Verrazano
Verrazano

Verrazano (More Than Ready)

(Photo : Kentucky Derby)

KENTUCKY DERBY (Grade 1)

Churchill Downs, Dirt, 2000m

4 May 2013

An oversubscribed field of 21 was yesterday drawn for Saturday’s 139th running of the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby, with 7-2 morning-line choice Orb (Malibu Moon) drawing post 16 and 50-1 longshot Fear The Kitten (Kitten’s Joy) the lone entrant on the also-eligible list. Unbeaten Verrazano (More Than Ready) is the 4-1 second choice on the morning line and drew post 14.

Connections of the two favorites had to sweat out the pill draw as both were left late in the process and with the unpopular inside posts remaining. Orb’s number was the 14th pulled and Verrazano pulled 16th, but both camps were visibly relieved by their post positions.

“There was a lot of anticipation, maybe more anticipation than I remember, but I’m pleased with the 16 and we’ll take it from there,” reported Shug McGaughey, who trains Grade 1 Florida Derby winner Orb. “I think from where he is, we’ll try to hold our position and maybe try to creep in a little bit around the first turn and then Joel Rosario can watch what’s going on inside of him. He can watch what Johnny Velazquez is doing on Verrazano. If Johnny thinks Orb is the horse to beat, he’s going to be watching what we’re doing too.”

A native Kentuckian, McGaughey is looking for his first Derby win with his first starter in the race since Saarland in 2002. Orb has been impressing onlookers at Churchill this week and McGaughey thinks he has earned the favourite’s role. “I heard a little rumor that linemaker Mike Battaglia was a little confused about who the favourite was,” McGaughey said. “I think it’s because the way Orb has done here that he went on and made him the favorite. As we all know, Verrazano is a very, very talented horse. We’ll see what the public does on Saturday, but I think he’ll probably still be the favourite.”

Trainer Todd Pletcher was also pleased with Verrazano’s draw. “We hadn’t gotten a spot for Verrazano and with some tough posts - the one and the two - still out there, I was concerned,” Pletcher admitted. “But then he drew the 14 and it was a sigh of relief.” Of being second choice on the morning line, Pletcher added, “Orb deserves to be the favorite. And it might even be an advantage. There’s usually more pressure on the favorite.”

Kentucky Derby 139

Draw

Draw

Horse

Sire

Trainer

Jockey

Odds

1

BLACK ONYX

Rock Hard Ten

Kelly Breen

Joe Bravo

50-1

2

OXBOW

Awesome Again

D Wayne Lukas

Gary Stevens

30-1

3

REVOLUTIONARY

War Pass

Todd Pletcher

Calvin Borel

10-1

4

GOLDEN SOUL

Perfect Soul

Dallas Stewart

Robby Albarado

50-1

5

NORMANDY INVASION

Tapit

Chad Brown

Javier Castellano

12-1

6

MYLUTE

Midnight Lute

Thomas Amoss

Rosie Napravnik

15-1

7

GIANT FINISH

Frost Giant

Anthony Dutrow

Jose Espinoza

50-1

8

GOLDENCENTS

Into Mischief

Doug O’Neill

Kevin Krigger

5-1

9

OVERANALYZE

Dixie Union

Todd Pletcher

Rafael Bejarano

15-1

10

PALICE MALICE

Curlin

Todd Pletcher

Mike Smith

20-1

11

LINES OF BATTLE

War Front

Aidan O’Brien

Ryan Moore

30-1

12

ITSMYLUCKYDAY

Lawyer Ron

Eddie Plesa

Elvis Trujillo

15-1

13

FALLING SKY

Lion Heart

John Terranova

Luis Saez

50-1

14

VERRAZANO

More Than Ready

Todd Pletcher

John Velazquez

4-1

15

CHARMING KITTEN

Kitten’s Joy

Todd Pletcher

Edgar Prado

20-1

16

ORB

Malibu Moon

Claude McGaughey

Joel Rosario

7-2

17

WILL TAKE CHARGE

Unbridled’s Song

D Wayne Lukas

Jon Court

20-1

18

FRAC DADDY

Scat Daddy

Kenneth McPeek

Victor Lebron

50-1

19

JAVA’S WAR

War Pass

Kenneth McPeek

Julien Leparoux

15-1

20

VYJACK

Into Mischief

Rudy Rodriguez

Garrett Gomez

15-1

21

FEAR THE KITTEN

Kitten’s Joy

Michael Maker

Alan Garcia

50-1

Extracts from Thoroughbred Daily News

www.kentuckyderby.com

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