Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

John Rowe's Kentucky Derby Profiles

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

John Rowe's Kentucky Derby Profiles

Article excerpt


Jockey: Colm O'Donahue

Trainer: Aidan O'Brien

Graded earnings: $1,294,030

His win in the $2 million UAE Derby in Dubai was over a synthetic track and in a slow time. Factor in that he ran poorly on dirt two starts ago and you understand why he's a long shot.

2. OPTIMIZER (50-1)

Jockey: Jon Court

Trainer: D. Wayne Lukas

Graded earnings: $184,708

The defection of Mark Valeski gives Lucas a chance to win a record fifth Derby. Too bad the veteran trainer doesn't have a better horse. Optimizer looks overmatched in this field.


Jockey: Calvin Borel

Trainer: Patrick Byrne

Graded earnings: $698,400

Was never pressured in winning the Florida Derby and that's not going to happen here. Should draw more attention than he probably deserves because Borel, who's won this race three times, is in the saddle.

4. UNION RAGS (9-2)

Jockey: Julien Leparoux

Trainer: Michael Martz

Graded earnings: $1,170,000

His Fountain of Youth victory was followed by a third in a bad- trip Florida Derby. Barbaro trainer Martz has his fingers crossed that Leparoux gives him a better trip.

5. DULLAHAN (8-1)

Jockey: Kent Desormeaux

Trainer: Dale Romans

Graded earnings: $855,000

The Blue Grass winner is 0-for-3 at Churchill Downs. Don't forget that his Blue Grass victory, in which he blew past Hansen, was on a synthetic surface. Still not sure about him on dirt.


Jockey: Mike Smith

Trainer: Bob Baffert

Graded earnings: $660,000

Winning the Arkansas Derby by nearly 10 lengths made him the early favorite. Colt has three triple-digit Beyer Speed figures. Would be the first Derby winner since 1882 that didn't run as a 2- year-old.


Jockey: Jose Lezcano

Trainer: Jerry Hollendorfer

Graded earnings: $270,000

Was third in the Louisiana Derby. Lacks a stakes win this year and has never run at Churchill Downs. Hasn't improved as a 3-year- old, which is not a good sign.


Jockey: Joel Rosario

Trainer: Mike Harrington

Graded earnings: $836,000

The Santa Anita Derby runner-up has hit the board in all eight career races. The only knock on him is his racing style. He usually stalks the pace rather than rally. Harrington has his first Derby horse at 71.

9. TRINNIBERG (50-1)

Jockey: Willie Martinez

Trainer: Bisnath Parboo

Graded earnings: $324,500

Why is he entered? A $21,000 purchase at a Florida auction, he has never run farther than seven furlongs. The expected early front- runner ran a 20.8 first quarter in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Sprint, only to finish 13 1/2 lengths back.

10. DADDY NOSE BEST (15-1)

Jockey: Garrett Gomez

Trainer: Steve Asmussen

Graded earnings: $545,558

His Churchill Downs workouts have wooed a lot of observers, but let's not forget that he never has faced quality Grade 1 opponents on the dirt. Don't be fooled by the hype. …

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