Boyd Martin will ride off-track Thoroughbred Steady Eddie in the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event

Boyd Martin will ride off-track Thoroughbred Steady Eddie in the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event

Courtesy of FEI

Off-Track Thoroughbreds Ready for KY Three-Day Event

Fifteen Thoroughbreds expected to compete at Kentucky Horse Park event.

While fans near and far will notice a change at the Kentucky Three-Day Event this year with Land Rover taking over the title sponsorship from Rolex, one thing won't be changing ... off-track Thoroughbreds (OTTBs) coming to Kentucky to compete at the event in the heart of Thoroughbred country.

Fifty-two horses of many different breeds will represent nine different countries at this year's event, held from April 26 - 29 in Lexington, Ky. at the Kentucky Horse Park.

Michael Jung and his wondermare fischerRocana FST, representing Germany, lead the entries and will be trying to win their fourth straight Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event. While fischerRocana FST isn't a full Thoroughbred, she does have a connection to the Kentucky Derby, which will be held the weekend after the Land Rover event, as her sire, Ituango, was a stakes winner on the racetrack and her grandsire, Acatenango, is the broodmare sire of 2011 Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom .

If you're looking for pure Thoroughbreds to root for—especially those who have run a time or two (or 36 in the case of Boyd Martin's Steady Eddie)—don't despair. As of April 23, 15 Thoroughbreds, including 11 OTTBs, are scheduled to take part in the event.

More Inspiration was the top-placed OTTB last year and looks to build on that 26th-place finish in 2018 after finishing in the top seven in his past two events over the past few months in preparation for this performance.

He leads a group of OTTBs that made a combined 178 starts for 13 wins, 12 seconds, and 15 thirds for $126,271 in earnings. A warhorse of sorts, More Inspiration raced 28 times in his career with a respectable four wins to earn the distinction of being the highest earning OTTB at the event this year with $55,560 earned on the track.

Overall, More Inspiration is one of just four Thoroughbreds returning to Kentucky after showing here last year, although Donner has competed at this event multiple times before and even finished fifth in 2013. Kelecyn Cognac has been entered two previous times but has to have been withdrawn before the event started, even arriving at the Kentucky Horse Park last year before coming down with a fever.

Simply Priceless, who finished eighth here in 2016, holds the honor of being the oldest OTTB competing at the Land Rover event this year at 16 years of age while Johnny Royale will be making his four-star debut (the highest level of eventing) at 9 years of age.

If you want a little extra Kentucky Derby flavoring, Kelecyn Cognac was sired by 2000 Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus while Tactical Maneuver is by the late 1995 Kentucky Derby winner Thunder Gulch with his dam (mother) a granddaughter of both 1985 Kentucky Derby winner Spend a Buck and 1978 Triple Crown runner-up Alydar as well as a great-granddaughter of 1973 Triple Crown winner Secretariat.

Other contenders with close Triple Crown connections are AP Prime, who is a grandson of 1992 Belmont Stakes (G1) winner A.P. Indy; Indy 500 - who has Triple Crown connections on both sides with her sire by A.P. Indy and her dam by 1985 Kentucky Derby winner Spend a Buck; and the unraced Mettraise, who is a granddaughter of Seattle Slew and was the overall highest-placed Thoroughbred at this event last year.

If an OTTB can win the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event this year, they'll end a drought that has lasted since 2012 when Parklane Hawk and William Fox-Pitt won. An even longer drought will be ended if the event is won by one of the 12 U.S. riders with a Thoroughbred (or any of the Americans on other breeds) as the last U.S. rider to win the Kentucky Three-Day Event was racehorse owner and OTTB friend Phillip Dutton who won in 2008. Dutton has two horses entered for the event though neither is a Thoroughbred.

For a list of off-track Thoroughbreds competing at the Land Rover Three-Day Event, refer to the table below.

Name Rider Racing Name Race Record Earnings
Captain Jack Savannah Fulton Captain Frank 19-0-1-2
Kelecyn Cognac Waylon Roberts Heir Pegasus 10-0-1-0
AP Prime Leah Lang-Gluscic A.P. Prime 31-2-4-5
Tactical Manuever Ashley Johnson Shykee's Thunder 12-0-0-1
More Inspiration Holly Jacks-Smither More Inspiration 28-4-2-2
Sound Prospect Alexandra Knowles Sound Prospect 13-0-2-1
Steady Eddie Boyd Martin Big Jet 36-7-2-3 
Johnny Royale Joe Meyer Chivas Royale 8-0-0-0
Tight Lines Will Coleman Tight Lines 5-0-1-0
Simply Priceless Elisa Wallace Kalinga Damo 10-0-0-1
Donner Lynn Symansky Smart Gorky 6-0-0-0