The Kentucky Derby remains on the list of races that Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin wants to win, and the team will be hoping Enticed might be the one to do it in 2018.
A Godolphin homebred, Enticed made a great start for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, winning a maiden special weight on a muddy Saratoga track at his Sept. 4 debut. It was enough to convince Godolphin to take on the best in the one-mile Champagne Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park.
Enticed did a great job, settling near a hot pace, being held up slightly at the top of the stretch, and then battling all the way to the line to finish third. Ahead of him were Firenze Fire, who scored his second graded stakes success, and Good Magic, who at his next start scored a decisive victory in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1).
Godolphin decided against sending Enticed to the Breeders’ Cup, instead deciding to give him experience at Churchill Downs five months prior to the Derby. Contesting the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2), Enticed stalked the pace despite and early bump, got to the front mid-stretch, and showed great character to fight off Tiz Mischief.
Enticed is the perfect example of breeding the best to the best. He is by the outstanding Darley stallion Medaglia d’Oro, who had by the end of November sired an outstanding seven grade one winners in North America for 2017. A Travers Stakes (G1) winner and dual Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) runner-up, he proved his stamina up to 1 ½ miles, at which distance he finished second in the Belmont Stakes (G1).
As a stallion Medaglia d’Oro has been extremely versatile, producing runners on dirt and turf, in the northern hemisphere and in Australia. His progeny have won six-furlong 2-year-old contests like the Golden Slipper (G1) in Sydney (Vancouver), and the 1 ½-mile Breeders’ Cup Turf (Talismanic). Basically, if there is stamina from his dam’s side, there’s a good chance his progeny will stay the 1 ¼-mile Kentucky Derby trip.
Fortunately for his connections, his dam’s pedigree suggests Derby stamina is possible. He is the second foal of the high-class mare It’s Tricky (Mineshaft), a winner of eight of her 14 starts, including three grade one races – the one-mile Acorn Stakes, the 1 1/8-mile Coaching Club American Oaks, and the 1 1/16-mile Ogden Phipps Stakes. Her dam Catboat (Tale of the Cat) won the 1 1/8-mile Arlington Oaks (G3).
Following his Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes victory, Enticed was a 29-1 shot for Pool 1 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager, making him the sixth-shortest priced individual horse on the market. On pedigree and racing style he looks more likely than most to stay 1 ¼ miles, and he should be followed closely in the Derby prep races.
(Kentucky Jockey Club Photos by Coady Photo/Churchill Downs)