Tag Archives: Dekabrist

Materiality Holds Off Upstart In The Florida Derby

Materiality holds off Upstart to win the Grade 1 Florida Derby (Photo: Kenny Martin, Coglianese)
Materiality holds off Upstart to win the Grade 1 Florida Derby (Photo: Kenny Martin, Coglianese)

Materiality Holds Off Upstart In The Florida Derby

In what ended up being a two horse race, it was Materiality that won the Grade 1 Florida Derby over Upstart by a length and a half.

Jack Tripp took the lead out of the gate with a good break, but was soon taken on by Materiality with Upstart a length back in third. Itsaknockout settled in fourth, Quimet was in fifth, My Point Exactly was in sixth, and Ami’s Flatter was seventh. Indianaughty was eighth and the trailer was Dekabrist by more than 11 lengths.

On the backstretch Jack Tripp was still prompted by Materiality and Upstart was three wide. Quimet was fourth, My Point Exactly was fifth, Ami’s Flatter was sixth, and Itsaknockout was back to seventh. The trailing duo remained Indianuaghty and Dekabrist.

On the far turn the race turned into a match race between Materiality and Upstart as the other horses failed to make up any ground.

Throughout the stretch it was Materiality on the inside who repelled every attack from Upstart. He eventually pulled away to win by a length and a half. It was over 12 lengths back to Ami’s Flatter in third and Itsaknockout finished fourth.

The rest of the field, in order of finish, was Dekabrist, Indianaughty, My Point Exactly, Quimet, and Jack Tripp. The results chart can be found here via Equibase.

Materiality is by Afleet Alex out of the Langfuhr mare Wildwood Flower. He was ridden by John Velazquez and is trained by Todd Pletcher. He ran the one mile and one eighth in 1:52.30 while paying $5.60 to win, $3.00 to place, and $2.40 to show.

Materiality went off as the second choice at 9-5 behind Upstart who was even money.

For the win, Materiality earned his first 100 points towards the Kentucky Derby Points Leaderboard. Upstart earned 40 points to bring his total to 76, Ami’s Flatter earned 20 points for a total of 40, and Itsaknockout earned 10 points for a total of 60.

The Florida Derby was the third Road to the Kentucky Derby prep race on Saturday. The first was the Group 2 UAE Derby and the other was the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby.

The Road to the Kentucky Derby continues next week with the Grade 1 Wood Memorial from Aqueduct, the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby from Santa Anita, and the Grade 1 Blue Grass from Keeneland.

2015 Florida Derby Preview

2015 Florida Derby Preview

The final Road to the Kentucky Derby race on Saturday, March 28 will the Grade 1 Florida Derby. The other two races, the Group 2 UAE Derby and the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby, will have been settled by the time the Florida Derby goes off.

The Florida Derby will be at a mile and an eighth with 9 three year olds racing for a purse of $1,000,000. As with the other 2 Derby Preps on Saturday, the top four finishers will receive points towards the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard. The winner will receive 100 points, second place will receive 40 points, third place will receive 20 points, and 10 points will be awarded to the fourth place finisher.

The Grade 1 Florida Derby is carded as the 14th and last race on the Gulfstream Park card on Saturday with a scheduled post time of 6:48 PM Eastern Time. Free past performances can be found here.

1. Ami’s Flatter (8-1 Morning Line) – He started his career late in 2014 with a win in his debut at Woodbine going 7 furlongs. A move down south to Gulfstream saw him enter the Mucho Macho Man and finish second by 1 3/4 lengths. He was then shipped to Tampa for the Grade 3 Sam F. Davis, but he ran an even fourth. Despite that fourth place finish, he was sent back to Tampa for the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby where he ran a solid second behind runaway winner Carpe Diem. If the track is playing kind to off the pace types, he could sneak into the exacta.

2. Jack Tripp (20-1 ML) – He started his career on turf, but the turf career was short-lived after he finished sixth beaten 5 3/4 lengths. He then went to dirt for his next two races at Keeneland where he was second and then broke his maiden in his third start by 5 lengths. Since then he has been entered in four straight optional claiming races, but he has yet to finish better than third. Pass on his chances in this race.

3. Indianaughty (20-1 ML) – He started his career across the Atlantic in Great Britain with a third place finish over the polytrack at Kempton Park. He won his second start by 5 lengths at Linfield, again on polytrack. He was subsequently sent to South Florida and he made his turf debut a winning one by a head. Buoyed by that good performance, he was entered in the Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby and he failed to make an impact after battling for the lead. It is hard to endorse him here after that last race.

4. Itsaknockout (2-1 ML) – He has stayed here in South Florida for his first three races. He won his debut by a nose and then won an optional claiming event by 5 1/4 lengths. After those two wins, he went into the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth and finished second by 2 3/4 lengths. However, he was awarded the victory controversially after Upstart was disqualified and placed second. He will be sitting just off the pace in this race once again is one of the obvious choices to win.

5. Quimet (20-1 ML) – He started his career with back-to-back turf races, but failed to do much in those events and was given a nearly three month break. He came back to run on dirt at Gulfstream and won his comeback race by half a length in a $50,000 maiden claiming event and then finished second by 1 1/2 lengths in an optional claiming going a mile and an eighth. He then ran in the Islamorada Handicap, but was decimated by 16 lengths while finishing fourth. It is hard to like his chances in this spot unless all the favorites do not fire.

6. My Point Exactly (30-1 ML) – His first race came here at Gulfstream with a 5 furlong dash. He finished seventh by 6 1/4 lengths and then was switched to dirt where he was sixth by 7 1/2 lengths. He broke through in his third start when he was given a route of ground. He won the mile race by 10 lengths and was then shipped to Louisiana Downs for the listed Sunday Silence Stakes. That race was on turf and he prevailed by a neck. He has not been seen since that race on September 6 and will probably need this race.

7. Materiality (7-2 ML) – The second Todd Pletcher entrant comes in this race undefeated, just as his other horse Itsaknockout. He broke his maiden by 4 1/4 lengths on January 11 going six furlongs in the slop and was then given nearly two months off. The short break did not adversely affect him as he won the Islamorada Handicap by 5 3/4 lengths. He did that in his first start around two turns as well and is a serious threat to the top two choices.

8. Dekabrist (30-1 ML) – The most experienced runner in this race with 13 starts, he has gotten plenty of experience in stakes races. He was entered in the Grade 3 Lecomte on January 17, but finished eighth by 12 lengths and was then entered three more times between January 23 and February 28. He did not hit the board in those three races and he will probably be lucky to finish in the top half of the field in the Florida Derby.

9. Upstart (8-5 ML) – The morning line favorite has six career starts to his resume and he won his first two in New York bred races. He then entered the Grade 1 Champagne and finished second by 2 1/2 lengths. He parlayed that into a start in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile where he finished third. Since then, he was moved to Gulfstream and he won the Grade 2 Holy Bull by 5 1/2 lengths. He won the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth over Itsaknockout, but the stewards judged Upstart to have bothered him in the stretch and placed him second. He is a deserving favorite and must be included in any tickets.


This is a three horse race for the win and place. #9 Upstart has been ultra consistent in his career (6 starts, 3 wins, 2 seconds, and a third) while #4 Itsaknockout and #7 Materiality are both undefeated. It is hard to envision any of these three not winning and two of these horses not getting in the exacta. The only other real threat is #1 Ami’s Flatter if the pace is hot and the track is playing fair or kind to closers.

1. Upstart

2. Materiality

3. Itsaknockout

4. Ami’s Flatter

Check back on Saturday night for a recap of the Grade 1 Florida Derby.

International Star Rallies To Win Lecomte Stakes

Internatonal Star Won the Lecomte Stakes by 2 1/2 lengths (Photo by Lou Hodges Jr.)
International Star Won the Lecomte Stakes by 2 1/2 lengths (Photo by Lou Hodges Jr.)

International Star Rallies To Win Lecomte Stakes

For most of the race, International Star was able to save ground, but trouble forced him to the outside. That was of little consequence as he went to the outside and stormed past the two leaders to win by 2 1/2 lengths in the end. The Lecomte was his first win on dirt.

The race began with a sharp break from Hero of Humor as he went to the lead. Right behind him was Tiznow R J with Another Lemon Drop three lengths off the lead in third. Runhappy was fourth in the very early stages after a bit of a slow break with International Star, War Story, and Four Leaf Chief behind him. The last four horses were Eagle, Savoy Stomp, Dekabrist, and Killingit.

The race changed quickly with Runhappy tugging his way to the lead while racing greenly. He led until the far turn where he began to falter. The lead was contested by a trio of horses; Hero of Humor, Tiznow R J, and Another Lemon Drop. However, there was another trio of horses behind them that were in contention. Those three were International Star, Eagle, and Savoy Stomp.

In the stretch, the duo of War Story and Tiznow R J pulled clear from the main group, but International Star a length behind. With a furlong to run, he made his outside move to the lead and pulled clear to win by 2 1/2 lengths. The battle for second was won by War Story finishing a head in front of Tiznow R J. Another Lemon Drop finished fourth by 5 lengths.

The final order of finish behind the top four was Savoy Stomp, Hero of Humor, Eagle, Dekabrist, Runhappy, Killingit, and Four Leaf Chief.

International Star paid $20.40 to win, $8.80 to place, and $5.20 to show. He ran the one mile and 70 yards in 1:43.62 while being ridden by Miguel Mena. He is trained by Mike Maker and owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey.

International Star is by Fusaichi Pegasus out of the French Deputy mare Parlez.

With the victory International Star moves into a tie for first place on the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard at 21 points with El Kabeir. War Story claimed his first 4 points, Tiznow R J has 2 points, and Another Lemon Drop has 1 point.

The next race on the Road to the Kentucky Derby is Monday, January 19 with the Smart Jones Stakes at Oaklawn Park.

2015 Lecomte Stakes Preview

2015 Lecomte Stakes Preview

The only Kentucky Derby prep race on Saturday will be the Grade 3 Lecomte Stakes at the Fair Grounds. A field of 11 will run 1 mile and 70 yards over the main track dirt surface. The 11 horses will be battling out for up to 10 points towards the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard. The race is scheduled to go off at 6:24 PM Eastern Time with partly cloudy skies expected. Below is a look at each of the horses starting in the Lecomte.

1. International Star (8-1 Morning Line) – He has not run since November 29 when he finished fourth in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club. He lost that race to El Kabeir, who came back to win the Jerome two weeks ago. He has worked decently in the interim, but of more concern is his 0 for 2 record on  dirt despite being by Fusaichi Pegasus. The jury is still out whether he can run at this level on dirt. Wait and see on him in this spot.

2. Tiznow R J (5-1 ML) – It took him to his third start to break his maiden, but he did so in style here at the Fair Grounds. He won by 13 lengths five weeks ago while going gate-to-wire. He has worked well since that win and should be the controlling speed in this race from the inside post. He certainly has a chance in this race.

3. Four Leaf Chief (10-1 ML) – He owns a 3 for 5 record, however, all of his races have been at lower levels. To be fair, he does sport 2 Louisiana-bred Stakes wins at two different tracks (Delta Downs and Louisiana Downs). Last out he came from way back to grab third, but was well beaten by War Story. His deep closing style will not do him any favors as there does not appear to help his cause.

4. War Story (9-2 ML) – This guy is two for two in his career while employing different tactics in those races. In his debut race he came from nearly 10 lengths back to win by 2 3/4 lengths. In the latest race he was far closer to the pace and took over in the stretch to win by the same 2 3/4 lengths margin. He should be in great position in this race as well and deserves a long look.

5. Hero of Humor (50-1 ML) – He broke his maiden in his second start at Churchill before running 2nd in an optional claimer at Gulfstream Park West on Halloween. However, the last two starts have been dismal in stakes competition. He has been beaten a combined 53 lengths in the last two starts and has beaten only 1 horse. Pass on this guy here.

6. Savoy Stomp (8-1 ML) – After breaking his maiden in his debut at Belmont, he was crushed by 21 lengths in the Grade 2 Nashua at Aqueduct on November 2. His last start was at 1 mile at Gulfstream Park where he finished third beaten 7 1/4 lengths. He adds lasix for this and may improve second off the layoff. In this spot, it may be best to take a wait and see approach, but he could surprise here as well. Tough to decipher…

7. Runhappy (8-1 ML) – He broke his maiden impressively last time out in his debut at Turfway Park. Going six and a half furlongs he took over on the backstretch and powered his way to a 8 1/4 lengths win. The connections feel this son of Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver deserves a chance in the road to the Derby. He is an interesting horse here, but there are more likely contenders as well.

8. Killingit (15-1 ML) – He has ran in four career races with a win, a second, and a third to his credit. Those three finishers, however, came in maiden races. His last start was an Optional Claimer $50,000 where he finished 6th beaten 4 1/2 lengths at one mile. That does not bode well for him in this spot. Pass on him in the Lecomte.

9. Dekabrist (30-1 ML) – The most experienced runner in the field has run 9 times with 2 wins. Those two wins were in his first two career starts at 4.5 and 5.5 furlongs respectively. Since the last win he has not hit the board, nor has he been defeated by less than 11 lengths. Pass on him.

10. Another Lemon Drop (6-1 ML) – He broke his maiden in his second start on turf by 2 lengths before running his last two races on dirt. His latest race was run in the slop here at the Fair Grounds and he won by 5 lengths in an Optional Claimer $50,000. He has come from off the pace in each of his career starts and he does have an outside post here. Both of those are concerns, but he definitely figures underneath in this race.

11. Eagle (3-1 ML) – The morning line favorite has the outside post in this race. He broke his maiden in his debut race on July 5 at Ellis Park by a length before going on 2 1/2 month break. He returned from that break to finish second before his following race at Keeneland provided him his second win. His latest race was the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes where he finished 3rd beaten only three-quarters of a length. If he can get a good spot before they hit the first turn, he will definitely be there at the wire.



1. Tiznow R J

2. War Story

3. Eagle

4. Another Lemon Drop