Shagaf moves into Derby Top 10
One stable, two Top 10 horses for the Kentucky Derby.
One of the colts, Mohaymen, was purchased for $2.2 million by Dubai Sheikh Hamdan's Shadwell Stable. He's 5-0 and No. 2 on the AP's latest Run to the Roses Top 10 of list of Derby contenders. The other, Shagaf, is a homebred foaled at Shadwell in Lexington, Kentucky. He's 3-0 and No. 7 following his win in the Gotham Stakes on Saturday.
Rick Nichols, Shadwell's general manager, believes Shagaf is rapidly moving into the same league as Mohaymen after the colt rallied for a 1 1/4 length win in his stakes debut.
"I think he proved a lot," Nichols said.
Trainer Chad Brown agreed.
"This horse has done everything we asked him to do," Brown said the day after Shagaf's win. "I don't think he could've run any better in any of the three races for what we want him to do."
Nyquist, also unbeaten, remains No. 1 as he prepares for his showdown with Mohaymen in the Florida Derby on April 2.
Shagaf, a son of 2006 3-year-old champion Bernardini, will remain in New York for his final prep in the Wood Memorial on April 9.
"For Shadwell, it just goes to show you the versatility of their operation," Brown said. "To have two undefeated horses, one that was purchased at auction and one that was homebred, they do it both ways."
Two preps are on tap for Saturday, the San Felipe at Santa Anita and the Tampa Bay Derby. Each offer a total of 85 Derby qualifying points: 50 for first, 20 for second, 10 for third and five for fourth.
No. 3 Mor Spirit, perhaps Bob Baffert's top Derby prospect, leads what looks to be a strong field in the San Felipe. The trainer of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah is seeking his fifth win in the race.
Probable for the 1 1/16 mile race are Cupid, Danzing Candy, Exaggerator, Smokey Image and Uncle Lino. Exaggerator is No. 5 this week. Smokey Image comes into the race with a 6-0 record.
No. 4 Brody's Cause is expected to make his 3-year-old debut in the Tampa Bay Derby. Among the probables are Destin, Awesome Banner, Riker and Rafting.
Here's our Top 10:
1. Nyquist (Doug O'Neill, trainer; Mario Gutierrez, jockey): Unbeaten son of Uncle Mo worked 4 furlongs in 48.80 at Santa Anita last week. ... Next few workouts set for Santa Anita before trip to Florida. ... Next start: Florida Derby, Gulfstream Park, April 2. ... Derby odds (pool 2): 7-1.
2. Mohaymen (Kiaran McLaughlin, Junior Alvarado): Unbeaten Fountain of Youth winner gearing up for showdown with Nyquist. ... Leader in Derby qualifying points with 70. ... Next start: Florida Derby, Gulfstream Park, April 2. ... Odds: 4-1.
3. Mor Spirit (Bob Baffert, Gary Stevens): Worked 6 furlongs in 1:12.20 at Santa Anita on Saturday. ... All set for first race since winning Robert B. Lewis on Feb. 6. ... Next start: San Felipe, Santa Anita, Saturday. ... Odds: 12-1.
4. Brody's Cause (Dale Romans, Corey Lanerie): 3-year-old debut set for this weekend in Florida. ... Worked 4 furlongs in 48.40 on Sunday at Tampa Bay Downs. ... Next start: Tampa Bay Derby, Tampa Bay Downs, Saturday. ... Odds: 15-1.
5. Exaggerator (Keith Desormeaux, Kent Desormeaux): Time has arrived to prove he's no exaggeration. ... Worked 5 furlongs in 1:00.40 at Santa Anita on Saturday. ... Next start: San Felipe, Santa Anita, Saturday. ... Odds: 22-1.
6. Suddenbreakingnews (Donnie Von Hemel, Luis Quinonez): Southwest winner worked 5 furlongs in 1:00.20 at Oaklawn on Saturday. ... Gelding has won two of past three starts. ... Next start: Rebel, Oaklawn Park, March 19. ... Odds: 5-2 (mutuel field).
7. Shagaf (Chad Brown, Irad Ortiz, Jr.): Won Gotham to extend unbeaten record to 3-0. ... Owned by Shadwell Stable, which also owns Mohaymen. ... Will train in New York for final prep. ... Next start: Wood Memorial, Aqueduct, April 9. ... Odds: 31-1.
8. Mo Tom (Tom Amoss, Lanerie): Lecomte winner worked 4 furlongs in 47.80 at the Fair Grounds on Saturday. .... Ran third in Risen Star after bothered in stretch. ... Next start: Louisiana Derby, Fair Grounds, March 26. ... Odds: 28-1.
9. Zulu (Todd Pletcher, John Velazquez): Fountain of Youth runner-up could be Pletcher's top Derby prospect. ... Next start: Florida Derby, Gulfstrem Park, April 2. ... Odds: 24-1.
10. Gun Runner (Steve Asmussen, Florent Geroux): Risen Star winner moved into rankings for first time. ... Has three wins in four starts. ... Next start: Louisiana Derby, Fair Grounds, March 26. ... Odds: 25-1.
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