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Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

Desormeaux Again on Derby Road with Sueno


'He Exudes Class' Says the Trainer

Keith Desormeaux has had a starter in the gate of the Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve  for the past three years. He'll try for a fourth on Saturday with Sueno in the Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby.

The dark bay son of Atreides enters the final Fair Grounds prep on the Road To The Kentucky Derby off of a close second to longshot Super Steed in the Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park where he finished three-quarters of a length from the winner.

Currently, Sueno sits at No. 28 on the Derby Leaderboard with eight points. A third-place finish on Saturday would put him at 28 points, which could be a bubble number for the Derby field. The Louisiana Derby offers a total of 170 points to the top four finishers on a scale of 100-40-20-10.

“He exudes class and he gives those typical signs of a horse that’s very confident,” Desormeaux said. “He’s willing to give everything he’s got whether it’s a work or a race. He’s very sound, and I like the way his form is improving. It seems that he’s getting better with every race, and that is conducent to his body type. He seems to be getting better numbers wise, and the way he is built says he should get better with time, and that is coming together nicely.”

Sueno broke his maiden at Del Mar over the summer when running for an $80,000 tag against maiden claiming company.

“I was little too aggressive with him,” Desormeaux said. “Being that he was by a not as well-known sire. I thought I could get away with that especially at Del Mar, you’re against some million dollar babies. It’s home to some of the toughest baby racing in the country, We wanted some class relief, and it was just all about the position I was in at the time and the fact that he’s by an not as well-known sire -- but looking back, it was a bit of an aggressive move.”

So far, Sueno has been put on a path by Desormeaux similar to that of My Boy Jack last year.

“They compare more ways than one,” Desormeaux said “They have the same color and same external features. They’re dark bay, medium sized and they have the same mentality. Good horses exude class. Exaggerator and My Boy Jack were the same way. One thing that’s very different is speed. This horse can lay close without straining, so he’s got natural speed. In that respect, it puts him a notch higher than My Boy Jack. When you have that, it gets you out of a lot of trouble spots.”

The Louisiana Derby in particular would be a special race for Desormeaux to win because of his upbringing in the Pelican State. While he has yet to win the Louisiana Derby, he scored his first graded stakes victory with Ive Struck A Nerve in the Grade II Risen Star Stakes in 2013, who won at odds of 135-1.

“It’s a special race not only because it’s a Derby prep but because I spent so much time and so many years competing in New Orleans,” Desormeaux said. “I miss that, and it’s always fun to come back and see old friends. It’s always a little more special when you can win races at that level in New Orleans. Tom Amoss, Al Stall and Steve Asmussen are good horsemen, and I learned a lot from them. It was fun competing against them, and I am the horsemen I am today because of guys like them.”

Sueno was purchased by bloodstock agent Bob Feld on behalf of Silverton Hill for $61,000 at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale in 2017, where he was consigned by Dromoland Farm. He was bred in Kentucky by Hill ‘n’ Dale Equine Holdings and is out of the two-time stakes winning Quiet American broodmare Class Above.

Desormeaux gave a brief update on My Boy Jack, who has not raced since finishing eighth in the Belmont Derby Invitational last July.

“He’s doing great,” Desormeaux said. “We took a couple chips out of his ankle in the summer and he got some time off. He had a half-mile work on Saturday and we’re looking forward to the summer with him. We just started talking about it. There’s a mile allowance race on Derby week that might be a good spot for him, but we’ll look for something.”

Hog Creek Hustle Knocking on the Door

Hog Creek Hustle has brought his A game in all three of his starts at Fair Grounds, but hasn’t quite found his way to the winner’s circle. Although the Louisiana Derby will be no easy task for the son of Overanalyze, trainer Vickie Foley says he’s doing as good as ever.

Never worse than fourth in his three starts during the Fair Grounds meet, Hog Creek Hustle finished third in the Sugar Bowl Stakes before a runner-up effort behind War of Will in the Lecomte Stakes, when he was beaten by four lengths. He was a troubled fourth, beaten six legnths by War of Will, in the Risen Star Stakes..

“He’s very honest, and we’re looking forward to the race,” Foley said. “He’s coming into this race better than he has any of the other races. I’m looking for a huge performance from him. We had a very wide trip the whole way in the Risen Star. It was just bad luck."

Hog Creek Hustle draws the outside of 11 horses and will be guided by new jockey Miguel Mena.

“The outside post is alright, that doesn’t shake me at all,” Foley said. “We have enough run at the turn to get over. We don’t have to be in front, but we should at least be more into the race than we were last time.”

Hog Creek Hustle has nine points on the Road To The Kentucky Derby. Bred in Kentucky by Hargus and Sandra Sexton in partnership with Silver Fern Farm, Hog Creek Hustle was purchased by Stewart Smith for $150,000 from the Keeneland September Yearling Sale in 2017 where he was consigned by Warrendale Sales. He is the second foal out of the unraced Candy Ride (ARG) broodmare Candy Fortune who also produced Majestic Dunhill – a dual stakes winner on dirt and turf. He's owned by Something Special Racing.

Edited release


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