Kentucky Derby Announcements

Kentucky Derby: Caracaro Out, Money Moves Still Possible; Art Collector Works; Derby Appeal by Maximum Security Owners Denied

By Richard Rosenblatt

Caracaro, runner-up to Tiz the Law in the Travers Stakes (G1), sustained a soft tissue injury during a workout Friday morning at Saratoga Race Course, and is out of contention for the Kentucky Derby (G1).

After the 3-year-old son of Uncle Mo completed a 6-furlong workout in 1:12.31, the problem was discovered in the right front foreleg. Trainer Gustavo Delgado, the issue involves a “soft tissue injury.”

Max Player Horse

Horses at Churchill Downs – Courtesy of Churchill Downs/Coady Photography.

Hall of Famer Javier Castellano was schedule to ride Caracaro in the Derby.

The injury to Caracaro opens the door for Money Moves, who was on the outside looking in because the prospective field has been at the maximum 20-horse limit.

The Derby is Sept. 5. No spectators will be permitted to attend due to   COVID-19 pandemic concerns.

Caracaro would have been a long shot, for sure, but after breaking his maiden, the colt ran second in the Peter Pan Stakes (G2) and then the Travers on Aug. 8.

Money Moves won his first two career starts, then ran second in an allowance optional claimer at Saratoga on July 25. He is trained by two-time Derby winner Todd Pletcher, who said the other day that his other contender, Dr Post may skip the Derby for the Jim Dandy (G2) at the Spa on Sept. 5 or wait for the Preakness (G1) on Oct. 3

Art Collector puts in final workout before Derby

Looking like he just may be the second betting choice in the 146th Derby, Art Collector worked 5 furlongs in 1:00.80 over a fast track at Churchill Downs on Friday.

Four other Derby probables posted workouts at Churchill: Winning Impression (5 furlongs, 59.20); Major Fed (5

Art Collector Horse

Art Collector – Courtesy of Churchill Downs/Coady Photography.

furlongs, 59.00); Necker Island (4 furlongs, 48.40); and Rushie (5 furlongs, 1:01.60).

Several other Derby hopefuls worked at Saratoga and Palm Meadows in Florida: Ny Traffic went 5 furlongs in 59.45; Dr Post worked 4 furlongs in 49.60; and Money Moves went 5 furlongs in 1:00.14. At Palm Meadows, Sole Volante worked 5 furlongs on firm turf in 57.80.

Art Collector won the Blue Grass (G2) and Ellis Park Derby and is 4-for-4 in 2020. Trainer Tommy Drury, looking forward to his first Derby, said his colt “really loves this track here at Churchill. He galloped pretty strong yesterday on his first day back at Churchill and turned in a really strong work today. The difficult part is out of the way and now we just need to keep him happy and healthy until Saturday.”

Fillies work at Churchill for Oaks

Four 3-year-old fillies put in workouts at Churchill for the Kentucky Oaks on Sept. 4, featuring Swiss Skydiver and Gamine. The workers were: Speech (4 furlongs, 47.60); Shedaresthedevil (5 furlongs, 1:01.40), Bonny South (4 furlongs, 48.20); and Tempers Rising (4 furlongs, 47.00).

Also, Donna Veloce worked 5 furlongs in 1:00.80 at Del Mar; Dream Marie worked 5 furlongs in 1:00.80 at Gulfstream Park West; Hopeful Growth went 5 furlongs in 1:01.80 at Monmouth Park; and Project Whiskey worked a 4 furlongs in :47.82 at Parx.

Federal appeals court upholds decision to DQ Maximum Security in 2019 Derby

A federal appeals court on Friday upheld an earlier district court decision that dismissed a lawsuit by the owners of Maximum Security, who finished first in the 2019 Kentucky Derby but was disqualified by the racing stewards for interference.

The DQ placed Maximum Security 17th and elevated runner-up Country House to Derby winner. Gary and Mary West, owners of Maximum Security, filed the suit seeking to challenge the decision to disqualify their horse.

Maximum Security

Jockey Abel Cedillo guides Maximum Security to the winner’s circle- Courtesy of Benoit Photo

Last November, a federal judge dismissed the suit. The Wests also sued the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, its executive director, and the stewards right after the race in May, 2019.

The Wests claimed their rights to due process were denied, and also asked to have the $3 million Derby purse redistributed.

At the time, the judge in the case ruled that Kentucky regulations state that the stewards’ decision in determining fouls and disqualifications of horses “is final and not subject to appeal.”

The decision comes just a week before the 2020 Derby, delayed four months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Well done, Kentucky Downs: 9 of top 10 riders showing up for meet

The Saratoga and Del Mar summer seasons end on Labor Day Weekend; Sept. 6 at the Spa, Sept. 7 at Del Mar.

The Kentucky Derby is Sept. 5 at Churchill Downs.

That leaves Kentucky Downs in Franklin, Kentucky, with a huge window before racing starts up again at the big tracks, allowing nine of the top 10 leading jockeys to commit to riding at the six-day meet of grass races (Sept. 7-16) offering $2 million a day in purse money.

In New York, Belmont Park doesn’t open until Sept. 18 and in California, Santa Anita opens Sept. 19.

Among those heading to Kentucky Downs to ride, at least for part of the meet, are New York-based Irad Ortiz, Jr., and his brother, Jose Ortiz, Joel Rosario, Tyler Gaffalione, Luis Saez, and Javier Castellano. Mike Smith, Florent Geroux, Flavien Prat, and Ricardo Santana, Jr., also are Kentucky Downs bound. And so is New York-based John Velazquez.

Smith, a Hall of Famer and Triple Crown winner (Justify in 2018), will be riding at the track for the first time.

“I’m excited about getting the opportunity to ride there,” said Smith, who has been riding for nearly 40 years. “I love going over to Europe to ride, and the course at Kentucky Downs is so much of a European racetrack. I thought it was a beautiful track (he was there for an autograph signing in 2018). It was my first time to see it in person and not just on TV. I thought I was back in Ireland or something.”