Hidden Scroll still worth backing
March 06, 2019 3:00 AM
by Dave Valento
In the wake of Hidden Scroll’s fourth-place finish in last Saturday’s Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes, should you draw a line through his chart and continue to support him on the trail to the Kentucky Derby?
As of today, Hidden Scroll would not be in the 20-horse field. He’s currently No. 24 in the points race. But he has time to make it up.
After stumbling at the start of the race, Hidden Scroll was immediately sent to the lead by Joel Rosario. He inexplicably allowed the favorite to duel with a hopeless 132-1 run-off through impossible fractions.
Consider this: The Grade 3 Gulfstream Park Sprint run earlier in the day went 22.2 and 45.1 which was just slightly faster than the 22.4 and 45.3 they went in the Fountain of Youth. There aren’t too many three-year olds making their second career start in a Grade 2 race that could hang around after such pressure. But Hidden Scroll was nosed out for the show money and beaten just three lengths in the end.
The winner, Code of Honor, closed with a rush at odds of nearly 10-1. The Shug McGaughey colt was coming into the race following a two-month layoff after he was a flat fourth in the Mucho Macho Man as the 4-5 favorite. This validated his runner-up finish in the Grade 1 Champagne at Belmont last fall and puts him back on the Derby trail.
Code of Honor was considered a serious player in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. He was installed as the 5-1 morning line third choice but scratched on race day after spiking a fever. After the poor effort in the non-graded stakes in his comeback, and the fact that the Champagne Stakes has not turned out to be the key race it normally is, it was not surprising that he was overlooked at the windows.
Code of Honor earned a 95 Beyer for the win, a career best. He is being pointed to the March 30 Florida Derby at Gulfstream.
As for Hidden Scroll, he was coming into the race off a 14-length win (104 Beyer) in his debut for trainer Bill Mott. For many horseplayers, he was a bet-against in this race since that debut win came wire to wire on a sloppy track. While those players turned out to be correct in their assessment, they may have been fortunate considering the trip Hidden Scroll got. The connections have said they are intent on keeping Hidden Scroll on the Kentucky Derby trail. It’s possible he could also run in the Florida Derby.
Race of the week
Look for Dak Da Man (No. 5) to take the 4th race at Sam Houston on Wednesday. This is a maiden special weight at 1 mile and Dak Da Man is shipping in from Remington Park where he was a strong 4th in an Oklahoma-bred stakes in his last start.
The trainer wins well over 40 percent with maidens at Sam Houston. No. 9 Elvis is a million-dollar purchase for Steve Asmussen and will likely take a lot of money. But this first timer was working out at Oaklawn Park and Fair Grounds, two tracks that have big purse money for maidens.
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