Road to the Kentucky Derby Horse Profile: Instilled Regard

Boston businessman Lawrence Best has only been in Thoroughbred ownership for a couple of years. But he’s hoping his first topline horse can take him all the way to the Kentucky Derby.

Best, under his OXO Equine banner, is the owner of Instilled Regard, who is solidly on the Derby path after winning the Lecomte Stakes (G3) Jan. 13.

Instilled Regard hadn’t been wanted at the 2016 Keeneland September yearling sale, with the final bid of $110,000 not enough to meet his reserve. But by the time he got to the 2017 Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. March sale of 2-year-olds in training he was much more popular, and Best had to go to $1,050,000 to buy him.

Sent to Jerry Hollendorfer in California to be trained, Instilled Regard finished second on debut and third at his second start before finally securing his maiden victory Oct. 29 at Santa Anita.

That was enough to persuade Best and Hollendorfer to send Instilled Regard to the Los Alamitos CashCall Futurity (G1). He was relatively ignored at 18-1 in a five-horse field which included Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) runner-up Solomini and his highly-regarded stablemate McKinzie, but he wasn’t ignored by the time the winning post arrived.

Instilled Regard fought strongly down the stretch in between McKinzie and Solomini, and got to the line in third place, three-quarters of a length behind Solomini and a head behind McKinzie. He was later promoted to second after officials decided the interference he suffered from Solomini cost him a chance of at least finishing second.

McKinzie proved the value of the form by winning the Sham Stakes (G3) Jan. 6, but punters still rated the unbeaten colt Principe Guilherme ahead of him in the Lecomte Stakes (G3) at Fair Grounds Jan. 13. However, Instilled Regard ran clear down the stretch to beat Principe Guilherme by 3 ¾ lengths, becoming OXO Equine’s first graded stakes winner in the process.

Bred by KatieRich Farms in Kentucky, Instilled Regard is from the penultimate crop of the high-quality stallion Arch (Kris S.). A versatile stallion who’s sired grade one winners on dirt and turf and from sprint distances to 1 3/8 miles, he is the sire of Blame, winner of the 1 ¼-mile Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), Gulfstream Park Handicap (G1) winner Prince Arch, and the top sprinters Overarching and Les Arcs.
Generally Arch can get a horse that stays 1 ¼ miles provided there’s enough stamina in the horse’s female pedigree, and with Instilled Regard there is some encouragement.

His dam Enhancing is by Forestry, whose progeny generally were sprinter-milers but who did get the 1 ½-mile Argentinian grade one winner Quiz Kid and the Preakness Stakes winner Shackleford. Her dam Heavenly Prize was an eight-time grade one winner, including twice at 1 ¼ miles. Her progeny includes Good Reward, who won two grade one races at 1 ¼ miles.

It’s a pedigree which suggests Instilled Regard won’t lack stamina for the 1 ¼ miles of the Kentucky Derby. Punters should follow his future lead-up runs closely.

(Instilled Regard photo by Hodges Photography/Jamie Hernandez)