(Mandaloun, a 3YO colt by Into Mischief and a top contender for this year’s Triple Crown for trainer Brad Cox, made the 2021 and Stakes debut on Saturday. It was not a bad effort, running third to Midnight Bourbon in the G3 Lecomte Stakes at the Fair Grounds. But big things are expected of and for this colt. So, stay tuned. More is surely to come. / Photos by Holly M. Smith)
On Saturday, the signature drink of the day was supposed to be the highly-touted and mega-pedigreed Mandaloun.
After all, the colt was a perfect and undefeated 2-for-2.
After all, the colt is by the majestic stallion Into Mischief, the world’s greatest producing sire of the day.
After all, the colt is trained by Brad Cox and runs for the intercontinental juggernaut Juddmonte Farms, which just lost its’ patriarch and owner in the past few days.
After all, it was supposed to be Mandaloun’s kick-off party.
So much for kick off and kick start.
So much for getting kicked, instead.
Instead, Saturday it was Midnight Bourbon who became the hot toddy, alright.
The 3YO son of Tiznow opened up the 2021 Kentucky Derby Trail down at the Fair Grounds with a powerful and impressive gate-to-wire win in the G3 Lecomte Stakes in New Orleans. More impressively, though, he convincingly defeated the highly-touted and previously-undefeated Mandaloun, who managed to run third but never seriously threaten the leader.
So, on Saturday, Midnight Bourbon warmed the cockles on a cold, blustery January night.
And, he jumped all the way from a name worth mentioning to a horse worth considering for the 2021 running of the Kentucky Derby, to be held once again on the First Saturday in May.
He went from a horse on the rocks, to a horse that may look like he’s headed — well — straight. Straight to the top.
Stay tuned. The next round may be on you.
More action is slated to heat up down South soon, too. Keepmeinmind, winner of the G2 Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill Downs last November, is slated to return at Oaklawn Park on Feb. 15 in the G3 Southwest Stakes. A week later, the impressive Caddo River is scheduled to run in the Smarty Jones. And, today, Whiskey Double is scheduled in an allowance at the Fair Grounds.
Time is of the essence. And, times are getting closer for the top 3YOs in the country to start gearing up their legs and their games for a run at the Run for the Roses.
Our top numbers and contenders have not changed. But there is a shift in some of the rankings.
Take a look. More is surely to come.