Rick Pitino is having quite a week.
The Louisville Cardinals basketball coach is prepping his team to play in the NCAA championship on Monday night, was elected into the Naismith Hall of Fame, saw his son, Richard, get hired to fill the Minnesota Golden Gophers coaching vacancy and had a horse he co-owns—Goldencents—win the Santa Anita Derby.
These are good omens for Goldencents’ chances in the Kentucky Derby, which is the next race that the three-year-old is scheduled to run—taking place on May 4 this year.
Let’s take a look at the latest info and odds for this contender in the 2013 Derby.
*Odds courtesy of KentuckyDerby.com’s Future Wager Pool.
Trainer: Doug O’Neill
Jockey: Kevin Krigger
Despite the fact that Goldencents claimed victory in an extremely important Derby prep race, many bettors still don’t believe in his chances to finish first at Churchill Downs.
However, Goldencents has a great pedigree as the offspring of Into Mischief and Golden Works and one of the most successful trainers working in horse racing today, Doug O’Neill.
O’Neill won at Santa Anita last year with I’ll Have Another, a horse that went on to claim first at the Kentucky Derby and Preakness before being shut down due to tendonitis prior to the Belmont Stakes.
He’s reportedly (h/t DRF.com) following the same sort of preparation plan with Goldencents, and it could certainly pay off in the same sort of manner.
There’s definitely concern about inexperienced jockey Krigger, who won his first-ever Grade I race this past Saturday at Santa Anita. The St. Croix native is fortunate that O’Neill works well with no-name jockeys, as the trainer helped rider Mario Gutierrez become a star with I’ll Have Another in 2012.
Another knock on Goldencents is his initial burst out of the gate and desire to the set the pace, which doesn’t bode well against some of the stronger horses that he will see in the Derby field.
However, Krigger was able to keep him off the lead at Santa Anita and capitalized with a late surge to win the race.
If he can continue practicing those types of runs, Goldencents will be successful in Louisville next month.
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