Kentucky Derby Maiden Watch: Collaborate joins the scene with blowout victory
On the final weekend in February, a pair of promising three-year-olds posted eye-catching maiden victories at Gulfstream Park. At least one will join the Road to the Kentucky Derby in the near future.
With barely more than 60 days remaining until the Derby, let’s review the latest winners worth watching:
Although he’s not a Triple Crown nominee, American Prince made a very nice impression in his Sunday debut at Gulfstream Park. Sent straight to the lead by jockey Emisael Jaramillo, American Prince carved out respectable splits of :22.61 and :45.46, then kicked clear down the lane to win the six-furlong sprint by 3 1/2 lengths in 1:10.40.
A son of Liam’s Map trained by Ralph Nicks, American Prince hails from a productive family. His dam, Precious Soul, was produced by 1996 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) runner-up Love That Jazz, whose previous foals include three-time Grade 1 winner and Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) runner-up Society Selection. Stretching out around two turns shouldn’t be an issue for American Prince.
Let’s face it—Collaborate was pretty much jaw-dropping in a one-mile maiden race on Saturday at Gulfstream Park. Coming off an unremarkable fifth-place effort in his Feb. 6 debut sprinting, Collaborate took a huge step forward in his route debut.
With Tyler Gaffalione aboard for trainer Saffie Joseph, Collaborate broke alertly and had little trouble securing the lead through fractions of :23.72, :46.57, and 1:11.12. After shrugging off a challenge on the turn, Collaborate turned for home in command of a daylight lead, which he widened effortlessly under a hand ride. By the time Collaborate crossed the finish line in 1:36.35, he was 12 1/2 lengths clear of his closest pursuer.
Collaborate made a great impression down the lane and merely cruised to the finish line. A son of two-time leading sire Into Mischief, Collaborate figures to inherit a dose of stamina from his dam, Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) winner and Kentucky Oaks (G1) participant Quiet Temper. Collaborate is nominated to the Triple Crown and may jump directly into stakes company for the Mar. 27 Florida Derby (G1), where a top-two finish could land him a spot in the Kentucky Derby starting gate.