Withers-Grade 3 (Aqueduct) February 11
Winner: HIT SHOW (Sire: Candy Ride, Dam: Actress)
Trainer: Brad Cox
Jockey: M. Franco
Owner: Gary and Mary West
Distance / time: 1 1/8 miles / 1:54.3 Track: Fast
Win margin: 5 ½ lengths
Wizard’s Track Bias: None
Wizard’s Pace Analysis: Quick
Wizard’s Strength of Race: 2 / 5
HIT SHOW was tons the best as the 6-5 favorite after sitting a perfect rail trip stalking a contested quick early pace. Once tipped outside turning for home, he easily drew clear from the “spent” pacesetter and 8-5 second choice ARCTIC ARROGANCE. Hit Show cruised under the wire 5 ½ lengths in front. Arctic Arrogance was 6 ¼ lengths in front of the third-place finisher with the rest of the field well spread out.
It was clear that the only horse in the Withers to keep a close eye as a Kentucky Derby prospect is the winner, who is likely going to make his next start in the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct or the Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn. Hit Show could also resurface at Keeneland where Brad Cox will have a full stable of runners. The fact that he ran a career best race stretching out to 1 1/8 miles for the first time racing off Lasix, and sports a very solid distance pedigree as well, clearly indicates that he’s a quality 3-year-old on the improve and a top trainer calling the shots. The final 1/8th of a mile in the Withers was run in a slow :14 seconds flat, but Hit Show was placed under a hand ride late in the race and could have finished up faster if urged to do so.