Jace's Road – Kentucky Derby Context
Jace’s Road led all the way on slow fractions when romping in December’s Gun Runner S. at Fair Grounds, and the bay colt will attempt to race close to the pace in the Kentucky Derby. He did not advance upon the encouraging juvenile finale, opening 2023 with a well-beaten fifth in the Southwest (G3), and a weakening third after tracking a slow pace in the Louisiana Derby (G2). His recent Brisnet numbers are discouraging. The stakes winner’s tactical ability offers some hope for a minor award, but Jace’s Road’s form will make him one of the longest shots in the field.
Top Brisnet Speed: 96
Top Brisnet Late Pace: 98
Owner: Terry Finley’s West Point Thoroughbreds and Dennis Albaugh and Jason Loutsch’s Albaugh Family Stables are responsible for Jace’s Road. West Point campaigned 2017 Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming in partnership, and the New York-based ownership group counts 2014 runner-up Commanding Curve among seven previous starters. Based in Des Moines, Iowa, Albaugh Racing Stables is unplaced from three Kentucky Derby attempts. Albaugh also has Angel of Empire in the main body of the 2023 field and Cyclone Mischief waiting to draw in from outside the top 20.
Trainer: Brad Cox, who was born and raised near Churchill Downs, finished first and third with his first two Kentucky Derby starters, Mandaloun and Essential Quality, who were elevated one spot via disqualification in 2021. The two-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer brings a 5-1-0-1 record into his third Kentucky Derby appearance, and Jace’s Road is one of four Cox runners in the main body of the 20-horse field, along with Angel of Empire, Hit Show, and Verifying.
Jockey: Florent Geroux won the 2021 Kentucky Derby on Mandaloun via disqualification, and the French-born jockey also counts Gun Runner’s third in 2016 among his six Kentucky Derby starts. The 36-year-old has had a mount in six of the last seven runnings.
Breeder/Sales: Richard Santulli’s Colts Neck Stables will make its third Kentucky Derby appearance. And the Kentucky Derby is the only leg of the Triple Crown missing for the New Jersey-based breeder. Oxbow captured the Preakness after a sixth in the 2013 Kentucky Derby, and Mo Donegal, who Colts Neck co-bred, won the Belmont after finishing fifth last year. Colts Neck also co-bred last year’s Belmont runner-up and champion three-year-old filly Nest. Kentucky-bred Jace’s Road sold for $510,000 as a yearling at the 2021 Keeneland September sale.
Sire: A top contender for the 2009 Kentucky Derby after winning the Florida Derby (G1), Quality Road was forced to miss the Triple Crown, but he came back to add the Met Mile (G1), Woodward (G1), and Donn (G1) to his resume as a four-year-old. The 18-year-old stallion is by Elusive Quality, sire of 2004 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Smarty Jones, but Quality Road is still seeking his first winner of a Triple Crown race, 2020 Belmont runner-up Dr Post being his best result. The top-class stallion stands at Lane’s End in Versailles, Kentucky.
Dam: Jace’s Road hails from the multiple stakes-placed Out Post, a daughter of Silver Deputy and half-sister to a Brazilian Group 3 scorer. This is the extended female family of Hall of Famer Silverbulletday, who is also by Silver Deputy. Silver Deputy has not made an impact upon the Triple Crown as a sire or broodmare sire.
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