LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Trainer Todd Pletcher told the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission's stewards on Thursday that Stanford has been withdrawn from Saturday's Kentucky Derby, a Churchill Downs spokesman said. Pletcher said the colt will await the Peter Pan Stakes on May 9 at Belmont Park or the Preakness Stakes on May 16.
The scratch allows long shot Frammento, trained by two-time Derby winner Nick Zito, to draw into the field. Frammento will start from post 20, and each horse that was drawn outside of Stanford (post 11) will move one spot closer to the rail.
What's in a name? In horse racing, usually some creativity. Here are the back stories behind the names of some of Saturday's Derby runners.
Ahmed Zayat, a native of Egypt, bred and owns American Pharoah, sired by Pioneerof the Nile. Zayat also owns El Kabeir ("the boss") and Mr. Z, named for himself.
Soccer fan Kaleem Shah owns Dortmund, named for a team in Germany's Bundesliga.
WinStar Farm co-owns Carpe Diem, Latin for "Seize the day." CEO Elliott Walden said WinStar "reserved the name waiting to give it to a good horse. We paid $1.6 million for him, so we hoped he'd be one."
Philip Birsh, publisher of the theater program Playbill, owns Tencendur. The son of Warrior's Reward is named for King Charlemagne's war horse in "The Song of Roland," an 11th-century French epic poem.
War Story's mother is Belle Watling, a character in the Civil War novel "Gone With the Wind."
LIer taking shot
Long shot El Kabeir is the second Derby entry for Syosset native and resident John Terranova II, who finished 19th in 2013 with Falling Sky. The trainer has a long connection with Bob Baffert, who often boards his horses in Terranova's barn when they ship from California to New York.
Baffert returned the favor this week, putting up El Kabeir in his Barn 33, also home of favorite American Pharoah and second choice Dortmund. The excitement and crowds surrounding Baffert's stars is new to El Kabeir, but he's familiar with Churchill Downs, where he won a stakes last fall under three-time Derby winner Calvin Borel.
"I don't think he's going to worry about any of the stuff going on," Terranova said. "He's gotten over the track, so there are no concerns there."Borel is back on El Kabeir after C.C. Lopez won two stakes on him at Aqueduct. Lopez picked up the mount before the Jan. 3 Jerome Stakes because Borel was attending his sister-in-law's funeral. Lopez never has ridden in the Derby, so after El Kabeir ran third in the Wood Memorial, Zayat and Terranova went back to Borel.
"You come to Churchill, you think 'Calvin Borel,'" Terranova said. "C.C. did a wonderful job this winter. We felt given Calvin's success and history at this racetrack, we'd go back to where we started."