Kentucky Derby

Kentucky Derby notes: Giant Finish steps up to claim 20th spot in field

Dreaming of Julia, with John R. Velazquez aboard, won The Gulfstream Oaks (Grade II) horse race March 30 at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla.
Dreaming of Julia, with John R. Velazquez aboard, won The Gulfstream Oaks (Grade II) horse race March 30 at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla. Gulfstream Park

LOUISVILLE — There are hydraulic machines with fewer moving parts than this year's Kentucky Derby field.

One day after it looked as if Fear The Kitten would be the final entrant in Saturday's 11/4-mile race, a surprise participant emerged Tuesday when the owners of Giant Finish contacted Churchill Downs officials to indicate their desire to run in the first leg of the Triple Crown.

Giant Finish finished third in the Grade III Horsehoe Casino Cincinnati Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park in March, giving him 10 points on the Kentucky Derby leader board.

That total trumps Fear The Kitten's six points and will make Giant Finish the 20th horse in the standings, barring any other last-minute interests.

The field will be set when the drawing for post positions is done Wednesday.

Trainer Tony Dutrow, who handles Giant Finish for Sunrise Stable, said he "agreed to support my owners' decision to run in the Kentucky Derby" but was not going to travel to Louisville to saddle the chestnut colt for the race.

"I am so surprised at all this," Dutrow said. "I was pleasantly surprised and happy to see he ran as well as he did (in the Spiral)."

Dutrow had been pointing Giant Finish toward an allowance race at Belmont Park in early May.

When contacted by, co-owner Andrew Cohen said, "You only live once."

A jockey is still being lined up to ride Giant Finish.

Bred by Cohen, Giant Finish has two wins in five career starts. Both victories came on the dirt at Aqueduct. Dutrow said the colt would be taken to Louisville on Wednesday in a van from his base at Fair Hill in Maryland and would arrive at Churchill Downs on Thursday morning.

Another possible contender is Carving, most recently sixth in the Grade II San Felipe Stakes. His new ownership group, headed by Dr. Mark Dedomenico, told Churchill officials that a Thursday morning flight to Louisville from his base at Emerald Downs is on standby should there be any defections.

The scramble to fill the 20th and final spot in the Derby field came after trainer Bob Baffert said both Sunland Derby winner Govenor Charlie and Code West were out of the Derby and trainer Todd Pletcher said he would not enter Coolmore Lexington Stakes winner Winning Cause.

Dreaming of Julia made morning-line pick for Oaks

Dreaming of Julia, the 21¾-length winner of the Grade II Gulfstream Park Oaks, drew post No. 8 in a field of 11 entered for Friday's Kentucky Oaks and was made the 3-1 favorite in what is being called one of the best editions of the race in recent years.

Spendthrift Farm's Beholder, the reigning 2-year-old filly champion, was made the co-second choice on the morning line at 7-2 along with Unlimited Budget and will break from post No. 3.

The Oaks, to be run over 11⁄8 miles on the main track, highlights a 12-race program that includes five other stakes.

Dreaming of Julia and Unlimited Budget are two of the four starters trainer Todd Pletcher will saddle in the Oaks. Dreaming of Julia scored her brilliant win at Gulfstream after running second in the Davona Dale in her season debut.

Beholder defeated Dreaming of Julia among others when she won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies last November. Following a runner-up finish in the Santa Ynez to start her 2013 campaign, the daughter of Henny Hughes has won the Grade I Las Virgenes and Grade I Santa Anita Oaks this season.

Kentucky Derby draw

When: 5 p.m. Wednesday

TV: NBC Sports

Kentucky Derby points

1. Orb 150

2. Verrazano 150

3. Goldencents 129

4. Java's War 122

5. Overanalyze 110

6. Revolutionary 110

7. Lines of Battle 100

8. Vyjack 70

9. Will Take Charge 60

10. Itsmyluckyday 50

11. Black Onyx 50

12. Palace Malice 50

13. Normandy Invasion 44

14. Frac Daddy 44

15. Mylute 42

16. Oxbow 36

17. Falling Sky 30

18. Charming Kitten 20

19. Golden Soul 14

20. Giant Finish 10

21. Fear The Kitten 6

Ties are broken by winnings in graded stakes.

Kentucky Oaks

When: Friday, 5:45 p.m. For: 3-year-old fillies Distance: 11⁄8 miles Grade: I Purse: $1 million TV: NBC Sports

PP Horse Trainer Jockey Odds

1 Silista Todd Pletcher Gary Stevens 20-1

2 Midnight Lucky Bob Baffert Rafael Bejarano 9-2

3 Beholder Richard Mandella Garrett Gomez 7-2

4 Unlimited Budget Todd Pletcher Javier Castellano 7-2

5 Seaneen Girl Bernard Flint Rosie Napravnik 20-1

6 Princess of Sylmar Todd Pletcher Mike Smith 20-1

7 Pure Fun Ken McPeek Julien Leparoux 30-1

8 Dreaming of Julia Todd Pletcher John Velazquez 3-1

9 Rose to Gold Sal Santoro Calvin Borel 15-1

10 Flashy Gray Bill Mott Junior Alvarado 15-1

11 Close Hatches Bill Mott Joel Rosario 6-1

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