clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Kentucky Derby 2016: Exaggerator a Desormeaux collaboration

Only the third sibling combo to try to win the Kentucky Derby, Kent and Keith Desormeaux would be the first to actually do it.

Kent Desormeaux is a Hall of Fame jockey. Keith Desormeaux is a trainer without the acclaim of some bigger names in the field but with a Breeders' Cup victory under his belt.

And Exaggerator is a 3-year-old colt who might help the brothers from small-town Louisiana to become the first sibling combination to win the Kentucky Derby.

Exaggerator opened the $2 million, mile-and-a-quarter Kentucky Derby with the second-best odds, 8-1, after an impressive win in Santa Anita in April. Exaggerator came from about 20 lengths behind race-leader Danzing Candy and decisively opened distance down the stretch to win by more than six lengths. It was an incredible rally that catches the eyes.

"This is an unbelievable situation," Keith said. "It's the culmination of a lifetime of hard work. The Derby is so far out there that's almost not a part of your realistic thinking. You hope it happens. To finally be a part of the derby is something that is very gratifying. To have my brother riding my horse is icing on the cake. Honestly I haven't processed it yet."

(Via the New Orleans Times-Picayune)

Kent Desormeaux holds the record for most wins in a year at 589. He has won the Kentucky Derby three times, first in 1998 when Real Quiet won the first two races of the Triple Crown, then again in 2000 with Fusaichi Pegasus and finally in 2008 on Big Brown. Meanwhile, this is Keith's first attempt at the Kentucky Derby.

Kent's interest in racing is what eventually drew Keith to the sport as well.

"Kent knew what he wanted to do when he was 12,'' Keith said. "As a kid, big-time racing on TV was a fantasy to me. Having a career in it never grabbed hold of me until my second year of college, when Kent started to be so successful.''

(Via Newsday)

Only two other pairs of siblings tried to win the Kentucky Derby and neither came close, according to Daily Racing Form. Gerard and Randy Romero finished 12th with Dixieland Heat in 1993, and Nick and Jimmy Combest finished seventh with Mr. Moonlight in 1964.

If the Desormeauxs win the Derby, the happiest of all the family members may be their mom, Brenda. She told the LA Times in February, "It would be out of this world. It's almost a miracle to have two sons in the Kentucky Derby, one a trainer and one a jockey, and to think they both came from the little bitty town of Maurice."