- G2 winner at 9 furlongs
- No off-the-board finishes in 5 starts
- Trainer: Mike Maker (Hansen, Furthest Land, Stately Victor)
- Jockey: Rosie Napravnik
- Owned by: Ken & Sarah Ramsey
- Record: 5: 3-0-2
- Earnings: $788,900
- Best speed figures: 97 Beyer (Lecomte Stakes & Louisiana Derby), 104 BRIS Figure (Louisiana Derby), 105 Equibase
Background: If speed succeeds, this colt has had it from the beginning of the Derby prep season to near the end when the distances got a bit closer to 10 furlongs. The prowess of Maker-Napravnik-Ramsey seem to have an effect akin to the stars aligning, and so they have with Vicar’s In Trouble, who has been running to the nines in the southern state preps all year. The Ramseys have been hankering for a solid shot at the Derby, and seem to have found progress with Vicar.
Prep Schedule: Finishing an even 3rd in his October debut race at Keeneland, Vicar won easily enough switching to dirt at his future stomping grounds at Fair Grounds, romping home wire-to-wire to win by 13 lengths going 6 furlongs just 2 months later. Sprinter? One turn only? Vicar answered those two questions with a definitive no next out in his stakes debut and first start as a three-year-old, wiring the 1 mile and 70 yard Lecomte (III) by nearly 7 lengths. His streak took pause next out in the Southwest Stakes (II) after he drew a wide post in a large and messy field, but still managed to work his way up to 3rd, losing by 5 1/2 lengths. Rebounding and running further, Vicar dismissed doubters in the Louisiana Derby (II), going wire-to-wire again to hold off Southwest winner Intense Holiday by 3 1/2 lengths after having an uncontested lead most of the way.
Pedigree: Part of the second crop to race by Into Mischief, who spawned two Derby starters and a Breeders’ Cup winner with his first, Vicar’s In Trouble benefits from his sire’s rich and speedy family featuring Leslie’s Lady, the dam of Into Mischief and Breeders’ Cup Distaff (I)/Eclipse winner Beholder. Into Mischief’s sire Harlan’s Holiday had been a success at stud with many top runners throughout the juvenile and spring prep stages. Dam Vibrant is an Ontario-bred by Vicar, who made a career out of sprinting but did win the Florida Derby (I). Damsire Tanks Prospect was precocious but had enough stamina in him to win the Arkansas Derby (I) and the Preakness (I).
Estimated TrueNicks Rating: A++ Variant: 131.08
Dosage Index: 5.00
Running Style: Pacesetter
Pros: Aside from a bad trip/very wide post in the crowded Southwest, Vicar has done little wrong in the prep races and has cleared every hurdle in front of him at this point, and his figures have been consistently good every race. Rosie Napravnik is a regular force in the saddle and should be able to give this colt more than a good shot.
Cons: Into Mischief’s best progeny, Goldencents and Vyjack, have both appeared to be distance limited beyond 8-9 furlongs although you can’t rightly shake them both off looking at last year’s muddy mess of the Kentucky Derby. Vicar’s pedigree isn’t there when it comes to staying the distance.
Final Word: A classic example of a horse who was more than good enough to win up to 9 furlongs, but will likely fail the test when asked to go one more. He’ll likely go for the front early, but he unfortunately won’t be alone in trying to grab the lead right away which decreases his chances of doing well— let alone winning— even more.