By Ed McNamara
A late bloomer, Art Collector emerged as a Derby contender with five straight wins, including romps in the Blue Grass (G2) and Ellis Park Derby.
Like Tiz the Law, he’s 4-for-4 this year, has tactical speed and a nice turn of foot.
Best performance: Crushing superstar filly Swiss Skydiver by 3 1/2 lengths in the Blue Grass.
Big plus: He’s 2-for-4 over the quirky Churchill surface. Probable second betting choice can win if Tiz the Law isn’t himself.
Profiles will be updated with morning-line odds and post position after the field is drawn on Tuesday, Sept. 1
Post position: TBD
Jockey: Brian Hernandez, Jr.
Trainer: Tom Drury, Jr.
Owner: Bruce Lunsford
Career record: 9-5-1-0
Career earnings: $664,380
Top Equibase speed figure: 106
Kentucky Derby points: 150 (3rd)
Pedigree: Bernardini-Distorted Legacy, by Distorted Humor
Running style: Front-runner, stalker
Notes: This will be long-time trainer Tom Drury’s first Derby starter. Based at the Skylight Training Center near Goshen, Kentucky, he’s been training since 1991, and is starting to make a name for himself as he now has string of horses at Churchill Downs … Hernandez has a Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) victory on his resume – Fort Larned in 2012, will be riding in the Derby for the third time – he was 12th aboard Tom’s Ready in 2016 and eighth with McCraken in 2017 … Lunsford is CEO of a private investment company in Louisville, and the longtime owner is set to send out his first Derby starter.
(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|
|Dr Post||Todd Pletcher||Tyler Gaffalione|
|Max Player||Steve Asmussen||Ricardo Santana, Jr.|
|Caracaro||Gustavo Delgado||Javier Castellano|
|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.|
|Necker Island||Chris Hartman||Miguel Mena|
|Shirl’s Speight||Roger Attfield||Corey Lanerie|
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.