Graham Motion: 'Yesterday Was Surreal'
The morning after saddling Animal Kingdom to win the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) (VIDEO), trainer Graham Motion was still trying to absorb the overwhelming feelings associated with winning America’s biggest race.
Dialed In, who finished eighth as the 5-1 Derby favorite after getting off to a slow start, will also be pointed toward the Preakness, according to trainer Nick Zito.
Zayat, however, said soon after visiting Nehro in his stall that the Preakness remains under consideration but the June 11 Belmont Stakes is a more likely spot for his next start.
“Let’s put it this way,” Zayat said, “if you looked at him right now you’d think you’d be out of your mind not to run in Baltimore. It’s more probable we’d aim for the Belmont but I guess we are still possible for the Preakness.”
Trainer Todd Pletcher said 12th-place finisher Stay Thirsty would not be going to the Preakness but is possible for the Belmont Stakes (gr. I). He said he could start Dance City, who breezed at Churchill Downs on May 8, in the Preakness.
Fourth-place finisher Shackleford spent part of Sunday morning walking the shedrow at Barn 4, showing no ill effects from his pace-setting effort on Saturday. Next up for the colt owned by Michael Lauffer and W.D. Cubbedge is most likely a trip to Baltimore and the Preakness.
“He came out of the race fine, but I’m worn out,” said Dale Romans, who finished second in the Preakness last year with First Dude . “He will go back to the track Wednesday and leave for Baltimore the following Tuesday.”
“Bright as a button” was how traveling head lad T.J. Comerford described Mrs. John Magnier’s Master of Hounds following his fifth-place finish. Comerford was overseeing the loading of the handsome colt onto a van at Barn 45 just before 8 a.m. for a trip to Louisville International Airport and a flight Sunday evening back to Ireland. The son of Kingmambo was going to have to stand a five-hour quarantine prior to being allowed to board the flight.
“We were quite pleased with his effort,” Comerford stated. “The rider (Garrett Gomez) said at first he wasn’t liking all the kickback. First time he’s ever encountered that, so that was understandable. But by the time they got to the backstretch he’d gotten into it (the race). He closed well and gave a very good account of himself. His effort was first rate.”
Tom Walters’ Santiva came out of the Derby in good shape according to trainer Eddie Kenneally.
Kenneally added that no decision had been made on Santiva’s next start.
George and Lori Hall’s homebred Pants On Fire “bled enough to say it was significant” from the exertion put forth in a ninth-place effort, trainer Kelly Breen said Sunday morning.
“One of the things we’re working on is his immune system,” Breen said. “We were staying on top of his lungs coming into this race so it’s a bit of a setback to say we have to work on him. Coming off a mile-and-a-quarter race it’s tough to say he’s not fit now, but you have to start from the inside out and heal him up. He’ll probably be going back to the track soon but he’ll just be doing it nice and easy.”
That said, the Preakness is almost certainly out of the question for Pants On Fire.
Robert and Val Yagos’ Archarcharch was scheduled to arrive at Rood & Riddle Equine Clinic in Lexington Sunday afternoon for surgery on a condylar fracture to the left front.
For trainer Jinks Fires and his son-in-law, jockey Jon Court, their first-time Kentucky Derby experience turned into a nightmare.
Archarcharch was bumped coming out of the gate, where Fires thought the injury may have occurred. Then, Court’s saddle slipped and the colt got bumped again before the wire. Court got off Archarcharch on the far turn and the colt was vanned back to the barn.
“He got banged coming out of the gate and kind of knuckled over there at the crown of the track,” Fires said. “I told my wife that I didn’t like the way he was moving when he passed us the first time, and you hope you are wrong about that.”
Dr. Larry Bramlage will perform the surgery on the clean break.
Fires said he could not speculate on whether Archarcharch could return to the races. Bramlage “says you really don’t know (about a return to the races) until you go in there and see,” Fires said. “But he ran a mile and a quarter on it.”
Court was at the barn at 6:15 Sunday morning “to check on the big horse.”
“I’m just heart-broken,” Court said. “You are not supposed to get attached to the horses, but, c’mon, this horse, with the owners and everybody, it feels like a knife to the gut.
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