The top-rated three-year-old on the Triple Crown Trail got injured, a highly-rated runner bombed in the latest prep, and two horses have TC potential in the Grade 1 Florida Derby on Saturday. Check out the latest news on the Triple Crown Trail so you can keep planning your bets against their Triple Crown odds.
Triple Crown Updates: Life Is Good’s Injury Opens the Door
2021 Kentucky Derby
- When: Saturday, May 1, 2021
- Where: Churchill Downs, Louisville, KY
Top Triple Crown contender, Life Is Good, injured and off the TC Trail
Bob Baffert’s top Triple Crown threat, Life Is Good, is off the trail. The massive, amazingly talented son of Into Mischief became injured during a work earlier in the week.
Baffert doesn’t want to take a chance on a horse who could turn into a monster four-year-old. For horseplayers, losing Life Is Good from the Triple Crown races is a double-edged sword.
On one hand, the San Felipe winner was hands down the trail’s biggest star. He would have likely won the Santa Anita Derby and then gone into the Kentucky Derby an even money favorite.
On the other hand, with Life Is Good out of the TC, the doors have opened for other contenders.
Essential Quality and Concert Tour become top Triple Crown threats
The Crown door was already open for both Essential Quality and Concert Tour. With Life Is Good on the bench, the door opened further for the BC Juvenile winner and Baffert’s designated hitter.
Brad Cox trained Essential Quality runs next in the Grade 2 Bluegrass Stakes on April 3. Concert Tour’s next race is the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby.
If Essential Quality and Concert Tour win their respective final preps, the two should go off co-favorites to take the Kentucky Derby. Horses that don’t win the Run for the Roses can’t win the Triple Crown.
Mandaloun bombs in Louisiana Derby
Mandaloun had Triple Crown potential. That potential went the way of the dodo bird in the Louisiana Derby.
What happened to Brad Cox’s second-best TC threat? All systems appeared to be on go before the race. Mandaloun had shown much improvement in the Risen Star, winning the race with ease after Cox place blinkers on the Into Mischief sired runner.
The 6/5 chalk went wide around the first turn but appeared to be in a perfect stalking position behind eventual winner Hot Rod Charlie. Mandaloun showed zero interest and although many believe we shouldn’t shuck his chances after a poor effort, horses that don’t care to win often never learn to care to win.
Hot Rod Charlie is a Kentucky Derby contender. But he may not have the breeding to win all three Triple Crown legs. Oxbow won the Preakness Stakes. Charlie’s broodmare, Indian Miss, sprinted.
Midnight Bourbon put in another solid effort to finish second. Tiznow sired runners often mature later in the year. The Steve Asmussen trainee may not run again until the Kentucky Derby. Look for physical changes. If Bourbon has grown from now to May 1, he may be an attractive longshot.
Third place finisher O Besos made a nice move to pick up the show money. The Greg Foley trained runner calls Orb, the 2013 Kentucky Derby winner, papa. Besos could surprise on the first Saturday in May with a top four finish. But it’s hard to see this one winning the Crown.
Will a TC contender emerge form this Saturday’s Florida Derby?
Two Florida Derby runners appear capable of winning the Triple Crown. Greatest Honour, the likely Florida Derby chalk, and Collaborate, the likely second choice.
Both have the connections, breeding and form. They must prove it on the track, though. As always, check out our Kentucky Derby update blog for more info and a pick for the Grade 1 Florida Derby on Saturday.
Because the Dubai World Cup is on Saturday, March 27, we’ll add picks to our Derby article. Keep an eye out for the blog.