Cap with slogan that includes Invisible Ink's nickname.

Cap with slogan that includes Invisible Ink's nickname.

Anne Eberhardt

Derby Runner-Up Invisible Ink Returns to Churchill

Those heading to Louisville early for Kentucky Derby weekend might want to dust off their "Go Inky Go!" caps and bring them along. Last year's Derby runner-up, whose health problems as a 2-year-old touched the hearts of race fans when publicized heading into the big race, is entered to run Thursday at Churchill Downs. The son of Thunder Gulch is one of seven horses entered in a 1 1/16-mile allowance/optional claiming race.

Peachtree Stable's Invisible Ink raced for the first time since a fifth-place finish in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) in March, finishing third in a seven-furlong heat. He was entered in the April 21 Ben Ali Stakes (gr. III) at Keeneland but was scratched due to an off track. Invisible Ink has won three of 10 career races. The Todd Pletcher trainee also finished third in the Florida Derby (gr. I) and fourth in the Blue Grass Stakes.

The stable also has a candidate for this year's Derby in Wild Horses, who currently does not have a rider for the 1 1/4-mile classic.

"John (Peachtree owner John Fort) and I are going to put our heads together today and come up with one," said Pletcher. "We know it's getting late in the day, but we've been hanging back seeing how the situation shakes out. It could well be that Rene (rider Rene Douglas who rode him in his second-place finish in the Arkansas Derby) will be our guy. He's a good rider and we have a lot of confidence in him. It's just that if you can get one of the stars, you try to get one of the stars. It's how this business works."

Also entered in Thursday's race is Bob and Beverly Lewis' Tribunal, a half-brother of Kentucky Derby third-place finisher Chief's Crown. Last year, the son of Deputy Minister finished third in the Santa Anita (gr. I) and San Bernardino (gr. II) Handicaps. The 5-year-old Bob Baffert trainee has won three of 15 career starts. In his lone career start at Churchill, he finished 10th in last November's Clark Handicap (gr. II). Jorge Chavez will ride him for the first time Thursday.

Invisible Ink's race goes as the fifth event on a 10-race card, which also features a trio of $100,000 stakes races – the Mamzelle, La Troienne (gr. III), and Hard Scuffle Hurdle Stakes (NSA-I).