Wild Shot was expected to be one of Calumet Farm’s top prospects for this year’s Kentucky Derby (G1), but ultimately didn’t make the cut to join fellow homebreds Hence, Patch, and Sonneteer in the 1 1/4-mile classic. The son of Trappe Shot did earn a consolation prize on Saturday’s Derby undercard, though, thriving on the cut back in distance and skipping through the mud to an emphatic score in the $250,000 Pat Day Mile (G3) under Corey Lanerie.
A tracking second behind Uncontested through splits of :22.24 and :44.79, Wild Shot reached that rival at the quarter pole, opened up in upper stretch and coasted to a four-length win in a time of 1:35.67. The morning line favorite at 4-1 but sent off at an appetizing 8-1, Wild Shot paid $19.20.
No Dozing, the actual 5-2 favorite, rallied for second, 1 1/2 lengths ahead of Uncontested, who out-headed You’re to Blame for third. The order of finish was rounded out by Sonic Mule, Warrior’s Club, Local Hero, Colonelsdarktemper, Rapid Dial, Bitumen, Excitations, and Bobby On Fleek.
A Churchill Downs graduate last September in his second start, Wild Shot finished off his juvenile campaign with a solid third to Classic Empire in the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) and a second-place finish to McCraken in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2). He ran below that form in three Derby preps, finishing fourth in the Sam F. Davis (G3), third in the Tampa Bay Derby (G2), and last of seven in the Blue Grass (G1). His record now stands at 8-2-2-2, $318,200.
“We think this is what he wanted to do – a one-turn mile – and it worked out,” trainer Rusty Arnold said. “We tried the Derby trail and we just didn’t like the two turns so we backed him up.
“This horse probably will go to New York for the Woody Stephens (G2) on Belmont Day.”
Wild Shot is the first stakes winner produced by Ranter, a Storm Cat half-sister to Grade 2 winner and sire Pulpit. Both were reared by Grade 1 vixen Preach.