Pursuit of Derby points brings My Boy Jack to Keeneland
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Road to the Kentucky Derby points game is becoming old hat to the stable of trainer Keith Desormeaux.
Last year, Sonneteer was on the bubble before making his way into the 20-horse field for Desormeaux. Now, the contender is My Boy Jack, who arrived at Keeneland Wednesday night from his Southern California base.
Owned by Don’t Tell My Wife Stables and Monomoy Stables, My Boy Jack is the morning-line favorite for Saturday’s 37th running of the $200,000 Stonestreet Lexington (G3). The race offers 34 points toward the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) on a 20-8-4-2 basis to the top four finishers.
My Boy Jack has 32 points and is just below the current line for the race that is limited to 20 starters with one spot already reserved for the European runner Gronkowski.
“If he had run second in the Louisiana Derby (G2), we would not be worrying about this,” said Julie Clark, assistant to Desormeaux. “He made that big move wide on the turn and (jockey) Kent (Desormeaux) couldn’t just stop his momentum.”
My Boy Jack had picked up two points with a third-place finish in the Sham (G3) at Santa Anita in January and 10 for winning the Southwest (G3) at Oaklawn Park in February.
“Going to the Southwest worked out well but it didn’t have a lot of points,” Clark said. “This was his longest ship coming here, but the good thing is he is not going to ship (cross country) again as he will go to Churchill Downs after the race and get settled in over there.”
My Boy Jack walked through the Paddock Thursday morning and then galloped 1¼ miles under Morilio Garcia, an exercise that will be repeated Friday.
The last points race toward the Derby is Saturday’s Arkansas Derby (G1), which carries 170 points on a 100-40-20-10 basis.
Sonneteer, who was a maiden when he ran in the Kentucky Derby in which he finished 16th, earned his 30 points last year with a runner-up finish in the Rebel (G2) and a fourth-place effort in the Arkansas Derby. Sonneteer returned to California after the Arkansas Derby and then flew back to Kentucky the Saturday before the Derby.
“We knew a few days before entries were taken that we were getting in,” Clark said of Sonneteer, who wound up in the 20th spot on the leaderboard.
My Boy Jack can erase any of that suspense Saturday.