ABC 36 Sports @ 11 (5-6-16)


LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Alex Risen has the latest Kentucky Derby prep news in the video.

Interviews with trainers Bob Baffert, Dale Romans and Steve Asmussen plus owner Ken Ramsey are featured.

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Here are some stat nuggets to help you pick a winner:

Romans could get his first Derby victory with Blue Grass Stakes winner Brody’s Cause.  Romans is 0-0-2 in 6 Derby starts.  Jockey Luis Saez is 0-0-0 in 3 Derby starts.

Trainer Todd Pletcher has gone 1-2-3 in 43 Derby starts.  He’s twice had 5 horses in the field (2007 and 2013).  Pletcher’s lone win was Super Saver in 2010.  He has Outwork and Destin in this year’s Run for the Roses.  If both of Pletcher’s horses stay in the Derby field, he will have 45 all-time Derby starts, 3 shy of the record 48 Pletcher’s mentor D. Wayne Lukas has.

Jockey Javier Castellano won his first Kentucky Oaks Friday.  He has a shot to win his first Derby aboard Pletcher’s Destin.  Destin would become the first gray horse to win since Giacomo in 2005.

Derby points leader Gun Runner will have Derby rookie jockey Florent Geroux aboard Saturday.

UAE Derby winner Lani will become 9th Derby starter to have never raced in North America prior to the first Saturday in May.  UAE winners are winless, and in fact 0-0-0, in 11 starts.

Mohaymen (“dominant” in Arabic) will become 4th highest-priced Derby starter.  Fusaichi Pegasus, Dunkirk and Houston are the top 3.

Nyquist could become 21st 2-year-old champion to win Derby.  2-year-old champs, in 74 starts, are 20-14-5 in Derby.  That’s a 53 percent in-the-money finish.

Nyquist will be the 27th all-time undefeated Derby starter.  7 of previous 26 won.  Big Brown was the last in 2008.  Seattle Slew, Smarty Jones and Barbaro are among the others.

Nyquist could also be the earliest-to-break-maiden Derby winner since Sunny’s Halo won in 1983 in May of his 2-year-old campaign.  Nyquist broke maiden on June 5th of his 2-year-old season.

The connection team of owner Reddam Racing, trainer Doug O’Neill and jockey Mario Gutierrez are teaming up once again.  The three won the Derby with I’ll Have Another back in 2012.  That Derby victory is Gutierrez’s lone Derby mount.  He’s putting his perfect record of 1-for-1 on the line with the 2016 favorite Nyquist.

Ramsey Farms’ Oscar Nominate will be second all-time supplemental starter in Derby.  Greely’s Galaxy is the other (11th in 2005).

Oscar Nominated broke his maiden on the turf and won the Grade III Spiral Stakes and Turfway.  He would join Sea Hero (1993), Barbaro (2006) and Big Brown (2008) as Derby winners to break their maiden off dirt.

Ken Ramsey is the all-time leading owner at Churchill Downs and has 4 Eclipse awards for outstanding owner (2004, 2011, 2013 and 2014).

Trojan Nation is looking to break his maiden in the Derby.  Only 9 maidens have ever run in the Derby since 1937.  The best finish of those nine?  8th.

Trojan Nation would become the firs to break maiden with win in Derby since Brokers tip did it back in 1933.  Sir Barton also did it back in 1919.




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Alex Risen joined the ABC 36 News team in October of 2011 as ABC 36’s Weekend Sports Anchor/ Sports Reporter. Alex can also be seen Friday nights co-anchoring the Highschool Highlight Reel. Alex started out in the broadcast business while still in college at the University of Kentucky, heading up the school’s daily student news network as the Sports Director. He made his commercial televsion debut in May of 2011 while at WYMT in Hazard, Kentucky as co-host of a weekly, half-hour high school sports program previewing area schools’ games on Friday nights and as a morning sports anchor. Alex has also spent time as an intern at ESPN in the Statistics and Analysis department, as a production assistant for NBC Sports horse racing and Sunday Night Football productions, and as an intern for WLKY in his hometown of Louisville, KY. Alex graduated from Saint Xavier High School in 2007 and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism and Political Science from the University of Kentucky in 2010 where he graduated magna cum laude from the Honors Program. He’s excited to be covering his passion in his home state and make Central Kentucky his home for years to come. Alex can be reached at