Borel to Ride Ride On Curlin at Derby

What we’re seeing, at least in terms of the latest news and Kentucky Derby odds, is a clearer picture of the horses that have already racked up enough points to qualify for the big day at Churchill Downs. With the race just weeks away, now’s the time to find out all you can about the Derby’s top contenders.

Borel Regains Ride On Curlin Mount

Celebrated trainer “Bronco” Billy Gowan and owner Dan Dougherty aren’t messing around when it comes to this year’s Kentucky Derby as their prized colt, Ride On Curlin, will be ridden by three-time Derby winner Calvin Borel. Borel and Ride On Curlin achieved great success in the points races leading up to the Derby, setting a track record at Ellis Park earlier this season (5 ½ furlongs in 1:03) while capturing first place at Oaklawn this year.

Borel had previously shared saddling duties with another three-time Derby winner – Kent Desormeaux – but Gowan expressed disappointment in how Desormeaux handled Ride On Curlin at the Rebel Stakes in mid-March. Ride On Curlin finished a distant third after looking the part of a first-place challenger for most of the race; he had 12/1 odds to win. Therefore Gowan and Dougherty decided to go back to Borel.

Borel, who won the 2010 Derby on Super Saver, the ’09 on Mine That Bird and the ’07 on Street Sense, knows how to get the most out of his colts at Churchill.

Dance with Fate Earns His Spot, But Will He Go?

It’s one of those decisions that keeps trainers up at night.

Dance With Fate, a relatively inexperienced three-year-old colt, booked his place in the Kentucky Derby with a solid win at the Blue Grass Stakes (coming in first at odds of 6-1) – yet trainer Peter Eurton is unsure if the horse should be running at Churchill.


The answer is: dirt.

Dance With Fate is far more comfortable on synthetic, Eurton explained, and the trainer is unsure if his horse would be able to successfully transition to the Churchill Down dirt track in such a short period of time (we’re talking weeks here, which isn’t much of an adjustment period for the horses.)

Jockey Corey Nakatani, who rode Dance With Fate to the win at the Blue Grass, also expressed hesitation in wanting to go to the Derby, saying it’s “all a matter if he can handle” the adjustment.

So for now, stay tuned. Eurton is expected to announce his decision on the Derby soon.

Cairo Prince Books Spot

Cairo Prince had been, at times, one of the hot-ticket colts earlier in the Derby season, one many expected to see on race day. Well, Cairo Price is now definitely going – but it wasn’t easy. Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin was breathing a sigh of relief after learning Cairo Prince finished 20th on the points list after the first prep race cut-off, meaning he’d qualified to run at the Derby.

The horse had some nervous times earlier in the season when he put up a poor fourth-place finish at the Florida Derby in March, leaving the training staff in doubt if Cairo would even get to the Kentucky Derby.

The horse did, though, but that doesn’t mean they’re in the clear. McLaughlin’s team is looking to make some noise at the annual Run for the Roses, and will need to improve Cairo’s form if they’re going to achieve that.

About Tennessee Leduc

Born in Summersville Kentucky, Tennessee is an impassioned fan of horse racing, women, civilized debauchery, and... mint juleps. He writes, he reads, he listens, but above all he experiences the world he lives in.

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