Trainer James Cassidy reported late Wednesday that Ford, Pearson and K M Stable's Rebel Stakes (gr. III) runner-up Ocean Sound will not start next in the April 13 Arkansas Derby (gr. II) and will run instead in the $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland on the same day. The Irish-bred son of Mujadil was scheduled to depart Arkansas on a plane bound for Kentucky at 9:30 this morning. Hall of Famer Eddie Delahoussaye has accepted the mount on Ocean Sound for the Blue Grass.
"Oaklawn Park was a great place to run and I have absolutely no problems with (jockey) Calvin Borel," Cassidy explained. "But we have to see if Ocean Sound ran his race in the Rebel and if a quality field beat him or not. "
Ocean Sound, who set the pace in the Rebel before being passed by eventual winner Windward Passage in deep stretch, will not likely be in the same position in the Blue Grass. According to Cassidy, the colt's preferred running style is to sit off the early speed.
"It was a really strange situation," Cassidy said. "At first we thought there would be a lot of speed in front of him in that race, but after they broke Calvin had no choice but go to the front. In the Blue Grass I expect there will be a lot more speed, which will be a better situation for this horse."
Overall, Ocean Sound owns a career line of 11-1-2-2 for earnings of $51,831. His runner-up finish in the Rebel is the only black-type he's earned so far in his career. The Blue Grass will be his first attempt at 1 1/8 miles.
"We decided to go to the Blue Grass because of the quality of horses he'll face there," Cassidy said. "Not that he didn't face tough horses at Oaklawn, but we figured that if he's not good enough against horses like Booklet and Harlan's Holiday, what are we going on with him to the Derby for? He will likely get the legitimate pace he likes in the Blue Grass and we'll see what happens."