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Most Valuable Pony (March 16-22): By My Standards

by Jeremy Plonk

March 23, 2020

Each Monday, I’ll select my Most Valuable Pony from the previous week’s racing action around the country. Who won the week? It could be a breakout performer, a known stakes commodity or the horse lifting the most loot. Chime in on Twitter @Xpressbet with your thoughts on who should be each week’s MVP.

March 16-March 22, 2020

MVP: By My Standards

Owner: Allied Racing Stables

Trainer: Bret Calhoun

Jockey: Gabriel Saez

Performance: Under a confident look the entire trip, By My Standards drew clear March 21 to a 3-length victory in the Grade 2 $400,000 New Orleans Classic. The son of Goldencents continued his Fair Grounds affinity, having won last year’s Louisiana Derby over the same track as well as a February 9 allowance return to kick off what could be a productive 4-year-old season. By My Standards pressed pacemaker Silver Dust and put that one away, while favorite Fearless was unable to keep up through a sparkling fourth quarter in 23.35. By My Standards ran the final 3 furlongs in a remarkable 35.91. He’s now won 4 of 8 starts for $921,910.

On Tap: Schedule uncertainly will be the main story with what’s left of the 2020 racing season. The Grade 2 $600,000 Oaklawn Handicap has been rescheduled for May 2 and could be a fit, but there are obvious issues precluding any plans. This would be a contender in the Breeders’ Cup Classic or Dirt Mile divisions at Keeneland in the autumn if we’re fortunate to be talking about such things by then.

Honorable Mentions: Louisiana Derby winner Wells Bayou gave trainer Brad Cox a trio of graded stakes wins on the Saturday card at Fair Grounds, and served as an apt replacement for sidelined stablemate and Risen Star victor Mister Monomoy. Meanwhile, West Virginia-bred star Runnin’toluvya won his 2020 return in allowance company Saturday night, ending a 7-race win streak for Penguin Power. Last year’s Charles Town Classic hero, Runnin’toluvya won for the 14th time in 21 starts and is just shy of $1 million earned. Also, dirt sprint star Cistron transferred back to the turf in his 2020 return bid and ran down quality grass dasher Bound for Nowhere to win Saturday’s co-featured Grade 3 San Simeon at Santa Anita.