Isn't He Clever, the Sunland Derby (gr. III) runner-up trained by Steve Asmussen, is no longer under consideration for the May 5 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
According to the Churchill Downs communications department, Isn’t He Clever will now be pointed toward the May 19 Preakness Stakes (gr. I) at Pimlico Race Course or the June 9 Woody Stephens Stakes (gr. II) at Belmont Park.
Owned by J. Kirk and Judy Robison, Isn’t He Clever has won or placed in six of eight starts and has earned $395,293.
Since the Smarty Jones gelding was 21st on the graded-stakes earnings list that will determine the 20-horse starting field for the Derby, that spot will now be filled by Optimizer. A son of English Channel trained by D. Wayne Lukas, Optimizer has one win from nine starts and most recently finished ninth in the Arkansas Derby (gr. I).