Lord Miles – Kentucky Derby Context

April 24th, 2023

Lord Miles is officially scratched from Kentucky Derby 149 - review other runners here!

Lord Miles will look to back up a game win in the Wood Memorial (G2) at Aqueduct. The stalker was never more than two lengths back at any point of call last time and outfinished a pair of fancied rivals to record a nose upset at 59-1. The bay colt was overlooked after a pair of unplaced efforts in his first two attempts at a Kentucky Derby qualifier, but his sixth in February’s Holy Bull (G3) was perhaps forgivable due to first-time blinkers and he didn’t experience the cleanest trip from the rail post finishing fifth in the Tampa Bay Derby (G3) five weeks later.

His Brisnet numbers remain a little light, and Lord Miles can be viewed as a regression candidate following the all-out performance. It’s fair to question whether he can receive the same favorable trip at Churchill Downs, but Lord Miles will enter the Kentucky Derby on the upswing.

Top Brisnet Speed: 99

Top Brisnet Late Pace: 95

Owner: Based in Ocala, Fl., Peter Vegso (Vegso Racing Stable) will be represented by his first Kentucky Derby starter. Vegso has been involved in the Thoroughbred business for more than 30 years.

Trainer: Lord Miles will be the third Kentucky Derby starter for 36-year-old Saffie Joseph Jr., who finished eighth with Ny Traffic (2018) and 16th with White Abarrio last year. After being a leading trainer in Barbados, Joseph opened a stable in South Florida, and he won his first major title stateside when leading all trainers by wins at the 2022 Gulfstream Championship meet.

Jockey: Paco Lopez will make his third start in the Kentucky Derby, his best result and last appearance being an eighth aboard Ny Traffic.

Breeder/Sales: A Kentucky-bred for Vegso, Lord Miles will try to become the 12th homebred to win the Kentucky Derby in the last 20 years.

Sire: Two-time Horse of Year Curlin finished a rallying third when making his fourth career start in the 2007 Kentucky Derby. He won the Preakness two weeks later, and eventually earning more than $10.5 million from 16 starts. The Hall of Famer carried his legacy to stud, leading all North American sires by Grade 1 winners in 2021 and 2022, including champions Malathaat and Nest last year. By Smart Strike, Curlin has produced Preakness (Exaggerator) and Belmont (Palace Malice) winners, but Good Magic, runner-up in 2018, ranks as his top Kentucky Derby performer. Curlin had his mark on last year’s 80-1 Kentucky Derby upset, as his son, Keen Ice, sired Rich Strike. Curlin stands at Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms in Paris, Ky. He's also responsible for Kentucky Derby starter Skinner.

Dam: The first foal from unraced Lady Esme, Lord Miles became the second graded stakes winner as a broodmare sire for 18-year-old Majestic Warrior, a Grade 1-winning son of legendary sire A.P. Indy. Lady Esme is a half-sister to 2017 champion two-year-old filly Caledonian Road and multiple Grade 3 victor Officiating.

Further Reading on Lord Miles

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