Storm the Court to target 2020 Kentucky Derby

Storm the Court to target 2020 Kentucky Derby
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire

Traditionally if all goes well, the champion 2-year-old male finds himself in the Kentucky Derby starting gate.

Following a sixth place finish in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby however, it looked likely that the 2019 Eclipse Award winner, Storm the Court, would sit out the Kentucky Derby.

Trainer Peter Eurton removed the blinkers from his colt following the Arkansas Derby and he responded with a third place finish in the Ohio Derby (G3) and a second place finish on the turf in the La Jolla (G3) last Sunday.

Eurton and his team have been pleased with their star's recent form and felt he deserved shot in the Derby.

"The owners feel that he has earned the right to go there," Eurton said. "Especially at the mile-and-a-quarter distance, he deserves a shot. I think it’s a tough race, but that has never scared us away before."

While others may falter in the final furlongs of the mile-and-one-quarter Kentucky Derby, Eurton is confident his colt will not be hindered by the added ground.

"He handled a mile and one eighth well enough in Ohio," Eurton said. "He had a rough trip as he was extremely wide, but he ran his best number ever. Going from a mile and an eighth to a mile and a quarter is asking a lot, but his daddy did it and it is in his bloodlines."

Eurton added the blinkers for Storm the Court's upset score in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, but has been satisfied since removing them once more prior to the Ohio Derby. He has no plans on adding the shades for the Kentucky Derby.

"At this stage, we feel he is better without them and is focused enough," Eurton said. "When he was younger he was more distracted by other horses, especially after losing the jockey at Del Mar and they helped him focus."

With strict protocols in place for jockeys traveling to the Kentucky Derby, Storm the Court may need another jockey. Eurton hopes that regular rider Flavien Prat is able to travel to ride his colt and has not decided on another rider yet if he can not.

"I can’t say at this point who we would turn to, but Prat has lots of confidence in the horse and we spoke and had a good talk so I am hoping he can ride," Eurton said.

Though the Derby is his next target, Eurton did not rule out a return to the turf down the road for Storm the Court following his solid second place effort in the La Jolla.

"He is a light, leggy horse and the way he moves and the way he is put together is like a turf horse," Eurton said. "It can take horses three of four starts over the turf to show their best so I am more likely than not to give him another try over the surface."

Storm the Court could be an intriguing turf horse down the road, but for now all roads point to Kentucky as the Court Vision colt looks to pull off the rare Breeders' Cup Juvenile-Kentucky Derby double.

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