Nehro (Mineshaft x The Administrator by Afleet)
Trainer: Steve Asmussen
Jockey: Corey Nakatani
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Even the most devout follower of the Kentucky Derby trail had no idea that this colt existed until February 21. On that day he closed from 11th and12 lengths back for a 4.5 length win in a maiden race at Oaklawn Park. Even after that one it was really hard to think he might have a shot at the Run for the Roses.
Then came the Louisiana Derby. Nehro was sent off at odds of 36-1 and stalked from third before moving for the kill. He finished second beaten a neck by Pants On Fire in the $1 million race. We all realized afterward that top trainer Steve Asmussen had the Zayat owned colt in there for a reason; Nehro can run really fast!
Without enough earnings to make the Derby the colt was forced to race again in the Arkansas Derby. Not to worry as he was lightly raced and probably needed another go anyway. In his fifth career trip to the track the colt came from the clouds to miss by a neck to Archarcharch. Jockey Corey Nakatani had him moving best of all in the late stages of the race and might have caught the winner with a bit more distance.
One of things I love about Nehro is that he is improving with each and every start. Two necks cost the connections the ability to go to Churchill Downs with the Louisiana Derby and Arkansas Derby winner. If that trend continues he will be scary good in the Kentucky Derby. It is important to find a colt that is going forward and not backward. Nehro is clearly on the way up.
The son of Mineshaft seems dynamic enough to be somewhat close to the pace, but he will do better dropping back. Jockey Corey Nakatani has never won the Roses, but he is a master nonetheless. He owns seven Breeders Cup wins as well as two Hollywood Gold Cup triumphs. He is very hungry for his first Kentucky Derby win as is Asmussen. Look for the rider nicknamed C-Nak to put in the try of his life in an attempt to get this one to the winners circle.
Nehro’s pedigree is going to be one of the best in the field this year. His sire, Mineshaft, was a multiple Grade 1 winner at route distance with victories in the Jockey Club Gold Cup and Woodward Stakes. Sons of Mineshaft include Greenwood Cup winner A U Miner, Florida Derby winner Dialed In, Travers runner up Fly Down and Hawthorne Gold Cup winner Redding Colliery.
The Adminstrator has proved to be an excellent broodmare with stakes winning progeny like Sweet Lips, winner of the Sunshine Millions Distaff and West Chester Handicap winner Saint Marden. Nehro’s pedigree and performance on the track tells us that he is going to handle the 10 furlongs distance with ease. To put it simply, this colt will run all day.
When trying to find a Kentucky Derby horse, handicappers often look for the horse with the most upside. With a strong pedigree and improvements in each of his last three races there is plenty of reason to think Nehro may be that horse.