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2015 Kentucky Derby Contender Upstart Just Getting Started

2015 Kentucky Derby Contender Upstart Just Getting Started: Holy Bull was one of the best racehorses to enter a starting gate. He was the favorite in the 1994 Kentucky Derby, but faltered in the mud, letting Go for Gin take the race wire to wire. In 2015, the Holy Bull Stakes is a Grade Two race on the Road to the Kentucky Derby. The race offers the top four finishers points toward their trip to Louisville. The points are distributed 10-4-2-1.

Upstart Kentucky Derby 2015

Ralph M. Evans’ Upstart was the victim of bad luck in his first two races in graded-stakes company, but everything went the New York-bred colt’s way Saturday as he rolled to a 5 ½-length victory in $400,000 Lambholm South Holy Bull (G2) at Gulfstream Park.
Photo: Lauren King, Coglianese Photos, Inc.

This year, Upstart made a name for himself in a 5-½ length romp over Frosted and Bluegrass Singer in the 8.5-furlong contest. The New York bred is now in the running for being a top contender for the 141st Kentucky Derby.

Upstart certainly has the pedigree to be a contender at nine and ten furlongs. A son of the regally bred Flatter, Upstart hails from a distaff family that includes Touch Gold as his damsire. Touch Gold played spoiler in 1997 for Silver Charm in the Belmont Stakes. In his pedigree, Upstart has a double dose of Northern Dancer and Buckpasser. This gives the colt speed, which he can use to be closer to the speed and more involved in the race, but also gives him the ability to get the longer distances. I do like that he has Princequillo in his distant pedigree, on the distaff side.

Flatter is a stakes-placed son of A.P. Indy and out of Praise, a daughter of the lightening fast, Mr. Prospector. As a stallion, Flatter is not as successful as either his sire or his damsire, but he has sired some fast, precocious, and sturdy horses. His best son to date is Flat Out. Flatter also has sired Kobe’s Back, Ami’s Flatter, who was 2nd in the Mucho Macho Man behind Bluegrass Singer, and Taris, runaway winner of the Lexus Raven Run Stakes. Flatter stands at Claiborne for $20,000.

As a racehorse, Upstart is well traveled. He broke his maiden at first asking going 5.5 furlongs at Saratoga. His next start, which came 9 days later, also resulted in a win in the 6.5-furlong Funny Cide Stakes (Listed). Here, he defeated Good Luck Gus, a good son of young stallion, Lookin at Lucky, by 24 lengths. In his third start, he entered the Grade One Champagne Stakes at Belmont. He finished second to Daredevil on the muddy main track. However, he did defeat El Kabeir, who came back to win the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes and the Jerome. He also defeated Holy Boss and duel graded stakes winner, I Spent It. In his next start, the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, Upstart finished a tired third, just getting nosed out for second by Carpe Diem. Upstart had a very rough trip in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, but this race became key to his Holy Bull win.

Today, Upstart sat chilly behind Bluegrass Singer before making a move on the turn to pull away from his competition. The 5-½ length win really flattered not only himself as a Derby contender, but it also flattered Carpe Diem and Texas Red. These two have defeated this horse and are soon set to begin their three-year-old season as well.

Upstart is bred to be fast, durable, and constantly improving. If he continues to improve at the distances increase to 1-1/8 miles, the colt could become a very tough competitor this spring in the Triple Crown campaign. If the colt stays healthy, his name may light up the racing world.

Holy Bull Stakes 2015 Results & Payouts:
8 Upstart $6.20 to Win/$3.20 to Place/$4.40 to Show
1 Frosted $3.00 to Place/2.40 to Show
4 Bluegrass Singer $2.80 to Show
5 Juan and Bina
2 Keen Ice
7 Frammento
6 First Down
10 Decision Day
3 High Noon Rider

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