Kentucky Derby Maiden Watch: An "Extraordinary" performance

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

March 16th, 2020

What new horses have sparked interest on the Kentucky Derby trail?

A weekly series analyzing recent maiden winners poised to join the Road to the Kentucky Derby:

Beg to Differ:

The third time was the charm for Beg to Differ, who romped to an easy maiden victory on Friday at Aqueduct. A one-run closer in his first two starts, the Jonathan Thomas trainee showed improved tactical speed while negotiating a mile against New York-breds, tracking the pace in third place before looping around the leaders to win by 6 1/2 lengths in 1:39.42. A homebred racing for My Meadowview Farm, Beg to Differ is a son of Stephanoatsee out of the stakes-placed More Than Ready mare Strike Twice. Having turned the corner with a maiden triumph, further improvement could be on the horizon for Beg to Differ.

Cajun Brother:

With just four timed workouts under his belt, none of them particularly fast, Cajun Brother wasn’t expected to deliver a winning debut on Saturday at Gulfstream Park. Sprinting 6 furlongs against a high-quality field, the gelded son of Cajun Breeze was disregarded by bettors at 36-1. But after dueling with well-bet Ima Pharoah through fast fractions of :22.24 and :45.28, Cajun Brother refused to yield down the lane, battling on to edge his rival by three-quarters of a length. Conditioned by Michael Yates, the Shadybrook Farm homebred stopped the timer in 1:11.36 and should only improve off this promising debut.

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Cajun Brother (Coglianese Photos/Lauren King)


Sold for $750,000 as a yearling, Extraordinary knocked heads with some capable runners in his Feb. 8 debut at Tampa Bay Downs, finishing fourth behind future Tampa Bay Derby (G2) third-place finisher Texas Swing and next-out maiden winner Giocare. With this effort under his belt, Extraordinary showed significant improvement while stretching out to a mile on Saturday at Gulfstream Park. After pushing the pace through fractions of :23.55, :46.29, and 1:10.99, the son of Speightstown powered clear down the lane to win by 6 1/4 lengths in the solid time of 1:36.88. Produced by the four-time graded stakes-winning Pulpit mare Fiftyshadesofhay, Extraordinary is trained by Rodolphe Brisset for the partnership of WinStar Farm, China Horse Club, and Stonestreet Stables.