Goldencents is coming off his worst career finish, placing 17th at the Kentucky Derby on May 4.
So, why should we be confident in the colt headed into the 2013 Preakness Stakes?
Well, for one, Goldencents was bred for speed. His sire, Into Mischief, raced at only seven furlongs during his three-year-old campaign. His dam, Golden Works, only won at six furlongs.
Goldencents has excelled at distances shorter than the classic 1 1/4 miles, too. Headed into the Derby, he had captured four wins in six career races, all at 1 1/8 miles or shorter. That included a victory at the Santa Anita Derby in April.
|5/4/13||Churchill Downs||Kentucky Derby||1 1/4 M||17|
|4/6/13||Santa Anita||Santa Anita Derby||1 1/8 M||1|
|3/9/13||Santa Anita||San Felipe Stakes||1 1/16 M||4|
|1/5/13||Santa Anita||Sham Stakes||1 M||1|
|11/17/12||Delta Downs||Delta Downs Jackpot||1 1/16 M||1|
|10/6/12||Belmont Park||Foxwoods Champagne||1 M||2|
|9/2/12||Del Mar||MSW||5 1/2 F||1|
What's interesting about Goldencents' run at the Derby is that he was was actually setting the pace along with Palace Malice early on but fell back as the race progressed. Now, if the race would have ended at about six furlongs, Goldencents would have still lost (as shown in the video below), but that was at about the point that the horse really started slowing down.
If the Derby showed us anything about Goldencents, it is that the classic distance isn't his cup of tea. He's much better suited for shorter distances like, say, 1 3/16 miles.
Another thing: Goldencents struggled in the mud at Churchill Downs, suggesting that he may not be as powerful a horse as some of the other contenders.
Trainer Doug O'Neill said, via USA Today Sports:
It's tough because we know how competitive and how tough Goldencents is, but it's the first time he's ever been in that scenario where he was getting a lot of kick back (mud in his face).
And that wasn't one of your standard wet, fast kind of tracks. It was almost like peanut butter out there.
Fortunately for Goldencents, the Weather Channel forecasts it to be 83 degrees and sunny on Saturday at Pimlico, via the USA Today Sports report. That bodes well for the horse.
Speaking of O'Neill, you may remember that he won the Preakness with I'll Have Another last year. So, he certainly has had success at Pimlico.
Judging Goldencents by his performance at the Kentucky Derby is being short-sighted. The more you look at the big picture, the more you like his chances at the Preakness.