Kentucky Derby Alumni Update for Dec. 21
Kentucky Derby and Oaks alumni showed up in force this past weekend, including a winning return for one Oaks contender’s first race since her shot at the lilies. Several more are expected to return just after Christmas, as well, so let’s check in on how these stars are finishing up their 2021!
- Bourbonic (13th, 2021 Kentucky Derby) faced older horses for the first time in the Queens County Stakes, December 18 at Aqueduct. Occupying his customary spot at the rear early, he was patient as Backsideofthemoon, Empty Tomb, and Bal Harbour made the pace. Still far out of it at the head of the lane, he passed a pair to cross the wire seventh, but still 13 1/2 lengths behind 42-1 surprise winner Forewarned.
- Sole Volante (11th, 2020 Kentucky Derby) shortened up to a mile and an eighth for the Fort Lauderdale (G2) at Gulfstream on December 18, his first start since October. In a bit tight early, he settled at the rear of the field of twelve. At a disadvantage from there, as Doswell took the race gate to wire, he gained in the lane, but came too late and finished sixth, beaten five lengths.
- South Bend (15th, 2020 Kentucky Derby) returned to stakes company December 18 at Gulfstream, contesting the Harlan’s Holiday (G3). Settled second-last early in a six-horse field, he bided his time as a contested pace unfolded down the back straight. He was urged to chase the leading trio through the far turn, and chased under a drive in the lane. However, Fearless had the jump, and South Bend settled for second behind him, four lengths back.
- Long Range Toddy (16th, 2019 Kentucky Derby) returned October 18 in a six-furlong allowance over the Oaklawn mud. Chasing in range of a contested pace, he did not kick on when driven into the lane, and finished a flattening sixth, eight lengths behind winner Mucho.
- Coach (9th, 2021 Kentucky Oaks), sent off the 3-2 favorite in a muddy one-and-one-sixteenth-mile allowance at Oaklawn on December 17, made good on the public’s faith. Chasing midpack on the outside, she edged to a clear third into the far turn, reeled in the leading pair at the quarter, and turned back Jilted Bride in the lane to win by two lengths.
- Dream Marie (8th, 2020 Kentucky Oaks) raced in the one-mile Rampart Stakes at Gulfstream on December 18. Tracking in range of eventual winner Dance D’Oro early, she shifted wide into the lane, was being pulled up approaching the furlong mark, and lost rider Junior Alvarado as she was being pulled up. Outriders apprehended her and she was vanned off; trainer Matthew Williams posted stall photos of her on Twitter afterward, though there has not been a more comprehensive update.
- Major Fed (10th, 2020 Kentucky Derby), most recently second in an allowance at Churchill, drew post 2 of 10 in the six-furlong Tenacious Stakes at Fair Grounds on December 26. At 9-2, he is the morning line second choice behind multiple graded stakes winner Shared Sense.
- Hot Rod Charlie (3rd, 2021 Kentucky Derby) is probable for the San Antonio (G2) at Santa Anita on December 26. Though he could face straight three-year-olds in the seven-furlong Malibu (G1), he already proved when fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) that he can hold his own against older, and he has made his name going long.
- Moraz (11th, 2020 Kentucky Oaks) is among the nominees for the American Oaks (G1) at Santa Anita on December 26. Multiple graded stakes placed on dirt, she most recently won a turf mile allowance last month at Del Mar, making this mile and a quarter grass race against three-year-olds a logical next spot.