Bettors who have backed Kent Desormeaux
since the Hall of Fame jockey returned to Santa Anita three weeks ago have found a goldmine.
The three-time Eclipse Award winner and three-time Kentucky Derby winner has four wins, two seconds and one third from only 10 mounts, a 40 percent win average and a 70 percent in-the-money average.
But more important to his supporters at the mutuel windows, none of his winners have been favored. They have paid $13, $132.40, $13.20 and $14, a total win return of $172.60.
A $2 win bet on each of his 10 horses would have resulted in a profit of $152.60.
“He’s absolutely one of the greatest riders I’ve ever seen out here,” said veteran trainer David Bernstein, who gave Desormeaux a leg up on many horses, including The Wicked North, Eclipse Award winner as outstanding older male in 1994, when he was disqualified from the Santa Anita Handicap on a decision that remains controversial to this day.
“Of course, he rode The Wicked North very successfully,” Bernstein said, adding with a chuckle, “in most cases,” the reference being to the Big ’Cap DQ. “Kent had one bad one. What are you going to do, 20 years later? We did our best to fight the disqualification (through litigation) and didn’t win.
“Kent’s a great rider and I’m glad to see him back. The fact is, horses are running their eyeballs out for for him. In the San Antonio he ran second on a horse that looked to me like he had NO chance. In fact, I kept wondering to myself, ‘Why is that agent putting him on these kinds of horses?’ And then they run the best race they’ve run in years.
“That shows you he’s got the touch.” RACING MOURNS PASSING OF OWNER/BREEDER/TRAINER BILL CURRIN
Condolences to family and friends of Bill Currin, who bred, owned, and trained Stormello, winner of the Grade I Hollywood Futurity in 2006.
Currin died at 77 on Feb. 11 at his home in Solana Beach after a long illness. His wife of 58 years, Betty, was at his side, as she had been since they became childhood sweethearts in North Carolina.
The Currins raced several major stakes winners. Bill trained their homebred Memorette, a graded stakes-winning earner of $896,753. “Bill was a good guy who loved racing,” said Julio Canani, who trained for him for several years. “He would come to the track every morning at Del Mar. Both he and his wife enjoyed the game very much.”