bets are giving me a bad case of Derby Fever!

    • Joel Cunningham

      We’ll learn a lot this weekend…namely, will Verrazano look as explosive around two turns, and how much separation is there between Flashback and Goldencents at a comfortable middle distance for both colts? Yes, it seems as though Titletown Five and Revolutionary are La Derby-bound, and you can bet Code West will be back. I am not convinced Palace Malice will be…they have several interesting options, and I’m sure they will factor timing in for the Lexington S. in the event they need it as a backup plan for points (PM obviously breezed at Keeneland and was bought there as a 2yo).

      I was a bit surprised Lukas is turning Oxbow around in 3 wks, but I do like the rider upgrade to Smith. The Rebel should be a great race…Baffert will likely send at least two – Super Ninety Nine and Den’s Legacy, and Pletcher will likely send in Delhomme and maybe Capo Bastone. I am anxious to see how Tiz the Truth progresses from a recent quarter crack setback…I think you can rule out the Rebel at this point. If I had to bet, Baffert will try and train him up to a final prep now, like the Arkansas Derby or Wood Memorial where the colt can stretch out to 1 1/8 miles.


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