2024 Kentucky Derby Contenders: GRAND MO THE FIRST

The 150th Kentucky Derby (G1) is Saturday, May 4, at Churchill Downs, offering a record $5 million purse. The field is limited to 20 starters based on Derby qualifying points from dozens of prep races. 


Grand Mo The First

C’mon! Grand Mo the First?

The best we can say about this addition to the Kentucky Derby field is that he could make history — as the only winner with a name consisting of four words. (We found eight winners with three-word names, the most recent being I’ll Have Another in 2012)

How’s that for handicapping?

Grand Mo the First has finished third in his last four starts, albeit in stakes races, most recently 16 lengths behind Fierceness in the Florida Derby. He ran third in the Tampa Bay Derby, third in the Swale, and third in the Zuma Beach (on turf) as a 2-year-old.

A son of Uncle Mo, the bay colt was 21st on the Derby points leaderboard and moved into the field after Deterministic (16th) was declared out of the race on April 21.

Then again, Rich Strike made it into the 2022 Derby field the day before the race as an also-eligible and won at 80-1 odds.

This will be the first Derby for trainer Victor Barboza, Jr., and second for jockey Emisael Jaramillo, who finished 18th aboard Majesto in 2016.

According to Equibase charts, Grand Mo the First was bumped by a rival at some point in his last three races.

Barboza, meanwhile, is pumped.

“I’m very happy for my first opportunity to be in the Derby,” Barboza said upon learning he was in. “I’m excited it is official. I’ve been looking for the Derby since he ran in the Florida Derby.”

2024 Kentucky Derby Contenders Odds and Post Position: Grand Mo The First

Betting advice: Toss.

Post position: 15

Odds: 50/1

Jockey: Emisael Jaramillo

Trainer: Victor Barboza, Jr.

Owner: Granpollo Stable

Career record: 6-2-0-4

Career earnings: $214,640

Most recent race: Florida Derby, March 30, (3rd)

Top Equibase speed figure: 91

Pedigree: Uncle Mo-Lilies So Fair, by Giant’s Causeway

Color: Bay

Running style: Closer

Notes: His two – and only – wins came on the Gulfstream turf as a 2-year-old … Barboza is looking for his first Grade 1 win; he won a Grade 2 and Grade 3 in 2017 and the Grade 2 Salvatore Mile with Petulante in 2023 at Monmouth Park …  Purchased for $335,000 at the Ocala Breeders’ Sale for 2-year-olds in training.

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