The Grade 1 $2 million Kentucky Derby will be run Saturday at Churchill Downs and Golden Gate Fields will simulcast the entire Derby Day card from the historic Louisville racetrack. All gates at Golden Gate Fields will open 7:15 a.m. as first post at Churchill Downs is 7:30 a.m.
Golden Gate Fields will present a 10-race card of its own and post time for the first local race is 11:45 a.m.
Rousing Sermon has two wins, two seconds and four thirds in nine career starts. A California-bred colt by Lucky Pulpit, Rousing Sermon won the California Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita last year and most recently finished third in the Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds in New Orleans.
Rousing Sermon will be the fifth Kentucky Derby starter for Hollendorfer, who sent out Eye of the Tiger (who finished fifth) in 2003, Cause to Believe (13th) in 2006, Bwana Bull (15th) in 2007, and Chocolate Candy (fifth) in 2009. Rousing Sermon will be the first Derby starter for owners-breeders Larry and Marianne Williams of Boise, Idaho.
Rousing Sermon is listed at 50-1 on the Kentucky Derby morning line and will be ridden by New York-based jockey Jose Lezcano. The 4-1 morning-line favorite is Bodemeister, the brilliant winner of the Arkansas Derby.
The 20 horses set to start in the 1 1/4-mile Kentucky Derby, listed in post position order and with morning-line odds, are: Daddy Long Legs (30-1), Optimizer (50-1), Take Charge Indy (15-1), Union Rags (9-2), Dullahan (8-1), Bodemeister (4-1), Rousing Sermon (50-1), Creative Cause (12-1), Trinniberg (50-1), Daddy Nose Best (15-1), Alpha (15-1), Prospective (30-1), Went the Day Well (20-1), Hansen (10-1), Gemologist (6-1), El Padrino (20-1), Done Talking (50-1), Sabercat (30-1), I’ll Have Another (12-1), and Liaison (50-1). My Adonis is on the also eligible list and would need a scratch to draw into the field.
Hollendorfer will saddle two horses at Churchill Downs Saturday. Three races prior to the Derby, Hollendorfer will try to win the Grade 2 $200,000 Churchill Distaff Turf Mile with his multiple graded stakes-winner City to City.
Northern California trainer Jeff Bonde will also be competing at Churchill Downs on Derby Day. Bonde will send out his Grade 1 winning sprinter, Smiling Tiger, in the Grade 2 $400,000 Churchill Downs Stakes. Smiling Tiger will be out to make amends as he ran sixth as the favorite in last year’s Churchill Downs Stakes.
GGF NOTES: Friday’s entire Kentucky Oaks program at Churchill Downs will be simulcast to GGF. First post at Churchill is 7:30 a.m. GGF will open grandstand and club house gates at 7:15 a.m., the Turf Club at 10 a.m.