Under the radar Kentucky Derby contenders, volume 4

February 17th, 2020

Here is our weekly look at under-the radar 3-year-olds who could step up and make an impact on the Road to the 2020 Kentucky Derby.

As Seen On Tv

A stoutly bred son of Lookin At Lucky, out of a Pulpit mare, As Seen On Tv hasn’t drawn a lot of attention, but he ran a huge race against quality competition in the Jan. 4 Mucho Macho Man S. at Gulfstream Park.

Despite tracking a fast pace while racing outside of rivals, As Seen On Tv was beaten just a head by the ground-saving Chance It and finished 2 1/4 lengths clear of Sole Volante, who returned to win the Sam F. Davis (G3) in his next start.

This bold effort from As Seen On Tv produced a 103 Brisnet Speed rating, his second consecutive triple-digit number. Trainer Kelly Breen is taking a patient approach with As Seen On Tv, who may return to action in the Feb. 29 Fountain of Youth (G2) at Gulfstream.

Honor A. P.

Although he hasn’t run since October, Honor A. P. has the potential to be something special. The John Shirreffs-trained colt finished second in his maiden run sprinting at Del Mar last year, beaten by future San Vicente (G2) runner-up Ginobili, then stretched out to a mile at Santa Anita and crushed the capable Tizamgician by 5 1/4 lengths.

A slight training setback caused Honor A. P. to miss the Jan. 4 Sham (G3), but he’s been training strongly in recent weeks and could burst to the forefront of the Kentucky Derby (G1) picture with a strong run in the Mar. 7 San Felipe (G2) at Santa Anita.

Spa City

The third time was the charm for Spa City, who relished the opportunity to stretch out around two turns Feb. 8 at Gulfstream Park. Racing 1 1/8 miles against maiden company, Spa City pressed a steady pace before he kicked clear strongly in the homestretch. He sprinted the final three furlongs in :37.17 to defeat a stubborn rival by one length.

Spa City’s final time of 1:49.24 was fast and produced a strong 103 Brisnet Speed rating, a testament to how quickly this Godolphin homebred is progressing. Trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, Spa City is a son of Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense, out of the three-time graded stakes-winning Malibu Moon mare Sara Louise, so classic distances should be well within Spa City’s reach.