7) GOUVERNEUR MORRIS (c, Constitution—Addison Run, by Unbridled’s Song)
‘TDN Rising Star’ O-Team Valor International & WinStar Farm LLC. B-Machmer Hall, Carrie & Craig Brogden & James F. Miller (KY); T-Todd Pletcher. Sales History: $200,000 yrl ’18 KEESEP; $600,000 2yo ’19 FTFMAR. Lifetime Record: 3-2-1-0, $161,500.
Last Start: 1st Alw/OC
Next Start: Uncommitted
Equineline PPs. KY Derby Points: 0.
It’s entirely possible the most influential Derby prep race from last weekend was not a stakes. ‘TDN Rising Star’ Gouverneur Morris nailed an allowance win Friday as the 1-2 favorite in his 2020 debut, but don’t dismiss this performance as some Todd Pletcher shipper shellacking an ordinary five-horse Tampa field. When one of the presumed pacemakers lost the jockey coming out of the gate, the gray ($200,000 at KEESEP; $600,000 at FTFMAR) had to do the pace-pressing dirty work by hounding crack speedster Untitled (Khozan). The ‘Guv’ had to be roused by John Velazquez to keep up at the 3 1/2-furlong grounds and cued with the stick turning for home, but he leveled off nicely and finished well. At age two, this colt debuted as a nine-length sprint winner in the Spa slop, then ran second in the Breeders’ Futurity behind Maxfield before being rested for his sophomore season. Next-race plans are not yet firm, but qualifying points are an issue for this colt (he only has four), so expect that start to be in a 100-40-20 points race like the Florida Derby.