Kentucky Derby Daily – Day 42
Napravnik has been more than the “man” this winter at the Fair Grounds, she has
been the “woman”. So when trainer Kelly Breen was looking for a jockey to ride
the other half of his Louisiana Derby entry, he was pleased to receive a call
from Rosie. In a marriage made somewhere between the French Quarter and Heaven,
Rosie and her mount, Pants on Fire, pressed the pace of longshot Liondrive, took
over the lead early in the stretch, and doggedly prevailed in the long stretch
drive to win the $1 million Louisiana Derby by a neck.
already clinched the leading rider at the Fair Grounds this meet, but today’s
win made it twice as sweet. In winning the biggest race of her career, she guided
the son of Jump Start and Cabo de Noche to victory over 36-1 Nehro, with race
favorite, Mucho Macho Man another ½ length back in 3rd. Final time
for the 1 1/8 miles over the fast Fair Grounds strip was a decent 1:49.92. Pants
on Fire, who was
coupled with stablemate Nacho Business, paid $14.60 to his supporters, while owners
George and Lori Hall collected first prize of a cool $600,000.
How did the
horse, who his trainer admitted was certainly considered the weaker half of the
entry not long ago, and finished a rather dull 6th in his last race,
take down the first $1 million race ever run in New Orleans? Let’s ask Rosie.
“He had a
lot of heart. They said he was best on the lead. And when the 5-horse went out
in front of us, I said if he’s stuck outside, hopefully he’s still well off.
But he ran with as much heart as a horse can run with down the lane. Mucho
Macho Man came up next to us and he just dug in and he really finished with all
was more than just Pants on Fire who showed their heart today at the Fair
I hate to
throw a damper on the big win for Team Pants on Fire, but as far as what the
result of this million dollar prep will mean in six week’s time at Churchill
Downs, probably not much. I would be hard pressed to find a reason how Pants on
Fire, nor anyone else in the field would make a huge dent on Derby Day. But who
cares, Rosie and Pants on Fire just won a million dollar race.
[Will Pants on Fire storm up HRN's 2011 Kentucky Derby Contender's list from his current #31 position?]