The 149th Kentucky Derby (G1) presented by Woodford Reserve will be run on Saturday, May 6, at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. The purse is $3 million, with $1.86 million going to the winner. US Racing is profiling each horse in the field. The post-position draw is Monday, May 1. Profiles will be updated with post positions and odds following the draw.
By US Racing Team
After his horse blew away the field to win the UAE Derby (G2) by 5 ½ lengths and qualify for the Kentucky Derby (G1), the owner of Derma Sotogake did not hesitate: “Yes, I will go,” said 73-year-old Hiroyuki Asanuma.
Not only will Derma Sotogake give Japan a strong shot at winning the Kentucky Derby for the first time, but it will also be the first time the longtime owner has been to Churchill Downs, or Kentucky for that matter.
“I have been in this business for 30 years and this is my first big horse,” Asanuma said after the UAE Derby on March 25.
While the chestnut son of Mind Your Biscuits, along with fellow Japan-bred Continuar, the connections will arrive Derby week.
Derma Sotogake has won four of his last five races after starting his career 0-for-3. He ran third in the Saudi Derby prior to his impressive romp in Dubai, with Japan-based horses finishing 1-2-3-4. Continuar was third, 10 lengths behind the winner.
On April 19, the colt had his first breeze at Churchill Downs, going 4 furlongs in 49.60 seconds under exercise rider Masatoshi Segawa.
“I am really happy with how he moved today,” Segawa said after the work. “He felt great. We didn’t want to go too fast today so I had to keep a strong hold on him throughout and even then he performed brilliantly. Now I can start to get really excited about Derby Day.”
On April 26, the colt was clocked going 4 furlongs in 48.60 and 1:01.40 for 5 furlongs under Segawa.
Kate Hunter, the representative for the Japan Racing Association, said the track surface at Churchill seems to be firmer than in Japan and Dubai, but feels Derma Sotogake is comfortable on the track.
Japan-based horses have excelled over the past year, winning big races all over the world. Could a win in the Derby be next?
Post position: 17
Trainer: Hidetaka Otanashi
Jockey: Christophe Lemaire
Owner: Hiroyuki Asanuma
Career record: 8-4-0-1
Career earnings: $1,162,164
Derby qualifying points: 100 (7th)
Best Equibase speed figure: NA
Pedigree: Mind Your Biscuits-Amour Poesie, by Neo Universe
Running style: Front-runner
Notes: Horses coming from the UAE Derby are 0-for-18 in the Kentucky Derby (best finish was fifth by Master of Hounds in 2011) … Kate Hunter, the JRA rep for Churchill Downs, explains the name Derma Sotogake: “So, Mr. Asanuma uses the word Derma in front of all of his horses. It’s like a prefix that he uses for every one of his racehorses. And it’s short for dermatology because he’s a dermatologist. He has a successful practice in Hokkaido And then, each year, he chooses a theme for naming his 2-year-olds. And last year, it was sumo techniques. And Sotogake is a kind of leg behind your opponent trip move in sumo.”
|1||Hit Show||Franco||Brad H. Cox||West, Gary and Mary||30-1|
|2||Verifying||Gaffalione||Brad H. Cox||Poulin, Jonathan, Westerberg, Magnier, Mrs. John, Smith, Derrick and Tabor, Michael B.||15-1|
|3||Two Phil’s||Loveberry||Larry Rivelli||Patricia’s Hope LLC and Sagan, Phillip||12-1|
|4||Conficence Game||Graham||J. Keith Desormeaux||Don’t Tell My Wife Stables||20-1|
|5||Tapit Trice||Saez||Todd A. Pletcher||Whisper Hill Farm, LLC and Gainesway Stable (Antony Beck)||5-1|
|6||Kinkngbarns||J. Ortiz||Todd A. Pletcher||Spendthrift Farm LLC||12-1|
|7||Reincartnate||Velazquez||Tim Yakteen||SF Racing LLC, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables LLC, Masterson, Robert E., Stonestreet Stables LLC, Schoenfarber, Jay A., Waves Edge Capital LLC and Donovan, Catherine||50-1|
|8||Mage||Castellano||Gustavo Delgado||OGMA Investments, LLC, Restrepo, Ramiro, Sterling Racing LLC and CMNWLTH||15-1|
|SCR||Skinner||Hernandez||John A. Shirreffs||C R K Stable||20-1|
|SCR||Practical Move||Vazquez||Tim Yakteen||Amestoy, Jr., Pierre Jean, Amestoy, Leslie A. and Beasley, Roger K.||SCR|
|9||Disarm||Rosario||Steven M. Asmussen||Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC||30/1|
|10||Jace’s Road||Geroux||Brad H. Cox||West Point Thoroughbreds and Albaugh Family Stables LLC||15-1|
|11||Sun Thunder||Hernandez Jr||Kenneth G. McPeek||R.T Racing Stable and Cypress Creek Equine||30-1|
|12||Angel Of Empire||Prat||Brad H. Cox||Albaugh Family Stables LLC||8-1|
|13||Forte||I. Ortiz JR.||Todd A. Pletcher||Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable||3-1|
|14||Raise Can||Corrales||Ben Colebrook||Warren, Andrew and Warren, Rania||15-1|
|15||Derma Sotogake||Lemaire||Hidetaka Otonashi||Hiroyuki Asanuma||10-1|
|16||Rocket Can||Alvarado||William I. Mott||Frank Fletcher Racing Operations, Inc.||15-1|
|SCR||Lord Miles||Lopez||Todd A. Pletcher||Vegso Racing Stable||30-1|
|17||Continuar||Sakai||Yoshito Yahagi||Lion Race Horse Co. Ltd.||50-1|
|18||Cyclone Mischief||J. Rosario||D. Romans||Albaugh Family Stables LLC and Castleton Lyons.||30-1|
|19||Mandarin Hero||Kazushi Kimura||Terunobu Fujita||Hiroaki Arai.||20-1|
|20||King Russell||Rafael Bejarano||Ron Moquett||Jones, Brereton C. and Naber Racing, LLC||50-1|
The writing team at US Racing is comprised of both full-time and part-time contributors with expertise in various aspects of the Sport of Kings.