The Kentucky-bred Ocean Knight began his career with two straight wins for owner Stonestreet Stable and trainer Kiaran McLaughlin.
The bay colt is by Curlin, Stonestreet’s two-time Horse of the Year (2007-08) who ran third in the Kentucky Derby before winning the Preakness. He is out of the Stormy Atlantic mare Ocean Goddess, and sold for $320,000 at the OBS March sale of juveniles.
Curlin notably did not race at two, but this son debuted in mid-December at Aqueduct, taking a six-furlong maiden event by a widening 4 1/4 lengths. Off that tally, Ocean Knight was made the 8-5 favorite against 11 rivals in the January 31 Sam F. Davis (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs.
Enduring a very wide trip in the 1 1/16-mile event, Ocean Knight kept in close range throughout and steadily wore down longshot Divining Rod to win by a neck. He has earned back-to-back 95 BRIS Speed ratings for his two victories.
Given the trip and his inexperience at the distance, Ocean Knight won much praise for his effort. He was made the 8-5 second choice for his next start, the $350,000 Tampa Bay Derby (G3) on March 7, which was his first appearance in a Road to the Kentucky Derby series points race.
Unfortunately, Ocean Knight did not run to his best in the Tampa Bay Derby. Bumped at the start, the colt tracked in fifth until the far turn when he made a rapid retreat from contention. Not persevered with, he finished seventh in the field of eight, more than 29 lengths behind Carpe Diem.
Ocean Knight still has not earned any qualifying points towards Kentucky Derby eligibility and is unlikely to start.