Sunday, January 11, 2009

Pioneer of the Nile and Other Derby Future Picks

Pioneer of the Nile
Pioneer of the Nile returning from a morning work at Santa Anita.

Pioneer of the Nile, winner of the Grade 1 CashCall Futurity at Hollywood Park on Dec. 20, 2008, is one of my top early Derby picks.

In its 26-year history, the CashCall Futurity, known as the Hollywood Futurity from 1981 to 2006, has been an important steppingstone to the Santa Anita Derby.

CashCall Futurity winners who also won the Santa Anita Derby include:
  • Brother Derek, 2005 Futurity, 2006 Santa Anita Derby
  • Point Given, 2000, 2001
  • A.P. Indy, 1991, 1992
  • Temperate Sil, 1986, 1987
  • Snow Chief, 1985, 1986
Point Given went on to win the Preakness and Belmont Stakes en route to Horse of the Year and Top 3-Year-Old honors.

A.P. Indy subsequently won the Belmont and Breeders' Cup Classic and was also named Horse of the Year and Top 3-Year-Old.

Snow Chief went on to win the Preakness and Top 3-Year-Old honors.

Over the next 12 weeks leading up to the Santa Anita Derby, I will be watching several promising 3-year-olds in California, including my other current faves: Square Eddie, The Pamplemousse, and Majormotionpicture. Stay tuned.


zraces said...

Pioneer has a really great as(whoops) hind end on him, powerful.

Amateurcapper said...

Certainly, these colts can impact the SA Derby. I'm just not sure if they point to that prep, how they'll fare at CD.

Mary Forney's Blog said...

While I'll admit the last 20 years or so don't look so stellar, the So. California prep has certainly had its runs in the past. Santa Anita Derby winners who went on to win on the first Saturday in May: Sunday Silence (1989), Winning Colors (1988), Affirmed (1978), Majestic Prince (1969), Lucky Debonair (1965), Swaps (1955), Determine (1954), and Hill Gail (1952). We also actually had a pretty good run of seconds and thirds in the 90's... Indian Charlie ran 3rd to Real Quiet in 1998, Free House was 3rd to Silver Charm in 1997, Cavonnier was 2nd to Grindstone in 1996. And going back a ways, notable KY Derby seconds were Avatar in 1975, Sham (to Secretariat) in 1973, Jim French in 1971, and Hill Rise (to Northern Dancer) in 1964. It's possible we could start another "run!"

Brett said...

No love for Point Encounter?

Mary Forney's Blog said...

Man, I was so impressed with Point Encounter when I first saw him. But I haven't been able to get a look at him lately; so, I guess... out of sight, out of mind, a bit!

Mary Forney's Blog said...

“To say Pioneerof the Nile is stepping forward would be an understatement. The work was incredible. Steiner never moved on him.”
Santa Anita Park clocker Toby Turrell describing CashCall Futurity (G1) winner Pioneer of the Nile’s five-furlong workout on
Sunday. The Empire Maker colt worked five furlongs under Joe Steiner in :57.60 handily, the co-fastest of 72 timed moves at the distance. Bob Baffert trains Pioneerof the Nile for owner-breeder Zayat Stables.


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