Instilled Regard; winner of the Lecomte S.
by Alastair Bull
Instilled Regard showed enough potential at the OBS March Sale of two-year-olds in training last year that it took $1.05 million for Lawrence Best’s OXO Equine to buy him.
If he continues to progress the way he has been, that could seem like a bargain.
It took the colt three starts to break his maiden status, which he achieved at Santa Anita on October 29. He was then taken straight to Grade 1 racing for the Los Alamitos Futurity at Los Alamitos, where he finished a close third behind Solomini and McKinzie, subsequently promoted to second due to interference he suffered from Solomini.
That effort encouraged his connections to take him to Fair Grounds for the Lecomte Stakes (G3) on January 13. Starting second favorite behind the highly-touted Principe Guilherme, Instilled Regard dashed away in the stretch and finished 3 3/4 lengths in front of the favorite – putting him right at the forefront of Kentucky Derby contenders.
Bred by KatieRich Farms in Kentucky, Instilled Regard is from the penultimate crop of the high-quality stallion Arch (Kris S.), who died in January 2016. In a seven-race career, Arch won five times, including the 1 1/4-mile Super Derby (G1) at Louisiana Downs and 1 3/16-mile Fayette Stakes (G3) at Keeneland.
At stud, Arch has proved very versatile, siring Grade 1 winners on dirt and turf, from sprint distances to 1 3/8 miles. His best performer to date is Blame, the horse who halted Zenyatta’s unbeaten record in the 1 1/4-mile Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), but he also sired top sprinters Overarching and Les Arcs, Arkansas Derby (G1) winner Archarcharch, and Gulfstream Park Handicap (G1) victor Prince Arch.
Arch’s record suggests his progeny can stay 1 1/4 miles provided there’s enough stamina on the progeny’s dam sire, and with Instilled Regard there is some encouragement.
His dam Enhancing, a winner at three, is by Forestry (Storm Cat), who has generally been best as a sire of sprinter-milers but who does have progeny that have run up to a mile and a half, such as Argentinian Grade 1 winner Quiz Kid. Forestry is also the sire of Preakness Stakes (G1) winner Shackleford.
Enhancing is out of the fantastic racemare Heavenly Prize (Seeking the Gold), an eight-time Grade 1 winner, twice at 1 1/4 miles. She has produced three stakes winners herself, including Good Reward, who won two Grade 1 races himself at 1 1/4 miles (both on turf) and finished second in the 1 1/4-mile Pacific Classic (G1) on dirt.
Basically, there’s enough there to suggest that Instilled Regard has the pedigree to stay 1 1/4 miles in the Kentucky Derby. Time will tell if he’s up to the task, but there’s no doubt he’s a genuine contender.
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