Homeracing

Kentucky Derby BRIS Speed Rating Report March 7: Gunnevera, J Boys Echo earn big numbers as favorites tumble

Profile Picture: James Scully

March 7th, 2017

It was a tough weekend for favorites, with Irish War Cry and El Areeb relinquishing their status as top Kentucky Derby contenders via flops in the Fountain of Youth (G2) and Gotham (G3), respectively. Gunnevera and J Boys Echo emerged from the carnage with smashing wins that netted commendable BRIS Speed ratings.

J Boys Echo received a 104 BRIS Speed figure in the 1 1/16-mile Gotham, the top number from a Road to the Kentucky Derby series race in 2017. Trained by Dale Romans and ridden by Robby Albarado, the Mineshaft colt parlayed a perfect trip into a 3 ½-length victory on the Aqueduct inner track.

His BRIS Speed ratings have risen significantly since a maiden tally last October (79-84-93-104) but some class concerns remain for J Boys Echo. He will look to back up his Gotham performance in the final prep, most likely the Blue Grass (G2) at Keeneland on April 8.

Cloud Computing registered a 100 BRIS Speed rating finishing a clear second. He is up against it being an unraced juvenile, making only his second career attempt in the Gotham, but is eligible to keep developing for Chad Brown.

El Areeb earned a 91 figure finishing 11 lengths behind the winner as the 2-5 favorite. He was through by upper stretch but managed to save third due to the weak competition, and it’s difficult for me to envision him rebounding off the clunker.

Gunnevera was visually impressive defeating a well-regarded group of rivals in the 1 1/16-mile Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park, rallying last-to-first under leading rider Javier Castellano to score going away by 5 ¾ lengths, and recorded a career-best 102 BRIS Speed rating.

A dual graded winner at age 2, the chestnut son of Dialed In has displayed fine progress at age 3 for conditioner Antonio Sano, opening 2017 with a troubled second in the February 4 Holy Bull (G2) at Gulfstream. Gunnevera will try to keep moving forward in the $1 million Florida Derby (G1) on April 1.

Practical Joke loomed a threat while advancing into contention on the far turn but lacked the necessary finishing kick in a runner-up effort, winding up a half-length better than pacesetter Three Rules. Unraced since a third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), the multiple Grade 1 winner earned only a 95 BRIS Speed rating and must show more next time to establish himself as a viable win threat at Churchill Downs.

Irish War Cry appeared a little rank chasing the pace as the even-money choice and threw in the towel by the far turn, weakening to seventh, 21 ¾ lengths back. The Holy Bull winner received only a 76 Speed rating and, historically, Kentucky Derby winners never perform this badly in the next-to-last prep race.

Here are the top BRIS Speed ratings from Kentucky Derby qualifying races this year (90 or above, top four finish required):

Horse

 

Race (finish position)

 

BRIS Speed

J BOYS ECHO

 

Gotham (1st)

 

104

GORMLEY

 

Sham (1st)

 

102

GUNNEVERA

 

Fountain of Youth (1st)

 

102

IRISH WAR CRY

 

Holy Bull (1st)

 

102

AMERICAN ANTHEM

 

Sham (2nd)

 

102

ONE LINER

 

Southwest (1st)

 

101

CLOUD COMPUTING

 

Gotham (2nd)

 

100

EL AREEB

 

Jerome (1st)

 

100

EL AREEB

 

Withers (1st)

 

99

MCCRAKEN

 

Sam Davis (1st)

 

99

GIRVIN

 

Risen Star (1st)

 

98

UNCONTESTED

 

Smarty Jones (1st)

 

97

GUNNEVERA

 

Holy Bull (2nd)

 

97

PETROV

 

Southwest (2nd)

 

97

TAPWRIT

 

Sam Davis (2nd)

 

97

UNTRAPPED

 

Risen Star (2nd)

 

96

STATE OF HONOR

 

Sam Davis (3rd)

 

96

ROYAL MO

 

Robert Lewis (1st)

 

95

PRACTICAL JOKE

 

Fountain of Youth (2nd)

 

95

THREE RULES

 

Fountain of Youth (3rd)

 

95

WILD SHOT

 

Sam Davis (4th)

 

95

TRUE TIMBER

 

Withers (2nd)

 

94

GUEST SUITE

 

Lecomte (1st)

 

93

J BOYS ECHO

 

Withers (3rd)

 

93

LOCAL HERO

 

Risen Star (3rd)

 

93

GUEST SUITE

 

Risen Star (4th)

 

93

CLASSIC EMPIRE

 

Holy Bull (3rd)

 

92

IRAP

 

Robert Lewis (2nd)

 

91

PETROV

 

Smarty Jones (2nd)

 

91

UNTRAPPED

 

Lecomte (2nd)

 

91

EL AREEB

 

Gotham (3rd)

 

91

ACTION EVERYDAY

 

Gotham (4th)

 

91

ZAKAROFF

 

El Camino Real Derby (1st)

 

90

SHEER FLATTERY

 

Robert Lewis (3rd)

 

90

 

 

 

 

 

 

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