Posted By Warren Eves on May 5, 2016
By Warren Eves
Javier Castellano’s long race riding hiistory with Todd Pletcher takes him off a colt who has a huge chance at a boxcar price in the Kentucky Derby.
Majesto(18), opening at a lofty 30-1, offers enormous “value” coming off a much better than appears running line in the Florida Derby. The “leggy” son of Tiznow galloped out strongly ahead of eventual winner Nyquist who is everyone’s choice.
Video-tape review led to our focus on Majesto.
In the Florida Derby Majesto broke alertly and was grabbed early to wind up inside three foes entering turn #1. He rode the rail in seventh “with run” and was backed up on the far turn by Sawyers Mickey(-1-½). Back 5 lengths off the top he made a good run an 1/8th of a mile from the wire and went gamely for second while making his sixth lifetime start.
What brought about this colt’s career best number? When breaking his maiden at GP, in his next to last outing, Majesto came home with a final fraction of 6.29. He’s worked well at CD.
His trainer Gustavo Delgado may not be a household name but he knows how to develop a horse. He’s won three Triple Crowns in his own country. That’s why he named fellow countryman Emisael Jaramillo, Venezuela’s all time leading rider, to replace Castellano aboard Majesto.
Mo Tom(4) also offers “value” entering the starting gate with a realistic chance to run well opening at odds of 20-1. There is no question in my mind this son of Uncle Mo was best when fourth as a tepid favorite in the Louisiana Derby!
Corey Lanerie is fortunate he’s still aboard after the poor decisions he made on this colt last time. All he had to do was to wheel him outside. Mo Tom should have been in the winner’s enclosure. He’s the kind of leggy colt we look for and races in the colors of Tom Benson the owner of the New Orleans’ Saints.
Mo Tom won the first time sent a mile which was only his third lifetime outing. He returned to be third to Airoforce and Mor Spirit in the Kentucky Jockey Club over a sloppy track.
Unbeaten Nyquist(13) is the chalk having won all seven starts. Even though I didn’t like the way he drifted out coming to the wire in the Florida Derby, I can’t dismiss him, plus he beat Majesto last time. I’ll be using him in the gimmicks.
Mohaymen(14) lost ground every inch of the way and was done when the real running began in the Florida Derby. Trakus tells us Mohaymen traveled 54 more feet than Nyquist over an “off”track. Look for jockey Junior Alvarado to give this “early presser” a better trip in the big dance. Final fractions play a big part in our handicapping process so maybe his ho-hum 6.78 FF in the Fountain of Youth was an indicator he might take a step back.
More Spirit(17) may have been using the Santa Anita Derby as a prep for the first Saturday in May–especially when the track came up soupy.
Second in his last two starts as the favorite, Gary Stevens did not abuse More Spirit at any point last time. He was fourth early and well in hand. Wheeled outside once into the stretch Stevens tapped him four times to save second. If it was their intentions to use the Santa Anita Derby as a tuneup, it certainly didn’t zap much of this colt’s energy while looking forward to Derby Day.
Stevens said More Spirit was “skating” early on in the Santa Anita Derby. It’s safe to say he may show up with his A-game for the big dance. I’m including him in the exotic mix over a track he’s familiar with.
My suggested exotics mix will find me using Majesto(18) with Mo Tom(4), Nyquist(13), Mohaymen(14) & Mor Spirit(17). I’ll also make across the board investments in Majesto(18) and Mo Tom(4).