REMARKS: Some prominent jockeys don’t have a mount for the Kentucky Derby, but Eddie Delahoussaye may have a choice of two horses.
One of Delahoussaye’s probables, Vernon Castle, won the California Derby Saturday at Golden Gate Fields and will run at Churchill Downs May 3 with only two starts this year and three lifetime races on his record.
Delahoussaye is scheduled to ride Icy Groom, runner-up to Snow Chief in the Santa Anita Derby, Thursday in the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland. A good effort by Icy Groom would catapult the colt into the Kentucky Derby and leave Delahoussaye and his agent, Craig O’Bryan, to decide which horse would give the jockey the best chance of winning his third Derby. Delahoussaye scored consecutive Derby wins at Churchill Downs with Gato Del Sol and Sunny’s Halo in 1982 and ’83.
Laffit Pincay, who won the 1984 Derby with Swale, is without a mount in this year’s race because of the leg injury suffered by Tasso as he finished fourth in Saturday’s Wood Memorial at Aqueduct.
Broad Brush, the upset winner of the Wood, was listed Monday as a “definite probable” for the Derby by trainer Dick Small. Speaking from his barn at Pimlico in Baltimore, Small said that the Wood took hardly anything out of Broad Brush. “It couldn’t have,” Small added. “He didn’t do any running after he made the lead.”
Small is so frustrated by Broad Brush’s loafing once he gets the lead that he has taken to asking sportswriters for solutions.
Broad Brush will probably be the last horse to arrive at Churchill Downs for the Derby. Small plans to van the colt the 450 miles from Baltimore to Louisville, probably three days before the race.
“He seems to run his best when we do that, and he’s a good shipper,” Small said. “By the time you take a horse to an airport, and then transport him from the airport to the track at the other end, you’ve practically spent as much time as you would vanning him direct.”
Broad Brush arrived at Latonia three days before he won the Jim Beam Stakes.
For the Wood, the colt didn’t arrive at Aqueduct until the morning of the race.
Icy Groom will be an arguable favorite for the Blue Grass, the last of the major races leading to the Derby. Others expected to compete are Bold Arrangement, The Flats, Blandford Park, Strong Performance, Blue Buckaroo, Pillaster, Big Play, Bolshoi Boy and Major Moran.
Blue Buckaroo is a longshot, but he has two things going for him, a race over the track at Keeneland and jockey Earlie Fires, who has already won four stakes at the Lexington, Ky., track this season. Blandford Park also has a race over the track, which usually seems to help at Keeneland. He ran fifth in the Lexington Stakes, which was won by Wise Times.
If Fobby Forbes, the winner of last Saturday’s Garden State Stakes, should upset Snow Chief and Badger Land in the Derby, jockey Randy Romero will be in a position to remind all concerned where they heard it first.
“Fobby Forbes is awesome,” Romero said after the race at Garden State Park. “He’s just learning to run. He’s as good as any 3-year-old around. I like his chances in the Derby.”
Another Saturday winner who is Derby-bound is Rampage, who won the Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park in the second-fastest time in the history of the race.
The Arkansas Derby was only the third stakes appearance for the $18,000 yearling. Although his sire, Northern Baby, was standing for a $75,000 stud fee at the time, Nancy and H.J. Reed of Memphis were able to buy Rampage cheap because he had a questionable hind leg.
Before the Arkansas Derby, Rampage’s only stakes starts consisted of a sixth last year in the Hawthorne Juvenile and a fourth in the Rebel at Oaklawn last month.
Rampage has the late run that could make him dangerous in the Derby. Another horse with a similar style, Country Light, won’t be running in the Derby. The Louisiana Derby winner wrenched a knee while finishing second in the Lexington Stakes.
TRIPLE CROWN RATINGS
Career Horse S 1 2 3 Earnings 1.Snow Chief 13 9 2 1 $1,719,040 2.Badger Land 12 9 2 1 533,825 3.Broad Brush 9 7 1 0 565,443 4.Fobby Forbes 8 4 4 0 263,470 5.Vernon Castle 3 2 1 0 157,515 6.Ferdinand 9 2 3 3 340,900 7.Icy Groom 6 2 3 0 157,305 8.Wise Times 9 3 1 1 110,115 9.Mogambo 11 4 2 4 658,246 10.Rampage 8 4 2 0 340,086
Advisory panel for The Times’ Triple Crown Ratings: Lenny Hale, racing secretary at Aqueduct, Belmont Park and Saratoga; Frank (Jimmy) Kilroe, vice president for racing at Santa Anita; and Tommy Trotter, director of racing at Hollywood Park and racing secretary at Gulfstream Park.