Kentucky Derby contender profile: Dr Post

August 15th, 2020

Over the last 20 years, trainer Todd Pletcher has saddled 54 horses in the Kentucky Derby (G1), and his accumulating record will be difficult for anyone to surpass.

The accomplished conditioner has won the Run for the Roses twice, with Super Saver (2010) and Always Dreaming (2017), and Pletcher is poised to seek a third victory in 2020 with the promising Dr Post.

Dr Post has the speed to be competitive in the Kentucky Derby. A son of Quality Road, out of the Hennessy mare Mary Delaney (a Grade 2-winning sprinter), Dr Post was sold for $400,000 as a yearling and has lived up to his purchase price with a series of fast races this year.

Running in the colors of St. Elias Stable, Dr Post debuted in a 5 1/2-furlong sprint at Belmont Park last summer, but weakened to finish fourth, behind future stakes winners Green Light Go and Another Miracle.

After he spent nearly nine months on the sideline, Dr Post returned to action in a 7-furlong dash March 29 at Gulfstream Park and rallied confidently to score by 1 1/4 lengths, with a 104 Brisnet Speed rating.

Qualifying for the Kentucky Derby would have been impossible had the race been held May 2, as originally scheduled. Dr Post didn’t even make his stakes debut until April 25, when he unleashed a determined finish to win Gulfstream’s 1 1/16-mile Unbridled S. by a length, over the graded stakes-placed Attachment Rate.

But the postponement of the Derby until Sept. 5 gave Dr Post plenty of time to earn his way into the race.

He burst onto the Road to the Kentucky Derby when he charged late to finish second in the 1 1/8-mile Belmont Stakes (G1), where he was beaten only by Kentucky Derby favorite Tiz the Law.

Dr Post reiterated his status as an elite Kentucky Derby contender when he rallied over a speed-favoring track to finish second in Monmouth Park’s 1 1/8-mile Haskell (G1).

Both of these efforts produced 102 Brisnet Speed ratings, which gives Dr Post a trio of triple-digit figures heading into the Kentucky Derby.

From a pedigree perspective, you can argue racing 1 1/4 miles at Churchill Downs might stretch the limits of Dr Post’s stamina. But with his talent, consistency, and determined late rallies, he warrants respect on the first Saturday in September.