LOUISVILLE, KY (Sunday, May 7, 2023) – It was a celebration long into the night for the connections of Kentucky Derby 149 winner Mage, who had several fans and owners stop by Barn 42 Sunday morning to see the winner of Saturday’s Run for the Roses.
“For all of us, this was a lot of time dedication and sacrifice more than anything from these two boys (trainer Gustavo Delgado Sr. and assistant trainer/co-owner Gustavo Delgado Jr.),” co-owner Ramiro Restrepo said. “This is a game that you lose way more than you win. It’s a labor of love. You’re just dream chasing. Today is very special for all of us. This is the top of the mountain in this sport for so many. Everyone knows the Kentucky Derby around the world. It’s arguably, if not the, top race in the world. We had that dream come true. For one brief second, we can exhale, and look up, and enjoy this moment.”
The Delgado Team also was on hand at Churchill Downs Sunday morning and stated the Preakness Stakes (GI) remains in consideration.
“The horse is looking very good. I checked with the vet, and he’s fine,” Delgado Sr. said. “Winning the Kentucky Derby is different than winning the Triple Crown and Simon Bolivar in Venezuela. It’s the same but different.
“It was a very happy experience to win the Kentucky Derby with my son and family here. When we go out there and work every day, every day, every day, it’s the best. Winning the Kentucky Derby was the goal. This is a good thing.”
For the first time since Mine that Bird pulled off his 50-1 upset in the 2009 Run for the Roses, Barn 42 served as the residence of the Kentucky Derby winner.
Mage became the 13th winner to come out of that barn since 1972, and the second winner to come out of Stall 10. The other Stall 10 occupant was 2006 winner Barbaro, who also wore the No. 8 saddlecloth in his run to glory.
“This is something we wanted, we worked for this,” Delgado Jr. said. “My dad had accomplished pretty much everything in Venezuela. For him, at 60-years-old, to start over again, pretty much at zero… and for me, it’s the best example. I’m very proud of him.”
Mage is likely to remain at Churchill Downs for several days and could return to the track as soon as Tuesday.
TWO PHIL’S (second) – Patricia’s Hope, Phil Sagan and Madaket Stable’s Two Phil’s was doing well Sunday after the Derby in Barn 1 at Churchill Downs, according to trainer Larry Rivelli’s staff who were doing their daily barn chores.
Two Phil’s, the winner of the Jeff Ruby Steaks (GIII) in late March, nearly became the second consecutive winner out of the race following Rich Strike’s victory in Kentucky Derby 148.
“He proved his race at Turfway was no joke,” jockey Jareth Loveberry said. “It was tough to run second like that but I know this horse gave me his all. He fought back when Mage came to him. I can’t say enough about everyone who’s been involved with this horse. It’s been such an emotional journey to get to this point in my career. I’ve had so many ups and downs throughout the years. The most amazing part about the Derby was being here with my family. They let me do what I love and it means everything to me.
“I’ll never forget the feeling (turning for home in front in the Derby). The view of the stretch, the crowd and the feeling I was going to win.”
Rivelli, who was getting on a plane to Chicago Sunday morning, stated there are no immediate plans for the colt’s next start.
ANGEL OF EMPIRE (third), HIT SHOW (fifth), VERIFYING (16th), Jace’s Road (17th) – Without having time to fully go over them, trainer Brad Cox said all four of his Kentucky Derby runners were doing well Sunday morning. Albaugh Family Stables’ Angel of Empire, the 4-1 post time favorite, provided Cox with the best finish of the four by coming in third. He was followed by Gary and Mary West’s Hit Show in fifth, Coolmore’s Verifying in 16th and West Point Thoroughbreds and Albaugh Family Stables’ Jace’s Road in 17th.
“We’re going to go over these horses this morning and hopefully they come out of it in good shape,” Cox said. “Hit Show had a good trip. He had every opportunity, but was just fifth best. Manny (Franco) did a fantastic job on him. Angel of Empire was outrun early. He closed into a hot pace. He kind of tracked Mage from the half-mile pole on. Flavien (Prat) went when he went. If you watch the two of them together, you could say that Mage was traveling a little easier than Angel of Empire. Angel of Empire just kept coming and coming, so big effort on his part. It’s a hard race to get in and even harder to win.”
Cox said it’s still too early to know if any of the four Derby horses would move on to the Preakness Stakes in two weeks, but he does plan to be represented in the race.
“Right now, First Mission is our Preakness horse,” Cox said. I don’t know if we’ll add any of these horses, but we’ll have to make a decision soon. First Mission had a fantastic work yesterday (five furlongs in :59.80). I’m very happy with what we’re seeing.”
Godolphin LLC’s First Mission won the Lexington Stakes (GIII) April 15 in just his third career start.
DISARM (fourth) – Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Disarm was back in Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen’s Barn 38 Sunday morning following his fourth-place finish in the Kentucky Derby.
“He’s faced a lot of adversity this year,” Asmussen said. “We’re very proud of how he handled himself through it all.”
DERMA SOTOGAKE (JPN) (sixth) – Hiroyuki Asanuma’s Derma Sotogake (JPN) Derby dreams were dashed at the start when he brushed the gate leaving post 14.
“It was an important race, but the moment the gate opened was everything,” trainer Hidetaka Otonashi said. “My strategy was to race in front, but I got into a situation where I couldn’t do that at all and it was impossible to come back from that position.
“I wanted to make a good lead if possible. (Jockey Christophe) Lemaire said he felt good, but again he was poorly positioned. I think it is all about the late start out of the gate.”
Derma Sotogake is scheduled to return to Japan on Monday with the Japan Dirt Derby on July 12 as the next goal.
TAPIT TRICE (seventh), Kingsbarns (14th) – Trainer Todd Pletcher was back on the job at Barn 39 early Sunday morning following the running of Kentucky Derby 149 Saturday in which his two colts – Tapit Trice and Kingsbarns – competed with the former finishing seventh and the latter 14th.
“They both came out of it well,” he said, “and we’ll be vanning them up to New York at some point in the next while.”
Pletcher also had planned to run the likely Derby favorite – 2-year-old champion Forte – in the headliner but on the morning of the race Kentucky state racing veterinarians deemed the colt not ready to compete because of an issue with his right front hoof.
The two colts he did get to run were Derby starters 63 and 64 for the Hall of Fame conditioner. He won the Run for the Roses in 2010 with Super Saver and again with Always Dreaming in 2017.
Pletcher also said he’d likely be shipping his two of Kentucky Oaks horses – Gambling Girl, who finished second, beaten a neck, in Friday’s 149th edition of the “Run for the Lilies,” and Julia Shining, who never made it off the also-eligible list – to New York.
“There’s still a chance we might run Julia Shining in the Black-Eyed Susan at Pimlico during Preakness Week,” the conditioner noted. “I’ll have to huddle with the owners on that.”
RAISE CAIN (eighth) – Andrew and Rania Warren’s Raise Cain headed back to Keeneland on Sunday to trainer Ben Colebrook’s main base of operations.
Plans are to be determined for the Gotham (GIII) winner.
“We will see how he comes out of this race, but there are no definite plans for his next race,” Colebrook said. “He ran hard and had a tough trip late in the race.”
ROCKET CAN (ninth) – Frank Fletcher Racing Operation’s Rocket Can was in good shape Sunday morning at Barn 19, according to Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott’s chief assistant Kenny McCarthy.
The Mott barn enjoyed success on the Derby undercard Saturday with Godolphin’s Cody’s Wish returning to the winner’s circle in the $750,000 Churchill Downs Stakes (GI).
Even though Rocket Can did not win the Run for the Roses, the Mott barn still played a part in the success of Mage’s victory. His dam, Puca, was trained by Mott and finished 12th in the 2015 Longines Kentucky Oaks (GI).
CONFIDENCE GAME (10th) – Don’t Tell My Wife Stables and Ocean Reef Racing Stables’ Confidence Game “seemed happy” Sunday morning following his 10th-place finish in the Derby and will be considered for the Preakness Stakes, according to trainer Keith Desormeaux.
“Yes, if he’s up to it. Absolutely,” Desormeaux said via text message.
SUN THUNDER (11th) – All was well with the Kenny McPeek-trained Sun Thunder Sunday morning following his 11th-place finish in the Kentucky Derby.
McPeek reported Saturday that the Belmont Stakes (GI) could be in play for his next start.
MANDARIN HERO (12th) – Hiroaki Arai’s Mandarin Hero (JPN) is scheduled to return to Japan Monday with connections looking at the Japan Dirt Derby on July 12.
Mandarin Hero had a wide trip and was bumped hard in the second turn under Kazushi Kimura in his second U.S. start following a runner-up finish in the Santa Anita Derby (GI).
“I was hoping to finish in the top five, but it turned out to be a disappointing result. But I am glad I took on the challenge,” trainer Terunobu Fujita said.
“The horse behaved well throughout the walkover, paddock and post parade. And he loaded into the gate well, so the atmosphere was no problem.
“The start was good and I was in good position along the way, so I believed that he would use his good legs at the end. I can only give thanks to Mandarin Hero for running hard until the end even though his face was caked with mud. I am very proud of him and I appreciate everyone who cheered us on.”
Also heading back to Japan on Monday is Continuar (JPN), who was withdrawn from the Derby Thursday night by trainer Yoshito Yahagi. Continuar also will target the Japan Dirt Derby.
REINCARNATE (13th) – Trainer Tim Yakteen was closing up shop Sunday morning at Barn 27 on the Churchill backside, getting things ship shape so he and his wife, Millie Ball, could catch a plane back to Los Angeles later in the day.
He had made arrangements for another plane to take the six runners he had brought east to run on the Derby Day card to return to their Santa Anita headquarters on Wednesday.
“Reincarnate came out of the Derby (he finished 13th after running forwardly early on) in good shape,” the conditioner said.
He also reported that Practical Move, the big colt who had spiked a fever during Derby Week and never got a chance to run in the 149th edition of the Kentucky Derby, was recovering nicely and that he, too, would be aboard the Wednesday flight.
KING RUSSELL (15th) – Trainer Ron Moquett reported that Brereton C. Jones and Naber Racing’s King Russell exited his 15th-place finish in the Kentucky Derby in good order and that next race plans are pending.
CYCLONE MISCHIEF (18th) – Albaugh Family Stables’ Cyclone Mischief was the final entrant in this year’s Kentucky Derby but after a tough start, he finished 18th.
Trainer Dale Romans chief assistant Baldemar Bahena stated the barn was disappointed in the outcome but the horse was doing fine Sunday morning.