02/18/2013 1:32PM

Kentucky Derby Under the Radar: Speak Logistics

Coady Photography
Speak Logistics will make his next start in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park.

Trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. is already firmly entrenched on the Kentucky Derby trail with Itsmyluckyday, a Lawyer Ron colt who upended undefeated juvenile champion Shanghai Bobby in the Grade 3 Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 26.

Also stabled at Plesa’s Calder headquarters is Speak Logistics, who endured traffic trouble when fourth in his seasonal debut in the Grade 3 Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs on Feb. 2. A multiple winner around two turns, Speak Logistics hung up a 90 Beyer Speed Figure last year when taking the $300,000 In Reality division of the Florida Stallion Stakes at Calder.

He’s a professional sort with some speed, a bit of stamina, and a recent trip that may have obscured his true talent. Speak Logistics has won over both fast and wet footing and has been overshadowed in his own barn by Itsmyluckyday’s recent exploits. Thus, he is a prime candidate for an “Under the Radar” selection.

Bred by Centaur Farms, Speak Logistics was foaled in Florida on Jan. 25, 2010. He is a half-brother to Megalith, winner of the OBS Sprint Stakes over the Safetrack synthetic surface at Ocala.

Their dam, Miss Sabrina (by Preakness hero Summer Squall), earned her lone victory in a seven-furlong sprint race at Belmont and hails from a versatile family. She is a half-sister to multiple-stakes-winning sprinter Revolutionary Act, Dynalympic (second in the Rossi Gold Stakes at 1 1/2 miles on turf at Arlington) and stakes-placed turf sprinter Slewgenes. Miss Sabrina also is a full sister to Grade 3-placed router Wild Tempest. This is the female family of Grade 3 route winner Adhocracy.

[ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY: Prep races, point standings, replays]

Speak Logistics’s sire, High Cotton, grabbed the Grade 3 Northern Dancer Stakes at 1 1/16 miles and received a career-best 105 Beyer when second in the nine-furlong, Grade 2 Ohio Derby. His progeny include Currency Swap, winner of the Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes going seven furlongs at Saratoga.

Speak Logistics was consigned to the 2012 Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company’s spring sale of 2-year-olds in training and sold for $60,000 to Ralph Nabavi after breezing a quarter-mile in 22 seconds.

Sent to Plesa’s summer base at Monmouth Park, Speak Logistics made his career debut in the slower division of five-furlong maiden special weights July 8. After being bumped lightly at the start, Speak Logistics was outsprinted during the early portion of the race. He saved ground into the stretch and split rivals with a solid late run to finish fourth behind odds-on winner Whatabouthonor.

Plesa always felt that Speak Logistics would improve with more distance, and he immediately stretched the colt around two turns for his second start, a one-mile maiden special weight at Monmouth on Aug. 12.

Racing with blinkers for the first time, Speak Logistics showed better early speed. He scooted to the lead from his inside post, set solid fractions of 23.62 and 47.45, and began to draw away from his rivals under a confident Angel Serpa on the final turn. The final winning margin was 5 3/4 lengths, and the race was flattered when two of Speak Logistics’s vanquished foes returned to graduate.

After the maiden win, Plesa shipped Speak Logistics to South Florida with an eye on the Florida Stallion Stakes. A series of stamina-building workouts over the deep Calder surface gave Speak Logistics a good foundation, and the colt responded with a career-best effort in the $300,000 In Reality on Oct. 13. Racing over good going, Speak Logistics again went to the front and put down slow splits while on an uncontested lead. Speak Logistics opened up on the turn and stayed to his task in a professional manner. Two horses beaten by Speak Logistics that afternoon came back to win.

Plesa swung for the fences by placing Speak Logistics in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita on Nov. 3. Racing without Lasix, Speak Logistics hustled from the gate, but ended up tracking the hot pace along the inside of the speed-favoring surface. Serpa took Speak Logistics in between rivals on the backstretch, but he never looked like a winner and faltered along the inside in the stretch.

Speak Logistics has started once this season, and he didn’t have an easy trip in the Sam Davis. He wasn’t as forwardly placed as in his two victories last year and raced in between horses from midpack on the clubhouse turn. Speak Logistics settled into a tracking position along the inside and commenced a strong rail rally on the final bend. Serpa attempted to squeeze his mount through a tiny opening between the pacesetter and the rail and was forced to check sharply when the hole closed. Speak Logistics lost momentum and ended up fourth behind the gate-to-wire winner.

Following a half-mile workout at Calder on Feb. 16, Plesa indicated that Speak Logistics will next race in Saturday’s Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream under new jockey Joel Rosario.