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Post Time: Derby 140 - The Morning After

By Gene Kershner 

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- As we put Kentucky Derby 140 in the books, let's take a look at some numbers from yesterday and news and notes from the backside on the morning after the Run for the Roses. Today's print column with my post-race commentary on the top three finishers and how two blue-collar owners turned $10,000 into a Kentucky Derby winner. I also live-blogged the undercard of the Derby right here on the Sports, Ink blog which you can see here.

- A large faction of the racing media was hoping that Kentucky Oaks winner Untapable would give the Preakness a go. Trainer Steve Asmussen ran super-filly Rachel Alexandra against the boys in 2009, defeating Mine That Bird at Pimlico. This morning Asmussen told the media that he is pointing her toward a race for fillies in New York.

- One last note on the Kentucky Oaks before moving into Derby news, six of the last 10 Fair Grounds Oaks winners have also won the Kentucky Oaks, that's an astonishing figure.

- The Maryland Jockey Club announced this morning several Preakness probables which include Derby winner California Chrome, Ride On Curlin and Commanding Curve (50/50 per Stewart) from the Derby. Ring Weekend, Kid Cruz, Pablo del Monte, Social Inclusion and Dynamic Impact are other probables for the second jewel.

- Speaking of jewels, ESPN's Chris Fallica had a couple this morning: "Since 1930, 22 Derby winning favorites of less than 3-1 ran in the Preakness, 13 won, five others finished second, the last being Big Brown in 2008 (won)."

- Per Fallica, "Dallas Stewart is the first trainer to have a Top 3 finish in consecutive Derbies with a horse at 15-1 or longer odds." Commanding Curve was 38-1 at post time on Saturday.

- Trainer Jimmy Jerkens will likely point fourth-place finisher Wicked Strong to the Belmont and skip the Preakness. He probably had one of the more interesting trips of all of the Derby horses after stumbling at the gate and bumping Candy Boy. He was five wide into the first turn after that and had quite a bit of ground to make up. In the stretch he had to move inside to avoid Danza and continued to weave through traffic to catch a piece of the superfecta.

Candy Boy had the misfortune of being the recipient of Wicked Strong's bumping early in the race taking him right out of the race according to Hall of Famer Gary Stevens. "I had a horrible trip. On the first turn Rajiv Maragh came over on Wicked Strong and shut me off. Then he shut Nakatani (on Dance With Fate) off, causing me to steady again. We're both lucky we didn't fall. We need to take care of the horse and rider," said Stevens.

- Fifth-place finisher Samraat will also skip the Preakness per trainer Richard Violette, Jr.

Ride On Curlin trainer Billy Gowan is looking at the Preakness, but will likely have another jockey aboard as this morning he wasn't too pleased with Calvin Borel's ride. He was the only trainer unavailable for comment after the Derby.

- Todd Pletcher will take his quartet back to New York to regroup and announce any decision later in the week as it relates to the Preakness. After the race he spoke about Intense Holiday's trip. "He was hung outside all the way around. He just never seemed to get with it," he said.

- One of the major reasons for the slower time, other than the moderate opening fractions was that their was a fairly strong headwind going against the runners down the stretch, which when counting the first run to the clubhouse turn is approximately 40% of the race running into the wind. (H/T @mikedorr77) California Chrome received a 97 Beyer Speed Figure in his Derby win.

- The attendance, the second highest ever was 164,906 and over $186 million was wagered on the 13-race program, including $23.4 million on track. On-track wagering on the Derby race totaled $11.9 million, an increase of 4 percent from the 2013 total. All sources wagering on the Kentucky Derby race declined 1 percent to $129.2 million.

- The race was worth $2,177,800, California Chrome took home $1,417,800; second place paid Commanding Curve $400,000; third place for Danza was worth $200,000; fourth place-finisher Wicked Strong brought home $100,000 and fifth-place finisher Samraat collected $60,000.

- The stud fee that DAP Partners (Steven Coburn and Perry Martin) paid for California Chrome's stallion Lucky Pulpit was $2,000, discounted from the listed fee in the Stallion Register of $2,500. 

- Buffalo once again cracked the top five in local TV markets for the Derby, finishing fourth behind Louisville, Ft. Myers and West Palm Beach. Buffalo received a 16.8 rating and 32 share, finishing right above Cincinnati who rounded out the top five.

Gene Kershner, a Buffalo-based turf writer, is a member of the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters Association, and tweets @EquiSpace.


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About Sports, Ink

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey has served in a variety of roles in Buffalo sports in the past 35 years, including reporter, talk-show host, baseball announcer, public relations staffer and author. He covers the Bandits and running for The News when not working as an editor.