LOUISVILLE — Starlight Racing and Skychai Racing will have an additional contender in Saturday's Kentucky Derby as the two partnerships announced Monday they had purchased stakes winner General a Rod outright from previous owner J. Armando Rodriguez.
Starlight Racing already had Grade II Risen Star Stakes winner Intense Holiday set for the first leg of the Triple Crown and Skychai Racing is among the owners of Grade III Spiral Stakes runner up Harry's Holiday. Terms of the deal for General a Rod were not disclosed.
"James Shircliff (of Skychai) has been trying to acquire this horse since January I think," said Jack Wolf of Starlight Racing. "He was finally successful in pulling it off. He invited Starlight into the ownership so we decided to do it and a few of our partners to come along so that's what we've done."
A release said that General a Rod will retain his current trainer Mike Maker and jockey Joel Rosario for Kentucky Derby and will carry the orange and turquoise colors of Shircliff in the race.
In a follow-up conversation, Wolf said there were no plans to move the son of Roman Ruler to another trainer post-Kentucky Derby.
"As far as I'm concerned, Mike Maker is the trainer now and tomorrow and until whenever," Wolf said. "He's done a fantastic job. There are no plans to move the horse."
General a Rod has yet to be off the board in five career starts and won the Gulfstream Park Derby in his season debut Jan. 1. The dark bay colt was second in the Grade II Fountain of Youth Stakes and third last time out in the Grade I Florida Derby.
"I like his race record, I like his pedigree, I like his running style," Wolf said. "Here's an opportunity to get involved in the equity of another horse running in the Derby and for the rest of his career. I think he's got a very bright future ahead of him."