After drawing an outside post for the Grade II Rebel, trainer Tim Ritchey scratched Elite Alex today and will enter him instead in next Saturday's Grade II Louisiana Derby. Calvin Borel retains the mount.
“It’s all about getting to the (Kentucky) Derby,” said Ritchey today. “We can get another week. The stretch there is longer, and there are 700,000 thousand more reasons down there than running from a wide post in a big field here. I hope he runs well enough so we don’t have to worry about it, but it also gives us three weeks after that to the Arkansas Derby.”
“This all happened either late last night or early this morning,” said Borel’s agent Jerry Hissam today, “so it may be too late to line up any other mounts because any horse that’s still open may not be worth riding. However, Calvin will be coming to New Orleans next week to ride at least one very good horse. In fact, he’s going to work Elite Alex here at Oaklawn tomorrow morning at 9 o’clock, and he’s looking forward to returning to Louisiana.”
The prospective field for the Louisiana Derby has, however, grown considerably since mid-week, with 13 probables now listed by the Fair Grounds racing office.