Derby Trail Preview: Enticed

Enticed was foaled March 23rd, 2015 to the flashy mare It’s Tricky after her visit to Medaglia d’Oro. A Coolmore homebred, he carries the hopes of the international titan that they’ll be able to add the Kentucky Derby trophy to their office case this year. In the past, Coolmore has come to play with expensive and well-bred horses; how could Enticed be different? He’s the product of two of the farm’s best performers both on track and in the breeding shed.

Enticed’s dam, It’s Tricky, was a spitfire mare that was the model of consistency on the track. She spoiled her connnections, delivering eight wins from 14 starts with three 2nd place efforts, and one 3rd place finish. She finished off the board only once in her career with a 4th place effort in the Gr. II Gulfstream Oaks as a 3 year-old. It’s Tricky was retired after she sustained an injury and was bred to Medaglia d’Oro her maiden year.

The resulting first foal was a filly that never made it to the races named Too Complicated, born in 2014. While she didn’t make it to the track, the Coolmore connections must have seen enough in her to breed It’s Tricky back to Medaglia d’Oro the next year to get Enticed. She went on to have one more foal -a 2016 bay filly by Ghostzapper- before she tragically died from foaling complications in 2017. Both she and her Pioneer oftheNile foal were lost in the end, much to my heartbreak. It’s Tricky was one of my favorite mares and it hurts to hear that she died.

However, as tragic as her passing is, the silver lining in this is that her son now has the chance to carry her legacy forward into the future, and he might even do that on the first Saturday in May. His first stepping stone, the Gr. III Gotham Stakes, was a masterclass in how to move forward at the right time.

While some people had worried that perhaps he had lost his momentun earlier in the year, Enticed proved those fears unfounded as he roared home past a 35-1 long shot in Old Time Revival and was wrapped up toward the end of the race. Junior Alvarado, his jockey, had only high praise for the colt that he proclaimed kept giving the more he asked down the lane.

The road to the Derby hasn’t been through New York in recent years, but through Florida and Arkansas as the last few Derby winners including American Pharoah in 2015 (en route to his Triple Crown) have opted for the warmer weather. With Nor’easters baring down on the Northern states seemingly every two weeks this year, many connections are opting for and prepping in the South and West as most of the contenders like Justify, Bolt d’Oro, Audible, and Solomini being pointed toward the Gr.I Santa Anita Derby in California, Gr. I Florida Derby (won by Audible), Gr. II Bluegrass Stakes in Kentucky, and the Gr. I Arkansas Derby.

Enticed is going to take the alternative route and try his Derby fortune through the Gr. II Wood Memorial this year for his trainer Kiaran P. McLaughlin. The race turned out much like the Gotham, where Old Time Revival tried to take it wire-to-wire. Vino Rosso and Enticed fought down to the wire after passing the tiring front runner and the former ended up getting home first. Both are now in the Derby field, and further plans will be announced soon for both.

The first weekend in May has the potential to be one to remember for Coolmore, partially because it could be their first victory after a long road of trying and also because It’s Tricky’s son could be the one to win those coveted roses.

Edit: since this posting, Good Magic has gone on to win the Gr. II Toyota Bluegrass Stakes, and Justify went on to win the Gr. I Santa Anita Derby, both securing their spot in the gate along with Mendelssohn and Gronkowski (who got his spot via the European Road to the Derby.