Sonneteer looks to make mark on turf in Super Derby

Profile Picture: James Scully

September 9th, 2017

Once an important race for 3-year-olds, the Super Derby no longer serves as a prep for the Breeders’ Cup Classic. During its heyday, the Grade 1 Super Derby produced Breeders’ Cup Classic winners Sunday Silence, Tiznow and Unbridled and second-place finishers Alysheba, Deputy Commander and Gate Dancer (demoted to third in Classic). The purse has declined significantly in recent years and the former 9-furlong main track test is now ungraded at 1 1/16 miles on turf.

Today’s six-horse field is headed by Mr. Misunderstood, the 9-5 morning line favorite following a 2 ½-length score in the August 5 Prelude over the course. The former claimer has thrived since switching to turf for Brad Cox, posting a 4-for-4 record, and Chris Rosier retains the mount.

#5 Sonneteer is my top pick. Bred to relish the sod, the son of Midnight Lute will make his second turf start after getting up to break his maiden by a nose at Del Mar. The late-blooming colt started to come on this spring, showing good class when rallying to finish a close fourth in the Arkansas Derby (G1), but the Kentucky Derby proved too ambitious and knocked him off course as he never fired from off the pace.

Sonneteer once again appears headed in the right direction for trainer Keith Desormeaux and I expect him to step up with a stakes win.