Take the Points Out; Atomic Rain In Derby
Trainer Todd Pletcher announced April 28 that Take the Points will not run in the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). However, Atomic Rain, trained by Kelly Breen, is being shipped to Louisville, Ky., to run in the race.
Pletcher will have three runners in the race. Earlier on April 28, Pletcher said from his Churchill Downs barn that Dunkirk, Join in the Dance, and Advice would definitely contest the race. The trainer also noted that he has finalized riding assignments, with Edgar Prado on Dunkirk, Rene Douglas on Advice, and Chris DeCarlo on Join in the Dance.
The draw for the Derby is at noon (EDT) April 29.
The field has been in flux every day this week, first with Quality Road dropping out because of quarter cracks, and then Square Eddie declared out due to shin problems.
Pletcher said Take the Points, by Even the Score , will be pointed to the Preakness Stakes (gr. I). Owned by Starlight Partners, Take the Points most recently ran fourth in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I).
With Take the Points out, it moved Atomic Rain to the 20th spot on the earnings list of probable starters. The Derby field is limited to 20 starters based on earnings in graded stakes races.
Atomic Rain is owned by George and Lori Hall, who also own West Side Bernie. Both are trained by Breen, who stables regularly at Monmouth Park. Churchill Downs racing secretary Ben Huffman said Atomic Rain was already on a van headed to Kentucky.
By Smart Strike , Atomic Rain most recently ran fourth in the Wood Memorial (gr. I), won by probably Derby favorite I Want Revenge.
Atomic Rain has won one of seven starts, though he ran second to Old Fashioned in the Remsen Stakes (gr. II) in November.
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