In the days leading up to the 147th running of the $3 million Kentucky Derby (G1), usracing.com is profiling all the contenders. The 1 ¼-mile Run for the Roses at Churchill Downs is May 1, and the first leg of the Triple Crown. All profiles will be updated with post positions, odds, and jockeys following the draw on Tuesday, April 27.
Kentucky Derby 2021 Profile: Caddo River
Trainer Brad Cox has removed Caddo River from Kentucky Derby on April 25th***
By Ed McNamara
He was a major disappointment in the Rebel, fading to fifth, beaten by 6 1/2 lengths, as the 6-5 favorite behind front-running winner Concert Tour. Caddo River resented being rated, and he did much better when let loose in the Arkansas Derby. He dueled on the pace to mid-stretch with Concert Tour before perfect-trip winner Super Stock passed them. Caddo River battled back along the inside to beat odds-on Concert Tour for second, 2 1/2 lengths behind.
Trainer Brad Cox promised the same strategy in the Derby after Caddo River worked 5 furlongs in 1:00.60 April 23 at Churchill.
“He likes to perform up close, and we can’t take that away from him,” Cox said. “We’ll be aggressive with him away from the gate, for sure.
“It can’t be a suicidal pace, but if he could set some comfortable fractions, I think it definitely gives him his best opportunity to win.”
Caddo River showed he could hang tough after setting a strong pace (:46 2/5, 1:11 1/5) but tired after a mile. There will be other speed types pushing him in the Derby, and his stamina is a question mark. He’s 0-for-2 beyond a mile and lost ground in the stretch in his past two races. Chances are he’ll be a pace casualty unless the other front-running types let him bounce along on his own, which is unlikely.
Kentucky Derby 2021 Entries: Caddo River
Post position: TBD
Trainer: Brad Cox
Jockey: Florent Geroux
Owner: Shortleaf Stable
Career record: 6-2-3-0
Career earnings: $396,092
Derby qualifying points: 50 (11th)
Best Equibase speed rating: 102
Pedigree: Hard Spun-Pangburn, by Congrats
Color: Dark bay
Running style: Front-runner
Notes: After the Arkansas Derby, owner John Ed Anthony spoke of possibly skipping the Derby to await the Preakness. He believes trying to run a 3-year-old three times in five weeks is unwise. “Shortleaf Stable will never run in the Triple Crown races spaced the way there are,” he told horseracingnation.com. “I’ve lost too many horses.” … Anthony, 82, won the 1980 Belmont Stakes with Temperence Hill, who, like Caddo River, was named for a place in his native Arkansas. Caddo River is a tributary of the Ouachita River. Anthony also won back-to-back Preaknesses with Pine Bluff (1992) and Prairie Bayou (1993). Prairie Bayou, who was euthanized after breaking down in the Belmont, won the 1993 Eclipse Award for 3-year-old male. Anthony’s Vanlandingham was the 1985 champion older male … Cox also is entering undefeated division leader Essential Quality and Mandaloun. They will be the first three Derby runners for last year’s Eclipse-winning trainer.