Saturday, April 20th.
Louisville, KY (Sports Network) - Defections from the Kentucky Derby by two of trainer Bob Baffert's 3-year-olds could open the door for another of Todd Pletcher's Kentucky Derby hopefuls.
On Tuesday, Baffert notified Churchill Downs that Super Ninety Nine and Den's Legacy will not be entered in the Run for the Roses on May 4. That puts Lexington Stakes winner Winning Cause into the top 20 on the Kentucky Derby points list.
"We're going to see how he trains this week and I'm considering breezing him on Sunday," Pletcher said about entering the Alto Racing 3-year-old. "We won't make any sort of decision until then."
Pletcher has Verrazano, Revolutionary, Overanalyze and Palace Malice pointed toward the Run for the Roses with Charming Kitten a possible starter based on points accumulated.
Joining Pletcher's team as a favorite for the Derby is Florida Derby winner Orb, trained by Shug McGaughey. The colt has won four straight as has Verrazano.
McGaughey is pleased with the physical development of Orb who will have Dubai World Cup winning jockey Joel Rosario in the saddle.
"He gained weight between the Fountain of Youth and the Florida Derby," McGaughey said. "He was a totally different horse in looks and demeanor."
Orb is owned by Stuart Janney III and Phipps Stable and was training at Payson Park in Florida prior to arriving at Churchill Downs this week.
"There was not a whole lot to look at when he was at Payson (Park)," McGaughey said. "There's no lights, no grandstand and not a lot of activity. There you have deer and you can hear the cows move."