• Prep race news plus latest prices generally available with British-based bookmakers
By Nicholas Godfrey
14-1 (price for the Kentucky Derby) Prevalence (Brendan Walsh/Tyler Gaffalione)
Gulfstream Park (Jan 23): maiden special weight $50,000, 7f, dirt
Sire: Medaglia D’oro
Likely target: unspecified
Much of the pre-race talk about a 12-runner field full of blue-blooded maidens surrounded the Chad Brown-trained Stage Raider – a half-brother to Triple Crown winner Justify – but he was comprehensively handled by Godolphin’s blowout debut winner Prevalence.
After winning a fierce early battle for the lead, the homebred son of Medaglia D’Oro powered home by 8½ lengths under a motionless Tyler Gaffalione.
Brendan Walsh: “I thought he was a nice colt. He put in some nice work, but of course, you’re always looking for confirmation. Thankfully, we got it. It was a lovely experience, which is great for a young three-year-old first time out.”
Santa Anita: The Great One scores by 14 lengths for Doug O’Neill
33-1 The Great One (Doug O’Neill/Abel Cedillo)
Santa Anita (Jan 23): maiden special weight $60,000, 1m, dirt
Owner: ERJ Racing etc
Likely target: San Felipe Stakes (Santa Anita, March 6)
Just touched off at 33-1 in last month’s Los Alamitos Futurity, this Louisiana-bred son of Doug O’Neill’s Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist produced a eyecatching performance as he cruised to a 14-length victory back against maidens.
Sold for $185,000 at Ocala, The Great One is named in tribute to ice hockey legend Wayne Gretzky. Having his fifth career start, he stalked favoured Fenway – also mentioned in Kentucky dispatches – before establishing a lead on the turn and galloping away. The Great One got a 92 Beyer and now looks set for a return to stakes company.
Doug O’Neill: “He showed up and ran a big race. You never figure on winning like that. Your main focus is just trying to get him to the wire first; you never figure they’re going to win by 14, although he had been training really, really well. Each race had been better than the previous one. Since we added blinkers, he’s really focused. It’s very exciting and hopefully we’ll have more fun down the road.”