02/26/2015 1:45PM

Daredevil cuts back for 3-year-old debut in Swale

Barbara D. Livingston
Daredevil will face stiff competition when making his 3-year-old debut in Saturday's Swale Stakes.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Kentucky Derby hopeful Daredevil will make his much-anticipated 3-year-old debut going seven furlongs in Saturday’s Grade 2 Swale at Gulfstream Park. His task will not be an easy one as the Champagne Stakes winner will line up against a strong field that includes the top contenders Souper Colossal, X Y Jet, and Ready for Rye.

Daredevil was an easy winner of his first two starts at 2, posting a 6 1/4-length maiden special weight victory going six furlongs and a 2 1/2-length tally over Upstart in the one-mile Champagne. Daredevil suffered his only setback when finishing a well-beaten 11th and last in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.

Daredevil earned 10 Kentucky Derby qualifying points for his win in the Grade 1 Champagne. The Swale carries no points for the Derby. It was announced this week that China Horse Club purchased a minority interest in Daredevil from partners Let’s Go Stable and WinStar Farm.

DRF FORMULATOR FACT: No. 1 Daredevil. Trainer Todd Pletcher is 12-1-1-1 with a $0.24 ROI over the past five years going route to sprint in graded stakes following a layoff of 61 days or more. Click for more details. Mike Hogan

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“He has proven he can win at six furlongs and a mile,” said trainer Todd Pletcher. “We didn’t feel he was ready yet for the Fountain of Youth, and the timing was logical for this horse to come back in the Swale.”

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Pletcher said he was willing to toss out Daredevil’s performance in the Breeders’ Cup.

“He drew outside, got hung out very wide on the turn, was never able to get comfortable, and just didn’t fire at all,” said Pletcher.

Like Daredevil, Souper Colossal’s only loss came in the Juvenile, finishing seventh after contesting a lightning-fast pace for more than six furlongs. Souper Colossal won his first three starts at 2, including the Tyro and the one-mile Sapling at Monmouth Park. He launched his 3-year-old campaign on turf Feb. 7, rallying to a popular 1 1/2-length decision here in the five-furlong Texas Glitter.

“The turf race was just a tool for this one,” said Eddie Plesa Jr., who trains Souper Colossal for Live Oak Plantation. “We just figured he’d get more out of that race than working up to the Swale. I told Joel [Rosario] to let him settle in and make a big run, not to beat him up to get the job done, and it worked out perfectly. I just threw a line through the Breeders’ Cup for all the appropriate reasons, and he’s a bigger and stronger horse now than he was then.”

X Y Jet has been narrowly defeated in each of his two starts since joining trainer Jorge Navarro’s barn near the tail end of his 2-year-old season, missing a neck behind Catalina Red’s track record-setting performance in the Pasco Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs and a half-length to the odds-on Barbados here last month in the Grade 3 Hutcheson.

Ready for Rye figures to improve off his second-place finish behind Barbados as the even-money favorite in the Spectacular Bid. Ready for Rye earned a 96 Beyer Speed Figure, the second-highest in this field, for his maiden win at Belmont in his 2-year-old finale.

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Key contenders

Daredevil (Last 3 Beyers: 57-107-96)

* Owns the top Beyer by far of any member of the Swale field – the 107 he earned for his easy win in the Champagne.

Daredevil’s two wins came on a wet track, and there is an 80 percent chance of rain in the forecast here Saturday.

Souper Colossal (Last 3 Beyers: 81-81-87)

Proved he could rate and pass horses in the Texas Glitter.

“I always knew he would rate, but it was a plus that he proved it and won from off the pace like that in the Texas Glitter,” said Plesa.

DRF FORMULATOR FACT: No. 5 Souper Colossal. Trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. is 36-12-6-4 with a $2.95 ROI over the past two years going turf to dirt in sprints. Click for more details. Mike Hogan

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X Y Jet (Last 3 Beyers: 92-88-72)

Unlike both Daredevil and Souper Colossal, he has the advantage of a race over the track and already is a proven commodity at seven furlongs.

Ready for Rye (Last 3 Beyers: 88-96-77)

He loses regular rider Javier Castellano to Daredevil and picks up Irad Ortiz Jr., who is batting just 9 percent with a $0.61 ROI while riding for trainer Tom Albertrani over the last three years, according to DRF Formulator.

DRF FORMULATOR FACT: No. 3 Ready for Rye. Trainer Tom Albertrani is 23-1-1-3 with a $0.46 ROI over the past five years in dirt sprint graded stakes.  Click for more details. Mike Hogan

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DRF FORMULATOR FACT: No. 2 Senor Grits. Trainer Ian Wilkes is 9-1-1-0 with a $1.01 ROI over the past five years in dirt sprint graded stakes with last-out winners. Click for more details. Mike Hogan

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TRacingLifeMore More than 1 year ago
Souper Colossal for me. He knows how to rate and the post should give Rosario options.
tommy More than 1 year ago
I think daredevil is the favor which is a huge mistake but it will benefit me!! The horses that will win this race is xy jet, and Souper colossal!!! Anyway, dare devil needs to prepare longer races for kentucky derby, what is he doing here ?? It will be embarrassing when he loses!!!
Owen Klein More than 1 year ago
Horses who are steadily improving probably should be bet until they stop improving. Ergo XY Jet gets my pesos
Bob More than 1 year ago
Tried that. Lousy when they hit a brick wall on your dime.