Weekend Review: Govenor Charlie breaks track record at Sunland// Black Onyx surprises in Spiral// Key workouts for Florida, Louisiana Derbies// KDFW Pool #3 closes with ‘all others’ favored

Point Races:

Sunland Derby (G3)
Winner (pts): Govenor Charlie
2nd, 3rd, 4th, (pts): Show Some Magic (20), Abraham (10), Shakin It Up (5)
Chart: Equibase
Replay: YouTube
Beyer/BRIS: 95/99
Recaps: Bloodhorse / DRF / Brisnet
CTD Analysis: Surely it’s sickening for other trainers to see the number of serious Bob Baffert Derby prospects increase on a seemingly daily basis. While his Southern California export operation took a little bump in the road in last week’s Rebel Stakes, it was back on track with Govenor Charlie for Sunday’s Sunland Derby (G3). The son of Midnight Lute was close to the pace in the first half mile before displaying his true class in the latter stages by pulling away to an easy 5-length score.

One point of annoyance that I feel must be stated (again): Can we agree that any quarter mile time that begins with 22 seconds (followed by whatever) and any half mile in 46 (followed by whatever) for a race over a mile should not be called “modest”? In fact it’s quick, especially for a 1 1/8 mile race. I’m not sure what’s happened over the last several years but there is no uniformity in race calling or reporting when it comes to pace.

With that out of the way, it’s impressive Govenor Charlie could sit just behind the hot pace set by Saint Prado and have more than enough to dominate the race. I was surprised to see the Beyer Speed figure come back only 95 considering he set a Sunland Park record, but the track was playing fast all day. The Sunland Derby field was not ultra impressive on paper either, with only three entrants having won a race other than a maiden, and none of those races longer than a mile.

Still, Govenor Charlie should be a solid mid-to-upper tier choice in the Kentucky Derby (G1) based on his connections, speed figures, proven ability, and pedigree (second dam is Silverbulletday, a Grade 1 winner at 1 1/4 miles among other notable accomplishments).

Spiral Stakes (G3)
Winner (pts): Black Onyx
2nd, 3rd, 4th (pts): Uncaptured (20), Giant Finish (10), Taken by the Storm (5)
Chart: Equibase
Replay: YouTube
Beyer/BRIS: 90/96
Recaps: Bloodhorse / DRF / Brisnet
CTD Analysis: While the Sunland Derby winner could end up on a lot of Derby tickets, it’s hard to see the same happening for the Spiral Stakes (G3) winner Black Onyx. Sent off at 15-1 odds, Black Onyx will enter the Derby sporting low speed figures and a lone stakes win that came on a synthetic track. Nonetheless, he should be respected for making a strong closing move in a modestly set pace and for holding off multiple stakes winner Uncaptured in the stretch. Although his only win on dirt was just a maiden, that 2 1/4 lengths victory and his closing running style could be enough to make me second guess leaving Black Onyx off some superfecta combinations.

Second place Uncaptured should not be written off either. Not only was the Spiral his first race in four months and the longest he’s ever gone, but he’s already made it known the Churchill surface suits him. Uncaptured’s 30 points for the Kentucky Derby might be enough to make the field regardless of how he does in the Blue Grass (G1) at Keeneland.

Non-point races:

Rushaway Stakes
Winner: Crop Report
Chart: Equibase
Beyer/BRIS: 85/94
Recaps: Bloodhorse  


Top 10 (Star-Ledger)


Demonic- HOL- 5F- 1.01:20- H- 7/20
Golden Soul- FG- 6F- 1.12:60- B- 1/2
Frac Daddy- GP- 5F- 1.00:24- H- 2/16
Vyjack- AQU- 5F- 59.07- B- 1/7

Elnaawi- BEL- 5F- 1.02:54- B- 8/32
Speak Logistics- CRC- 4F- 47:20- H- 1/63
Itsmyluckyday- CRC- 4F- 49:40- B- 19/63
Dynamic Sky- PMM- 5F- 1.00:88- B- 7/31
Honorable Dillon- PMM- 4F- 50:04- B- 45/55
Clearly Now- PMM- 5F- 1.01:84- B- 18/31
Rydilluc- PMM- 7F- 1.30:18- B- 1/1 (Turf)
Positively- PMM- 4F- 49:66 B- 3/6 (Turf)
Clawback- AQU- 4F- 49:04- B- 4/19
Java's War- GP- 4F- 49:07- B- 20/53
Sunbean- FG- 4F- 49:20- B- 12/70

Dewey Square- GP- 5F- 1.00:81- B- 4/24
Belvin- SA- 5F- 59:60- H- 1/61
Hear the Ghost- HOL- 6F- 1.13:60- H- 5/14
Code West- SA- 5F- 1.00:20- H- 3/47
Departing- FG- 4F- 47:20- B- 1/64
Mylute- FG- 4F- 50:00- B- 43/64
Mountain Eagle- PMM- 3F- 37:12- B- 1/6
Normandy Invasion- PMM- 5F- 1.00:22- B- 1/34
Overanalyze- PMM- 4F- 48:20- B- 4/43
Revolutionary- PMM- 4F- 48:20- B- 4/43
Palace Malice- PMM- 5F- 1.00:82- B- 6/34
Shanghai Bobby- PMM- 5F- 1.00:82- B- 6/34
Verrazano- PMM- 4F- 49:79- B- 20/43