Calvin Borel, who has won the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) three of the last four years, has finally cemented a mount for the race that has made him famous.
Borel’s agent, Jerry Hissam, confirmed April 27 that his client would be aboard Twice the Appeal in the May 7 Derby.
“They offered him to me earlier this week,” Hissam said. “We were talking with the people from Master of Hounds too, but they were waiting on Ryan Moore. There were also a couple of others we were talking to, but I decided it was time to make a decision.”
Twice the Appeal earned his way into the Derby when he won the March 27 Sunland Park Derby (gr. III) at 25-1. The son of Successful Appeal was ridden by Christian Santiago Reyes in that start. This will be Borel’s first time on the colt, who was based in California with trainer Jeff Bonde before shipping to Churchill Downs.
Twice the Appeal took seven tries to break his maiden, finally doing so in December at Santa Anita. But he has won three of four starts since then—all with different riders. He will likely be a longshot in the Derby.
“Calvin has won with a couple of (Derby) longshots before,” Hissam said. “One of them was from the same part of the country—I forget his name.”
The horse Hissam was joking about was, of course, Mine That Bird, who won the 2009 Derby at odds of 50-1. Mine That Bird also made his final Derby prep in the Sunland Derby. Borel also won the Derby with Street Sense in 2007 and Super Saver last year.
“Calvin watched replays of (Twice the Appeal’s) races the other day. He was impressed. The horse can lay off and finish strong. He’s excited about the opportunity.”
Twice the Appeal is scheduled to work at Churchill on Friday or Saturday with Borel aboard.