Last weekend, Russian-born trainer Gennadi Dorochenko pulled one of the biggest upsets in recent memory when he sent out Hero of Order to win the Louisiana Derby (gr. II) at odds of 109-1. Now Dorochenko is taking aim at the Toyota Blue Grass (gr. I) on April 14 with Russian Greek.
Russian Greek, by Giant's Causeway, races for Olympia Star Inc. of fellow Russian, Mikhail “Michael” Yanakov, who is from the same town as Dorochenko. Yanakov has raced horses in Russia and has competed in the United States for about three years. He has about 25 horses in training, the majority of which he said is at Hollywood Park.
Now living in Lexington, where he keeps broodmares at Considine Farm, Yanakov bought Russian Greek as a weanling for $100,000 at the 2009 Keeneland November breeding stock sale. The colt was bred by Overbrook Farm. His third dam is champion Track Robbery, and his dam, Sand Dollar, is a half-sister to Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) winner Cat Thief.
Russian Greek will make his first start fir Dorochenko. He began his career in California with trainer Jerry Hollendorfer and at Golden Gate Fields won the Gold Rush Derby and California Derby in consecutive starts before running fifth in the El Camino Real Derby (gr. III). He next finished eighth in the Vinery Racing Spiral (gr. III) on March 24 at Turfway Park.
Russian Greek could work at Keeneland over the weekend. No decision has yet been made on a jockey for the Blue Grass, which is expected to have champion Hansen as the favorite.