Lanerie Retains Mount
By Dick Downey
GMB Racing has announced its decision about who will ride Mo Tom in the Kentucky Derby, and it's Corey Lanerie.
In his last two races, Mo Tom has found trouble running up the rail in the stretch, and both times Lanerie has been aboard. The trouble might have cost Mo Tom, who won the Lecomte Stakes, another victory in the Risen Star and a placing in the Louisiana Derby. As things stand, Mo Tom has three wins from seven starts with three thirds.
Mo Tom, trained by Tom Amoss, is owned by Tom and Gayle Benson's GMB Racing. They also have Tom's Ready lined up for the Derby in the barn of Dallas Stewart. Brian Hernandez, Jr. is his rider.
GMB Racing released a statement via spokesman Greg Bensel today, saying, "Corey is the consistent leading rider at Churchill Downs. He has won on Mo Tom in a stakes at Churchill Downs and knows the horse and track better than most. Corey knows Mo Tom and his devastating late kick, as he has ridden him in all but one of his races -- that is not something you want to learn or feel for the first time on May 7.
"GMB Racing is made up of people from the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans that know how to compete and win on a high level. They also know the scrutiny and accolades that come with competing at the highest level and our concern was not the ability of Corey but more so the questions that would come regarding the two trips and how that would overshadow Mo Tom being in the Derby. We are very confident...that Corey will ride his race and turn the page, and do what he does so successfully at Churchill Downs year in and year out."
Lanerie has been the leading rider at Churchill Downs for eight straight meets and rode in the Derby for the first time in 2014 aboard Harry's Holiday.
Here's a tweet with the announcement posted at early today. The tweet is no longer on that account.