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Sweetnorthernsaint – speed and stamina
by Handicappers / Globeform
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Sweetnorthersaint is a member of a group of speed horses in the 132nd Kentucky Derby (G1), but this year is different.

While the speedballs in the Derby often are no-hopers who collapse on the home turn (at best), many of the fast names in this year’s edition are not. They are serious contenders. Sweetnorthernsaint is a bit different to most of those that fit into this group, as he has speed that seems easy to control. He can shadow the early pace and get into a relaxed, nice rhythm, before making his move in the straight.

That was how he ran when he embarrassed nine opponents with a near ten-length win in the Illinois Derby (G2). Some way to bounce back from a disappointing run in the Gotham Stakes (G3). And some way to prepare for the biggest task of his life. According to one good source, this horse adds stamina to his natural speed.

SWEETNORTHERNSAINT (Sweetsouthernsaint) GF 116+ ?+ 104+ 116+ / K Desormeaux

Sweetnorthernsaint blew the opposition away in the Illinois Derby (G2) – which he won by 9 ¼ lengths from Mister Triester. That horse had previousjly finished just over eight lengths behind (a not fully tuned up) Brother Derek at Santa Anita, and came back to run a dull third in the Derby Trial. It was disappointing that Mister Triester could not du better there and give Sweetnorthernsaint a boost (he ran to about the same level of form as he had at Hawthorne and Santa Anita) – but there is one factor that makes us throw that run out as a reference; Mister Triester was tried from off the pace in the Derby Trial, after having raced prominently at Hawthorne, and it did not work out.

We must respect Michael Trombetta’s contenders performance in Chicago, where he was second early and proved much the best at the business end. Three sixteenths from the wire, he was only about two leangths in front of Mister Triester, but quickened away and added another seven before the race was over. You can argue that he did not beat much, but he sure looked strong at the end of the contest – and he entered the short list for the Kentucky Derby with this run.

His greatest asset: While there will a lot of speed in the Run for The Roses, Sweetnorthernsaint has the ability to rate just off the pace – and he should not be underrated. His running style is going to give him a serious chance. Interestingly, Kent Desormeaux said after the Illinois Derby that he felt his horse would be perfect for the Belmont Stakes (G1). If that is so, we are dealing with a horse who has good tactical speed, and also good stamina. That is just what you want at Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May.




Last update: 2006-04-30 09:14:04 (First published: 2006-04-30 08:00:27 )

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