August 2, 2021

Pneumatic heads eight as Derby qualifiers conclude in Pegasus

Pneumatic won his first two at Oalawn (Coady Photography)

Saturday’s $150,000 Pegasus (G3) at Monmouth Park is the last qualifier for the 2020 Kentucky Derby, awarding a combined 34 points (20-8-4-2), and Pneumatic will be seeking his first stakes win in the 1 1/16-mile race. Fourth in the Belmont Stakes (G1) most recently, the Steve Asmussen-trained colt tops a field of eight.

After getting underway last September, the Road to the Kentucky Derby series spanned 11 months after this year’s Derby was postponed four months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pneumatic captured his first two career starts, maiden and entry-level allowances, at Oaklawn Park earlier this year. The dark bay son of Uncle Mo recorded a close third when making his stakes debut in Matt Winn (G3) at Churchill Downs in late May, finishing behind Maxfield and Ny Traffic, and offered a decent middle move before winding up a weakening fourth in the Belmont Stakes. Joe Bravo picks up the mount on the expected favorite.

Fountain of Youth (G2) third-placer As Seen On Tv, who broke his maiden and finished second in the Smoke Glacken S. on the Jersey Shore last summer, returns to Monmouth for Kelly Breen. The Florida-bred Lookin at Lucky colt has been freshened off a disappointing eighths in the Florida Derby (G1) in late March, and As Seen On Tv figures to be forwardly placed with Hector Diaz Jr.

Big City Bob also showed an affinity for the oval, winning the Sapling S. nearly 12 months, and the Grade 1-placed colt will make his second start of the year for Jorge Duarte Jr. Nik Juarez rides. Jesus’ Team rates as intriguing following a fourth in the Haskell (G1). A reformed claimer, the bay son of Tapiture was making his initial stakes attempt last time, and the top three (Authentic, Ny Traffic, and Dr Post) are all ticketed for the Kentucky Derby. Paco Lopez picks up the mount for Jose D’Angelo.

Arkaan, 2-for-2 after convincing maiden and entry-level allowance wins at Parx and Delaware Park, will stretch to two turns and try stakes competition for the first time. Michael Pino trains the gray son of Into Mischief, and Jose Ferrer guides. Completing the field are stakes runner-up Skyscanner, Laurel allowance scorer Super John, and last-out maiden claiming winner Wartime Hero.