Under-the-radar Kentucky Derby contenders, volume 3
Here is our weekly look at under-the radar 3-year-olds who could step up and make an impact on the Road to the 2020 Kentucky Derby.
Dieu du Vin
The winner of the Cattleya Sho at Tokyo Racecourse in Japan, Dieu du Vin is undefeated in two starts and looms as a key player on the Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby. A stoutly bred son of Declaration of War, out of a Tapit mare, Dieu du Vin has already demonstrated am affinity for dirt and is nominated to the March 28 UAE Derby (G2) in Dubai.
But before he heads overseas, let’s see if this Yukihiro Kato-trained colt turns up in the Feb. 23 Hyacinth at Tokyo Racecourse. Victory in that 1-mile test would rocket Dieu du Vin to the top of the Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby leaderboard.
The victorious Tiz the Law is receiving all the attention, but Ete Indien wasn’t badly beaten by any means in the Holy Bull (G3) at Gulfstream Park. Trained by Patrick Biancone, Ete Indien carved out quick fractions of :23.31, :46.60, and 1:10.96 before he finished in the runner-up spot—three lengths behind Tiz the Law, but 11 1/2 lengths clear of third-place finisher Toledo.
Even in defeat Ete Indien posted an eye-catching 104 Brisnet Speed rating, which followed the 103 this son of Summer Front posted in a 1-mile allowance race Dec. 20. By these metrics Ete Indien ranks as one of the fastest horses on the Derby trail.
An improving son of Quality Road, Farmington Road was beaten in his first two starts for trainer Todd Pletcher, before he broke through with a Jan. 12 maiden victory at Tampa Bay Downs. Favored at 1-5, Farmington Road settled off the pace and gradually rallied to win the 1-mile and 40-yard race by 1 3/4 lengths.
Owned by Chrysalis Stables, Robert LaPenta, and Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Farmington Road posted an 86 Brisnet Speed rating and will attempt to take another step forward in the first division of the Risen Star (G2) on Saturday at Fair Grounds.