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Kentucky Confidential

Profile: Twice the Appeal

Following six tries at the maiden special weight level at Del Mar, Fairplex, and Golden Gate Fields, Twice the Appeal finally got it right in a $30,000 maiden claiming race at Santa Anita Park on Dec.29, when he broke his maiden by 4 1/4 lengths going seven furlongs on dirt to end his 2-year-old season.

Five of his first six races came on turf or synthetic tracks, and his only previous dirt race came on the bull-ring surface at Fairplex Park, so it is possible Twice the Appeal’s improvement is tied to surface. Whatever the reasons for the turnaround, that win must have been a great confidence booster, because the Successful Appeal colt has been progressively climbing the class ladder ever since.

Following the maiden win, Twice the Appeal won a $40,000 starter allowance at Santa Anita by 4 3/4 lengths going a mile on the dirt. Then he was off to Arizona, where he finished second in the Turf Paradise Derby but was disqualified to fourth for impeding a rival.

Twice the Appeal earned his way into the Kentucky Derby with a 1 1/2-length victory in the $800,000 Grade 3 Sunland Derby. He beat Grade 3 winner Astrology by 1 1/2 lengths at Sunland. Astrology won the Grade 3 Iroquois Stakes and finished second to Derby long shot Santiva in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes last fall. Astrology was making his first start of the year in the Sunland Derby, and he was closer to the hot pace, but he still provides a good class barometer for Twice the Appeal’s slightly puzzling form.

Twice the Appeal is a hard-trying horse with a good sustained run, and he was won three of his past four. He will have to slightly outrun his speed-oriented pedigree to win at 1 1/4 miles.

Twice the Appeal is a mid-pack closer, and his ability to move before the deep closers should help him in the Derby. Churchill ace Calvin Borel, who has ridden three of the last four Kentucky Derby winners, gives this long shot a considerable boost.

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Author PhotoAn award winning newspaper journalist from Chicago’s south side, Pete Denk moved to Lexington, Kentucky, in 2005. He wrote for Thoroughbred Times for five years, as a staff reporter and later as sales editor. Denk headed up the Times’ auction coverage for three years. Still based in horse country, he now works as a freelance journalist and consultant. More by  ›