Kentucky Derby Maiden Watch: Longtime maidens break through at Churchill Downs

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

May 18th, 2020

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


Oxide: The fifth time was the charm for Oxide, who broke through with an impressive victory on Saturday at Churchill Downs. The son of Golden Lad had flashed signs of talent in the past, missing by less than a length in a pair of two-turn maiden races on dirt and turf at Gulfstream Park, but the winner’s circle had proven elusive for the chestnut 3-year-old.

But with Jose Ortiz in the saddle, Oxide delivered a powerful performance traveling 1 1/16 miles over the Churchill main track. Racing over a wet fast surface, the Eddie Kenneally-trained youngster tracked fractions of :23.64 and :47.94, took command around the far turn, and kicked clear decisively in the homestretch to prevail by 5 1/2 lengths in 1:45.25.

Purchased for $120,000 as a 2-year-old by Joseph W. Sutton, Oxide was bred in Maryland by Dark Hollow Farm. Produced by the Red Bullet mare Silver Ashlee, Oxide‘s immediate pedigree is filled with accomplished runners, if not commercially popular stallions. Experience and maturity could work wonders for this talented colt, who appears to be progressing in the right direction.


Prince Jersey Town: Though this son of Jersey Town lost his first six starts, he showed plenty of promise along the way. After finishing second in his first three runs on dirt, Prince Jersey Town transitioned to the synthetic track at Turfway Park, where he struggled with a trio of so-so efforts during the winter.

Subsequently gelded and given a little time off, Prince Jersey Town showed significant improvement when returning to dirt at Churchill Downs on Sunday. Disregarded at odds of 23-1, the Lou Dunn DieKemper homebred dueled for the lead through fast fractions of :21.44 and :45.23, then showed impressive resilience down the homestretch to battle on and win by a head in 1:10.79.

Produced by the Harlan’s Holiday mare Garzacountyqueen, Prince Jersey Town’s pedigree offers some potential for stretching out in distance, making this Ronald Kahles trainee an intriguing prospect to watch through the spring and summer.