Albaugh Family Trust’s Brody’s Cause displayed the closing kick that could prove dangerous in the May 7 Kentucky Derby (G1), rallying to win Saturday’s $1 million Blue Grass (G1) at Keeneland in convincing fashion. Luis Saez was up on the Dale Romans-trained colt, who rebounded from a disappointing seventh as the favorite in his 2016 bow, the Tampa Bay Derby (G2).

Off as the 4-1 second choice in a 14-horse field, Brody’s Cause set up shop near the tail of the field and began rallying past horses rounding the far turn. He kicked for home impressively, quickly inhaling pacesetter Laoban as he drew clear in the final furlong, and cruised to a 1 ¾-length decision, completing the 1 1/8-mile distance in 1:50.20.

Winner of the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) and third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), Brody’s Cause clearly has an affinity for the Keeneland main track, but the bay son of Giant’s Causeway also broke his maiden at Churchill Downs in his second career start last September.

He’s now earned $1,123,138 from a 6-3-0-1 record.

My Man Sam, who was making his stakes debut for Chad Brown in his fourth career start, rallied to catch Cherry Wine by a head for second in the final strides, likely guaranteeing himself a spot in the Kentucky Derby field while picking up 40 points in the qualifying race. Cherry Wine, who is also trained by Romans, is on the bubble with 25 points total.

Laoban held for fourth, picking up an additional 20 points to increase his total to 32. Zulu, who was favored at 2-1 following a runner-up in the Fountain of Youth (G2), never fired in a dull 12th-placed effort.

“We’re going into the Kentucky Derby in perfect form,” Romans said of the Kentucky-bred Brody’s Cause, who will try to become the first Blue Grass winner to capture the Kentucky Derby since Strike the Gold in 1991.

Photo courtesy of Keeneland/Coady Photography