For horses just outside of the ‘top twenty’ in the Kentucky Derby qualification points standings it now becomes a waiting game. Keen Ice, however, has to wait no more. He’s officially in the Kentucky Derby and every indication is that jockey Kent Desormeaux will be aboard Keen Ice next Saturday at Churchill Downs.
Todd Pletcher announced on Friday that the son of Lookin’ at Lucky, Madefromlucky, wouldn’t be pointed toward the Kentucky Derby. While that was bad news for his connections it was great news for trainer Dale Romans and the connections of Keen Ice. The defection of Madefromlucky took Keen Ice off ‘the bubble’ and into the Kentucky Derby field.
Keen Ice was most recently fourth in the Arkansas Derby but trainer Romans is bullish on his potential in the Kentucky Derby: “He’s going to be an extremely live longshot. I’m absolutely confident he will go the distance, which is a big factor in the Derby. We don’t control our own destiny in this race. We do have to have some pace, we do have to have a clean trip. But with those two things, this is a prototype Derby horse. We’ll be running at the end.”
Keen Ice broke his maiden at Churchill Downs but is now winless in five stakes races.
Todd Pletcher pulled the plug on Madefromlucky due to a bad workout but he’s got future plans for the horse: “He didn’t handle the turns particularly well, and we kind of noticed that at Arkansas. The big turns at Belmont might suit him well. We’d be looking more at the Peter Pan-Belmont Stakes route with him.”
Pletcher still has Itsaknockout and Stanford heading to the Kentucky Derby: “I thought Itsaknockout breezed really well and I thought assuming he comes out of it as good as he breezed today, that he earned his way in. Stanford arguably breezed as good as anybody this morning. I thought his gallop out was particularly good. A lot of the success you’re going to have here is based on how the horses handle the surface. It can be a quirky surface and it’s certainly not for all horses. He handled it really well.”