Sunday, May 2, 2004
Jockey sees good things in the future
'He won't lose the Preakness'
By Dustin Dow
The Cincinnati Enquirer
LOUISVILLE - Jockey Kent Desormeaux stepped down from Imperialism, the third-place finisher in the 130th Kentucky Derby Saturday, and couldn't get the words out fast enough.
"He won't lose the Preakness," Desormeaux said to Imperialism's 21-year-old trainer, Kristin Mulhall. "I had the best horse out there."
Unfortunately for Mulhall, who was trying to become the first female and the youngest trainer to win the Derby, Imperialism did not have the best position heading into the homestretch at Churchill Downs. Imperialism was blocked in by a pack of horses trailing eventual one-two finishers Smarty Jones and Lion Heart. Desormeaux had to take the horse wide, about 35 feet from the inside rail, just to cross the line third, 3 1/4 lengths behind Lion Heart.
For Mulhall, it was just a few lengths from history. The best finish by a female trainer in the Derby is second by Shelley Riley in 1992, and the youngest trainer to win was 24-year-old James Rowe in 1881.
Mulhall, a Californian who has been training horses all of two years, was overjoyed with the result, worth $85,000 to owner Steve Taub. She said she never expected Imperialism, just one of the 42 horses she trains, to get this far.
"This is a huge moment for me," Mulhall said as she walked back to the barn. "This was my dream to come here. I never thought I'd be here in my second year of training."
She was disappointed to see Imperialism get trapped inside, but she knew there was very little Desormeaux could do until he made the late run on the outside.
"He lost quite a bit of ground trying to get to that position," Mulhall said.
Later in the jockeys' locker room, Desormeaux reiterated that he expects to be riding a Preakness winner May 15 as well as the Belmont Stakes June 5.
"I think I'm going to win the next two Triple Crown races," said Desormeaux, "because of the adversity I went through today. I went under the wire with a horse with a ton of run left in him."
Mulhall just smiled when Desormeaux mentioned the Preakness. She was set on enjoying the Derby finish Saturday before thinking about the next Triple Crown races.
"We'll see, I guess, in the Preakness," Mulhall said. "If we go that route. We didn't even think we'd be here."
130th KENTUCKY DERBY
wins with sentimental journey
Elliott, it's just a race - but a big one
Jones draws a crowd at home track
sees good things in the future
special place in their hearts
make for a contrasting infield
ads raise no fuss
gallery: The race
Photo gallery: The scene
FLYING PIG MARATHON
push each other in Pig Relay
age 82, marathoner's been a long time running
test doesn't trouble Panthers
lose 4th straight
Faraway fan reminds us of what we have
will test free agency
AL: Tigers hand
Mariners eighth loss in 10 games
NL: Rockies get
win against Braves
need funding for new stadium
hoping to shake his past
struggles require patience
McEachern exudes that star quality
combine continues to grow
Walton-Verona both lose in All 'A' Classic
Sistrunk hurdles to Roosevelt event victory
take 'blue-collar' approach to winning
season ends in Game 7
remain alive on Sakic OT goals
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may get another shot at Illini
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up with that?