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Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

Borel: Out of Here


By Dick Downey

Calvin Borel is bugging out of Gulfstream Park and relocating to Oaklawn Park, his traditional winter home.

Borel will be at Oaklawn to ride on Feb. 4. The next step on the Derby Trail at the Arkansas track is the Grade III Southwest Stakes on Feb. 20.

“Calvin and I have been together 21 years, and felt we owed it to each other to try Florida,” said Borel’s agent Jerry Hissam today. “He called me the other night and asked if I wanted to go back to Arkansas, and of course I said yes. We’re both ready to get back home, and he’s ready to do some fishing.”

Back in November, Hissam announced Borel would ride at Gulfstream, saying at the time, “The main reason we’re going is to ride horses for Ian (Wilkes). He’s got Motor City and several other babies that haven’t started yet. When you get a chance to ride a group of nice horses, you take it.”

At the time, Borel had only recorded two victories at Gulfstream Park since 1991, but he wasn't a regular there -- Oaklawn Park has been his usual base at this time of year. Before the current Gulfstream meet began, Borel hadn't ridden there in three years. According to statistics maintained at Horse Racing Nation, Borel has two wins at the current meet.

“Oaklawn is where we have had some of our greatest successes. It’s there we secured the relationship with Rachel Alexandra and earned the mount on Super Saver, our third Kentucky Derby winner. We’ve been blessed to ride some good horses here, but there will probably be more opportunities to ride at home," Hissam said. "We hope to come back to Florida for stakes races and are particularly excited about the 3-year-old Take Charge Indy. We’d like to see him come for either the Rebel or Arkansas Derby.”

Take Charge Indy (Looking Good) is based at Palm Meadows and is trained by Patrick Byrne. He has yet to race this year but has breezed four times in January. He finished fifth in the Grade I Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

Borel is one of the most successful jockeys in the history of the Kentucky Derby, winning the race three out of four years. His first winner was Street Sense in 2007, followed by longshot Mine That Bird in 2009 and Arkansas Derby runner-up Super Saver in 2010. He made headlines in 2009 when he opted to ride Rachel Alexandra over Mine That Bird in the Preakness and won the race with the filly, who went on to be named Horse of the Year at the end of that season.

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