Imperial Racing LLC’s Plus Que Parfait punched his ticket to the Kentucky Derby (G1) with a score in the U.A.E. Derby (UAE-G2). The sophomore sits in fourth place on the Road to the Kentucky Derby leaderboard with 104 points.
The chestnut started his career on the turf at Ellis Park as a juvenile and finished third at first asking. He graduated in his third effort in a maiden special weight event at Keeneland and capped his two-year-old season by finishing a closing second in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2).
Plus Que Parfait started 2019 slowly, though, finishing off-the-board in both the Lecomte Stakes (G3) and Risen Star Stakes (G2). His triumph at Meydan was a fine form reversal, but his class remains in question due to the pair of subpar showings at Fair Grounds.
He was bred in the Bluegrass State by Calloway Stables LLC and passed through the sales ring on a pair of occasions. The youngster was an RNA for $24,000 at the 2016 Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale prior to bringing the gavel down at $135,000 at the 2017 Keeneland September Yearling Sale.
The contender is by Point of Entry, who has sired six stakes winners from a trio of crops to have raced. 2018 Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) third Analyze It is among his top performers to date.
The first dam of Plus Que Parfait is the unplaced Awesome Again mare Belvedera, who counts herself as a half-sister to 1999 Canadian Oaks starlet Touch Dial. This is the same female line that produced three-time Australian Group 1 winner Toldeo.
Awesome Again has been a very productive broodmare sire, as his daughters are responsible for at least 71 stakes winners and have banked more than $62 million overall. Five individual champions are among those, led by 2018 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) hero Accelerate.
His second dam is the Badger Land mare Forever Land, winner of the 1991 Astoria Stakes (G3). She was a sprinter who never built on her two-for-two juvenile campaign, garnering just one more tally in her final 14 starts.
Plus Que Parfait does not boast the deepest catalog page in the Kentucky Derby field. He is far from a blue-blood and there are speed influences through the first few generations of his female line.
The ridgling did finish well going 1 3/16 miles at Meydan, though the overall quality of that field is debatable. He will be hard pressed to improve off of that performance facing 19 foes going 1 1/4 miles at Churchill
Plus Que Parfait appears to be a Kentucky Derby outsider.
PHOTO: Plus Que Parfait and jockey Jose Ortiz win the U.A.E. Derby (G2) at Meydan on March 30, 2019 (c) Dubai Racing Club/Mathea Kelley