2013 Kentucky Derby horses: Vyjack

Matthew Stockman

Vyjack will attempt to rebound from the only defeat in his career in Saturday's Kentucky Derby.


2013 Gotham Stakes

Into Mischief
Dam: Life Happened
Damsire: Stravinsky

Trainer: Rudy Rodriguez
Jockey: Garrett Gomez
Owners: Pick Six Racing
Record: 5-4-0-1
Earnings: $542,200
Notable Races: 3rd, G1-Wood Memorial; 1st, G3-Gotham; 1st, G2-Jerome

Positives: One of the themes with his year's three-year-old crop is consistency: there are quite a few colts in this field that put forth a good effort each and every time they step on the track, especially this spring. Vyjack fits right in with those colts after winning the first four races of his career before finishing third in the G1-Wood Memorial behind Verrazano and Normandy Invasion.

Vyjack displayed a good amount of tactical speed over the first three races of his career, sitting just a length or two off the pace all the way around the track. In the Gotham, he found himself over seven lengths behind the leaders after a quarter mile but rallied strongly down the middle of the track en route to a 2 1/4 length. He went back to a stalking trip in the Wood Memorial but he's clearly a colt that can run well from any number of position on the track. He'll likely find himself in middle to front half of field on in the Derby on Saturday but if things get messy out of the gate, jockey Garrett Gomez has other options he can consider.

2013 Wood Memorial

Perhaps the most disappointing part of Vyjack's race history was his performance in the Wood, not because he ran a poor race, he didn't. But because he looked like he would go right by Verrazano in the stretch and he just didn't have the kick he needed to get the job done. A lot of that has to do with the fact that Verrazano is a high quality colt and Normandy Invasion can eat up a lot of ground in the stretch, so it's not like he tanked in the Wood.

The Derby will be the Vyjack's first race with jockey Garrett Gomez in the irons; Joel Rosario rode him in the Wood and the Gotham and Cornelio Velazquez ha the mount for the first three times in his career. Gomez is still looking for his first Kentucky Derby victory.

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