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Mylute breezes at Churchill with his Derby rider, Rosie Napravnik, in the irons. (Photo Courtesy of Reed Palmer/Churchill Downs)

Making the Grade, which will run right up until the Belmont Stakes, will focus on the winners of the big races, usually from the previous weekend, who could impact the 2013 Triple Crown. We’ll be taking a close look at impressive winners and evaluating their chances to win the 2013 Kentucky Derby based on factors such as ability, running style, connections (owner, trainer, jockey) and pedigree.

This week we take a look at Mylute, runner-up in the Louisiana Derby on March 30 at Fair Grounds.

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Gray or Roan Colt

Sire (Father): Midnight Lute

Dam (Mother): Stage Stop, by
Valid Expectations

Owner: Goldmark Farm
and Whisper Hill Farm

Breeder: Mike G. Rutherford (Ky.)

Trainer: Tom Amoss

Mylute faded to seventh in the Risen Star Stakes after he was close to the early pace but a change in tactics in the Louisiana Derby led to a much better finish. The Midnight Lute colt settled near the back of the field in the Louisiana Derby and battled gamely through the stretch with top Kentucky Derby hopeful Revolutionary only to come up a neck short. After conserving energy early in the race, Mylute had plenty of steam left in the stretch to give one of the leading contenders for the Kentucky Derby all he could handle.

Ability: Trainer Tom Amoss thought highly enough of Mylute to enter him in a stakes race in his second start despite the fact that he finished third, beaten by 9 ¼ lengths, in his debut. Mylute finished second by a neck in the stakes and then won by 2 ¼ lengths in a maiden special weight race in his third start. He subsequently was challenged in stakes races for three starts in a row and held his own. Fifth in the Grade 3 Arlington-Washington Futurity, Mylute finished second in the Jean Laffitte Stakes and Grade 3 Delta Downs Jackpot Stakes. Amoss entered him in an allowance race as a confidence booster and Mylute responded by winning a one-mile and 70-yard race at Fair Grounds by 10 ¾ lengths. That victory set Mylute up to take a crack at the Risen Star and the Louisiana Derby.

His runner-up finish in the Louisiana Derby marked a new top Equibase Speed Figure for the colt as he earned a 111, which is tied with Revolutionary and Goldencents for the top figure among the horses pointing to the Derby. With five weeks between the Louisiana Derby and the Kentucky Derby, Mylute is certainly capable of producing a similar effort in the first jewel of the Triple Crown and perhaps even improving upon the Louisiana Derby.  Such a performance would put him right in the hunt for the biggest prize in U.S. Thoroughbred racing.

Running style: Mylute has shown throughout his career that he is capable of racing close to the pace and winning and, in fact, those were the tactics he used in both of his career wins. His Louisiana Derby runner-up finish from far off the pace, however, was a career-best performance and you would think he most likely will employ similar tactics in the Kentucky Derby and avoid what could be a hotly contested, fast early pace.

Like all horses coming from far out of it in the Kentucky Derby, Mylute faces potential ground loss from a wide trip as well as traffic trouble such as lack of running room or avoiding fading front-runners. But he should be shifting into top gear in the stretch and if Mylute finds smooth sailing in the Kentucky Derby stretch he figures to be dangerous.

(Click here to view the 2013 Derby Leaderboard)

Making the Grade: Normandy Invasion

Making the Grade: Java's War

Making the Grade: Govenor Charlie

Making the Grade: Lines of Battle

Making the Grade: Black Oynx

Making the Grade: Will Take Charge

Making the Grade: Hear the Ghost

Making the Grade: Super Ninety Nine

Making the Grade: Orb

Making the Grade: Verrazano

Making the Grade: Flashback

Making the Grade: Revolutionary

Making the Grade: Itsmyluckyday

Making the Grade: Oxbow

Making the Grade: Dewey Square

Making the Grade: Vyjack

Making the Grade: Goldencents

Making the Grade: Overanalyze

Making the Grade: Violence

Making the Grade: Uncaptured

Making the Grade: Shanghai Bobby

Connections: Florida-based Mandy Pope, a lifelong horsewoman, breeds and races horses under the name Whisper Hill Farm. In 2012, Pope made history when she bought 2011 Horse of the Year Havre De Grace for a record $10 million at the Fasig-Tipton November Sale, the next day she paid $4.2 million for 2011 Kentucky Oaks winner Plum Pretty.

GoldMarc Farm is owned by Paul Bulmahn, founder of ATP Oil and Gas Corp. in Houston, Texas. In 2006, Bulmahn opened GoldMarc Farm in Florida.

Trainer Tom Amoss is a New Orleans native who has amassed more than 2,700 victories since he took out his trainer’s license in 1987. Inducted into the Fair Grounds Hall of Fame in 1998, he has leading trainer titles at Fair Ground, Churchill Downs, Ellis Park, and Kentucky Downs.

Amoss’ two previous Derby starters – Lone Star Sky (2003) and Backtalk (2010) – both finished unplaced.

Rosie Napravnik grew up with horses and developed an interest in riding professionally at an early age. She took out her jockey's license in in 2005 and has amassed more than 1,500 victories. She was the regular rider of 2012 champion 2-year-old male Shanghai Bobby and last year became the first female jockey to win the Kentucky Oaks aboard Believe You Can.

Pedigree:  Mylute is from the first crop of two-time Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner and champion Midnight Lute, who was a U.S. classics hopeful early in his career before breathing problems limited him to sprinting. A son of dual classic winner Real Quiet, Midnight Lute certainly looks like a potential top stallion with the ability to sire a U.S. classic winner - he has Sunland Derby winner Govenor Charlie and Mylute in his first crop of 3-year-olds.

Mylute’s dam (mother), Stage Stop, was a stakes winner at one mile on the grass as a 2-year-old and placed in seven other stakes, including the 2006 Boyd Gaming’s Delta Princess Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on the main track. Her first foal to race, She Digs Me, won the 2011 Sapling Stakes, a Grade 3 race for 2-year-olds at Monmouth Park.

Stage Stop is a full-sister (same dam [mother], same sire [father]) to stakes-winning sprinter Valid Move. Mylute’s maternal grandmother is stakes winner Winning Move, by 1991 Kentucky Derby winner Strike the Gold. Winning Move won the 1998 Heavenly Prize Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on the main track.

At first glance, Mylute’s pedigree looks like that of a quality sprinter, but digging a little bit deeper it looks like there is sufficient stamina for him to excel in longer races. Whether, he can do so against the best of his generation in the Kentucky Derby remains to be seen.

Mike Curry’s Kentucky Derby Top 20

1. Revolutionary

11. Goldencents

2. Verrazano

12. Java's War

3. Orb

13. Black Onyx

4. Normandy Invasion

14. Lines of Battle

5. Vyjack

15. Palace Malice

6. Itsmyluckyday

16. Oxbow

7. Will Take Charge

17. Frac Daddy

8. Govenor Charlie

18. Charming Kitten

9. Mylute

19. Winning Cause

10. Overanalyze

20. Falling Sky

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Haciendo El Grado: Mylute

En Español

Translated by Jose Contrera

Haciendo el Grado, que se extenderá hasta el Belmont Stakes (G1), se centrará en los ganadores de las grandes carreras, por lo general de el fin de semana anterior, quienes podrían afectar a la Triple Corona del 2013. Le estaremos dando un vistazo de cerca a los impresionante ganadores y evaluar sus posibilidades de ganar el Kentucky Derby 2013 (G1) basado en factores como la habilidad, estilo de carrera, conexiones (dueño, entrenador, jinete) y pedigree.

Esta semana le echamos un vistazo a Mylute, quien terminó en segundo lugar en el Louisiana Derby el 30 de marzo en Fair Grounds.

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Potro Gris o Ruano

Padre (Sire): Midnight Lute

Madre (Dam): Stage Stop, por
Valid Expectations

Dueño (Owner): Goldmark Farm
y Whisper Hill Farm

Criador (Breeder): Mike G. Rutherford (Ky.)

Entrenador: Tom Amoss

Mylute retrocedió a séptimo en el Risen Star Stakes después de que estaba cerca del ritmo desde el principio, pero un cambio de táctica en el Louisiana Derby lo condujo a un mejor acabado. El potro de Midnight Lute se estableció cerca de la parte trasera del campo en el Louisiana Derby y luchó valientemente por la recta final con uno de los más altos contendientes al Kentucky Derby, Revolutionary, para llegar a un cuello del primer lugar. Después de conservar energía a principios de la carrera, Mylute tenía un montón de energia para darle todo lo que podia a uno de los principales contendientes al Kentucky Derby.

Habilidad: El entrenador Tom Amoss pensó lo suficiente de Mylute como para entrarlo en una carrera de stakes en su segunda salida a pesar de que terminó tercero, superado por 9 ¼ cuerpos, en su debut. Mylute terminó segundo por un cuello en el stakes y luego ganó por 2 ¼ cuerpos en una carrera maiden de peso especial en su tercera apertura. Posteriormente fue desafiado en carreras de stakes en tres aperturas consecutivas y se mantuvo competitvo. Quinto en el Arlington-Washington Futurity de Grado 3, Mylute terminó segundo en el Jean Laffitte Stakes y el Delta Downs Jackpot Stakes de Grado 3. Amoss después lo entró en una carrera de allowance como una inyección de confianza y Mylute respondiero al ganar una carrera de una milla y 70 yardas en Fair Grounds por 10 ¾ cuerpos. Esa victoria preparó a Mylute para probar su habilidad en el Risen Star y el Louisiana Derby.

Su segundo puesto en el Louisiana Derby marcó una nueva marca de Figura de velocidad Equibase para el potro ya que obtuvo un 111, que está empatado con Revolutionary y Goldencents con la figura más alta entre los caballos que apuntan al Derby. Con cinco semanas entre el Louisiana Derby y el Kentucky Derby, Mylute es ciertamente capaz de producir un esfuerzo similar en la primera joya de la Triple Corona y tal vez incluso una mejora de el Louisiana Derby. Tal desempeño lo pondría justo en la caza para el premio más grande de carreras de caballos en los Estados Unidos.

Estilo de Carrera: Mylute ha demostrado a lo largo de su carrera que es capaz de correr cerca del ritmo y ganar, y de hecho, esas fueron las tácticas que utilizó en sus dos victorias en su carrera. Su segundo lugar en el Louisiana Derby cerrando de lejos del ritmo fue su mejor rendimiento y se podría pensar que muy probablemente usarán tácticas similares en el Kentucky Derby y tratar de evitar lo que podría ser una un ritmo inicial muy rápido.

Al igual que todos los caballos que cierran de lejos en el Kentucky Derby, Mylute enfrenta la pérdida de camino entre un viaje ancho, así como los problemas de tráfico, tales como la falta de espacio para correr o evitar a los caballos que están retrocediendo. El debería estar cambiando a su mejor velocidad en la recta final y si Mylute encuentra un camino libre en el Kentucky Derby, puede ser peligroso.

Conexiones: Mandy Pope, basado en Florida, una señora de caballos toda su vida, cría y corre caballos bajo el nombre Whisper Hill Farm. En 2012, Pope hizo historia cuando compró al Caballo del Año del 2011, Havre De Grace, por el precio record de  $10 millones de dollares en noviembre en la venta de Fasig-Tipton, al día siguiente, ella pagó $ 4.2 millones por la ganadora del Kentucky Oaks de 2011, Plum Pretty.

GoldMarc Farm es propiedad de Paul Bulmahn, fundador de ATP Oil and Gas Corp. en Houston, Texas. En 2006, Bulmahn abrió GoldMarc Farm en Florida.

El entrenador Tom Amoss es de Nueva Orleans, ya ha acumulado más de 2,700 victorias desde que se sacó su licensia de entrenador en 1987. Instalado en el Salón de la Fama de Fair Grounds en 1998, ha ganado títulos de entrenador en Fair Grounds, Churchill Downs, Ellis Park y Kentucky Downs.

Los dos anteriores caballos que Amoss ha llevado al Derby - Lone Star Sky (2003) y Backtalk (2010) - terminaron sin colocar.

Rosie Napravnik creció con caballos y desarrolló un interés en montar profesionalmente a una temprana edad. Ella sacó su licencia de jinete en 2005 y ha acumulado más de 1,500 victorias. Era la jinete regular del campeón de 2 años de edad del 2012, Bobby Shanghai, y el año pasado se convirtió en la primer jinete femenina en ganar el Kentucky Oaks abordo de Believe You Can.

Pedigree: Mylute es de la primera cosecha de la el dos veces ganador del Breeders’ Cup Sprint y campeon, Midnight Lute, quien fue in aspirante a los clásicos estadounidenses al comienzo de su carrera antes que problemas respiratorios lo limitaron a sprints. Un hijo del doble ganador clásico Real Quiet, Midnight Lute ciertamente parece un semental con la capacidad de engendrar un ganador clásico - tiene el ganador del Sunland Derby Govenor Charlie y Mylute en su primera cosecha de caballos de 3 años de edad.

La madre de Mylute (dam), Stage Stop, era una ganadora de stakes de una milla en el césped a los 2 años de edad y colocada en otras siete participaciones en stakes, incluyendo el Boyd Gaming Delta Princess Stakes de 1 1/16 millas en la tierra. Su primera cría a correr, She Digs Me, ganó el Sampling Stakes en 2011, una carrera de grado 3 para los 2 años de edad en Monmouth Park.

Stage Stop es una hermana completa (misma madre y mismo padre) al ganador de stakes Válid Move. La abuela materna de Mylute es la ganadors jugada ganadora de stakes Winning Move por el ganador del Kentucky Derby del 1991, Strike The Gold. Winning Move ganó el Heavenly Prize Stake de 1 1/16 millas en 1998 en la tierra.

A primera vista, el pedigree de Mylute parece a la de un velocista de calidad, pero buscando un poco más profundo parece que hay suficiente aguante para que él pueda sobresalir en carreras más largas. Si puede o no puede hacerlo contra los mejores de su generación en el Kentucky Derby está por verse.

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Image Description

Mike Curry

A native of Philadelphia who grew up in nearby Wilmington, Del., Curry was editor of Thoroughbred Times TODAY before joining the America's Best Racing team in May 2012. He credits his grandfather for the inspiration to repeatedly sneak off to Delaware Park as a 16-year-old and the 1989 rivalry between Sunday Silence and Easy Goer for his passion for horse racing. Curry graduated from the University of Delaware in 1997 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a concentration in Journalism. He worked for the Wilmington News Journal and was Sports Editor of the Cecil Whig before moving to Lexington in 2005.

Image Description

Mike Curry

A native of Philadelphia who grew up in nearby Wilmington, Del., Curry was editor of Thoroughbred Times TODAY before joining the America's Best Racing team in May 2012. He credits his grandfather for the inspiration to repeatedly sneak off to Delaware Park as a 16-year-old and the 1989 rivalry between Sunday Silence and Easy Goer for his passion for horse racing. Curry graduated from the University of Delaware in 1997 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a concentration in Journalism. He worked for the Wilmington News Journal and was Sports Editor of the Cecil Whig before moving to Lexington in 2005.

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