Derby Starter Not Likely to Come From Aventura Field

A day after Marasca upset Equality in the inaugural running of the $250,000 Aventura Stakes the connections of those horses said the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) is not on their respective agendas.

Winning trainer John Kimmel said Marasca is a "no go" for the Derby.

"He's an improving 3-year-old and those kind of horses are the most dangerous," Kimmel said of Marasca. "But I think it's too early in his career to tackle the kind of horses he will be meeting in the Kentucky Derby. There are a lot of secondary races for him at this point in his career. If he develops the way we hope he does, there will time at a later date for him to meet those kind of horses."

Owner Martin Cherry was elated with the win but said he'd let Kimmel make a decision about the Derby.

"This is one of the biggest wins I've ever had," Cherry said. "I've never had a Kentucky Derby horse and it's always an owner's dream to have a horse to run in the Derby. But I just don't want to have a horse to run in it. I want a horse that I can feel confident has a chance to win it. I'll let John (Kimmel) decide. I'm not the kind of owner who second guesses his trainer and I'm smart enough not to let them know how little I know."

Trainer Graham Motion also seemed inclined to pass the Derby, but may prepare Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III) winner Equality for the Preakness (gr. I).

"I don't want to rush him and knock him out so we're going to pass the Derby," the conditioner said. "I'm shipping Equality to Delaware Park in a few days and we'll go from there. The Preakness Stakes (at Pimlico on May 18) is an option we have and I wouldn't rule that race out at this time."

Motion was pleased with Equality's performance Saturday while noting the traffic trouble the son of Mt. Livermore experienced.

"It's kind of frustrating the way things went in the Aventura," Motion said. "The way things set up, my horse got caught behind horses and that other horse (winner Marasca) just got the jump on us. We couldn't wear him down. I think if the same two horses met three times, we'd win two of them."

Meanwhile, sixth-place finisher Charioteer's next start has yet to be determined.

"We were disappointed in his effort," Cindy Hutter, assistant to trainer Todd Pletcher said Sunday. "I talked with Todd this morning and he said Charioteer would be staying here with me and several other horses for a few more days. Then we would all be joining the horses he has stabled at Keeneland. Right now, he doesn't have any immediate plans for Charioteer."

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