Steve Day in the Dec. 22 Daily Sun posed the question of whether a maiden might make it into the Derby. He wrote:
“Make Music for Me is winless in his six career starts, but probably has already amassed enough graded earnings to earn a spot in the Kentucky Derby field.
He has a fourth-place finish in Grade-I Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland, had second-place finishes behind Lookin at Lucky in both the Grade-II Best Pal and Grade-III (sic) Del Mar Futurity and added another $100,000 to his bankroll with a third-place finish in the Grade-I Cashcall Futurity behind Lookin at Lucky.
Make Music for Me has now earned $218,700 without winning a race.”
A son of Bernstein from stakes winner Miss Cheers, by Carson City, Make Music for Me has shown a penchant for making money while running 2nd and 3rd to Lookin at Lucky in Graded races. Most recently he was 3rd in the Grade 1 CashCall Futurity at 28-1, beaten only 1 1/4 lengths for everything . And he was only beaten a half-length for 2nd by Noble’s Promise, a Grade 1 winner and 3rd in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile behind Vale of York and Lookin at Lucky. Click here to see the chart of the CashCall Futurity.
In the Grade 2 Best Pal at Del Mar, Make Music for Me was 2nd to Lookin at Lucky by only three-quarters of a length at 15-1, and in the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity he was 2nd by a length to the same horse at 7-1. So, in three Graded stakes races in California, he’s placed behind the certain 2-year-old champion, and he’s run to form on each occasion — about a length or so behind Lookin at Lucky. In his only other Graded stakes start, he was 4th, beaten 4 3/4 lengths, to Noble’s Promise in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland at 4-1.
Take him out of Graded events, however, and Make Music for Me is ordinary — as a maiden! He was 4th in a maiden special on his debut at Hollywood at 2-1, and in his most recent start before the CashCall Futurity he was 6th in a maiden special at the same track, at 0.40-1 — a race he should have had at his mercy based on his form.
On pedigree, he should get better with age, take to turf, and perform at up to 10 furlongs. His sire is a son of Storm Cat who is good here but much better as a shuttle sire in Argentina, where he sired the Argentine Derby winner this year, Storm Chispazo. Bernstein also is the sire of the two-time Group 1 Gran Premio Carlos Pellegrini winner Storm Mayor. Both of these horses stayed 12 furlongs.
Miss Cheers, his dam, won all four of her races at 5 furlongs to 7 furlongs, typical for a Carson City, but the next few dams are by Epsom Derby winner The Minstrel, Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew, and Grey Dawn. This is the immediate family of Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Opening Verse, who also won the Grade 1 Oaklawn Handicap on dirt.
Make Music for Me is trained by the unheralded Alexis Barba, who’s won only 3 races from 44 starts in 2009 but has a chance to improve on that if Make Music for Me can win.
Video of the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity below. Make Music for Me is #5 and closes well in the middle of the track to run 2nd.