Colt takes unusual route to Kentucky DerbyPosted: Tuesday April 29, 2003 8:05 PM
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- Outta Here took an unusual route to the Kentucky Derby.
The colt, co-owned and trained by Bill Currin, started his career in Southern California where he competed in 2-year-old stakes races against many of the divisional leaders.
He veered off the conventional path by closing out his first season with a victory in the $500,000 Delta Jackpot in December at Delta Downs, a track not known for developing Derby prospects.
Outta Here's lone Derby prep this season was the $2 million United Arab Emirates Derby in Dubai, where he finished fourth.
"I decided early on to go for the money," Currin said. "I won the $500,000 race and then, still in pursuit of more money, I went to Dubai for the $2 million."
The strategy paid off. Outta Here has earned $504,260 despite winning only two races.
Now the son of Dehere faces his biggest challenge in the Derby, racing's showcase event.
"I decided after Dubai to come back and run in the Derby," Currin said. "The horse deserved to run in the Derby and he had not spent himself in Dubai."
This will be Currin's first Derby starter. Two-time Kentucky Derby winner Kent Desormeaux will ride.
Aiming for the sky
With Kafwain declared out of the Derby and early favorite Empire Maker with a bruised foot, the Lone Star Sky camp decided to take the Derby challenge.
The runner-up in the Risen Star Stakes in February at the Fair Grounds, Lone Star Sky most recently ran fourth in the Illinois Derby.
Trainer Tom Amoss and owner Buddy New were undecided on whether to enter the Derby until news spread throughout the backstretch at Churchill Downs about Kafwain and Empire Maker.
"It was status quo but an hour-and-a-half later there were two major developments with Kafwain being declared out and Empire Maker not having one of his best days," Amoss said. "Mr. New was aware of those developments and we decided to drop him in."
Shane Sellers will ride the colt who worked five furlongs in 1:00 3/5.
A busy morning
Seven Derby prospects posted five-furlong workouts Tuesday morning.
In addition to Lone Star Sky, others working out at Churchill Downs included Eye Of The Tiger who went in 1:00 3/5, a drill that could earn the Lexington Stakes runner-up a Derby berth.
The Bob Baffert duo of Indian Express and Kafwain worked in company and stopped the clock in :59 3/5 for their joint drill. Kafwain was later scratched from Derby consideration with a ligament injury.
Baffert also announced that Senor Swinger, a Derby candidate, will skip the race to run on the grass Friday in the Crown Royal American Turf on the Kentucky Oaks undercard.
Offlee Wild, winner of the Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park in January, breezed in :59 1/5. The colt, sidelined two months with a bacterial infection, has been battling to make up for lost time.
"We've been playing catch-up all Spring, and I hope we've caught up," said trainer T.V. Smith, who will saddle his first Derby starter.
Arkansas Derby winner Sir Cherokee stopped the clock in 1:00 3/5.
Funny Cide, who finished second to Empire Maker in the Wood Memorial, worked in :58 2/5 at Belmont Park. He will fly to Churchill Downs on Wednesday afternoon.
Hollywood at Louisville
Steven Spielberg, Gary Ross and Frank Marshall, part owners of Atswhatimtalknbout are expected to arrive Thursday. They are principals in the production of the Seabiscuit movie slated for release this summer.
They acquired a 10 percent stake in the colt at the suggestion of retired Hall of Fame jockey Chris McCarron, who worked as a consultant on the film.
Atswhatimtalknbout bobbled at the start of the Santa Anita Derby and ran fourth as the betting favorite in his final Derby prep.
Funny Cide will try to become the first horse bred in New York to win the Kentucky Derby. ... The final times for the Derby winners span a wide range since the race went to 11/4 miles in 1896. Secretariat set the record of 1:59 2/5 in 1973, while Stone Street clocked in the slowest at 2:15 1/5 in 1908.