Thursday, April 29, 2010

Dean's Kitten

Sire: Kitten's Joy
Dam: Summer Theater (Ide)
Trainer: Michael Maker
Jockey: Cornelio Velasquez

Career Record: 11-3-1-2
Graded Earnings: $326,475 (#16)

Running style: Mid-pack / Closer

It's very tough to get a read on how Dean's Kitten will run in the Kentucky Derby since he's only set foot on a dirt surface during a race once in his career (Pilgrim Stakes). That lone dirt effort came over a wet Belmont track rated as "GOOD" and he didn't do a lick of running that day. His last race on the Polytrack at Turfway Park saw him run only a length or two behind the leaders early on, while his previous grass races saw him anywhere from two to seven lengths back in the early stages.

How he got to the Derby: Dean's Kitten attempted graded stakes company twice as a juvenile, each time with so-so success. He ran in the Grade 3 With Anticipation on the Saratoga turf last summer and finished a well beaten fourth. Following a couple of tries against listed stakes company, he was entered in the Grade 2 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf where he finished a respectable sixth, 2 ¾ lengths behind Pounced.

Dean's Kitten attempted graded company for the first time as a three year old in the Hallandale Beach Stakes at Gulfstream in early March, finishing second to Paddy O'Prado in the 1 1/8 mile race on the grass. From there, this colt entered the Grade 2 Lane's End Stakes at Turfway on the Polytrack, where he produced the best performance of his career and won by 2 ½ lengths over Northern Giant.

What has to happen for him to win: Considering we've seen very little of this colt on dirt, it's anybody's guess as to how he'd end up winning the Kentucky Derby. The fact that he showed some interest early on in the Lane's End suggests to me that he might be forwardly placed in the Derby, and I think that would be a very bad thing for him. Dean's Kitten doesn't appear to possess an explosive turn of foot or big closing kick (at least from what we've seen previously) so his best strategy is take back and to try and wear down the opposition by grinding out each furlong.

Odds: 99/1

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