Kentucky Derby Context: Dynamic One

April 18th, 2021 horse racing analyst James Scully attended his first Kentucky Derby in 1981. Along with a brief profile of this year’s contenders, he is providing some historical context.

Dynamic One stamped his Kentucky Derby ticket with a head second in the Wood Memorial S. (G2) at Aqueduct.

Trained by Todd Pletcher, who has four horses inside the top 20 point earners list for the Kentucky Derby, Dynamic One is campaigned by Repole Stable, Phipps Stable, and St. Elias Stable.

Vincent Viola’s St. Elias Stable also has Known Agenda in the Kentucky Derby field with Pletcher.

A $725,000 yearling purchase, Dynamic One needed four starts to graduate, breaking through with a 5 1/4-length maiden special weight win at Aqueduct in early March. The stoutly bred sophomore stretched out to 1 1/8 miles to earn his first win.

Dynamic One jumped straight from the maiden tally to the Wood Memorial four weeks later. Dismissed at 15-1, he rated off the pace in midpack before rallying boldly on the far turn to take a short lead at the head of the stretch.

The chestnut colt dug in gamely to turn back a serious bid from the eventual third-place finisher in midstretch, but Dynamic One could not withstand the late surge of stablemate Bourbonic, who closed from far back to get up by a head on the wire.

Dynamic One performed admirably in his first start against winners, and he’ll enter the first leg of the Triple Crown on the upswing for a two-time Kentucky Derby-winning trainer.

His sire, Union Rags, finished seventh as the 5-1 second choice in the 2012 Kentucky Derby.

Churchill Downs was not Union Rags’ favorite track. After winning the Champagne S. (G1) and Saratoga Special S. (G2) by open lengths, he came up a head second to Hansen in the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) under the Twin Spires, a setback that cost him championship two-year-old male honors.

The only unplaced finish of his seven-race career came in the Kentucky Derby, when Union Rags was squeezed back to 18th in the opening stages after a poor break. He came back to win the Belmont S. (G1) five weeks later in his career finale.

Dynamic One will try to earn a measure of Kentucky Derby redemption for Union Rags.