Trainer Todd Pletcher announced this afternoon that Stanford would scratch from the Kentucky Derby. He was made a 30-1 shot by Mike Battaglia on the morning line in yesterday's draw. The scratch means that Frammento, the first of two horses on the also eligible list, will draw into the race for trainer Nick Zito.
Stanford, a son of Malibu Moon. qualified for the Derby based on a second-place finish in the Louisiana Derby behind International Star. He was in the No. 11 hole, not a bad draw, so the scratch was somewhat surprising among the press corps.
The News caught up with trainer Todd Pletcher in the paddock this afternoon who explained the scratch of Stanford and confirmed is was not due to injury. “We would like to go on to the Peter Pan or the Preakness. We felt like we were on the fence all along whether we were going to run or not and decided to enter and take a look at the post position draw. We wanted to see if any of the main contenders got a horrible draw,” said Pletcher.
The Preakness will be run two weeks at Pimlico on May 16, and the Peter Pan, a traditional prep race for the Belmont Stakes is scheduled for next weekend on May 9 at Belmont Park. Pletcher noted he would breeze Stanford on Saturday, the morning of the Derby.
“We feel at this stage of his development he’s better suited for the Peter Pan or Preakness. We were never fully committed to running, we just thought we’d take a look, it’s not a big story,” said Pletcher. The mount on Stanford would have been Florent Geroux's first Derby ride.
After taking a night to digest the tough post positions that his two top horses, Carpe Diem (No. 2) and Materiality (No. 3) drew last night, Pletcher was more upbeat than his disposition showed on Wednesday. “I like it even more. Angel Cordero told me this morning he won two Derbies from post two. That’s a lot of positive energy,” said Pletcher.
As for Frammento, he will wear No. 21, the colors are lavender with navy numerals. He'll move into gate 20 and every horse from gates 12 to 20 will move down one gate, but will retain their saddle cloth number.
Frammento finished fourth in the Blue Grass and third in the Fountain of Youth following a dismal sixth-place finish in the Holy Bull, garnering 20 Derby qualifying points. The son of former Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Midshipman has one win in seven starts.
Zito’s last horse that competed in the Kentucky Derby was Dialed In, the post time favorite in the 2011 Derby who finished eighth.
An updated draw sheet is included below:
|Saddle Number||Horse||Morning Line||Trainer||Jockey|
|1||Ocho Ocho Ocho||50-1||Cassidy||Trujillo|
|2||Carpe Diem||8-1||Pletcher||JR Velazquez|
|7||El Kabeir||30-1||Terranova II||Borel|
|18||American Pharoah||5-2||Baffert||V Espinoza|
|19||Upstart||15-1||Violette Jr.||Ortiz J|
|20||Far Right||30-1||Moquett||ME Smith|
|22 AE||Tale of Verve||50-1||Stewart||Hernandez|