In this edition of our Derby Profile, we focus our attention on CONCERT TOUR, the son of STREET SENSE from the Bob Baffert stable.
First of all, what a moment it will be for owners Gary and Mary West if they win the Run for the Roses this year! Particularly because it would come so soon after losing the Kentucky Derby over a DQ decision. Recall how in 2019, MAXIMUM SECURITY, carrying the familiar pink and black-diamond silks, crossed the wire first but was moved to 17th place by the stewards. How much of a chance do they have with CONCERT TOUR this year? Well, that's the topic of our discussion.
CONCERT TOUR is a rapidly improving colt who was last seen winning the Rebel Stakes (G2) at Oaklawn Park two weeks ago. He did it rather easily, winning by a comfortable margin and even geared down late. Visually it was impressive. But on paper, we could argue over the field's competitiveness. It's been rated equivalent to the San Vicente (G2) field he faced. The place-horse in the San Vicente (G2) was FREEDOM FIGHTER and he ran a clunker in his next race.
How is that so? Why isn't CONCERT TOUR receiving the high speed figures and competitive ratings after toying with the Rebel Stakes competitors? Perhaps its because his rivals weren't coming in in spectacular form. CADDO RIVER, the favorite, was coming in off just a maiden score and was trampolining up in class; he was facing much, much weaker. KEEPMEINMIND was coming off a four month layoff. GET HER NUMBER, the Grade 1 winner, was entering off a seventh month layoff. These were the top choices and it could be argued that CONCERT TOUR blitzed a field who just wasn't developed enough to make a real race of it. It was a "prep" race in every sense of the word - preparing for their next start. But that's no fault to CONCERT TOUR, for he can only defeat what's put in front of him.
CONCERT TOUR has speed and versatility on the front end, which gives him a tremendous advantage for the bigger fields he'll soon face. He is piloted by high percentage rider, Joel Rosario, who is as dangerous controlling the pace, as closing in on it. Moreover, CONCERT TOUR has already experienced a stretch duel, which is always a positive for developing horses, win or lose. In the San Vicente (G2) he dueled with FREEDOM FIGHTER all the way to the wire where he finally put him away. CONCERT TOUR flashed his highest middle and late speed rating combination.
With the recent defection of his stablemate LIFE IS GOOD, CONCERT TOUR looks like the classiest front runner in training. If we future pace the Kentucky Derby, we can imagine CONCERT TOUR having to contend with the likes of CADDO RIVER, WEYBURN, MIDNIGHT BOURBON, maybe even MEDINA SPIRIT for control over the pace. We shall not include HOT ROD CHARLIE just yet, for he found himself on the lead in the Louisiana Derby (G2) after nobody wanted it.
Of the early speed horses mentioned above — CADDO RIVER, WEYBURN, MIDNIGHT BOURBON, MEDINA SPIRIT — CONCERT TOUR is crowned with having faced the toughest, while also running the fastest. He's got Kentucky Derby blood in him, being the son of Kentucky Derby winner STREET SENSE. He's got the phenomenal stallion TAPIT as his damsire. Both sire and damsire were Grade 1 winners at age three.
CONCERT TOUR is a probable for the Arkansas Derby (G1) which is run on April 10th, 2021 at Oaklawn Park. This race will award 100 qualifying points for the Kentucky Derby. If the current "probable" list for the Arkansas Derby becomes a reality, there will be a showdown of the speedsters: CONCERT TOUR, CADDO RIVER, MEDINA SPIRIT, and PREVALENCE. These four horses have done their best running on the front end, and they may need to stick to the script in order to acquire some urgent Kentucky Derby Points. Will we see a pace melt-down? Or will our competitors introduce versatility into their game? Well, if they go wicked fast early on, KEEPMEINMIND may have a say. The Diodoro-trained colt initiated his rally approaching the turn in the Louisiana Derby, but flattened out in the stretch. He looked out of gas! But with that race behind him, he'll should be sharper in his second start off his layoff, and might be fit enought to unleash a monster performance.
HOZEIR, GET HER NUMBER, CANDY MAN ROCKET and SUPERSTOCK round out the rest of the probables.
The Arkansas Derby is still three weeks away, so we'll come back with an update when we preview the entire day's card. If CONCERT TOUR wins it, he'll be following in the hoofsteps of AMERICAN PHAROAH, who captured the Rebel and Arkansas Derby en route Triple Crown achievement.