HOW HE GOT HERE
SAINTHOOD didn’t race as a two-year old; his career debut occurred in early January at Gulfstream Park on the main track at six furlongs. He was a live runner on debut, going off at 5-1. After being three-wide most of the way, he found himself in a stretch duel late that he lost by a head. His Beyer came back a respectable 79 on debut.
He came back a month later in his second career start at 1 1/16 miles on the main track as the even money favorite. SAINTHOOD showed speed on the stretch out, was pressured all the way, but still held on gamely for the win by a nose.
SAINTHOOD picked up his Derby points in his next and most recent start in the Jeff Ruby Steaks at Turfway over 1 1/8 miles on the tapeta. He finished second to LIKE THE KING, but has significant problems in his trip. He was shuffled back throughout and had to find racing room at the top of the stretch and was bumped and slightly hindered when he finally did. Nonetheless, he still ran on strongly to finish second, beaten by only a length.
HOW HE FITS HERE
Well, like his counterpart coming out of the Jeff Ruby Steaks, LIKE THE KING, there’s no way or need to sugar coat it or go on and on about it here: in simple, he likely doesn’t fit well here. His top speed figure of 84 is well below most of the other contenders. Now, where he differs from LIKE THE KING is when it comes to dirt form. Unlike LIKE THE KING, SAINTHOOD is already a winner on dirt and put up a 76 Beyer in that effort. While he still would need to answer a lot of questions here to be a serious win contender, I don’t see him as a complete impossibility to maybe round out the superfecta or super high five.
HOW IT FIGURES TO GO HERE
SAINTHOOD figures to be somewhat close to the pace, possible in mid-pack. While he won’t have the same trip issues as the deep closers, he will still need to work out a clean trip to have any chance here. He seemed to be taking a nice step forward last time out in the Jeff Ruby and if that trend continues, I could potentially see him taking the step forward needed here to pick up a minor piece. The added furlong in distance from his last start shouldn’t pose any significant problem for him.
Well, to be quite honest, it probably doesn’t go well for him here. He is trending around 70-1 in fixed odds betting, but I could see him going off a little shorter on Derby Day, possible around 40-1 or 50-1. While the most likely scenario is that he doesn’t factor into this finish at all, there is a slight possibility in my opinion that he could run past some tired ones late to finish fourth or fifth and possibly add a little value to the exotics. A pretty significant step forward would be needed for this one to seriously contend for the win.
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