Brooklyn Strong draws post 3 for Derby 147

Tuesday, April 27th, 2021

Brooklyn Strong, working Monday at Parx, arrived at Churchill Downs Tuesday morning. Nikki Sherman Photo.

By Tom Law and Paul Halloran

Brooklyn Strong arrived in Louisville early Tuesday morning after a van ride from Parx Racing, bedded down in the Churchill Downs stable area and his connections learned where the New York-bred champion would start his improbable journey in Saturday’s 147th Kentucky Derby.

Brooklyn Strong drew post 3 in the full field of 20 for the $3 million Derby, just to the outside of Jeff Ruby Steaks winner Like The King and immediately inside Keepmeinmind. Like those two and four others in the field, Brooklyn Strong was pegged at 50-1 on the morning line by Churchill oddsmaker Mike Battaglia.

“It’s deep inside but it’s OK,” trainer Danny Velazquez said of Brooklyn Strong’s draw. “(Owner) Mark (Schwartz) says three is his lucky number and he’s won from there before. Hopefully, he gets a good break and can settle into third or fourth early.”

Brooklyn Strong will be ridden in the Derby for the first time by Southern California-based jockey Umberto Rispoli, who rode Kentucky Derby second choice Rock Your World to victory in the Santa Anita Derby but lost the mount when trainer John Sadler opted for Joel Rosario.

Brooklyn Strong is expected to walk tomorrow and train Thursday and Friday, Velazquez said. Churchill-based trainer Joe Sharp was helping line up an exercise rider for Brooklyn Strong since Velazquez’s assistant and regular rider Maria Remedio-Adorno did not make the trip. Velazquez is expected at Churchill Wednesday and owner Mark Schwartz arriving Thursday.

The $3 million Derby goes as the 12th race on Saturday’s 14-race card at Churchill with post time of 6:57 p.m. The race will be broadcast live by NBC during coverage from 2:30 to 7:30. Horse Racing Radio Network will also carry the race live from 5-7:30 p.m.

Here’s the field with jockeys and morning-line odds:

  1. Known Agenda, Irad Ortiz Jr., 6-1;
  2. Like The King, Dayden Van Dyke, 50-1;
  3. Brooklyn Strong, Umberto Rispoli, 50-1;
  4. Keepmeinmind, David Cohen, 50-1;
  5. Sainthood, Corey Lanerie, 50-1;
  6. O Besos, Marcelino Pedroza, 20-1;
  7. Mandaloun, Florent Geroux, 15-1;
  8. Medina Spirit, John Velazquez, 15-1;
  9. Hot Rod Charlie, Flavien Prat, 8-1;
  10. Midnight Bourbon, Mike Smith, 20-1;
  11. Dynamic One, Jose Ortiz, 20-1
  12. Helium, Julien Leparoux, 50-1;
  13. Hidden Stash, Rafael Bejarano, 50-1;
  14. Essential Quality, Luis Saez, 2-1;
  15. Rock Your World, Joel Rosario, 5-1
  16. King Fury, Brian Hernandez Jr., 20-1;
  17. Highly Motivated, Javier Castellano, 10-1;
  18. Super Stock, Ricardo Santana Jr., 30-1;
  19. Soup And Sandwich, Tyler Gaffalione, 30-1;
  20. Bourbonic, Kendrick Carmouche, 30-1.

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