LOUISVILLE — Eclipse Award-winning jockey Garrett Gomez will ride Master of Hounds in the Kentucky Derby. His agent, Tony Matos, confirmed the deal Friday.
Master of Hounds is coming off a runner-up finish in the UAE Derby. He finished sixth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf last year at Churchill Downs.
The 39-year-old Gomez has two Eclipse Awards for outstanding jockey but has yet to win a Triple Crown race. He came close in the Derby two years ago, guiding Pioneerof the Nile to a second-place finish behind Mine That Bird.
Gomez won the Breeders' Cup Classic aboard Blame last November to hand superstar mare Zenyatta the only loss of her career.
Never miss a local story.
Decisive Moment works
Trainer Juan Arias sent Decisive Moment to the Churchill Downs track Friday for a 5-furlong work, completed in 1:01.40 under jockey Jesus Castanon.
"He did excellent. That's what I wanted him to do. I told Jesus, 'Last time we worked we worked a bullet, so you don't need to go that fast this time,''' said Arias, whose colt turned in splits of :12.60, :25.20, :37, :49.20 and galloped out 6 furlongs in 1:15. "We aimed for between 1:01 and 1:02, so it was right on the money."
Decisive Moment, whose second-place finishes in the Grade III Delta Jackpot in late November and Grade III Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes at Turfway in his most recent start gave him the graded earnings to make the Derby field, was the first Kentucky Derby contender to arrive at Churchill on March 28.
"He loves this atmosphere. He got here early enough that he got acclimated to the weather. By being here early I think it helps a lot," Arias said. "He just loves Churchill Downs."
The stretch of rainy weather during his extended stay at Churchill has not dampened Arias' enthusiasm over his Derby experience.
"I came early enough that I've been able to train him over different type of conditions on this track," he said. "He's adjusted to every one of them."
Arias never has saddled a Derby starter.
"This is what you get up for every day. You get up; do your job; do the best you can with the stock that you have; rotate horses until you get the chance to run into a horse like Decisive Moment," he said.
Two Oaks hopefuls out
Two fillies were taken off the Kentucky Oaks trail after working out at Churchill on Friday, the Daily Racing Form reported.
Fantasy Stakes runner-up Arienza will run in the Eight Belles on the Derby undercard, trainer Dan Peitz told the Web site.
And Delightful Mary was ruled out by trainer Mark Casse after she went 5 furlongs in 1:013⁄5. A 14-horse maximum field is still likely for the Oaks. Entries will be drawn Tuesday.