Jumat, 03 Mei 2019

Jockey Mike Smith picks up Kentucky Derby 2019 mount - Horse Racing Nation

Jockey Mike Smith, the Triple Crown-winning rider whose 2019 Kentucky Derby mount, morning line favorite Omaha Beach, scratched earlier this week, won't be watching from the other side of the rail after all.

The Hall of Famer has received the assignment aboard Todd Pletcher-trained Cutting Humor, Churchill Downs announced.

Churchill's perennial meet-leading jockey Corey Lanerie had the mount at time of entries. A day later, on Wednesday evening, Omaha Beach's defection from the field due to a respiratory issue was announced, opening Smith up for new business.

Trainer Bob Baffert was quick to reassure Florent Geroux that he would remain aboard Roadster, the Santa Anita Derby (G1) Winner who also had Smith up for his most-recent race.

"I actually called Flo up...and it was so funny," Baffert said. "He was like ‘Are you taking me off boss?’ I was like ‘No, I’m all in.’ I could never do that."

Cutting Humor, who's campaigned by Starlight Racing, sits at 30-1 on the morning line from the No. 10 post position. With Smith up, he may take some money.

Starlight has a close connection to Smith, who rode Justify, a colt the Louisville-based ownership group bought into before his historic run through the 2018 Triple Crown series.

By First Samurai, Cutting Humor won the Sunland Derby in a record 1:46.94 for 1 1/8 miles back on March 24.

“The Sunland Park surface was pretty fast when he ran there," Pletcher said earlier this week, "but it’s pretty rare that you see 3-year-olds in March shade 1:47 going a mile and an eighth, so we thought that was a quality performance.”

Also this season, Cutting Humor finished seventh as the Southwest Stakes (G3) favorite at Oaklawn Park, with jockey John Velazquez up for both that race and the Sunland Derby. Velazquez rides Code of Honor in the Kentucky Derby.

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2019-05-03 12:11:15Z

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