New Year’s Day wasn’t well-known before his big win over 13 rivals in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile made him a Kentucky Derby prospect, but long-time owners Gary and Mary West have held high hopes for him finally getting them some roses.
The son of Street Cry always had potential, evidenced by a purchase price of $425,000 as a Keeneland September yearling and by trainer Bob Baffert’s entry of him in the Breeders’ Cup off of only a maiden win and a third, both on the Polytrack at Del Mar. The colt showed he could go a longer distance over dirt, which will come in handy in his bright future.
Not a fast horse out of the gate, nor one who likes to be near the front, New Year’s Day, at 10-1, listened well as jockey Martin Garcia kept him near the rail in midpack in the Juvenile. Steady and strong, New Year’s Day kept moving forward, around horses on the turn then back to the rail, and ran down a tiring Havana to win from the inside by 1 ¼ lengths.