Tomcito Preparing For Kentucky Derby

Tomcito Preparing For Kentucky Derby
Photo: Coglianese Photos
Tomcito continues his preparations for the Kentucky Derby after a third-place finish in the Florida Derby.

Edited Press Release

Jet Set Racing Stable’s Tomcito – third in the Florida Derby (gr. I) in his United States racing debut – traveled to Churchill Downs April 9 for a test run over the track which the $2 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) will be run May 3.

The Peruvian import traveled by van from trainer Dante Zanelli’s base at Keeneland and worked five furlongs over a fast track at Churchill Downs around 6:45 a.m. Manfredy Guzman, a former jockey in Peru, was in the saddle as Tomcito covered five furlongs in 1:01.40. Churchill Downs clockers caught Tomcito in fractions of :13.40, :26.20, :38 and :50, and he galloped out six furlongs in :1:14.40. The move ranked fifth among 18 works at the distance.

Zanelli said he actually worked the son of Street Cry six furlongs and he caught the colt in a time of 1:14.60, but was pleased with the move regardless of the official clocking.

“We wanted him to just recognize the track and know where the finish line was,” Zanelli said. “We wanted to do an easy three-quarters, and that’s exactly what he did. He finished strong – he finished 11-and-three the last eighth and he galloped out well. He’s really moving forward big time. He’s improving every day and he’s doing it really well.”

Tomcito has been mentioned as a candidate for the $325,000 Coolmore Lexington (gr. II) at Keeneland April 19, but Zanelli said he is taking a “wait and see” approach on that race. He would prefer not to run again prior to the Kentucky Derby, but Tomcito might not have sufficient earnings in graded stakes races to make the maximum 20-horse field in the Derby.

Currently, Tomcito has $151,292 in graded earnings, ranking him No. 24 on the Derby contender list. The Kentucky Derby field is limited to 20 horses, with preference given to horses with the highest total earnings in graded stakes races.

“We’re going wait and see what happens this weekend (in Derby prep races),” Zanelli said. “We’ll have to do what we have to do, but we think the five weeks between the Florida Derby and the Kentucky Derby would work for us. He is professional, he knows what to do and he has experience from last year.”

Zanelli said Tomcito would remain at Keeneland until shortly before the Derby.

“We’ll come back and breeze next week up there (at Churchill Downs),” Zanelli. “At this point, I think we’ll stay put (at Keeneland) until the last few days.”

Tomcito has a career record of 4-1-1 in six races. Unlike his Kentucky Derby rivals, Tomcito has already run and won at the Kentucky Derby distance of a mile and a quarter, and the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) distance of a mile and a half.

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