A weekly series analyzing recent maiden winners poised to join the Road to the Kentucky Derby:

Informative: As a son of Bodemeister (runner-up in the 2012 Kentucky Derby and sire of 2017 Derby winner Always Dreaming) out of a mare by Hard Spun (runner-up in the 2007 Kentucky Derby), Informative is bred to excel in the spring classics. Although he lost the first seven starts of his career, Informative didn’t ran badly in a couple of stakes races last fall, finishing second by a nose in the 7-furlong James F. Lewis S. and fourth in the 1 1/8-mile Remsen (G2). Owned and trained by Uriah St. Lewis, Informative finally broke through in his 2020 debut, prevailing by a neck in a 1-mile maiden special weight at Aqueduct. Perhaps this initial victory will spark further improvement from Informative.

Spa City: The third time was the charm for this beautifully-bred son of Street Sense, who came up short in his first two runs before scoring a gutsy maiden victory on Saturday at Gulfstream Park. Racing 1 1/8 miles, the Kiaran McLaughlin-trained colt pressed the early pace, took command on the far turn, and held off a determined challenge from Unrighteous to win by a length in the quick time of 1:49.24. Unrighteous, in turn, finished 14 3/4 lengths clear of the rest, indicative of a strong race. A Godolphin homebred, Spa City was produced from the three-time graded stakes-winning mare Sara Louise, giving Spa City the pedigree to be something special.

Texas Swing: Favored at 11-10 in a 1-mile and 40-yard maiden special weight on Saturday at Tampa Bay Downs, Texas Swing delivered with a front-running victory. Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez perfectly rationed Texas Swing’s speed through fractions of :23.66, :47.50, and 1:11.77, which allowed the colt to turn back a homestretch challenge and win going away by 1 1/4 lengths. A stoutly-bred son of Curlin out of a Tiznow mare, Texas Swing is on the rise for trainer Todd Pletcher and should continue improving with experience and maturity.

REPORT: North American Maiden Winners February 8