Kentucky Derby Entries 2021: O Besos

In the days leading up to the 147th running of the $3 million Kentucky Derby (G1), is profiling 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 Entries: O Besos

By Margaret Ransom

This talented son of 2013 Kentucky Derby winner Orb earned his spot in the Kentucky Derby by virtue of his third behind Hot Rod Charlie and Midnight Bourbon in the Louisiana Derby.

On Thursday, April 23, O Besos had his final pre-Derby work, going a half-mile in 48.00 for trainer Greg Foley over the main track at Churchill Downs. With regular jockey Marcelino Pedroza Jr. up, the Orb colt logged splits of :12 for the first eighth and :36.20 for 3 furlongs before galloping out 5 furlongs in 1:00 and six in 1:12.60.

“He keeps improving every time I work him, and the gallop out was even better today,” Pedroza said. “I’m excited about the first Saturday in May. Let’s see what happens.

“(Riding in his first Kentucky Derby) I mean it’s a dream come true. Like I grew up watching this race, the biggest race in the United States and in the world, really, so I grew up watching this race and to be on a horse and ride the race, I’m pretty excited about it and hopefully we can win it.

Foley is hoping for a hot pace in the Derby, which would give his colt a fighting chance.

“I love this horse, I think he’s a very live horse,’’ Foley said. “We want a good, honest pace and it should be. You know, horses in there – looks like there are two or three horses who like to be up around the front end, you know, a good, honest pace (and) hopefully it’s pretty quick and set up for our horse (who will) come from off the pace so that’s going to be our game plan for sure.’’

Kentucky Derby 2021 Entries: O Besos

Post position: TBD

Odds: TBD

Trainer: Greg Foley

Jockey: Marcellino Pedroza

Owners: Bernard Racing, Tagg Team Racing, West Point Thoroughbreds

Career record: 5-2-0-1

Career earnings: $172,624

Derby qualifying points: 25 (18th)

Top Equibase speed figure: 96

Pedigree: Orb-Snuggs and Kisses, by Soto

Color: Chestnut

Running style: Closer

Notes: Bred in Kentucky by co-owner L. Barrett Bernard, who will have his first Derby starter, as will Tagg Team Racing. Co-owner West Point Thoroughbreds has had five previous starters, winning in 2017 with Always Dreaming … Marcellino Pedroza is set for his first Derby … Greg Foley’s lone Derby starter was Major Fed, who finished 10th last year … Horse is aptly named, the O for his sire, Orb, and the Besos coming from the Spanish word for Kisses, from his dam Snuggs and Kisses.

Margaret Ransom
California native and lifelong horsewoman Margaret Ransom is a graduate of the University of Arizona’s Race Track Industry Program. She got her start in racing working in the publicity departments at Calder Race Course and Hialeah Park, as well as in the racing office at Gulfstream Park in South Florida. She then spent six years in Lexington, KY, at where she helped create and develop the company’s popular newsletters, Handicapper’s Edge and Bloodstock Journal.

After returning to California, she served six years as the Southern California news correspondent for BloodHorse, assisted in the publicity department at Santa Anita Park and and was a contributor to many other racing publications, including HorsePlayer Magazine and Trainer Magazine. She then spent seven years at HRTV and in various roles as researcher, programming assistant, producer and social media and marketing manager. She has also walked hots and groomed runners, worked the elite sales in Kentucky for top-class consignors and volunteers for several race horse retirement organizations, including CARMA.

Margaret’s very first Breeders’ Cup was at Hollywood Park in 1984 and she has attended more than half of the Breeders’ Cups since. She counts Holy Bull as her favorite horse of all time. She lives in Pasadena with her longtime beau, Tony, three Australian Shepherds and one Golden Retriever.