Lone Star Sky, still on the fence for Derby 129.

Lone Star Sky, still on the fence for Derby 129.

Anne M. Eberhardt

Lone Star Sky Works, Joins Derby Field

Buddy New's Lone Star Sky joined the field for Saturday's $1-million Kentucky Derby after the Conquistador Cielo colt breezed five-eighths of a mile in 1:00 3/5 at Churchill Downs on Tuesday. Shane Sellers will have the mount.

"It was a good work and he finished up strong," said trainer Tom Amoss. "As far as that part of the puzzle and helping us make up our minds goes, it went very good."

While Lone Star Sky's status was still uncertain at the time of the work, later in the day Amoss confirmed the colt would run.

"This morning, after the work, it was status quo, but an hour and a half later there were two major developments with Kafwain being declared out and Empire Maker not having one of his best days," Amoss said. "Mr. New was aware of those developments."

While the colt won the Bashford Manor Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill Downs as a 2-year-old of 2002 and has worked well at Churchill Downs the last two weeks, Amoss said he and New have to consider whether the colt would be competitive in this year's classic.

"On the positive side, he shows a real affinity for this track," Amoss said. "What is weighing against us is whether we can go out there and be competitive against this Derby field."

"It's a tough decision," New said of the Derby. "The (fourth-place finish) Illinois Derby was a disappointment and it's hard to throw that race out."

Amoss said it is hard to dismiss the hype associated with possibly having his first Derby starter, but noted that he and New are trying to keep it in perspective.

"I have made sure we have done everything right for the horse and not get carried away with it," Amoss said. "To have a Derby horse has been a lifelong dream, but the decision is based ond the well-being of the horse and how he's doing. Part of the decision has to be whether if he runs his best race if it is good enough."

Bred in Kentucky by Jaime S. Carrion, Lone Star Sky hs three wins and four placings from 10 starts.