03/19/2015 10:30AM

Jerardi: Royal Son likely to pair up big Beyer in Spiral

Barbara D. Livingston
Royal Son appears to have a good shot to match the 97 Beyer Speed Figure he earned for winning the John Battaglia Memorial in Saturday's Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park.

So, did American Pharoah earn a 100 Beyer Speed Figure in the Rebel Stakes because he was the lone speed and the fractions were so slow or because he ran so fast at the end of the race? Probably both.

The Oaklawn Park surface slowed down by a fifth of a second after the Azeri and Razorback had been run at the same 1 1/16-mile distance as the Rebel. The six-furlong fractions were instructive – 1:13.85 in the Azeri, 1:12.58 in the Razorback, and 1:15.22 in the Rebel. The final times were 1:45.92, 1:44.88, and 1:45.78.

Despite his very slow factions, American Pharoah was good enough to run faster than Gold Medal Dancer and Untapable and 0.90 of a second slower than proven older horse Race Day (106 Beyer when third in the Fred Hooper and 106 for his Razorback win) and Midnight Hawk, who was good enough to get a 102 Beyer in last year’s Illinois Derby.

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If you liked American Pharoah before the Rebel, I think you should be encouraged. There is still much we don’t know. We knew the colt was fast, with those consecutive 101 Beyers last year. Well, he is still fast, perhaps on his way to really fast.

Likely Spiral Stakes favorite Royal Son was 9-1 when he blew away the field in the John Battaglia Memorial at Turfway Park. Was it the Polytrack, the blinkers, maturity, or some combination that led to his 97 Beyer, a figure that will win this race easily?

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Remember, The Great War was 1-5 in the race after a nearly wire-to-wire sprint win and a 93 Beyer. Royal Son dueled with the favorite and then ran away. The Great War bled and finished last, but Royal Son was still very impressive. I think the 97 Beyer was real, and I think it’s more likely that he will repeat the figure than not.

Wireless Future dominated a Fair Grounds allowance and got an 86 Beyer. The fourth finisher, Ike Walker, who got a 71 that day, confirmed the figure when he came back to win a small stakes and earned a 70 Beyer. Wireless Future should be prominent early and stay right in the race.

Metaboss was super-impressive when beating the California Derby winner at Golden Gate Fields in the El Camino Real Derby. The 86 Beyer absolutely puts him in the conversation.

Sweet Success in the Bourbonette Oaks is an interesting case study. Her three Beyers? 56, 76, 90. That is a serious progression.

Is the 90 in her maiden win for real? Well, she did beat a 3-5 shot in Xtra Spice, but the figure has not been confirmed because horses from the race have not run back.

So, look back to her previous race when second to Lassofthemohicans. That filly came back to run second in the Forward Gal and then fifth in the Davona Dale.

A 90 is certainly going to win the race, but it would be nice to have more data on Sweet Success. Given her pedigree, I would think she really has just been betting better. We shall see.

Finnegans Wake in the San Luis Rey at Santa Anita is my kind of horse. The 6-year-old Finnegans Wake, a newly turned millionaire, has omni figs. His last three Beyers, all in stakes wins, are 99, 101, and 101. Only one of his rivals has ever gotten as high as a 99, and that was Diamond Bachelor when he was second in the San Marcos. The winner? Finnegans Wake.

Finnegans Wake is a horse who can be an anchor for vertical and horizontal bets. The 1 1/2-mile distance is obviously not an issue. Neither is the competition. Finnegans Wake is almost certainly going to fire. And if he does, the smart bettor should find a way to take advantage of his consistent Beyers.