The 135th Kentucky Derby has been run and won by 50-1 longshot Mine That Bird but it can hardly be said that this story is in the books. I somehow think there's a few more yarns to be spun by and about trainer Bennie "Chip" Woolley Jr. and Mine That Bird's ownership team of Dr. Leornard Blach and Mark Allen. Whatever we get to learn from and about these connections in future days and weeks, what we now know was perhaps best said by Derby runner-up trainer and Hall of Famer Bob Baffert. "These cowboys brought a good horse."
From their barn 42 at Churchill Downs this morning they said a decision will be made in the next day or two about taking the Derby winner to the gr. 1 Preakenss and a chance at the Triple Crown.
Meanwhile, othere Derby runners already have their plans made, others not...
(From BloodHorse.com and Churchill Downs Publicity.)
Trainer Gary Stute said Derby fourth place finisher Papa Clem is a definite for the Preakness. Baffert is taking a wait and see approach for Pioneerof the Nile and will leave the colt at Churchill Downs as will trainer Derek Ryan with Derby show horse Muskat Man.
Meanwhile, Cindy Jones, assistant her trainer-husband Larry Jones, said Friesan Fire, who finished 18th as the Derby favorite, came out of the race with cuts and abrasions on at least three of his four feet and legs. He grabbed a quarter in the left front, had a cut on the tendon in the right front, and a cut on his right rear back foot. He also had some leg webbing, apparently from another horse, embedded in one of his hooves.
While she did not know what Jones or the owners would decide about the Preakness, Cindy Jones said all of the cuts were superficial and would heal quickly.
Here are some other comments from Derby participants, (finish of the horse is in parentheses):
CHOCOLATE CANDY (5th) – Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer was on a plane Sunday morning jetting back to California, but his right-hand man – Galen May – was keeping a watchful eye on his Kentucky Derby runner Chocolate Candy, who had finished fifth. “He was trying to bite me this morning, so you know he’s fine,” May said.
May said the horse had come back without any nicks or cuts and had no problem cleaning his feed tub Saturday night. He also noted that he was likely to head back to California shortly and train up to the Belmont Stakes on June 6. “His breeding and style say he should like that mile and a half,” May said.
SUMMER BIRD (6th) – K.K. and Vilasini Jayaraman’s Summer Bird was scheduled to ship Monday morning at 5 a.m. to Louisiana Downs, according to trainer Tim Ice. “We have never thought about the Preakness; maybe the Belmont,” Ice said. “I have no interest at all in the Preakness because that track doesn’t suit his style of running.”
JOIN IN THE DANCE (7th), DUNKIRK (11th), ADVICE (13th) – Trainer Todd Pletcher reported some minor wounds, but no major damage, to Dunkirk, while stating at the same time that his other two competitors – Advice and Join in the Dance – had come out of the eventful renewal none the worse for wear.
“Dunkirk took the worst of it,” the five-time Eclipse Award winner said. “He’s got his share of nicks and cuts and he also grabbed a quarter on his left hind (leg). I think someone had to do it to him during the running. Where it is, it isn’t likely he did it to himself.
Pletcher said Dunkirk and his stablemate Take the Points would ship to his barn in New York at Belmont Park. Dunkirk’s next start was up in the air at the moment, but Take the Points, who was eligible to run in the Kentucky Derby but took a pass, would be prepared for a go in the May 16 Preakness Stakes at Pimlico.
REGAL RANSOM (8th), DESERT PARTY (14th) – Both of the Godolphin colts, Desert Party and Regal Ransom, were fine Sunday morning, said Henry Spiller, an assistant to trainer Rick Mettee. The colts are scheduled to be shipped back to Belmont Park on Tuesday. They are not being pointed toward the Preakness.
WEST SIDE BERNIE (9th), ATOMIC RAIN (16th) – George and Lori Hall’s West Side Bernie and Atomic Rain were scheduled to return to Monmouth Park on Sunday after their Kentucky Derby efforts. “They came out of the race fine,” Breen said. “We are going to regroup and see what happens, but we are not looking at anything in two weeks.”
GENERAL QUARTERS (10th) – Owner/trainer Tom McCarthy said that General Quarters came out of Derby 135 in good order, but with no plans to continue on to the Preakness. “The only excuse I can find for him was that he was not getting over the ground good,” McCarthy said. “I think we will go ahead and regroup and see what direction to go in. The Northern Dancer (on June 13 at Churchill Downs) is a possibility.”
HOLD ME BACK (12th) -- Elliott Walden, vice president and racing manger for WinStar Farm, said Sunday that Hold Me Back was fine and would be given a break. Walden wasn’t sure whether the colt would stay with trainer Bill Mott or be sent to the farm during his hiatus. “He’s good,” Walden said. “We’re going to regroup and go from there. He’s had a pretty solid six weeks.”
MR. HOT STUFF (15th) – “He was OK after the race; no cuts or bruises. He ate all his food last night,” said groom Martin Rodriguez, who added the dark Tiznow colt would be headed back to his Southern California base “in the next day or two.”
NOWHERE TO HIDE (17th) – The Nick Zito-trained Nowhere To Hide wasn’t feeling any negative effects on the morning after his 17th-place Kentucky Derby finish. “He came back perfect,’’ assistant trainer Stacy Prior said. “The jockey said after the race that he was just spinning his wheels out there.”
FLYING PRIVATE (19th) – The D. Wayne Lukas-trained Flying Private was reported to have come out of his last-place finish in the Kentucky Derby in good order Sunday morning. “The horse came back fine,” assistant trainer Gary Neece said. “He’s no worse for the wear.”