Practical Joke showed a ton of tenacity as a juvenile, winning a pair of Grade 1 races in photos in his second and third career starts.
He broke his maiden in his debut at Saratoga last August and came right back a month later to win the Hopeful (G1), then won the prestigious Champagne at a mile at Belmont Park.
The Chad Brown trainee suffered his first career start when third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), beaten 7 3/4 lengths by Classic Empire.
After a four-month break, the colt made his three-year-old debut in the Fountain of Youth (G2) at Gulfstream Park in February where he was no match for Gunnevera in a runner-up finish, beaten 5 3/4 lengths.
That effort brought his early Kentucky Derby odds down to 12-1 at Bovada with one final Derby prep race to be run.
He returned in the Toyota Blue Grass (G2) at Keeneland where he would face off with the highly regarded McCraken.
He got the best of that rival by two lengths but had the entire stretch to pass then maiden Irap but could not get past him inside the final furlong and had to settle for the runner-up spot, beaten 3/4 of a length for the top spot.
The colt earned a career-best 92 Beyer Speed Figure, but he will need to move forward more if he is going to compete on the first Saturday of May.
The $240,000 Keeneland purchase is by Into Mischief out of a stakes-placed Distorted Humor mare that has dropped three other foals to race with one other winner.
He is trained by Chad Brown, the 2016 Eclipse Award winner for top trainer who is best known for his turf runners.
Brown has started three runners in the Kentucky Derby with the best finish a fourth by Normandy Invasion in 2013.
Last year Brown saddled two runners, My Man Sam checking in 11th and Shagaf did not finish the race.
Some are questioning whether this colt really wants to go 1 1/4 miles. The colt is heading in the right direction and he figures to be ready for a career top performance on Derby Day and is going to be a decent price, currently 16-1 in early Kentucky Derby betting at Bovada.
- Race record: 6-3-2-1
- Career earnings: $1,015,800
- Bovada Odds: 16-1
- Last race: Third in the Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream Park
Handicapper Michael Dempsey will be covering the Kentucky Derby and the Triple Crown for OddsShark and his full card reports with selections, analysis, fair odds line and wagering recommendations for major tracks can be found daily at turfnsport.com.