Race 5 (Saturday, January 11, 2014: post time: 5:30 p.m./ET; 2:30 p.m./PT). One mile on main track (three-year-olds) Race Video is below.
The road to the first Saturday in May in Kentucky begins in earnest in Arcadia, California with six talented three-year-olds attempting to earn 10 Kentucky Derby points while proving they are worthy of continuing on their path to immortality. Here’s my take on the field:
#1 KRISTO fetched a cool half million dollars at auction and has improved his Beyer Speed Figure in each of his three lifetime starts.
#2 I’LL WRAP IT UP also has ascending Beyer Speed Figures, with his last two performances occurring after the blinkers were taken off.
#3 LIFE IS A JOY is the leading money earner in the field and resides in the red hot Jerry Hollendorfer barn, but despite those two strong attributes is likely to be the longest price in the field.
#4 ONTOLOGY finally dropped back into the maiden ranks last time out to earn his diploma after six straight unsuccessful tries against stakes competition.
#5 TOP FORTITUDE is a full brother to UH OH BANGO, a graded stakes victor around two turns over this track a few years back.
#6 MIDNIGHT HAWK hails from the Bob Baffert barn and tries two turns off an impressive maiden score cross town for co-owner Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Queeneville.
1. #6 MIDNIGHT HAWK – Won at demanding distance in debut.
2. #1 KRISTO – Had strong speed bias in his favor back in October.
3. #5 TOP FORTITUDE – Rare stakes opportunity for competent jock.
LONG SHOT VALUE PLAY: #4 ONTOLOGY – Final time in his maiden victory compares favorably to stakes race run at same distance on same day.
Visually, ONTOLOGY ran impressively while winning two weeks ago after shedding the blinkers. I’ll play him to win and use underneath in exotics since it’s possible the proverbial light bulb may have gone on in his head