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Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

By My Standards Gives Calhoun First Shot at Derby


Doing Well Sunday Morning

Trainer Bret Calhoun said he could not be more satisfied with the way By My Standards came out of his win of the Louisiana Derby. He's also thrilled that By My Standards has given him his first chance for a starter in the Kentucky Derby.

“We’ve never had anything that even we thought really deserved to discuss being on the Derby trail,” Calhoun said. “We think this is a legitimate horse. We didn’t want to get caught up in Derby fever unless we had a legitimate horse. We didn’t want to just be there to be there. We want to be there if we have a contender and we believe he is a contender.”

Calhoun said he likes the timing of the Louisiana Derby, which is six weeks out from the Kentucky Derby, and that he plans on breezing the horse in two weeks.

“Hopefully we’ll get an easy breeze in twelve, thirteen, fourteen days,” Calhoun said. “He worked a little quicker up to this race than he had previously, so hopefully we can take it easy first work back then give him another easy one after that. Then we’ll do a little bit more after that in the middle there.

"He’s ready. We have to maintain what we’ve got. The Derby is a whole different deal. It’s not just the race, it’s everything that goes into going up there. We’ll do a lot of stuff preparing him for that. He’s got a great mind, we’re lucky in that sense that he’ll handle everything.”

By My Standards entered his three-quarter-length victory in the Louisiana Derby off of a maiden special weight triumph at Fair Grounds that he won by 4 1/4 lengths. The jump from maiden to graded stakes company is not something Calhoun usually does, but last year he put  Mr. Money in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile following his maiden win. He ran fourth in that race and was fifth in the Louisiana Derby. Chester Thomas owns both By My Standards and Mr. Money.

“Usually I’m pretty conservative but when it comes to these horses,” Calhoun said. “We figured out they were a little different, a little better that some of those. And some of them you can do that with, some of them you can’t. Mentally and physically, it allows us to do what we need to do training wise.”

Prior to his maiden triumph, By My Standards was twice a runner-up behind Jersey Agenda and Gun It. Those two haven't fared nearly as well in their stakes races.

“I know everybody talks about that stuff with the light coming on, but in this case it really truly was,” Calhoun said. “He’s always been a solid horse. You heard me comment that the day he lost and was third, I was pretty distraught. I was pretty disappointed. I didn’t really know where we were going at that point. Then he came back and broke his maiden the right way and the light literally came on after that. He’s been a completely different horse in the mornings from that point on. He’s really moved forward. His breezes leading up to this race were phenomenal.”

Bred in Kentucky by Don Ladd, By My Standards was a $150,000 purchase by bloodstock agent Josh Stevens from the Ocala Breeders Sales Company’s April Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale, where he was consigned by Scanlon Training and Sales. He is out of the Muqtarib broodmare A Jealous Woman.

War of Will Fine on Sunday

About 12 hours following War of Will's ninth-place finish, trainer Mark Casse said the son of War Front is doing well on Sunday morning. Casse told media that the colt was significantly off after he returned to his barn after the race.

“It’s amazing how much better he was today,” Casse said. “I just feel fortunate that he’s okay first and foremost. We’re fairly certain that he probably caught his patella a little bit right at the start. So what we’ll do is we’ll do some exercising and probably laser treatment to strengthen the patella muscle. But we feel optimistic that we can still make the Derby.”

War of Will appeared to lose his action in his hind end shortly after breaking from post 6 in the Louisiana Derby. The bay colt never got into contention after that.

War of Will is slated to ship to Keeneland, where will remain in the day-to-day care of assistant trainer David Carroll.

“We’re going to change his exercise a bit for a while, just try to strengthen his patella ligaments,” Casse said. “It’s something that as a trainer for 40 years, I’ve been dealing with patella ligaments since the beginning of my career but I’ve never seen one catch like that one did. But the good news is he was happy this morning.”

Edited release

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