Ten horses are expected to face the starter for Saturday’s $500,000, Grade 2 Virginia Derby.
The group includes the trifecta from last month’s Penn Mile — Rydilluc, Charming Kitten, and Jack Milton — as well as a “catfecta” of sorts, with Redwood Kitten and Fear the Kitten joining their Charming cousin to make three Kitten’s Joys in the race.
While the three top finishers from the Penn Mile also figure to have something to say in New Kent, Redwood Kitten is among the more compelling “new shooters.” The improving gelding won the one-mile James Murphy on Preakness day at Pimlico, controlling the pace throughout while posting a 99 Equibase figure. He has finished behind both Jack Milton and Charming Kitten, however.
Trainer Gennadi Dorochenko, the enigmatic Russian best known for training Hero of Order to a 109-1 upset of the 2012 Louisiana Derby, has two in this Derby: Bethel, whose 0-for-4 record on the lawn does not inspire confidence, and Gefest, last seen losing to Verrazano by 25 in the Pegasus.
Kenny McPeek will also be in with a shot, with War Dancer, owner of the field’s best last-out Equibase figure of 106 when second in the Centaur at Indiana Downs.
Look for full coverage from The Racing Biz as the week continues.
Meanwhile, there’s still time to participate in our Virginia Derby Trivia Sweepstakes, with $300 up for grabs! Go to our Trivia Sweepstakes page to sign up… and don’t forget, you can sign up — no purchase necessary, void where prohibited, see official rules on the page — once a day, even more if you refer your friends.
And participating every day is a good idea. Since you have to answer three questions and pick the Derby winner, participating daily gives you a chance to cover different horses!
And whom do participants in our Virginia Derby Trivia Sweepstakes like to win? As you can see in the chart below, they pretty much only have eyes for Rydilluc.