Kentucky Derby Consignor Standings Presented By Keeneland: Azul Coast Gives Woodford Thoroughbreds Another Hopeful

Woodford Thoroughbreds has been near the top of the Kentucky Derby Consignor Standings throughout the course of the prep season, and most of that had been due to the buzzworthy performances of Independence Hall. However, Azul Coast drew himself even to his fellow Woodford graduate by Derby points with a convincing score in the El Camino Real Derby on Feb. 15 at Golden Gate Fields.

A son of Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver, Azul Coast is part of an increasingly deep roster of 3-year-olds running for trainer Bob Baffert this season, which means some of the barn’s runners have had to venture away from southern California for prep races so stablemates don’t cannibalize their potential for Derby points.

Azul Coast ran into this issue in the Grade 3 Sham Stakes on Jan. 4 at Santa Anita Park when he finished second to the brilliant but still-learning Authentic by 7 3/4 lengths to pick up four Derby points. This came about a month after Azul Coast won on debut as a juvenile at Los Alamitos Race Course, taking a one-mile maiden special weight by four lengths.

The colt had shown more than enough to be installed as an imposing favorite in the El Camino Real, and he lived up to the billing, with a driving 1 1/4-length score that gave him 10 more points on the Derby trail.

It takes a supernatural eye to predict success on the Kentucky Derby trail when a horse is only a few months old, but Shannon Castagnola of Woodford Thoroughbreds said Azul Coast showed he at least had the tools to grow into a serious horse at that age.

Woodford Thoroughbreds handled the weanling Azul Coast as agent for breeder SF Bloodstock at the 2017 Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale.

“It’s one of those things where you can’t foresee potential, but a nice horse stands out, and he was a really nice individual,” Castagnola said. “Physically, he was a beautiful-bodied horse. He had those perfect proportions and he moved so well and was so athletic. You can’t really guess what’s going to happen when they’re weanlings, but the individual was there presenting himself as a weanling.”

Offered as Hip 1551 at the Keeneland November sale, Azul Coast was the first foal out of the Grade 2-winning Sky Mesa mare Sky Treasure. SF Bloodstock had purchased the dam carrying Azul Coast in-utero at the previous year’s November sale for $360,000.

Sky Treasure is a half-sister to Grade 3 winner Surgical Strike and stakes-placed Panther Strike, and Azul Coast’s third dam is the Canadian champion Bold Ruritana.

While the page had some heft to it, Castagnola said the product on the end of the shank kept buyers coming back, as well.

“He had that beautiful topline that you want to see – short back, big old hip on him,” she said. “He was really athletic, a good mover, and he showed himself really well the entire time we were there. He was shown a lot, so he stood up to it.”

Azul Coast sold to Cavalier Bloodstock for $150,000 at the November sale, with the intention to pinhook him the following year. He returned to the Keeneland auction block for the 2018 September Yearling Sale, where he sold to the Three Amigos partnership for $320,000.

“It was very healthy,” Castagnola said of the weanling’s price. “We weren’t necessarily anticipating that, but he was such a nice individual that he really sold himself.”

The post Kentucky Derby Consignor Standings Presented By Keeneland: Azul Coast Gives Woodford Thoroughbreds Another Hopeful appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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