Dam: Pretty Discreet (Private Account)
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Jockey: Javier Castellano
Career Record: 8-2-3-0
Graded Earnings: $340,000 (#15)
Running style: Speed
I hesitated to call Discreetly Mine a pure speed horse since there have been races where he's been able to sit back and stalk the early pace. The problem is that he really didn't run very well in any of those races with the exception of the Champagne Stakes at Belmont last fall. The Champagne, however, was a one-turn mile which I think plays more to this colt's strengths than two turn races. He sat back a little in the Futurity last fall, but despite gaining running position, he actually lost ground on the winner.
How he got to the Derby: As a juvenile, Discreetly Mine finished second in both the Grade 2 Futurity and the Grade 1 Champagne during the Belmont Fall Meet. The graded earnings from those two races sent him on his way to the Derby.
As a three year old, Discreetly Mine began the year with a dull effort over a sloppy track in the Spectacular Bid at Gulfstream. He bounced back from that race to take the Grade 2 Risen Star wire-to-wire at the Fair Grounds. From there, he was betting favorite in the Grade 1 Louisiana Derby but faltered to fourth after stalking sprinter A Little Warm down the backstretch.
What has to happen for him to win: I don't think stalking/pressing is this colt's game; he needs the lead to win. That makes his Derby strategy fairly simple: gun it and take them as far as he can go. I don't think that's a recipe for success this year but, in the end, this colt has to run the race he is most comfortable with in order to win. I don't think he can do that by sitting back.
I've written about horses that I think probably should have their odds dropped; this is a horse that I might revise in the other direction. I've pegged him at 30/1 right now, but I think he might end up in the 40/1 to 50/1 range instead. The more I look at the races where he didn't get the lead, the more I see a colt that's probably going to have a very rough time on Derby day.
This issue I have with Discreetly Mine as compared to a horse like Super Saver is how he finished his races. He received very soft fractions in the Risen Star but appeared to be weakening in the stretch. That's a concern when you figure the Derby pace will be faster and the distance will be longer. His pedigree says the distance won't be a problem but horses can lengthen or shorten their pedigree limitations significantly just by how they run.
Key race: Grade 2 Louisiana Derby (4th)
This is the key race for me because Discreetly Mine was clearly trying to implement a stalk and pounce strategy and it just didn't work out. In fact, he never got by the stretch out sprinter, A Little Warm, at any point in the later stages of the race. That's a concern from my perspective.
As a side note, this video was uploaded to YouTube by the Fair Grounds/CDI and I don't think they could have chosen a worse camera perspective to give us. Fair Grounds has HD streaming but they post their race replays in SD. I realize it's a space issue, but this is just brutal. The split screen replay would have been better to post.