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Kentucky Derby horses 2013: Goldencents

A win by Goldencents in the 2013 Kentucky Derby would give Louisville head basketball coach Rick Pitino an astonishing NCAA Tournament/Derby double.

Matthew Stockman


2013 Santa Anita Derby

Into Mischief
Dam: Banker's Gold
Damsire: Golden Works

Doug O'Neill
Jockey: Kevin Krigger
Owner: WC Racing, Dave Kenny & RAP Racing
Record: 6-4-1-0
Earnings: $1,250,000
Notable Races: 1st, G1-Santa Anita Derby; 4th, G2-San Felipe; 1st, G3-Sham Stakes; 1st, G3-Delta Downs Jackpot; 2nd, G1-Champagne

Positives: If you're looking for a consistent, improving colt to run big in the Derby, Goldencents just might be the horse to play. He's raced six times in his career and only missed the board on a single occasion. He's trained by Doug O'Neill, the trainer of last year's Derby winner I'll Have Another. And, perhaps most importantly, he learned to control his early speed in the Santa Anita Derby to devastating effect. Prior to his victory at Santa Anita on April 6, Goldencents had a bit of a headstrong running style, a style that worked against him in the G2-San Felipe on March 9 when he got into an early speed duel and faded to fourth at the wire. However, in the Santa Anita Derby, Goldencents was able to relax and sit just off the early speed and still had enough gas in the tank to hold off Flashback in the home stretch.

One other positive with Goldencents is his prior success shipping and winning a race outside of his Southern California base. He won the Delta Downs Jackpot last November in Louisiana, and he was a good second in the Champagne Stakes at Belmont in New York last fall. Some horses don't travel particularly well, but from the looks of Goldencents prior efforts, traveling to a new track in another part of the country won't throw him off his game bit.

Negatives: How far does Goldencents really want to run? That's the key question for this colt and many others in the Kentucky Derby field.

The sire of Goldencents, Into Mischief, sports an average winning distance for his offspring of seven furlongs. His damsire, Bankder's Gold, gets an average of just under seven furlongs. And while those are just averages and Goldencents has already won at nine furlongs in his career, does he have the pedigree to win at the classic distance of a mile and a quarter? Time will tell.

One other question mark with Goldencents is jockey Kevin Krigger. Krigger has made a name for himself by winning jockey titles at Emerald Downs and he's been riding in Southern California for the last few years. And while Krigger's a solid jockey, he's never been on a stage as big as the Kentucky Derby in his career. He was aboard Goldencents in the Santa Anita Derby but the 20 horse field in the Kentucky Derby is a race completely different than any he's ever experienced. It's not unusual for a relative unknown jockey to win the Derby (see: Mario Gutierrez on I'll Have Another last year), but it's something to consider.