By Ed McNamara
Trivia question: Who’s the only horse in the Derby field to finish ahead of Tiz the Law?
It’s Finnick the Fierce, the one-eyed gelding who was 87-1 when he edged the superstar by a head for
second last fall in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs.
Don’t expect that to happen Sept. 5. “Finnick” is gritty and easy to root for, but he hasn’t finished first in his last eight races, although he was moved up from second to first in an allowance/optional claimer on April fourth after Winning Impression was DQ’d. on April 4). In his previous ran, he was seventh in the Blue Grass.
The streak won’t end in the Derby.
Profiles will be updated with morning-line odds and post position after the field is drawn on Tuesday, Sept. 1
Post position: TBD
Jockey: Martin Garcia
Trainer: Rey Hernandez
Owner: Arnaldo Monge, Rey Hernandez
Career record: 9-2-1-2
Career earnings: $191,200
Top Equibase speed figure: 99
Kentucky Derby points: 25 (17th)
Pedigree: Dialed In-Southern Classic, by Southern Image
Running style: Mid-pack rallier
Notes: Finnick’s right eye was removed shortly after birth due to a congenital cataract, but Dr. Arnaldo Monge, the veterinarian who made the diagnosis, still purchased him for $3,000; trainer Rey Hernandez is co-owner … This will be Hernandez’s first Derby starter in his sixth year as a trainer … Garcia will be competing in his fifth Derby. His best finish was third with Bob Baffert-trained Dortmund in 2015.
(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.