Pletcher said the daughter of Malibu Moon would have to show him that she is ready for the tall assignment of running against colts by shipping in well from Florida and turning in a strong work this weekend. Devil May Care was currently en route to Churchill Downs, Pletcher said.
With Devil May Care now in the mix, Pletcher currently has seven 3-year-olds being considered for the Derby, including expected favorite Eskendereya.
“It’s been a consideration for a while, but we won’t make any decisions until she ships in and works at Churchill. We’ll see how it goes from there,” said Pletcher of Devil May Care. “That is the case for a lot of them. It all depends on how they work—Interactif and Discreetly Mine (too). It’s just going to depend on their works.
“Her status has nothing to do with all of the other horses. It will be determined on her own merits.”
Devil May Care, who is arriving in Kentucky along with a number of Pletcher’s other horses, is coming off a convincing victory in the Bonnie Miss (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park March 20. She is 3-0-0 from five starts, including a win in the Frizette (gr. I) at Belmont as a 2-year-old. She has never raced against males.
Pletcher said one of the main reasons he and owner John Greathouse are considering the Derby is because of the longer distance. The Derby is an eighth of a mile more than the Oaks.
“She acts like she wants to run beyond a mile and an eighth,” Pletcher said. “That is the main reason. We’ve worked her with a number of our colts who are being considered (for the Derby) and she has worked as well or better than most of them. But there is a lot to consider, including running in a field of 20 and things like that. We’ll just wait and see after she works.”
Devil May Care has been ridden in four of her five starts by John Velazquez, including the Bonnie Miss. Velazquez has already committed to ride Eskendereya in the Derby.
If Devil May Care were to run in the Derby, it would certainly affect other 3-year-olds currently on the outside looking in. Her $363,000 in graded earnings easily puts her in the top 20, which is the number of starters that the Derby field is limited to.
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