By Ryan Martin
- By My Standards Emerges from Louisiana Derby in Good Shape, Will Ship to Churchill Downs Tuesday
- Louisiana Derby Beaten Favorite War of Will Showed Significant Improvement Sunday Morning
- Street Band Doing Fine After Fair Grounds Oaks Win
BY MY STANDARDS EMERGES FROM LOUISIANA DERBY IN GOOD SHAPE, WILL SHIP TO CHURCHILL DOWNS TUESDAY
Trainer Bret Calhoun could not have been more satisfied with the way By My Standards looked on the morning following his triumphant win in the Grade II Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.
Owned by Allied Racing Stable, the son of Goldencents earned 100 points on Churchill Downs Road To The Kentucky Derby and will ship to Churchill Downs on Tuesday morning to prepare for the Grade I $3 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve on May 4.
By My Standards will give Calhoun his first starter in the Kentucky Derby.
“We’ve never had anything that even we thought really deserved to discuss being on the Derby trail,” Calhoun said. “We think this is a legitimate horse. We didn’t want to get caught up in Derby fever unless we had a legitimate horse. We didn’t want to just be there to be there. We want to be there if we have a contender and we believe he is a contender.”
Calhoun likes the timing of the Louisiana Derby, which is six weeks out from the Kentucky Derby. He plans on breezing the horse in two weeks.
“Hopefully we’ll get an easy breeze in twelve, thirteen, fourteen days,” Calhoun said. “He worked a little quicker up to this race than he had previously so hopefully we can take it easy first work back then give him another easy one after that. Then we’ll do a little bit more after that in the middle there. He’s ready. We have to maintain what we’ve got. The Derby is a whole different deal. It’s not just the race, it’s everything that goes into going up there. We’ll do a lot of stuff preparing him for that. He’s got a great mind, we’re lucky in that sense that he’ll handle everything.”
By My Standards entered his three-quarter lengths victory in the Louisiana Derby off of a maiden special weight triumph at Fair Grounds, which he won by 4¼ lengths. The jump from maiden to graded stakes company is not something Calhoun usually does, but he did that at the end of last year with Mr. Money (fifth in the Louisiana Derby) who ran fourth in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile following his maiden win.
“Usually I’m pretty conservative but when it comes to these horses,” Calhoun said. “We figured out they were a little different, a little better that some of those. And some of them you can do that with, some of them you can’t. Mentally and physically, it allows us to do what we need to do training wise.”
Prior to his maiden triumph, By My Standards was twice a runner-up behind stakes contenders Jersey Agenda and Gun It. In the race before his maiden win he was third. Calhoun always thought highly of the horse, but it was not until following his maiden win that he took his trainer’s confidence to another level.
“I know everybody talks about that stuff with the light coming on but in this case it really truly was,” Calhoun said. “He’s always been a solid horse. You heard me comment that the day he lost and was third, I was pretty distraught. I was pretty disappointed. I didn’t really know where we were going at that point. Then he came back and broke his maiden the right way and the light literally came on after that. He’s been a completely different horse in the mornings from that point on. He’s really moved forward. His breezes leading up to this race were phenomenal.”
Bred in Kentucky by Don Ladd, By My Standards was a $150,000 purchased by bloodstock agent Josh Stevens from the Ocala Breeders Sales Company’s April Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale, where he was consigned by Scanlon Training and Sales. He is out of the Muqtarib broodmare A Jealous Woman.
LOUISIANA DERBY BEATEN FAVOIRTE WAR OF WILL SHOWED SIGNIFICANT IMPROVEMENT SUNDAY MORNING
Less than 24 hours after enduring a scare when beaten Louisiana Derby favorite War of Will was reported to be significantly off following his ninth-place finish, trainer Mark Casse said the son of War Front was much improved Sunday morning, adding that his hopes of making the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve remain intact.
“It’s amazing how much better he was today,” Casse said. “I just feel fortunate that he’s okay first and foremost. We’re fairly certain that he probably caught his patella a little bit right at the start. So what we’ll do is we’ll do some exercising and probably laser treatment to strengthen the patella muscle. But we feel optimistic that we can still make the Derby.”
War of Will appeared to lose his action in his hind end shortly after breaking from post 6 in the Louisiana Derby. The bay colt never got into contention after that en route to suffering his first loss in four starts on dirt.
The Gary Barber-owned runner headed into Saturday’s test atop the leaderboard on the Road to the Kentucky Derby courtesy of his victories in the Grade III Lecomte Stakes and Grade II Risen Star Stakes presented by Lamarque Ford. He is slated to ship to Keeneland on Tuesday where will remain in the day-to-day care of assistant trainer David Carroll.
“We’re going to change his exercise a bit for a while, just try to strengthen his patella ligaments,” Casse said. “It’s something that as a trainer for 40 years, I’ve been dealing with patella ligaments since the beginning of my career but I’ve never seen one catch like that one did. But the good news is he was happy this morning.”
STREET BAND DOING FINE AFTER FAIR GROUNDS OAKS WIN
All was well on Sunday morning for Grade II Fair Grounds Oaks upset winner Street Band, who gave trainer Larry Jones his fourth victory in the final local qualifier for the Grade I $1.5 million Longines Kentucky Oaks.
“We’re thrilled with how she stepped up yesterday,” said Larry Jones’ assistant trainer Corey York. “I know that Larry is very excited, he was at Oaklawn yesterday. She came back great and ate up well and cooled off just fine. We’ll head back to Churchill sometime this week.”
Owned by Jones in partnership with wife Cindy and Ray Francis, Street Band joined Kentucky Oaks winner Proud Spell (2008) and Believe You Can (2012) as well as I’m a Chatterbox – third-place finisher of the 2015 Oaks – as winners of the Fair Grounds Oaks conditioned by Jones.
Street Band has a total of 105 qualifying points on the Road to The Kentucky Oaks. In addition to her Fair Grounds Oaks triumph, she earned five points when running fourth in the Grade II Rachel Alexandra Stakes.
Prior to her pair of starts on the Oaks trail at Fair Grounds, Street Band was an allowance winner over the local main track on January 13. She broke her maiden at second asking at Ellis Park on September 3.
A homebred, Street Band is out of the Street Cry (Ire.) broodmare Street Minstrel, who also was trained by Jones.
Meanwhile, Trainer Tom Amoss reported that beaten 1-5 favorite Serengeti Empress, who was eased in the Fair Grounds Oaks, was fine the morning after the race. He went on to say that “no time table and no racing plans” have yet been made.