An Update On The Cardinal Horses

USA TODAY Sports

From Card Chronicle Thoroughbred Racing Correspondent, Carly Kaiser

In his first race at Gulfstream Park, Gorgui came in third, thirteen lengths behind the top two finishers. It is worth making note that his trainer Nick Zito has about a 5% win percentage on first time runners, so it wasn't out of the ordinary for him not to win. Don't let that number scare you, as Zito has won the Kentucky Derby twice (1991 and 1994) and is in the Hall of Fame. Gorgui is in good hands with him.

Siva is also down in Florida but with another trainer, Dale Romans. About a month ago Romans was awarded an Eclipse Award for outstanding trainer-the highest honor in the sport. This was the first time the Louisville native has won such a prestigious award. As for the horse, in his first race back on January 10, he finished dead last out of nine horses, also at Gulfstream. He broke from the gate last, and stayed there the rest of the way. All the chart has to say was that he was "never a threat". He was going to race a few days ago in a claiming race but was scratched. A claiming race means anyone is for sale, and he was listed for $25,000. He has since worked out, going 5F in 1:03.14. He was the 14th fastest out of 15 that day.

Russdiculous is another that is not doing so hot. His first three races were at Santa Anita and Hollywood Park out in Los Angeles. Due to lackluster performances they shipped him up to Golden Gate Fields out in San Francisco, definitely a step down in competition. With jockey Russell Baze on his back, they finished third out of six, but was pretty close to the front. Baze has more wins as a jockey than any in US history, second in the world, at nearly 12,000 to his credit, and finishes in the top three at Golden Gate around 50% of the time. As for Russdiculous, he is back down at Santa Anita and is working out, but is not one of the quickest at that track.

Goldencents is definitely the horse we need to all focus on. He has only lost one race out of four, and that was behind a very talented horse Shanghai Bobby. He and Russdiculous have the same trainer in Doug O'Neill. Last year Team O'Neill won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness with I'll Have Another, so they are all very familiar with preparing a horse for the first Saturday in May. Six trainers have won back-to-back Derbys, so it is not impossible. His jockey is also a guy named Kevin Krigger, who has never ridden in the Kentucky Derby before. He is a stand up guy who is more than excited to be on his first Derby-caliber horse. If they all make it to Churchill, he will be the first African American jockey to even ride in the Derby since Marlon St. Julien in 2000.

Goldencents' next race is the Sham Stakes on March 9, then the Santa Anita Derby on April 6, then the Kentucky Derby on May 4. But it should be noted that while Rick Pitino does own this horse, he only owns a small percentage of him.

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