While nothing is etched in stone, Good Magic missing the Breeders’ Cup seems like a foregone conclusion at this point. And with his poor effort in the Travers, his Chad Brown barn mate Gronkowski doesn’t appear quite as live as he did, say, immediately after the Belmont. He’ll get another chance to prove he can compete, and it won’t surprise me if he emerges as a legit Breeders’ Cup Classic contender. But there is another 3yo in Chad Brown’s stable that might, just might, have something to say about America’s richest race not named the Pegasus.
Instilled Regard was transferred from Jerry Hollendorfer to Chad Brown this summer, and has been working pretty consistently every since. It’s easy to dismiss his garbage-time 4th in the Kentucky Derby as a suck-up, but I’m not so sure. He really had no shot in the Santa Anita Derby as fast as they went early. He was just never engaged that day. Before that, his preps were honest enough. I think the reason we saw 85-1 on him in the Kentucky Derby was because a number of people, including me, heard he looked awful on the track during Derby Week. That price on him was absurd, and I kicked myself for not using him in the superfecta.
You won’t find anything in his past performances that leads you to believe he’s a top Classic contender. But hear me out for a second. He ran well enough over the Churchill surface. He’s in good hands (as he was before). With Good Magic likely out for the fall at least, you know Chad will give Instilled Regard a shot to prove he belongs. And don’t forget this guy was a $1M purchase as a 2yo.
Look, don’t dismiss what I’m saying out of hand. Do you have any better ideas for the Classic? Are you gonna trust Diversify to win outside of New York. How about Accelerate or Catalina Cruiser outside of California. How about the Baffert duo of West Coast and Collected who are iffy at best to make it? Forget your value on Catholic Boy. What does that leave you? Hofburg? Mendelssohn? Yoshida? Mind Your Biscuits? Thunder Snow? No thanks.
Instilled Regard is such an afterthought that he wasn’t even offered in the recent future wager. Think about that. If you can find odds on him, might not be the worst idea you had all day.