Blue Grass Stakes winner Dance With Fate has taken a somewhat unusual path to this year’s Kentucky Derby. He won one of the ‘Big 5’ Kentucky Derby prep races, the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland. That guaranteed him a qualification spot in the race but his connections were initially hesitant to enter him. He’s considered a synthetic polytrack specialist who has run his best races on synthetic and turf tracks. In addition to a concern about how he’d fare on the dirt track at Churchill Downs there was also a concern about the quick three week turnaround to the Kentucky Derby. Ultimately, the decision was made to give him a shot and after some solid workouts on dirt his stock is on the rise.
He hasn’t been a horse that people are anxious to back with their Kentucky Derby bets and opened 20/1 on the morning line. Still, he’s gaining a lot of supporters due to his performance in his workouts and a favorable post position draw. Trainer Peter Eurton is happy that he’ll start near the middle of the 20 horse field:
“I’m pretty happy. It’s a great draw outside of a lot of speed. I think it’s a good spot, just a great place to be.”
Jockey Corey Nakatani is glad Dance With Fate is getting the opportunity to run in the Derby:
“He’s earned his way here, that’s half of it. The other part is, I like his running style. He’s showing me he’s got the credentials to win the race.”
“Hopefully, his energy level stays the way it is. Traveling didn’t seem to bother him, and I’m pretty confident in his ability to go out there and give his best. That’s what we’re looking forward to.”
Despite Dance With Fate’s rap as a ‘synthetic specialist’ Eurton likes his chances:
“I believe there are horses for courses, that old saying goes. But he’s amazingly aggressive and nothing really bothers him. I didn’t think there’d be a big process of him getting used to it.”
“I just hoped he liked it like other tracks we’ve shipped him to. I don’t think he’ll have a problem.”
The Kentucky Derby will be run on Saturday, May 3.