Photo: Coady Photography
Gowan, the trainer of Arkansas Derby (G1) contender Ride on Curlin,
knew the colt was something special the first time he caught his eye.
picked him out of the Keeneland (September 2012 Yearling) sale. As soon
as I saw him, I called my owner and said, ‘You better get right over
here because we’re buying this
one.’ We didn’t have much time because he was already in the back ring.
We didn’t even have time to vet him. I gave twenty-five thousand for
Daniel Doherty’s investment proved wise as the son of Curlin, the 2007
Arkansas Derby winner and two-time Horse of the Year, has finished out
of the money only once in
eight starts and has earned $214,687.
has the chance to increase his bankroll significantly when he steps
into the starting gate Saturday in the $1 million Arkansas Derby.
on Curlin, who was third in both the Southwest Stakes (G3) and the
Rebel Stakes (G2) at Oaklawn, breezed seven furlongs in 1:26.4 here on
Apr. 6 under exercise rider Brian
worked really good and he’s ready,” said Gowan, who worked for Hall of
Fame trainers Jack Van Berg and Bill Mott before going out on his own 20
years ago. “I think he’s
ready to move forward from his third place in the Rebel, and he
Gowan currently has five horses in his care and Ride on Curlin is the stable star. He currently stands in 23rd
place with 15 points on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard,
but with 170 points (100-40-20-10 for finishing first through fourth)
up for the taking, a strong Arkansas Derby effort will punch his ticket
to the big show.
the best horse I’ve ever had, by far,” said Gowan, who trains on the
Oaklawn-Churchill Downs circuit. “I’ve never had an Arkansas Derby horse
before, let alone a Kentucky
Derby horse, so this is pretty exciting.”
Jon Court picks up the mount on Ride on Curlin.
positions for the Arkansas Derby will be drawn Wednesday at 12:30 p.m.
Central in the first floor of the Oaklawn Grandstand.
Arkansas Derby probables with riders are Bayern (Gary Stevens),
Commissioner (Mike Smith), Conquest Titan (Calvin Borel), Danza (Joe
Bravo), Strong Mandate (Luis Saez),
Tapiture (Joel Rosario) and Thundergram (Norberto Arroyo Jr.). Chitu
and Rebranded are possible.