Blog Zones
Blog Topics More Blog Zones

Can Hence Disrupt the Kentucky Derby this Year?

Hence won the Grade-3 Sunland Derby ($800,000) about a month ago on March 26, but can he pull off an upset at the Kentucky Derby next month? The Calumet Farm homebred colt does have some unpredictability about him, and if you have plans to bet on the Kentucky Derby online, you should be keeping an eye out for him. Let’s take a quick look at the racehorse and some of his history to see if he really does have a chance this year.

The Pedigree

Hence is trained by Steve Asmussen and bred by the prestigious Calumet farm, which made sure that Hence has top quality lineage. The colt is sired by the legendary Street Boss, whose fifth crop has also produced long distance elite runners such as Cathryn Sophia and Danza. Street Boss himself was a champion racehorse who holds a three-time record over 51/2 and 6 furlongs, including one Grade-1 win over 7 furlongs. Floating Island, who herself has never been raced, is expected to be the source of stamina for the colt as she was sired by A.P. Indy, the winner of the 1992 Belmont Stakes and famous for being the sire to some of the most successful racehorses in the history of the sport. In fact, Hence has so many famous ancestors, brothers, half-brothers, sisters and half-sisters in the sport of horseracing that one cannot help but feel that the colt has not shown his best yet.

Unpredictability

Hence did not have the best of starts as a racehorse when he was two years old, without even a single win under his belt in three races. He showed some promise at Keeneland and Churchill Downs, where he came third and second respectively and earned the 86 and 85 Equibase Speed Figures. Upon turning three, however, Hence showed racing fans all over the world what he could do at the Oaklawn Park 1 1/16-mile, when he won his maiden special weight race. The win was impressive, but the fact that the colt managed to win even after a stumbling start and a complete loss of momentum in the middle of the race was much more astounding and a testament to how much potential the horse has in him.

The Grade 3 Southwest stakes did not fare well for trainer Steve Asmussen, unfortunately, as Hence wasn’t prepared for the high-quality competition he faced there and ended up in seventh position. Then of course came the Sunland Derby win where he reached his career best of 97 Equibase Speed Figure, 110 figure from Timeform and 103 speed figure from Brisnet.

The Sunland Derby Win

On March 29, Hence left Irap and Conquest Mo Money behind by 81/2 lengths and 33/4 lengths, respectively, to win the Sunland Derby. This was no easy feat, as Irap later won the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes and is currently one of the top contenders in the upcoming Kentucky Derby. Conquest Mo Money won’t be competing at the Kentucky Derby this year, unfortunately, but he was the top contender for the Sunland Derby and Hence did just defeat him less than a month ago.

At the Kentucky Derby on May 5-6, can Hence’s erratic style give competition to the likes of Always Dreaming (Grade-1 Florida Derby winner) and Classic Empire (Grade-1 Arkansas Derby Winner)? The odds of that happening may not be great, but the unpredictable nature of the stallion could be a factor here.