Practical Move – Kentucky Derby Context

April 19th, 2023

The top-ranked contender out west, Practical Move will enter the Kentucky Derby on a three-race win streak, recording convincing triumphs in the San Felipe (G2) and Los Alamitos Futurity (G2) before courageously holding for a nose score in the Santa Anita Derby (G1), which has produced four of the last 11 Kentucky Derby winners. The long-striding bay colt likes to race up close, within striking range of the leaders, and Practical Move has taken an inside route to his last three victories. He’s never been worse than third in six career starts, and Practical Move and Forte are the only Kentucky Derby contestants to record three consecutive triple-digit Brisnet Speed ratings.

Top Brisnet Speed: 105

Top Brisnet Late Pace: 107

Owner: Pierre and Leslie Amestoy, New Mexico natives who have been involved with Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses for decades, and Roger Beasley, an auto dealer in Texas, teamed to purchase Practical Move, who will be their first Kentucky Derby starter.

Trainer: A former assistant to Hall of Fame trainers Bob Baffert and Charlie Whittingham, Tim Yakteen went out on his own in 2004. When Baffert was suspended in the spring of 2022, Yakteen took over training duties for Taiba and Messier, who finished 12th and 14th in the Kentucky Derby under Yakteen’s direction before being transferred back to Baffert. Yakteen has orchestrated the entire career of Practical Move, and he took over training duties of Reincarnate in late February, giving him multiple Kentucky Derby runners for the second consecutive year.

Jockey: Ramon Vasquez will make his second Kentucky Derby appearance, finishing 13th aboard Mr Z in 2015. A successful rider in the Midwest at Oaklawn Park, Lone Star, Prairie Meadows, and Remington Park, 38-year-old Vasquez moved his tack to Southern California in early 2022. He was the leading rider at the Santa Anita fall meet and swept the titles for every Thoroughbred meet at Los Alamitos last year.

Breeder/Sales: Chad Brown, a four-time Eclipse Award winning trainer, conditioned Practical Move’s sire and dam, and he retained Ack Naughty as a broodmare with Sol Kumin, a leading owner who campaigned Kentucky Derby winners Justify (2018) and Authentic (2020) in partnership. They bred Practical Move in Kentucky, and the colt sold for $230,000 at the 2022 OBS April Two-Year-Old sale.

Sire: A son of two-time Kentucky Derby-winning sire Into Mischief, Practical Joke proved more effective at shorter distances, recording three Grade 1 triumphs around one turn, but the hard-trying colt performed respectably on the 2017 Kentucky Derby trail, recording runner-up finishes in the Blue Grass (G2) and Fountain of Youth (G2) before a fifth in the Kentucky Derby. Practical Move will be his first son to contest the Kentucky Derby. Practical Joke is out of a mare by Kentucky Derby-winning sire Distorted Humor, and he stands at Coolmore’s Ashford Stud in Versailles, Kentucky.

Dam: Ack Naughty, a daughter of 2005 Preakness and Belmont winner Afleet Alex, provides a stamina-influence in Practical Move’s pedigree. The New York-bred mare raced exclusively at longer distances on turf, recording three stakes placings over a 15-race campaign. Champion three-year-old male Afleet Alex came up short as the second choice in the Kentucky Derby, finishing third, and he was retired with a 12-8-2-1 record. As a broodmare sire, Afleet Alex is responsible for Sir Winston, upset winner of the 2019 Belmont.

Further Reading on Practical Move

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