Hopefully, this year's run for the roses will stay on course
after 2020's COVID detour. CAPO KANE put his name in the mix, collecting 10
Kentucky Derby qualifying points in yesterday's Jerome Stakes at Aqueduct
Another will earn 10 points today in the $100,000, Grade III
Sham Stakes at Santa Anita. A skinny field of five will race 1 mile on the
world's most beautiful course's main track. The distance and surface favors
Nineteen of the 21 races during the fall meet were won by
early speed types with the average winner racing second at the quarter pole on
first or second at the half-mile marker. Eight of the 21 won wire to wire. Post
position is key as gates two and three won 10 of the 21 with the rail scoring
at just 5%.
PARNELLI (PP: 3 ML 5/2) seems to have all the right
ingredients to get those 10 Kentucky Derby points. The half-a-million-dollar
horse gets one of the coveted draws and has history of getting off to a hot
start. He popped to the lead in his first three but faded a touch at then end
before breaking his maiden last out, stalking the leaders.
Jockey Umberto Rispoli will likely try to run the same race
with PARNELLI as two horses are likely to get out to the front. MEDINA SPIRIT
(PP: 1 ML 6-1) has inside speed, winning his debut on the front. The quick,
early first turn should give trainer Bob Baffert's horse the early edge on the
field. He is going to need to run faster fractions then he did in his debut to
keep Baffert's other horse, super-chalk LIFE IS GOOD (PP: 5 ML 2/5) from taking
The heavy favorite was also the big-time choice of
horseplayers in his debut, going off a 1/5. And he won like a $0.20 favorite,
starting off with speed, crushing the field while being ridden out. The son on
INTO MISCHIEF did something you don't see too often, debuting with a triple
digit speed figure. If LIFE IS GOOD improves, as many horses do in their second
career starts, he could make easy work of this group too.
In the short field, the pair of Baffert frontrunners and
PARNELLI are likely to run in some order of one, two and three. LIFE IS GOOD will
probably race alongside his stable mate MEDINA SPIRIT for the first half-mile
or so before turning on the jets. PARNELLI trails the leading duo and tries to
make his move to keep pace with the chalk.
PARNELLIC nudges past the rail horse coming out of the turn
and tries to make up ground on the frontrunning favorite as MEDINA SPIRIT
hustles but the gap between him and the leading duo widens. With about a 1/16
mile left, UNCLE BOOGIE (PP: 4 ML 12-1) makes a late run to try and finish in
the money. Meanwhile, WASPIRANT (PP: 2 ML 15-1) trails and has no chance.
LIFE IS GOOD lives up to his pre-race odds once again,
taking another checkered flag without much of a challenge, collecting his 10
Kentucky Derby points as the road to the Derby picks up speed in 2021.