Mucciolo’s Sophomore Spotlight Recap: Southwest & El Camino Real Derby

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February 22nd, 2017

Southwest S. (G3):

ONE LINER kept the unbeaten streak alive to begin his career with a fairly convincing tally for conditioner Todd Pletcher. The son of Into Mischief broke best from his 10 post and was always in a nice spot to the top of the lane, taking over inside the final furlong and drawing off like a good thing under John Velazquez. I still have some doubts with this colt going a classic distance of ground but the Kentucky-bred earned an excellent 101 BRIS Speed rating and could be tough going forward with expected improvement.

PETROV ran better than I expected posting a strong second-place showing, more than eight lengths clear of third after attending the pace from the start. The Ron Moquett pupil is another bred to be more of a miler type and I don’t see him going 1 ¼-miles this spring, but he gets a lot of credit for this performance and the gray has been consistently good finishing either first or second in all four lifetime races. The talented runner surely has some upside to him if properly placed.

With such a big gap after this top duo, it would be hard to get too excited about anything in this field at this stage.

El Camino Real Derby (G3):

ZAKAROFF pulled off a 48-1 stunner in this All-Weather graded test in a race where the top two betting choices wound up unplaced (favorite disqualified from second to fourth). The winner did well to close behind some very average early splits, which might not speak so well of the foes he ran down under Kyle Frey. I can’t imagine hearing from these sophomores when the real running starts as we get closer to the first Saturday in May.