McLaughlin juveniles run well in defeat; Dortmund, Mr. Jordan star

Profile Picture: James Scully

December 3rd, 2014

Imperia (NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography)Last weekend featured plenty of two-year-old action, with Dortmund posting an eye-catching allowance victory; first-time stakes winners El Kabeir and Leave the Light On earning 10 points toward a starting berth in the Kentucky Derby; and Mr. Jordan remaining unbeaten with a superb stakes triumph at Gulfstream Park West.

A pair of colts from the Kiaran McLaughlin barn, Frosted and Imperia, failed to win, finishing a close second in the Remsen (G2) and Kentucky Jockey Club (G2), respectively, but the setbacks only increased their exposure as Kentucky Derby contenders.

Frosted broke from post 13 and traveled wide on both turns while stalking the pace in the 1 1/8-mile Remsen. He could not overhaul pacesetter Leave the Light On, one of seven wire-to-wire winners on the speed-friendly Aqueduct oval, but lost little in defeat.

Frosted rolled to a 5 1/4-length score when stretching out to a one-turn mile in his third career start, an Aqueduct maiden special weight on October 30, and registered a career-best 98 BRIS Speed rating in the Remsen. He possesses good tactical speed as well as plenty of pedigree; his multiple Grade 2-winning dam, the Deputy Minister mare Fleet Lady, is a half-sister to champion Midshipman.

Imperia lacks the tactical speed of his stablemate, proving to be a deep closer in all four starts, the first three on turf, but his late-running effort in the 1 1/16-mile Kentucky Jockey Club was just as encouraging. The Medaglia d’Oro colt took to the Churchill Downs’ track in his dirt debut, rallying from nearly 10 lengths back to just miss in a head-bobbing photo finish.

Unlike El Kabeir, who dictated an uncontested pace before nearly coughing up a clear lead in deep stretch, Imperia won’t bring any distance concerns into his three-year-old season. And his 96 BRIS Speed rating looks strong given the moderate early fractions. Imperia is out of multiple Grade 1 winner Cocoa Beach, who defeated Ginger Punch when capturing the 2008 Beldame at Belmont Park.

Show stoppers

Mr. Jordan (Lauren King/Adam Coglianese Photography)As a result of his smashing 7 3/4-length allowance score at Churchill Downs, Dortmund was bet down as the lowest individual-priced horse (9-1) in Pool 1 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager. The exciting Big Brown colt improved to two for two for three-time Kentucky Derby winner Bob Baffert.

Dortmund won his first start, a 6 ½-furlong maiden special weight at Santa Anita on November 2, going away by 4 3/4 lengths. The towering chestnut romped at a one-turn mile on Saturday, registering a 98 BRIS Speed rating after unleashing a dynamic turn of foot nearing the conclusion of the far turn to easily put his rivals away entering the stretch.

Mr. Jordan dueled early before easily drawing off in the one-mile Smooth Air, receiving a whopping 102 BRIS Speed rating. He won first-out at Monmouth by 6 ¼ lengths on September 14 and returned from an eight-week freshening with three-length score in the November 8 Juvenile Sprint, a 6 1/2-furlong test for Florida-breds at Gulfstream Park West.

The gray colt is from the first-crop of the speedy Kantharos, who captured his first three starts in 2010, including a pair of graded stakes, in brilliant fashion before being retired. Broodmare sire Cloud Hopping, a distance-loving son of Mr. Prospector, adds a nice mix of stamina to Mr. Jordan’s bloodlines.

Top photo left: Imperia (NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography)
Bottom photo right: Mr. Jordan (Lauren King/
Adam Coglianese Photography)