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|Kentucky Derby (5/6/06)
Contact: John Asher
BARBARO REMAINS PERFECT WITH DOMINATING 6 ½-LENGTH VICTORY IN 132ND KENTUCKY DERBY
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (May 6, 2006) -- Lael Stable’s Barbaro swept to the lead at the top of stretch and drew away for one of the more impressive wins in Kentucky Derby history as he powered to a 6 ½-length victory over WinStar Farm’s Bluegrass Cat in the 132nd “Run for the Roses” at Churchill Downs.
Barbaro scored his victory in the $2 million Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands before a crowd of 157,536, the second largest attendance figure in the history of the race. Jockey Edgar Prado, who won his first Kentucky Derby victory in seven tries, said that he had smooth sailing after Barbaro made a slight misstep at the start.
“He stumbled a little bit coming out of the gate but he recovered right away,” said Prado. “You see what he did when I turned him loose, he took off like a rocket. I never had a doubt in this horse. Mr. Matz did a super job. Hopefully we can get the Triple Crown.”
The 3-year-old son of Dynaformer became only the sixth unbeaten horse in 132 years to win the Kentucky Derby as he covered the 1 ¼-miles over a “fast” track in 2:01.36 and paid $14.20, $8.00 and $6.00. The winning margin was the fifth largest in Derby history and the largest since Hoop Jr. scored a 6-length win in 1945.
The most recent unbeaten horse to win the Kentucky Derby was Smarty Jones in 2004. Others include Seattle Slew, the only unbeaten winner of the Triple Crown, in 1978; Majestic Prince in 1969; Morvich in 1922; and the great filly Regret in 1915.
Barbaro gave Lael Stables’ Roy and Gretchen Jackson, who also bred the horse, and trainer Michael Matz their first Kentucky Derby victories. The Jacksons also owned previously unbeaten Showing Up, who finished sixth in the race.
Barbaro earned a first place prize $1,453,200 to vault his career earnings $2,302,200. It was the fifth consecutive stakes victory for Barbaro, who had won the Grade I Florida Derby in his previous start.
Matz, a silver medalist in Equestrian show jumping in the Atlanta Olympic Games in 1996, became the fourth consecutive trainer to win the Kentucky Derby in his first attempt. Barclay Tagg (Funny Cide, 2003), John Servis (Smarty Jones, ’04) and John Shirreffs (Giacomo, ’05) were Derby rookies when they won the roses.
“It’s a dream come true,” said Matz. “Good horses make good riders and good horses make good trainers.”
Bluegrass Cat, ridden by Ramon Dominguez, rallied from sixth on the backside and was clear by two lengths of the closing Steppenwolfer to take the place spot. Bluegrass Cat was sent off at odds of 30-1 and returned $28.40 and $15.40. Todd Pletcher, the trainer of Bluegrass Cat, completed Derby Week with eight wins in 16 starts, including three stakes victories during the week.
Robert and Lawana Low’s Steppenwolfer, ridden by Robby Albarado, rallied from 18th to take the show and paid $7.80. Sweetnorthernsaint, the lukewarm 5-1 favorite ridden by Kent Desormeaux, had a troubled trip and settled for seventh in the 20-horse capacity field.
Brother Derek, the 3-1 morning line favorite in Kentucky Derby 132, finished in a dead-heat for fourth with Jazil.
After Brother Derek and Jazil, the Kentucky Derby order of finish was completed by Showing Up, Sweetnorthernsaint, Deputy Glitters, Point Determined, Seaside Retreat, Storm Treasure, Lawyer Ron, Cause to Believe, Flashy Bull, Private Vow, Sinister Minister, Bob and John, A.P. Warrior, Sharp Humor and Keyed Entry.
Barbaro was the 99th winner of the Kentucky Derby to have been bred in Kentucky. Florida, which has produced six Derby winners, is a distant second among states that have produced winners of America’s greatest race.
The Kentucky Derby victory completed a remarkable day of international success for the Jacksons. Earlier in the day, they had watched George Washington, a colt that they had bred, win the 2,000 Guineas at Britain’s Newmarket. The race is the first of Britain’s classic races for 3-year-olds.
POST-RACE QUOTES: THE 132nd KENTUCKY DERBY
EDGAR PRADO, jockey aboard BARBARO (WINNER)
(FROM NBC-TV) “He stumbled a little bit coming out of the gate but he recovered right away. You see what he did when I turned him loose, he took off like a rocket. I never had a doubt in this horse. Mr. Matz did a super job. Hopefully we can get the Triple Crown.”
RAMON DOMINGUEZ, jockey aboard BLUEGRASS CAT (2nd)
“I couldn’t get a better a trip than I got today. He came out running and put himself within four or five lengths of the leader. He got himself a lot closer than I anticipated. I asked him to kick in when we turned for home. I wanted to get in the clear so I could circle Barbaro. I was hoping Barbaro wouldn’t kick in the way he actually did.”
TODD PLETCHER, trainer of BLUEGRASS CAT (2nd) and KEYED ENTRY (20th)
“Bluegrass Cat ran super. Today he was just second best. The other horse (Barbaro) found a little more. But I’m pleased with his effort. Keyed Entry, he was last, I believe. He was on the lead until the three-eighths pole. I thought they’d be going around that fast.”
On how Bluegrass Cat behaved before the race.
“Normally, you wouldn’t want to see that, but with him it seems like that’s when he’s at his best, when he’s on his toes a little bit. At the Blue Grass he was so quiet that he just wasn’t himself.
Did you think you had a chance at the top of the lane?
“I knew that we were in the position that if Barbaro didn’t kick on from there, we had a chance, yeah. Unfortunately for us, Barbaro kicked in and ran his race and we were better than everyone else.
Are you back where you thought you were with this horse?
“Yeah, I think he showed today what we thought he was all along.”
What about Keyed Entry’s race?
“He just wouldn’t settle. Unfortunately, the other horse was close enough to him that they were kind of geared up a little more than we needed him to. Forty-six (seconds for the first half), I said, `Well, maybe we can get away with that, but it wasn’t a settled :46. He was just going too fast.”
How do you feel about being second in the Derby?
“The way I look at it is one of these days we’re going to come over here with the right horse and get it done. I’ve got to feel good about the way the horse ran. I know we had him prepared the right way. When we show up with the right horse, I think we can get it done. Unfortunately, today we were just second best.”
What did you think of the winner, the way he pulled away?
“It was very impressive. He looked great through the stretch and actually galloped out like the Belmont doesn’t look like it will be a problem.”
ROBBY ALBARADO, jockey aboard STEPPENWOLFER (3rd)
“It went good. I got a great trip around the first turn. They didn’t seem like they were going on that fast up front and I had a good, ground saving trip and around the three-eighths pole, man, he started striding like he was going to keep going and going. But turning for home, Barbaro, man, he’s an amazing horse. I was impressed. It couldn’t happen to better people, Michael Matz, Edgar Prado.”
DANIEL PEITZ, trainer of STEPPENWOLFER (3rd)
“I thought he ran his race. I thought he was going to run his race. Barbaro just ran outy of the bridle. We weren’t going to beat him.
“I think we had a good trip; we saved all the ground. Pretty clean, really.
“Wheeled out, just couldn’t reel them in.”
Is this a Preakness horse?
“I don’t know if we are or not. My gut feeling would say the Belmont.”
FERNANDO JARA, jockey aboard JAZIL (4th)
“He didn’t have any excuse. When I asked him to run, he did not respond like I thought he would.”
KIARAN MCLAUGHLIN, trainer of JAZIL (4th) and FLASHY BULL (14th)
“I think the kid (Fernando Jara) rode him great. He didn’t have a straw in his path. He got a little bit squeezed leaving there, which is to be expected from the one-hole.”
“But we ran fourth against a very good horse, a future star or maybe a now star.”
“Flashy Bull was extremely wide the whole trip. The 20 post did not help us. He finished 14th. We’ll regroup and go from there.”
ALEX SOLIS, jockey aboard BROTHER DEREK (4th)
“I never got a chance to drop in. Not the whole race. It was rough out there. He ran hard; he tried hard. But I never had a chance with him.”
DAN HENDRICKS, trainer of BROTHER DEREK (4th)
On the size of the field: “We thought the 20-horse field would interfere with our strategic abilities and it did.”
What has this like for you?
“It’s been great. We’re at the Derby. We ran fourth. On to the Preakness.”
You said your horse had some things to prove, not to you, but to some people.
“I think he did. He ran a real credible fourth. He ran real well and I was real happy with him. We’ll have, I think, a lot better chance in the Preakness with the tight turns and utilize our speed a little bit.”
Alex said he got shut off at one point.
“On TV, I didn’t see that. It might be when they went to the front view.”
Did the post position hurt?
“I think the 20-horse field was more of a detriment to us, which is the post position, of course.
“It looked like it was a bit much to overcome, the 18-hole, the little bit of a wide trip and the dirt. And Alex said something about he was a little shut off. I’d have to watch the replay to see that.”
Emotions at this moment.
“It’s been a little surreal, but it’s great. My boys are with me and we’re having a lot of fun. Everyone has been standing behind me that has been there from the beginning.”
CORNELIO VELASQUEZ, jockey aboard SHOWING UP (6th)
“He broke well and got into a good position and ran a good mile and a sixteenth. He was still second entering the stretch behind Barbaro. The last eighth, he was tired. Probably the distance was too much. I believe he is a tremendous horse.”
BARCLAY TAGG, trainer of SHOWING UP (6th)
“I thought he ran well. It was asking a lot of him. He’s never been that far. Heck, he beat 14 horses. He was right there with the winner for a long way. I thought he ran a good race. I’ll give him some time and let him tell me when he wants to come back. I’ll get his leg cleared up and let him get over the shipping. I don’t have a race for him.
“I’m sitting right here by his stall, and he’s fine.”
KENT DESORMEAUX, jockey aboard SWEETNORTHERNSAINT (Beaten favorite, finished 7th)
“He gave me the ride I was hoping for. He was keen to go on a little bit after the first three-sixteenths of a mile. I gave him a little pull and he said ‘I’ll stay right here.’ That wonderful, galloping pace that I know he has, he had me passing horses with no effort. I loomed up to third, asked him a little bit, but there was nothing there. So, first time dirt in his face, first time for a lot of things, the mile and a quarter … I think all the new things that happened to him today caused him to get a little tired but, we’ll get them next time.”
MICHAEL TROMBETTA, trainer of SWEETNORTHERNSAINT (Beaten favorite, finished 7th)
"I would have liked to have done better but he finished seventh in one of the tougher Derby's we have had in quite a while. I can't be anything but proud of this horse. We can do better than this if we get the right kind of trip. I think there is room for us to be a spoiler. I am optimistic. If he's healthy and he's well there is no reason to back off now. If we were way, way, way back it would be a different story. I thought I had a chance at the turn at least to get a significant piece of it. I don't think he did poorly."
On being the favorite: "That messed me up. I would have rather been the second choice. I would have felt we would have a better chance."
JOSE LEZCANO, jockey aboard DEPUTY GLITTERS (8th)
“I’m happy for the opportunity I had to ride this horse. He ran well, not too much traffic. He broke well and responded a little in the end.”
THOMAS ALBERTRANI, trainer of DEPUTY GLITTERS (8th)
“He ran a pretty good race. It looks like he got in some heavy traffic turning for home, but I’ll have to take a good look at the replay.”
RAFAEL BEJARANO, jockey aboard POINT DETERMINED (9th)
“He ran well. I put him into a good position like the trainer wanted. After three-eighths he started moving nicely behind the eventual winner. But after he switched leads, he got tired.”
BOB BAFFERT, trainer of BOB AND JOHN (17th), POINT DETERMINED (9th) and SINISTER MINISTER (16th)
“They all came back in good order. Sinister Minister got cooked on the lead. Point Determined didn't run his race. Bob and John had a really rough trip and didn't get to do his thing. We weren't going to beat the winner...he was awesome. I was hoping he (Barbaro) was a turf horse.”
PATRICK HUSBANDS, jockey aboard SEASIDE RETREAT (10th)
“I had a perfect trip. When they started running up front, he backed up. He’s still a young horse. When he runs back on grass, you’re going to hear about him.”
MARK CASSE, trainer of SEASIDE RETREAT (10th)
“He tried. He beat a lot of good horses. I thought he ran good. He was up early, fourth or fifth down the backside, but he was hung a little wide and flattened out a little. He ran respectable.”
STEVE ASMUSSEN, trainer of STORM TREASURE (11th) and PRIVATE VOW (15th)
“You’ve got to watch the replay of that race about 83 times before you’re actually sure what happened.”
What did your jockeys say? “They just explaining how they felt and what they thought and we’ll just go from there.”
Was there traffic trouble? “No excuses like that. Just a tremendous amount of dirt. They kind of lose their action, lose their spot a little bit and horses take it. But both of them had relatively good trips and weren’t fast enough.”
DAVID FLORES, jockey aboard STORM TREASURE (11th)
“My trip was OK. It was a little tight and a little tough out there, but not too bad. I got him in to a good position and I had a hole to go for at the top of the stretch. But when I got there I had no horse. He just didn’t have it.”
JOHN MCKEE, jockey aboard LAWYER RON (12th)
“I was in good position going into the first turn. The pace wasn’t all that fast. Moving up down the backside, I moved him out a bit, but at the three-eighths pole and turning for home, he was just dull. I didn’t have any horse underneath me at all. He didn’t have any excuse.”
ROBERT HOLTHUS, trainer of LAWYER RON (12th)
"He just didn't have any punch turning for home. He just never really kicked it in. That is the first time he has ever run that way. We'll have to wait a few days, check him out and see if we find anything that caused him to do this."
RUSSELL BAZE, jockey aboard CAUSE TO BELIEVE (13th)
“I beat some and some beat me. I had to steady on the turn, a wall of horses came back in my face and I couldn’t get around them. I had to steady and steady and steady and finally the horse on the outside gave me a little room and my horse came with a little run, but the bird had flown.”
JERRY HOLLENDORFER, trainer of CAUSE TO BELIEVE (13th)
“We got shuffled back so badly and pushed so far down inside that we never really got a chance to run. But that’s not to say that we were going to beat Barbaro today. The way he ran was very impressive and I think he’ll have to get credit for what he’s done now. He might just go on and be a very special horse. We were happy to be here in the Kentucky Derby and now we’re going to go back to California and look at other possible races for our horse. But not the Preakness. That’s out.”
MIKE SMITH, jockey aboard FLASHY BULL (14th)
“He had a horrible trip. He wasn’t able to save any ground. Every time I got him in a good spot, someone would come out and bump him. Every time I tried to save ground, someone would bolt. I don’t know who it was, but he never got the chance to get into the race.”
SHAUN BRIDGMOHAN, jockey aboard PRIVATE VOW (15th)
“He had a really good trip. The horse settled for me like the way I wanted. He was in a crowd of horses, but he was comfortable. When I asked him, he got aggressive and then he got bumped around a little. But he had a good trip.”
VICTOR ESPINOZA, jockey aboard SINISTER MINISTER (16th)
“I ran out of horse. We went to the front, but the horse inside me (Keyed Entry) wouldn’t leave me alone. It was just one of those things. It’s horse racing.”
GARRETT GOMEZ, jockey aboard BOB AND JOHN (17th)
“I had a terrible trip. I was on heels or getting bumped the whole way. I never had a chance to settle. Just when I’d get to a spot where I could be comfortable, something would come and bang me again. It was wild out there. I never had a fair chance. This colt never got to run his race.”
COREY NAKATANI, jockey aboard A.P. WARRIOR (18th)
“We were tracking the winner, but he wasn’t handling the track. He just didn’t fire today and run his race.”
JOHN SHIRREFFS, trainer of A.P. WARRIOR (18th)
“To be honest, where I was down low, I didn’t get to see a lot of his race. The only thing I can tell you for sure is that he appears to have come out of it fine and, of course, I’m thankful for that.”
MARK GUIDRY, jockey aboard SHARP HUMOR (19th)
“He ran all right, but he was trying to get out pretty good all the way around. I just guess today wasn’t his day.”
DALE ROMANS, trainer of SHARP HUMOR (19th)
“He just wasn’t himself today. We were in good position down the lane here. Around the turn he started getting out a little bit and he never was really back in the race.”
Was he ever as close to the lead as you expected? “When he went by me here, I thought we were in a good spot because the other two horses sprinted away from the inside the way we thought they might. We had decided that if they did that just to clock them and we were laying third perfect.
“But we’ll bounce back. There will be another day.”
What did you think of the way Barbaro ran?
“Barbaro is a good horse. I’ve been a fan of his since I saw him run in the Tropical Park Derby January 1st. He’s a real good horse. That’s why I thought we had a shot because we had run competitive with him.”
PATRICK VALENZUELA, jockey aboard KEYED ENTRY (20th)
“He dragged me up there (to the lead). I didn’t want to be there and I tried to get him to relax, but he wasn’t having it. He was a runoff. I tried to make the best of it I could, but I didn’t have much luck.”
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