Two Phil's – Kentucky Derby Context

April 19th, 2023

A midpack stalker, Two Phil’s switched to Turfway Park’s synthetic Tapeta track for his final prep, rolling to a 5 1/4-length win in the Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) in late March, registering a Kentucky Derby field-best 107 Brisnet Speed rating.

Two Phil’s raced exclusively on dirt prior to the Jeff Ruby, winning or placing in six of his last seven starts. In fact, with eight career starts, he’s the most experienced member in the main body of the Kentucky Derby field along with Derma Sotogake (Major Dude, on the AE list, also has eight starts). Two Phil’s rates as a major contender if able to negotiate the 1 1/4-mile distance effectively under the Twin Spires, and he would appreciate wet conditions, having recorded a convincing win in the Street Sense (G3) over a sloppy track at Churchill Downs last fall.

Top Brisnet Speed: 107

Top Brisnet Late Pace: 106

Owner: Owned by Vince Foglia’s Patricia’s Hope and Phil Sagan, Two Phil’s will be their first Kentucky Derby starter.

Trainer: Two Phil’s will be the first Kentucky Derby starter for Illinois-based Larry Rivelli, the leading trainer at defunct Arlington Park from 2012-21. Rivelli has won more than 1,700 races.

Jockey: Jareth Loveberry will make his Kentucky Derby debut. Based in the Midwest for nearly 20 years, Loveberry has won riding titles at Arlington, Canterbury Park, Hawthorne, and Mountaineer.

Breeder/sales: Born in Kentucky, Two Phil’s will be the first Kentucky Derby representative as a breeder for Phil Sagan.

Sire: Hard Spun won six stakes, including a Grade 1, and finished second to Street Sense after setting the pace in the 2007 Kentucky Derby. He also placed in the Preakness (G1), Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), and Haskell (G1) that season, and the 19-year-old stallion stands at Darley in Lexington, Kentucky. The successful sire has produced a champion among his 15 Grade 1 winners, but Hard Spun has had little impact upon the Triple Crown so far.

Dam: Multiple stakes winner and Grade 3 runner-up Mia Torri finished out of the money only once in her 10-race career (4-4-1), and Two Phil’s is her first foal. She’s one of five stakes winners sired by General Quarters, a multiple Grade 1-winning millionaire who finished 10th in the 2009 Kentucky Derby.