By Scat Daddy, out of Leslie’s Lady (Tricky Creek).
1st career start: 7/15/17, 7 furlongs on turf, Maiden, Curragh (IRE)
Broke slow, trailed near rear. Struggled, did no running whatsoever.
2nd career start: 8/13/17, 1 mile on turf, Maiden, Curragh (IRE)
Broke fine, easily made the front, rated on lead, shook up some prior to quarter pole, opened up, ridden out, drifting out some in final strides. An easy score, stretching out.
3rd career start: 9/16/17, 7 furlongs on turf, G2 Howcroft Champagne Stakes, Doncaster (GB)
Out fine, just off early leaders, began to fall out of it near the quarter pole, completely done in final furlong. A poor effort stepping up in class.
4th career start: 10/14/17, 7 furlongs on turf, G1 Darley Dewhurst Stakes, Newmarket (GB)
Broke fine, held up some early when U S Navy Flag cleared over him on the rail to set the pace, in close quarters in behind, battled to maintain pace at quarter, stayed on to come into a clear 2nd when following U S Navy Flag home in final furlong. At 50:1 Mendelssohn was never going to beat the winner here, but he had a beneficial trip to run 2nd, drafting in behind. He obviously improved very much with the hood.
5th career start: 11/3/17, 1 mile on turf, G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, Del Mar
Mendelssohn is #1
Broke nicely, speed from inside post, content to settle in tight pocket, held up there, edged out just a path at the top of the stretch to find room to confront pacesetter, easily by that one, opened up, finished nicely to the wire. Beautifully tactical here, Mendelssohn’s early speed and apt ability led to this one getting an absolute dream trip, ever present for the rider throughout. A peak performance.
6th career start: 3/9/18, 1 mile on polytrack, Patton Stakes, Dundalk (IRE)
Broke sharp from inside post, took back to rate behind loose on the lead pacesetter, in pocket on the turn, came through fantastic opening to cut the corner into the stretch, battled with two outside foes, gradually by late, finished up fine. Lucky to find room coming into the stretch, Mendelssohn was best here, but he was made to work to get past Threeandfourpence in his first start on the poly, off the layoff.
7th career start: 3/31/18, 1 and 3/16 miles, G2 UAE Derby, Meydan (UAE)
Mendelssohn is #4
Broke fine while asked out of the gate, took some doing but eventually took the advantage and cleared over to the inside into 1st turn, pressed mildly on backstretch, began to get away early on far turn without asking, opened up, kept on to wire in smashing style. Getting the best of it up front, one could have confused Mendelssohn with Secretariat in this race, laying the hammer to this overmatch field.
With a champion’s pedigree, handled by the world’s greatest connections in Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore, Mendelssohn is the creme de la creme of thoroughbred racing. He is a classy, professional, fluid runner with tactical speed, who may be the most intriguing Kentucky Derby entrant in recent memory.
At second choice, Mendelssohn is a bit of a difficult read. His only dirt race, last out in the UAE Derby, was a well known intense, bias aided score versus a much inferior field compared to what he faces in the KY Derby. Visually impressive as it was, this victory was completely dressed up. In earning a 106 beyer, Mendelssohn’s UAE victory, even with every possible factor going his way, was slower than the 107 Justify garnered in the Santa Anita Derby.
A forward type, Mendelssohn will have a much tougher pace scenario in the KY Derby than he’s ever encountered. He will be put to the test early to obtain early position against much quicker rivals. If he is forced to take dirt, he may be doomed, as Mendelssohn has yet to have this experience.
Facing the prospect of a daunting pace scenario, the opposite of what he received at Meydan, combined with the steep rise in class Mendelssohn will be facing in the Derby, he feels like an awful bet as second choice. Should Mendelssohn handle these tests and throw down with Justify in the stretch under the twinspires, it would result in one of the most entertaining Derbies of all time. However, we just don’t see it, and Mendelssohn will be a hard pass for us on our tickets.