With the Kentucky Derby now less than 10 days away, every little morsel of information is consumed by fans and horseplayers, trying to determine strengths and weaknesses—or just plain old signs from above. The jockey situation is shaping up, although somewhat in flux with those who may or may not run. From what I’ve read, it looks like this based on graded earnings:
1. Lookin’ At Lucky—Garrett Gomez
2. Noble’s Promise—Willie Martinez
3. Rule—Ramon Dominguez
4. Sidney’s Candy—Joe Talamo
5. Eskendereya—John Velasquez
6. Line of David—Rafael Bejarano
7. Mission Impazible—Rajiv Maragh
8. Ice Box—Jose Lezcano
9. Stately Victor—Alan Garcia
10. Endorsement—Robby Albarado
12. American Lion—David Flores
13. Dublin—Terry Thompson
14. Super Saver—Calvin Borel
15. Discreetly Mine—TBA
16. Dean’s Kitten—TBA
18. Awesome Act—Julien Leparoux
19. Paddy O’Prado—TBA
20. Homeboykris—Joel Rosario
21. Jackson Bend—Mike Smith
22. Backtalk—Miguel Mena
Interesting that Joel Rosario gets the mount aboard Homeboykris (a horse that Rick Dutrow should be ashamed of throwing into the Derby mix), while DRF’s Jay Privman reports regular rider Edgar Prado “will skip Derby Day at Churchill Downs and instead ride at Belmont Park.” Is this the beginning of the end of Prado’s career? Seriously, a seasoned jock like Prado skipping the Derby?
Who else is without a mount? Topping the bigger names is Kent Desormeaux (who has ridden Interactif on turf) and Javier Castellano (who rode Discreetly Mine to victory in the G2 Risen Star), but what ever has happened to Eibar Coa and Cornelio Velasquez (who’s been riding Dean’s Kitten, but isn’t confirmed as his jock)? You know who I would like to see given a chance? Both Rosie Napravnik and Rosemary Homeister, Jr. who have been riding fabulous of late, and even Elvis Trujillo.
As if Todd Pletcher doesn’t have a strong enough hand, word now that he may run the filly Devil May Care in the Derby. Looking at her record, some may scoff, but she obviously hated Santa Anita’s Pro-Ride in the BC Juvenile Fillies, and then Javier Castellano had to deal with a very agitated filly that was manhandled by the gate crew during the G3 Silverbulletday at Fair Grounds: “When she misbehaved, they [gate crew] got pretty severe and then used [ear] tongs, which most fillies don't handle well,” Pletcher said. She dominated the G2 Bonnie Miss, with slowing late fractions only due to her erratic running in the stretch—with blinkers added, she could be an interesting addition to the mix. Her half-brother Regal Ransom finished eighth in last year’s race, and if this year’s version happens to come up sloppy again, she could freak! Still, I’d much prefer to see Blind Luck in against the boys on the First Saturday in May...