Trinniberg has never raced farther than seven furlongs. He might be the best 3-year-old sprinter in the land.
But according to his owner, Shivananda Parbhoo, the son of Teuflesberg has the ability to go long. That’s why the dark bay or brown colt is scheduled to contest the 1 ¼-mile Kentucky Derby Presented By Yum! Brands (gr. I) May 5 at Churchill Downs. It’s not because Parbhoo has a bad case of Derby fever that is clouding his judgment.
“Everybody thinks that’s what happened to me. Because it is the Kentucky Derby, that’s why I’m running in it,” said Parbhoo, who is native of Trinidad-Tobago, April 30. “But nobody knows what we are doing with the horse, how we are training him. Just to run in the Kentucky Derby, we’re not here for that.”
Trinniberg, who is conditioned by Parbhoo’s father, Bisnath Parboo, is based at Calder Casino & Race Course in South Florida. The track there is deep, Parbhoo said, and that causes the colt to exert himself harder during his training. In addition, works of five and six furlongs --and longer--have helped him build his stamina.
“Even though he is a sprinter, it gives him a lot of air,” said Parbhoo of Trinniberg’s training regimen. “Everybody is thinking he’s going to stop in the Derby, but I don’t think he is going to stop. I can’t see him stopping, even if he gets the lead early.
“And if they don’t give him the lead, that’s OK,” Parbhoo continued. “We’re going to sit back and come (later) because he can rate, too. We breezed him out of the gate once with four of my other horses. He was in the back and he came by and passed them. He passed (some of them) them on the rail and he even passed (some of) them on the outside.”
Trinniberg is coming into the Run for the Roses off of back-to-back victories in the Swale (gr. III) and Bay Shore (gr. III) stakes. He took the former by six lengths and won the latter by three April 7.
“The decision to enter him in the Derby was made after the Bay Shore,” Parbhoo said. “He ran really good and his gallop out is what brings me here. The plan was for the jockey to gallop him out and see if he can get more distance. He galloped out really strong and nice, and when he was pulled up, he wanted to keep going. Then we brought him back to South Florida and we breezed him six furlongs in 1:15 2/5 (April 23). When he came back to barn, he drank maybe only two inches of water (out of a bucket) and South Florida is hot. We kept pushing his mouth down and he wouldn’t drink, so he’s fit. He’s ready.”
Parbhoo plans to go beyond words to express his confidence in Trinniberg by placing a substantial bet on the colt. When the amount of $2,000 was mentioned by one reporter, Parbhoo said he would put up “probably more” in hopes of cashing in on Trinniberg’s longshot status.
“He’ll probably be 40-1 or 50-1 and I hope he’s 100-1,” Parbhoo declared. “I’m not too sure what I’m going to do and how I’m going to do it, but it’s going to be quite a few dollars. It costs too much to come here not to play him. It cost us a lot of money to get in the race (with a late Triple Crown nomination) and it cost us a lot for transportation, for the groom, and for everything else. It’s not right if you don’t bet your horse. I would love him to win and I think he is going to run a really big race. They are all going to be surprised.”
Trinniberg, with jockey Willie Martinez aboard, turned in what the Churchill communications department termed an “open gallop” during his trip to the track April 30. Parbhoo described the effort as a “scheduled two-furlong move.”
Churchill’s clockers didn’t report a time because Trinniberg didn’t go fast enough for his exercise to be considered a work.
“It just opens up his airways and lets him know that it’s time, that the race is coming closer,” Parbhoo explained.
Trinniberg looked festive as he toured the Churchill oval, sporting a jaunty red pom-pon in his forelock and yellow bandages with red strips of tape on all four legs. He also wore a yellow shadow roll and a yellow bridle. His reins were red.
“I was just kind of stretching his legs a little bit,” Martinez said. “I’m sure, because he’s Trinniberg, that everybody was probably expecting a bullet work. But he’s so relaxed right now. He’s very playful and full of himself. If this would have been one of his moves last year, he would have gone (three furlongs) in :35 This year, he’s a different animal. Trinniberg is full of surprises.”
J M Stables bred Trinniberg in Kentucky. He is out of the winning Goldminers Gold mare Bella Dorato, who finished second in the 2005 Finger Lakes Juvenile Fillies Stakes.
An earner of $341,300, Triniberg was second in last year’s Three Chimneys Hopeful (gr. I) and Nashua (gr. II) stakes. He has won three of his seven career races. Parbhoo purchased the colt for $21,000 from M & H Training and Sales, agent, at the 2011 Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. spring sale of 2-year-olds in training.