Kentucky Derby notebook: O'Neill, Pitino horse fades to 17th
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Trainer Doug O'Neill came up short in his bid to defend his Kentucky Derby title.
O'Neill, who won in 2012 with I'll Have Another, ended up with Goldencents finishing 17th in a 19-horse field on Saturday.
The run by Goldencents also ended Kevin Krigger's hope of becoming the first African-American jockey to win the race in more than a century.
Krigger said Goldencents didn't have the kick to keep up with a quick field on a sloppy track.
“It just wasn't our race,” Krigger said.
Krigger finished one spot behind countryman Victor Lebron aboard Frac Daddy. They were the first two jockeys from the U.S. Virgin Islands to ride in the Derby.
Louisville men's basketball coach Rick Pitino, a part owner of Goldencents, appeared confident of keeping a winning streak alive when he stood in the paddock before the race.
But his hopes for another big win ended a month after the Cardinals won the NCAA title.
Napravnik settles for fifth
Jockey Rosie Napravnik was trying to become the first female jockey to win the Kentucky Derby, but ended up fifth aboard Mylute.
It was the best finish by a female jockey in Derby history, topping her own ninth-place finish aboard Pants on Fire in 2011.
“He really did everything very well. We were right with Orb the entire way,” Napravnik said. “We followed him around into the final turn. I was really hoping to be third.”
Hall of Famers Lukas, Stevens miss
Hall of Fame Jockey Gary Stevens came out of retirement this year and rode 30-1 longshot Oxbow to a sixth-place finish.
Stevens is a three-time Derby winner. The 50-year-old jockey is four months into a comeback after being retired for seven years.
Trainer D. Wayne Lukas also trains Will Take Charge, who had an eighth-place finish in the Derby. Lukas has won the Derby four times and was trying to become the oldest trainer to saddle a Derby winner.
Pletcher falls to 1 for 36 in Derby
Despite being one of the biggest names in horse racing, Todd Pletcher has struggled at the Derby.
Pletcher is 1 for 36 with mounts in the Run to the Roses, with Revolutionary coming in third for his best finish on Saturday.
Even though he saddled up a record-tying five horses, the rest of Pletcher's group finished between ninth and 13th place.
Jockey Calvin Borel rode Revolutionary and came from nearly last in the field by riding along the rail to capture the third spot in the closing stretch.
“I still thought I'd get through,” Borel said.
After a day of steady rain, the showers stopped just before the call to the post. The reprieve wasn't enough to help the track at Churchill Downs.
The course was graded as sloppy. Only eight of the 19 Derby runners had run on a dirt track rated worse than “fast.”
The National Weather Service in Louisville reported 0.20 inches of rain as of race time.
Wise Dan romps in Woodford
Wise Dan, the Horse of the Year, overcame a boggy turf course to easily win the $500,000 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic to highlight the Derby undercard.
Jose Lezcano was aboard as 6-year-old Wise Dan, the 3-5 favorite, extended his winning streak to six.