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A Black and Blue Performance

Posted by Brian Mulligan on 3/26/2013 7:01:15 PM

Black Onyx put a hurting on his fellow sports betting sophomores Saturday in the Spiral Stakes punching them out with a clever 15-1 win making some of the connections of his rivals blue about their Kentucky Derby hopes.

He had never run on a synthetic surface before but his sibling Francois handled the synthetic at Arlington so Onyx had a chance to improve.

Improve he did as he drew clear by over a length over second choice Uncaptured earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 90 under jockey Jersey Joe Bravo.

He was originally not nominated to the Kentucky Derby but his connections made the $6,000 late payment by the deadline on Saturday night.

If you go deep into his pedigree there is brilliance in the form of Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner and near $900,000 earner Desert Stormer.

Black Onyx’s connections have options now after winning some betting sites points on Saturday but it would not be a surprise if he just trains up to the Derby now.

Uncaptured’s trainer Mark Casse was pleased with his runners race and that charge could show next in the Blue Grass Stakes on April 23.

Giant Finish, the third finisher in the Spiral trained by Anthony Dutrow, also could stay on the Triple Crown trail as his owners also paid the late Derby entry fee.

Taken by the Storm had to overcome the 11 post in the Spiral and still wound up 4th. His connections have indicated the Lexington on April 20 or the Blue Grass could be next.

Black Onyx trained a moderate pace in the Spiral and his final time for the 9 furlongs was 1:51.98.

That horse betting time was slower than last year’s winner Went the Day Well and much slower than the most recent fastest time of 1:49.41 that Hard Spun recorded in 2007.

His trainer Kelly Breen is a veteran of the New Jersey circuit and he has had only 3 prior Derby starters and none did better than 9th but Breen can train.

In the other Derby prep last weekend, Bob Baffert, who else, watched his student Govenor Charlie get an ideal three-hole trip to win the Sunland Derby by 5 lengths in a track record time of 1:47.54.

Off poorly in his first race, Charlie broke with his field in his second start earning a 94 Beyer and that put him in a position to win last weekend. The horse that ran second that day returned to graduate next time out.

This runner has a shot to make some noise as he is by the talented Midnight Lute and if you go deep into his pedigree you’ll find Silverbulletday, a champion that won multiple Grade 1 races while earning over $3 million.

Charlie is still learning and the fact he won the Sunland Derby in only his third start speaks volumes.

Baffert obviously knows what to do with a good horse and this guy still may improve. His rider Martin Garcia was confidant, Garcia: “I felt like I had a lot of horse the whole way. He’s a horse that feels like he waits on company, but when I asked him, he took off.”

Depending on how Charlie comes out of the race, the next logical start would be the Santa Anita Derby.

Next week will be a busy one with the UAE, the Florida Derby and the Louisiana Derby all on tap.

Stay tuned.

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