Garrett Gomez

Garrett Gomez

Anne M. Eberhardt

Gomez to Ride Pioneerof the Nile

Garrett Gomez and his agent Ron Anderson make a tough decision on a Derby mount.

In a decision they agonized over for weeks, jockey Garrett Gomez and agent Ron Anderson finally have decided to stick with Pioneerof the Nile as their Kentucky Derby (gr. I) mount


Gomez has ridden Pioneerof the Nile to four consecutive graded stakes victories, including the grade I Santa Anita Derby. In his two mounts on Dunkirk, he won an allowance race at Gulfstream Park by 4 3/4 lengths and was second to Quality Road  in the Florida Derby (gr. I).


“I’ve made a lot of big decisions with Gary (Stevens), Jerry (Bailey), and Chris Antley, and most decisions for me are very black and white,” Anderson said. “But this decision for me was absolutely, positively one of toughest ones I can ever remember. It all came down to the fact that I won four graded stakes in a row on Pioneerof the Nile. That was the deciding factor.”


“I’ve talked to Todd (Pletcher), Bob (Baffert), and Garrett at length, and I have to admit I was very, very confused. Garrett has a huge amount of confidence in both of them. It’s not like he told me this one is better than that one. There’s upside to both of them.


“I would do anything to have Garrett win this Derby; I think he deserves it. So, whether it’s Todd Pletcher, Bob Baffert or the man in the moon I’ve got to make sure I’m on the right horse.”


Gomez added, "Pioneerof the Nile is a quality horse and we're four-for-four together. He's done nothing wrong and all we've done is win together. We've been a team since the end of last year."


Gomez is 0-for-5 in the Kentucky Derby, and went from 1995 to 2006 without a mount. Since his resurgence he has finished 17th, 8th, and 13th with Bob and John, Any Given Saturday, and Court Vision, respectively. This year he will have his best chance ever.


There has been no official announcement who will ride Dunkirk, but it is expected that Edgar Prado, who rode the colt in his career debut, will get the mount.