Kentucky Derby Contender Profile: Solomini

Solomini-PPsBest Brisnet Speed Figure: 101 (Los Alamitos Futurity).

COMMENTS: Racing fans will instantly recognize the silks jockey Flavien Prat will wear aboard Solomini as the same ones Victor Espinoza wore as American Pharoah carried them to a Triple Crown victory in 2015. While the silks their jockeys’ wore will be the same, the horses bearing the Zayat Stables’ colors could not be more different. American Pharoah was easy going with a docile temperament that masked his fierce presence on the racetrack; Solomini is always aggressive from his stall to the track – and back – and often times can be difficult to handle, as his prep races have shown.

Solomini has had a fairly decent 2018 season and qualified to make the Derby starting gate without technically winning a race, though he crossed under the wire first in the Los Alamitos Futurity (G1) last December; he was disqualified after interfering with his foes in the stretch.

His second and third place finishes at Oaklawn Park were respectable, but also problematic in that he refused to change leads in the stretch runs. Despite that, however, he still made up ground.

Since then, his connections have been working hard in the mornings to remind him what he’s supposed to do, and trainer Bob Baffert’s go-to jockey, Martin Garcia, worked a nice lead change into him in his final move on Sunday.

Solomini is consistent and reliable for a top try, but will it be enough for a Kentucky Derby (G1) score?

Margaret Ransom
California native and lifelong horsewoman Margaret Ransom is a graduate of the University of Arizona’s Race Track Industry Program. She got her start in racing working in the publicity departments at Calder Race Course and Hialeah Park, as well as in the racing office at Gulfstream Park in South Florida. She then spent six years in Lexington, KY, at, where she helped create and develop the company’s popular newsletters: Handicapper’s Edge and Bloodstock Journal.

After returning to California, she served six years as the Southern California news correspondent for BloodHorse, assisted in the publicity department at Santa Anita Park and was a contributor to many other racing publications, including HorsePlayer Magazine and Trainer Magazine. She then spent seven years at HRTV and in various roles as researcher, programming assistant, producer and social media and marketing manager.

She has also walked hots and groomed runners, worked the elite sales in Kentucky for top-class consignors and volunteers for several racehorse retirement organizations, including CARMA.

In 2016, Margaret was the recipient of the prestigious Stanley Bergstein Writing Award, sponsored by Team Valor, and was an Eclipse Award honorable mention for her story, “The Shocking Untold Story of Maria Borell,” which appeared on The article and subsequent stories helped save 43 abandoned and neglected Thoroughbreds in Kentucky and also helped create a new animal welfare law known as the “Borell Law.”

Margaret’s very first Breeders’ Cup was at Hollywood Park in 1984 and she has attended more than half of the Breeders’ Cups since. She counts Holy Bull and Arrogate as her favorite horses of all time. She lives in Pasadena with her longtime beau, Tony, two Australian Shepherds and one Golden Retriever.

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