By Ed McNamara
This deep closer with no Derby points will be one of the longest shots in the 18-horse field. His best race this year was a 46-1 upset April 11 on an off track in the Oaklawn Stakes.
If you like to put $2 on every Derby horse who’s 20-1 or higher, you’ll be hoping for rain and rooting for Mr. Big News.
Owner Chester Thomas announced Monday that he would reroute his colt from the American Turf Stakes on the Derby undercard to the big race.
Mr. Big News’ last two workouts were on grass. Trainer Bret Calhoun said they’d been “keeping their options open,” adding that he thought Thomas “had a bad case of Derby fever the last couple days.”
On the plus side, Mr. Big News’ pedigree suggests that 1¼ miles should be less of a problem for him than for many of his opponents.
Profiles will be updated with morning-line odds and post position after the field is drawn on Tuesday, Sept. 1.
Post position: TBD
Jockey: Gabriel Saez
Trainer: Bret Calhoun
Owner: Allied Family Stables
Career record: 7-2-1-0
Career earnings: $168,553
Top Equibase speed figure: 96
Kentucky Derby points: 0
Pedigree: Giant’s Causeway-Unappeased, by Galileo
Running style: Deep closer
Notes: Gabriel Saez, 32, is an older cousin of Luis Saez, who finished first on Maximum Security in last year’s Derby but was disqualified for interference … In the 2008 Derby, Gabriel Saez rode the filly Eight Belles to a runner-up finish behind Big Brown. While galloping out, Eight Belles fractured her front ankles and had to be euthanized on the track … This will be Bret Calhoun’s second Derby starter – his first was in 2019, with By My Standards (11th).
(US Racing’s Kentucky Derby coverage will include profiles of the horses listed as probable for the race on Saturday, Sept. 5. Each day until the post-position draw on Tuesday, Sept. 1, US Racing will publish selected profiles of the contenders.)
|Tiz the Law||Barclay Tagg||Manny Franco|
|Authentic||Bob Baffert||John Velazquez|
|Art Collector||Tom Drury||Brian Hernandez, Jr.|
|Honor A.P.||John Sherriffs||Mike Smith|
|Ny Traffic||Saffie Joseph, Jr||Paco Lopez|
|King Guillermo||Juan Carlos Avilla||Samy Camacho|
|Thousand Words||Bob Baffert||Florent Geroux|
|Money Moves||Todd Pletcher||Javier Castellano|
|Max Player||Steve Asmussen||Ricardo Santana, Jr.|
|Enforceable||Mark Casse||Adam Beschizza|
|Major Fed||Greg Foley||James Graham|
|Storm the Court||Peter Eurton||Julien Leparoux|
|Attachment Rate||Dale Romans||Joe Talamo|
|Sole Volante||Patrick Biancone||Luca Panici|
|Finnick the Fierce||Rey Hernandez||Martin Garcia|
|Winning Impression||Dallas Stewart||Joe Rocco, Jr.|
|Mr Big News||Bret Calhoun||Gabriel Saez|
|Necker Island||Chris Hartman||Miguel Mena|
Ed McNamara is an award-winning journalist who has been writing about thoroughbred racing for 35 years. He has handicapped races for ESPN.com, Newsday and The Record of New Jersey. He is the author of “Cajun Racing: From the Bush Tracks to the Triple Crown” and co-author of “The Most Glorious Crown,” a chronicle of the first 12 Triple Crown champions.