Shadwell Farm has an especially strong hand for the 2016 Classics with a pair of unbeaten colts in Mohaymen and Shagaf. However, Randy Gullat's Twin Creeks Racing has been perhaps the most prolific owner/breeder on the Derby trail over the past six years. Tampa Bay Derby (G2) winner Destin is the latest Triple Crown hopeful to race the Twin Creeks lime and brown silks.
The run began back in 2010 when Mission Impazible won the Louisiana Derby en route to a 9th-place finish in Louisville on the first Saturday in May. Twin Creeks was back in force in 2014 with Sam F. Davis S. winner/Tampa Bay Derby runner-up Vinceremos and Florida Derby winner Constitution, both owned in partnership with WinStar Farm. Constitution would miss the Derby with an injury while Vinceremos finished 17th to California Chrome at Churchill. Twin Creeks also bred and sold To Honor and Serve, a serious Derby contender prior to disappointing third-place finishes in the 2011 Fountain of Youth S. and Florida Derby in the colors of Live Oak Plantation.
In 2016 it's Destin, a $400,000 yearling purchase, who's put it all together over the past four weeks with victories in the Sam F. Davis and Tampa Bay Derby.
Destin had similar trips in both races. He stalked the early leaders moved to gain the lead the top of the lane and fended off stiff challenges from Rafting (from his outside) in the Sam F. Davis and from the Uncle Mo colt Outwork (to his inside) in the Tampa Derby. Destin set the track record and earned a 100 Beyer Speed Figure in the Derby.
Destin is a full brother to a very high-quality colt, Creative Cause, the best American Classic horse sired so far by Giant's Causeway. Creative Cause was a Grade 1 winner at two and won the San Felipe S. (G2) at three prior to a solid 5th to I'll Have Another in the 2012 Derby. His came back with a third in the subsequent Preakness Stakes (G1) in what was his final career start.
The dam of both colts is Dream of Summer, a multiple graded stakes-winning sprinter who stretched her speed to win the 9F Apple Blossom H. (G1) over a field that included Hall of Famer Ashado. Dream of Summer is a daughter of 10F Grade 1 winner Siberian Summer, a son of Siberian Express who's better known as the great grandsire of Uncle Mo.
Destin will attempt to give his owner another Derby trail stakes victory in the Blue Grass S. (G1), Wood Memorial (G1) or Arkansas Derby (G1). A win in either would likely make the colt no worse than third choice on the first Saturday in May and put Twin Creeks in its best position yet for a Derby trophy.