Borel on Conquest Titan in Arkansas Derby
by Steve Haskin
Date Posted: 3/28/2014 2:40:39 PM
Last Updated: 3/31/2014 8:08:18 PM

Conquest Titan
Photo: Michael Burns

Calvin Borel, three-time winner of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), has been named to ride Conquest Titan in the Arkansas Derby (gr. I) at Oaklawn Park April 12.

The son of Birdstone   finished a fast-closing second behind Cairo Prince   in the Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III) Jan. 25 at Gulfstream Park before disappointing in the Tampa Bay Derby (gr. II) March 8. He finished fourth, beaten 4 3/4 lengths as the 5-2 favorite.

 

Borel replaces Shaun Bridgmohan, who has ridden Conquest Titan in the colt's past three starts.

 

“I don’t know what to make of the Tampa Derby,” trainer Mark Casse said. “I do know, come hell or high water, he’s going to drop way out of it this time. That’s the way he wants to be ridden. Most of the preps this year have been won on the front end, so something’s got to give. There’s a big difference between a mile and a sixteenth and a mile and an eighth.”

Winner of the Swynford Stakes at Woodbine last season, Kentucky-bred Conquest Titan is owned by Conquest Stables and has won two of seven starts while banking $208,995.

 

In other Derby-related news, trainer Linda Rice is giving Private Terms winner Kid Cruz 10 days off, so he will miss the Twinspires.com Wood Memorial (gr. I) at Aqueduct Racetrack April 5.

 

One forgotten horse that should enjoy a change of scenery and a return to Aqueduct is Centennial Farms' Wicked Strong, who is 60-40 to run in the Wood Memorial. Trained by James Jerkens, the son of Hard Spun   turned in a big effort to finish third, beaten a half-length, in the Remsen Stakes (gr. II) at Aqueduct Nov. 30. He ran poorly in the Holy Bull when ninth to begin the year, and then showed more life, finishing fourth behind Constitution, in a 1 1/8-mile allowance race Feb. 22 at Gulfstream.

 

He’s been working sharply at Palm Meadows and will ship to New York this weekend, where a final decision will be made either to run in the Wood or wait for the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), with a possible prep in the Peter Pan Stakes (gr. II).

 

Don Little Jr., head of Centernnial Farms, said, because of the close ties with Boston and the name Wicked Strong, a percentage of Wicked Strong's earnings will go to the One Fund, which was formed to assist victims and families affected by the Boston Marathon tragedy April 15, 2013.



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