In this edition of our Derby Profile, we look at the Todd Pletcher trainee KNOWN AGENDA, who is currently 5th on the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard with 102 points. We'll discuss this rapidly improving colt's achievements, progress, and chances at winning the Run for the Roses.
KNOWN AGENDA jumped into the Derby Trail when he finished third in the muddy Remsen Stakes (G2) back in December 2020. He earned just two qualifying points for that effort, but achieved his fastest early speed ratings over the sloppy surface. It shouldn't be surprising that he took well to the off going since his sire CURLIN performed brilliantly over the slop as well. If it rains on Derby weekend, it could play to KNOWN AGENDA's liking.
KNOWN AGENDA's major win on the Derby trail was the Florida Derby (G1), where he defeated GREATEST HONOUR and SOUP AND SANDWICH, powering home with a devastating late kick. He earned 100 qualifying points for the win, while earning an Equibase Speed Figure of 112. That's quite impressive considering ESSENTIAL QUALITY only earned a 109 for his recent win, and CONCER TOUR, a 105 for his.
On paper, KNOWN AGENDA has shown the fastest late kick than any of the contenders on the trail. However, when he competes in the Kentucky Derby, his lackadaisical early speed could introduce traffic problems if he falls too far back. This is the familiar difficulty of come-from-behinders in the Derby.
KNOWN AGENDA has yet to post a workout since his Florida Derby victory, but had been training at Palm Beach Downs. He does not log stunning workouts; we'd have to go back to January for his last bullet work. But he gets the job done on the track, which is what counts.
He has not ducked any competition. Over his six career starts, he's already faced: HIGHLY MOTIVATED, GREATEST HONOUR, BROOKLYN STRONG, CANDYMAN ROCKET, NOVA RAGS, HIDDEN STASH. These horses were all serious players on the Road to the Kentucky Derby, and several of them still are. This experience adds toughness to a horse rather than if he were winning every race hand-ridden, geared down, never fully extended against rivals. Without the toughness, they're unprepared when other horses engage them and don't go away.
The pivotal race for KNOWN AGENDA might have been the Optional Claiming 75K race back in February 26, 2021. He entered this race off of two consecutive disappointing efforts, and was in much need of a confidence booster. Trainer Todd Pletcher entered him in a softer spot at Gulfstream Park, where he was the $0.50 to win favorite, while running with the help of Lasix for the first time.
The Lasix worked. He won by daylight; more than eleven lengths. His effort was rated equivalent to ESSENTIAL QUALITY's Southwest Stakes win, equivalent to HOT ROD CHARLIE's Louisiana Derby win, and, more recently, equivalent to LIKE THE KING's Jeff Ruby Steak's win, just to name a few.
Basically, the softer spot gave him chance to win and build some confidence, and he was ready to roll from that point on. He raced without Lasix in his next start, the Florida Derby, and again he delivered a smashing performance. KNOWN AGENDA is at the top of his game and a formidable presence in this year's Kentucky Derby.