Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford said Monday that Regal Ransom and Desert Party are both scheduled to run in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I). Alan Garcia and Ramon Dominguez will have the mounts, with a decision to come in the next 48 hours who will ride which horse.
“Sheikh Mohammed will decide on the jockey assignments,” Crisford said. “Both horses shipped well and worked well over the weekend, so you couldn’t ask for more.”
As for the decision to run Regal Ransom, Crisford said, “What we were thinking all along was to possibly hold him back for the Preakness (gr. I), but he’s training so well and is on top of game. He’s there and he’s fit, so why not run? Everything is going forward with him, so come on, let’s go; let’s see what happens.
“All along we were always aware that maybe the trip was too far for him. Then, of course, he came out and won the UAE Derby, and nine furlongs at Nad al Sheba takes some getting. It’s a very long straight, and it’s not like you can whip around the corner and then just have a short stretch run.
“It’s been several years since we’ve had a realistic contender, and this year we feel like we have two. If they like the track at Churchill, that’s half the battle. And the other battle is temperament, and Desert Party has such a great attitude. He’s not going to get fazed by anything. I know they both have to improve a lot. But you have to take your chance and both horses have good American form and good form back in Dubai.”