(Malibu Moon x Spirited Away, by Awesome Again)
Trainer: Mark Casse (Sealy Hill, Pool Play, Exciting Story)
Jockey: Luis Contreras
Owned by: John Oxley
Summary: An under-the-radar colt with Canadian connections, Prospective came an unfortunate last in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (I) race, but has since rebounded to promising form mentally and physically as a three-year-old. He was a delayed “ok” for the Kentucky Derby, the decision hinging on how owner John Oxley ultimately felt about his colt’s chances after a lackluster Blue Grass (II) showing.
Prep Schedule: A G3 winner at Woodbine at age 2, Prospective shipped to more competitive waters in Florida as a three-year-old and immediately began cleaning up at Tampa Bay Downs, where he closed in the Pasco (III) to win by 1 1/2, a wide trip to come in 2nd to Battle Hardened in the Sam F Davis (II) over Florida Derby (I) runner-up Reveron, then came back to battle Golden Ticket down the stretch to win the Tampa Bay Derby (II). Shipping to Keeneland synthetic, he did not fire and wound up 6th in a deep Blue Grass (II) field.
Running Style: Closer
Pros: His 50% win percentage obviously looks good, and he’s made a really nice transition to dirt and shipping around. With Trinniberg due to set up a fast early pace, he could ultimately benefit from it much like in his Tampa Bay win if the front runners fail to last or fire that winning move too prematurely.
Cons: His last prep was obviously not good in the Blue Grass (II), and he did not beat all that much in the Tampa Bay, which altogether adds up to a major class retake test for the horse. His best Beyer to date is a mere 88 in the Tampa Bay. He is likely not the best and certainly not the only closer in the field.
Final Word: Two things I liked about Prospective on the trail: he’s determined as hell to lash back at troubled trips, and, he’s consistent. I am willing to toss out the Blue Grass (II) for a couple of reasons with the main one being that his connections stated they knew prior to that race he did not favor synthetic all that much. I like the hardy build of him, and the Tampa Bay really sold me on how many gears this horse is willing to give to win. Despite the long odds he’ll be given and at the expense of sounding a little cheesy, he’s got the character that could reach the front-end turning for home if he gets a good trip.