Next on our Kentucky Derby radar is the #16 ranked ROMBAUER, from the Michael McCarthy stable. He's the son of TWIRLING CANDY out of CASHMERE by COWBOYCAL and has 14 qualifying points to his name.
If you picture a pace-meltdown in the Kentucky Derby, you might consider ROMBAUER as one of the flying finishers.
We last saw ROMBAUER back in February in the El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Park. He closed stoutly to defeat a field of seven, earning 10 of his 14 points off that effort. It was a productive race for him because he was coming off two consecutive Grade-1 races and the drop in company allowed him to earn a win and build some confidence in his ability to pass horses. In that race he came from the back of the pack, swung 4wide and used the length of the stretch to reel in JAVANICA. It was his second win from five starts and he earned his highest speed figure doing it. Jockey Kyle Frey piloted him home.
ROMBAUER was all the more flattered when two horses he beat, came back and won their next start. One was IT'S MY HOUSE, who captured the Turf Paradise Derby.
Note: When ROMBAUER won the El Camino Real Derby, it was only his first start off his three month layoff, which makes it quite impressive he sustained his deep rally. ROMBAUER might deliver an even stronger performance next time out. The question is, where will he race?
Well, that brings up the new predicament that developed. ROMBAUER had been a probable for the Louisiana Derby all last week, which is scheduled for this Saturday at Fair Grounds. ROMBAUER turned in a workout three days ago at Santa Anita going 4F handily in 48 seconds flat in preparation. But he was recently pulled from the probables list. At this time it's undeclared where he will race next.
Assuming everything is okay health-wise, and assuming it was more of a strategic decision to pull out, ROMBAUER still need points to secure his spot in the gate on Derby day. Since he has been training at Santa Anita all year, the Santa Anita Derby could be a possible target.
At any rate, ROMBAUER still must improve on speed figures to be competitive with the top 10 ranking horses — and he's perfectly capable of doing it. He's got the experience; he ran well in the BC Juvenile, and let's not forget the beat out SPIELBERG for second place in the American Pharoah (G1). SPIELBERG just ran a monster race in his own right against ESSENTIAL QUALITY.
An important question for ROMBAUER to answer is, can he go the one mile and one-quarter Derby distance? On the one hand, pedigree averages suggest he'll want to go shorter. On the other, horses outrun their pedigrees all the time. Also, his sire TWIRLING CANDY ran his highest speed figure going one mile and one quarter, and it was a Grade 1 race to shoe. But we'll need to wait until ROMBAUER's connections confirm he's fine, and release any news of his next start. Until then, we shall wait in anticipation!