Under-the-radar Kentucky Derby contenders, volume 10
A weekly look at under-the-radar 3-year-olds who could step up and make an impact on the Road to the 2020 Kentucky Derby.
Though he isn’t nominated to the Triple Crown, Herrschaft warrants watching, after he led all the way to win the 1,800-meter Fukuryu S. on March 28 at Nakayama Racecourse.
Disregarded at 27-1 in the fourth leg of the Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby, Herrschaft broke sharply, seized a clear early lead through fractions of :23.80, :49.50, and 1:14.60, and widened with authority down the homestretch to win eased up by 2 1/2 lengths.
Herrschaft’s final time of 1:53.40 is unremarkable at first glance, but dirt tracks in Japan tend to be deep and slow, with 1:52.40 standing as the Fukuryu’s fastest winning time in the last 15 years.
The victory secured Herrschaft 40 qualification points on the Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby, which will place him atop the leaderboard, should trainer Kenji Nonaka and owner Kanayama Holdings Co. choose to supplement the son of Will Take Charge to the Triple Crown series.
You have to admire the determination Money Moves has displayed to win his first two starts for trainer Todd Pletcher. Sold for $975,000 as a 2-year-old in training, the son of Candy Ride debuted in a 6-furlong maiden sprint February 15 at Gulfstream Park and unleashed a sustained rally from off the pace to win by 1 1/4 lengths.
With this positive first run under his belt, Money Moves stretched out to a mile Friday at Gulfstream and delivered another gritty victory. Forced to press quick fractions of :23.04 and :45.66 from an inside position, Money Moves handled this tricky task with aplomb. He took over in the homestretch, pulled clear, and won by 2 3/4 lengths, in a snappy 1:35.30.
Owned by Robert LaPenta and Bortolazzo Stable, Money Moves was produced from the Proud Citizen mare Citizen Advocate, a three-time stakes winner who ran second in the 2012 Azalea (G2). With his 2-for-2 record and improving form, Money Moves figures to jump into stakes company next time out.