Calumet Farm homebred Bourbonic picked up 100 points on the 2021 Road to the Kentucky Derby following his upset victory in the $750,000 Wood Memorial S. (G2) at Aqueduct on April 3. He completed 1 1/8 miles on the fast main strip in 1:54.49 to earn his first stakes win under the guidance of Kendrick Carmouche. The son of Bernardini, who went postward as the 72-1 longest shot on the tote board, improved his lifetime line to 6-3-1-0, $465,880.
Bourbonic debuted on Oct. 11 and was never a factor when checking in fifth in a seven-furlong maiden special weight endeavor. Moving to the lawn for his second try, the dark bay was last over yielding ground at Aqueduct on Nov. 14.
His fortunes changed with the addition of blinkers in his third assignment. Tracking the pace with intent early on, the youngster drew off to a 4 3/4-length tally over maiden claiming foes going one mile on the dirt at Aqueduct to cap his juvenile campaign. He made it two straight when defeating optional claiming competition in his three-year-old bow, and the sophomore preceded his Wood triumph with a second-place result in an allowance tilt at Parx.
The winner was bred in Kentucky and produced from the Afleet Alex mare Dancing Afleet, who captured the 2013 Delaware Oaks (G2). Bourbonic counts Avant Garde, second in the Gulfstream Park Mile (G2) and third in the Godolphin Mile (G2) this season, as a half-brother.
Trained by Todd Pletcher, Bourbonic has shown marked improvement since adding blinkers four starts back, showing three wins and a second in that span. His Brisnet Speed figures are improving, and the sophomore earned a robust 109 Brisnet Late Pace number in his first try at nine furlongs on Saturday.
The late bloomer has to improve to compete with the best of his division beneath the Twin Spires on May 1, but his conditioner has saddled two prior Kentucky Derby (G1) winners. He also gives the impression of a colt who will benefit from running longer going forward. While he is an outsider to take the Run for the Roses at this posting, he could be an interesting exotics contender if he thrives on the Churchill Downs surface in the days leading up to the Derby.