Kentucky Derby Maiden Watch: Liam’s Map sires a pair of winners
Jerry the Nipper: Runner-up in his debut sprinting 6 1/2 furlongs at Aqueduct on Jan. 25, Jerry the Nipper broke through convincingly when stretching out to a mile over the same track last Saturday. Sent off at 5-2 against a half-dozen rivals, Jerry the Nipper carved out fractions of :23.50, :47.41, and 1:13.38 under jockey Jose Lezcano, then drew off strongly to win by 6 3/4 lengths in 1:39.17. A son of Liam’s Map conditioned by Todd Pletcher, Jerry the Nipper sold for $310,000 as a weanling and is owned by St. Elias Stable.
Kiss Today Goodbye: Not many folks expected Kiss Today Goodbye to break his maiden last Saturday at Santa Anita. The stretch-running son of Cairo Prince had come up short on four previous occasions and was facing a quality field led by Exaulted, an individual betting interest in Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 2. But the fifth time was the charm for Kiss Today Goodbye, who unleashed a triumphant rally in the homestretch of the mile maiden test to win by a neck in 1:37.25. J. Eric Kruljac trains Kiss Today Goodbye for John Sondereker, who purchased the dark bay colt for $150,000 as a yearling.
Liam’s Point: A half-brother to 2014 La Brea (G1) winner Sam’s Sister, Liam’s Point received plenty of hype prior to his debut sprinting 7 furlongs at Gulfstream Park last Saturday. The son of Liam’s Map was favored at 7-10 to defeat eight rivals and ultimately got the job done in hard-fought fashion. With Irad Ortiz in the saddle for trainer Todd Pletcher, Liam’s Point broke poorly before recovering to track fast fractions of :22.30 and :45.40. After pouncing to the lead on the turn, Liam’s Point appeared to be home free, but racing greenly down the lane nearly cost him victory as he held on to win by less than a length in 1:24.21. St. Elias Stable and Brereton C. Jones campaign Liam’s Point, who figures to improve with the experience of a race under his belt.