Kentucky Derby Maiden Watch: Wipe the Slate flatters Life Is Good with sharp victory
The day after Christmas saw several talented 2-year-olds record promising maiden victories at Gulfstream Park and Santa Anita. Arguably the most impressive was Wipe the Slate, who boosted the form of early Kentucky Derby (G1) favorite Life Is Good when graduating with ease.
Let’s review Wipe the Slate and two other weekend winners:
Favored at 8-5 in his debut for trainer Todd Pletcher, Amount delivered an eye-catching victory on Saturday at Gulfstream Park. Sprinting 7 furlongs, the son of Curlin rated in fourth place behind modest fractions of :23.35 and :47.02, then rallied outside of rivals to sprint the final furlong in :12.56 and dominate by 5 3/4 lengths.
Amount’s final time of 1:24.68 wasn’t anything to write home about, but he’s bred to improve with distance and maturity. Produced by the Pulpit mare Extent, Amount is a half-brother to Iowa Oaks (G3) winner Size and should relish racing around two turns. He could develop into a nice runner for the partnership of Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable.
After placing against quality competition in his first three starts, Greatest Honour secured a maiden victory of his own on Saturday at Gulfstream Park. Racing 1 1/16 miles, the Courtlandt Farms homebred encountered trouble in the early going and found himself racing off the pace through slow splits of :24.29, :48.56, and 1:13.05.
However, Greatest Honour unleashed a steady rally around the far turn to reach contention, and down the lane he forged to a determined 1 1/2-length triumph. A stoutly-bred son of Tapit out of a Street Cry mare, Greatest Honour finished fast, dashing the final five-sixteenths of a mile in :30.30. This Shug McGaughey trainee is progressing in the right direction.
Wipe the Slate
It’s safe to say Wipe the Slate flattered Life Is Good when posting a sharp maiden victory over 7 furlongs at Santa Anita on Saturday. Runner-up behind Life Is Good when both colts debuted at Del Mar last month, Wipe the Slate graduated in easy fashion, pressing splits of :22.35 and :45.03 before pulling away to win by 3 1/4 lengths.
Wipe the Slate hit the wire in a solid 1:23.42. Owned by Reddam Racing, trained by Doug O’Neill, and ridden by Mario Gutierrez—the same time behind Kentucky Derby winners I’ll Have Another (2012) and Nyquist (2016)—Wipe the Slate is a son of Nyquist out of a mare by talented sprinter Zensational. Only time will tell how far Wipe the Slate wants to run, but he clearly has talent.