With numerous riding options available to him, jockey Jerry Bailey has opted to ride Louisiana Derby (gr. II) winner Wimbledon in the May 1 Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
Ron Anderson, Bailey's agent, said Monday from Churchill Downs that Bailey was juggling possible mounts that included Wimbledon, a son of Wild Rush trained by Bob Baffert, as well as Quintons Gold Rush and Eddington.
Anderson said he and Bailey had to go ahead and make a decision, deciding on Baffert's horse. "I had to go ahead and get the ball rolling," Anderson said. "Bob (Baffert) is a plus and the horse worked really well Saturday."
Working in tandem with stablemate Preachinatthebar, Wimbledon zipped five furlongs in :58 2/5. Baffert said he has a tentative commitment from Gary Stevens to ride Preachinatthebar if the son of Silver Charm
draws into the Derby. If the Derby field is oversubscribed and limited to 20 starters, the field will be determined by graded stakes earnings. Preachinatthebar ranks 21st by graded earnings, with $159,000.
Quintons Gold Rush, trained by Steve Asmussen, won the Lexington Stakes (gr. II) at Keeneland on Saturday. With Bailey going with Wimbledon, Asmussen said the mount on Quintons Gold Rush, also a son of Wild Rush, is open, with speculation centering around Pat Valenzuela, who just received a stay from a suspension from the California Horse Racing Board.
Eddington, a son of Unbridled who finished third in the Wood Memorial (gr. I), ranks 28th on the graded earnings list, with $95,000.