It was supposed to be an easy race for Conveyance, he was supposed to win by open lengths in his final prep, but as the sun began to set in Texas, the spotlight shifted to the rising star Endorsement. It took three trys for the classicly bred colt to break his maiden, but as the distance increased so did his talent. He finally got the nod in the eighth race at Oaklawn Park, and from there would meet the unbeaten Conveyace in the Sunland Derby.
As usual, Conveyance bounce right out to take the lead, and looked relitively unpressured as he went through splits of 23.71, 48.04. However, Endorsement had settled in right behind the Southwest winner, and was biding his time waiting to pounce. As they rounded the far turn it was evident that Endorsement was going to get the better of Conveyance, who was visibly being pushed, as Endorsement move up with minimal urging.
Down the stretch the two came, with Endorsement in the lead. Conveyance fought back gamely, but his opponent was just too much and began to pull away inside the eight pole to register a two and a half length victory, in stakes record time. It was impressive win, for such a lightly raced colt.
Endorsement is a royally bred colt, who's breeding, I personally am in love with. Distorted Humor, his sire, would normally put me off, but Distorted Humor has proven to be fairly versitle as a sire, siring Derby/Preakness winner Funny Cide and Dwyer/Haskell winner Any Given Saturday. Also, since, Distorted Humor's best distance was sprinting, he gives some good speed influence. On the bottom half of the pedigree we have, of course AP Indy, one of the best distance influences in the breed. With a sire that has proven to sire a variety of horses and AP Indy as a distance influence on the bottom, I think this colt will a very formidable challenger to any three year old at the Classic distances.
His ability to get distances is also displayed in his PP's. In his four starts it would seem the longer they stretched this colt out the better he ran. Plus, in the 9 furlong Sunland Derby, he showed absolutely no signs of slowing down, powering past the finish, with plenty left in the tank.
With all this said, however, I would not like to see this talented fire ball run in the Kentucky Derby. In my opinion, it would be too much too soon, even for one with his kind of potential. I would much preffer to see his owners wait until the Belmont, and let him run in perhaps the Peter Pan as a prep. The Belmont would allow him the oppurtuity to show what he is made of, without pushing him too soon, while the Derby would thrust him into a whole different type of race that he has never seen before, and will never likely see again. A start in the Derby could wipe him out, like it has done to many other talented colts who were not yet ready.
So, all in all, I really like Endorsement, and would caution anybody to keep an eye on him throughout the year. He has some real promise, and I'm sure, if he is managed correctly, will be making noise latter this summer.