Derby Contenders

Prep Race History

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Date Race Grade Distance Finish Chart Replay
May 5 2012 138th Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands Churchill Downs I 1 1/4 3 REPLAY
Apr 14 2012 Toyota Blue Grass Keeneland I 1 1/8 Miles (S) 1 REPLAY
Mar 11 2012 Palm Beach Gulfstream Park III 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) 2 REPLAY
Nov 5 2011 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Churchill Downs I 1 1/16 Miles 4 REPLAY
Oct 8 2011 Dixiana Breeders' Futurity Keeneland I 1 1/16 Miles (S) 1 REPLAY


Dale Romans


Dale Romans grew up on the Churchill Downs backstretch learning his trade from longtime trainer and father Jerry Romans. The Louisville, Ky native just missed winning the 2010 Kentucky Derby when Paddy O’ Prado finished a game third. Dullahan was a fast closing third in Kentucky Derby 138 and would follow that up with a win in the G-1 Pacific Classic. In 2011 he won his first Classic race when Shackleford captured The Preakness Stakes. He saddled Court Vision to an upset win in the Breeders Cup Turf Mile in 2011 and captured the Breeders Futurity with Dullahan. 2012 was a banner year for the Romans stable with wins by Shackleford in the G-1 Met Mile and G-1 Clark Handicap and Little Mike's gallant victories in the G-1 Woodford Reserve, Arlington Million and Breeders' Cup Turf. His other top runners include O'Prado Again, Sassy Image, First Dude, Kitten’s Joy, Tapitsfly, and Roses in May.

Kent Desormeaux


Like many other top jockeys, Desormeaux is a product of Louisiana and started his riding career at Evangeline Downs. He has won the Kentucky Derby on three occasions guiding Real Quiet in 1998, Fusaichi Pegasus in 2000, and Big Brown in 2008. Desormeaux was inducted into racing’s Hall of Fame in 2004 and has won the Eclipse Award for top jockey three times. Other top horses include Paddy O'Prado, Summer Bird, Dullahan, and C. S. Silk.

Donegal Racing


Donegal Racing is a partnership that was formed in 2008 and is managed by Jerry Crawford who has been involved in horse ownership for over 30 years. The name refers to the Irish county of origin of the Donegal family and the racing silks as well as the names of the partnership horses reflect the Irish heritage. The group campaigned Paddy O’Prado who finished third in the 2010 Kentucky Derby. Along with Dullahan, Donegal Racing was represented by G-2 winner O’Prado Again in 2011.

  • Photo: EquiSport Photos/Matt Wooley

  • Photo: Coady Photography

  • Photo: Coady Photography

  • Photo: Coady Photography


Even the Score--Mining My Own, by Smart Strike

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Distance should be no issue for Dullahan.

The Kentucky-bred colt is a half-brother to Mine That Bird, who rolled to a 6 ¾-length upset in the 2009 Kentucky Derby and also placed in the Preakness and Belmont Stakes. And Dullahan is by Even the Score, a successful two-turn horse whose most accomplished offspring so far, Take the Points, captured the Secretariat Stakes at 1 ¼ miles.

A son of the prolific stallion Unbridled’s Song, who is the second leading active U.S. sire of Breeders’ Cup race winners, Even the Score is out of the Rahy mare Ashtabula, a two-turn stakes queen who also placed in a number of black-type events in the mid-1990s. Even the Score’s extended female family includes millionaire Formal Gold, winner of the Woodward and Donn Handicap in 1997.

Even the Score made his final 27 starts around two turns, earning $751,629 from a 29-9-1-9 career line, and his biggest career wins came in the Californian Stakes and Mervyn LeRoy Handicap in 2004. He stands at Millennium Farms near Lexington, Kentucky, and Dullahan is from his fourth crop.

Dullahan is out of the unraced Mining My Own, whose first foal, Mine That Bird, shipped in from New Mexico and captured the Kentucky Derby at 50-1. The 11-year-old broodmare is by Smart Strike, sire of two-time Horse of the Year Curlin as well as champions English Channel, Lookin at Lucky and My Miss Aurelia.

A Grade 1 winner, Smart Strike is by the great Mr. Prospector and out of the Smarten mare Classy ‘n Smart, which makes him a half-brother to U.S. champion three-year-old filly and Canadian Horse of the Year Dance Smartly, winner of the 1991 Breeders’ Cup Distaff. This is also the female family of champion Sky Classic and a number of other graded stakes winners.

Smart Strike is also the broodmare sire of last year’s 1 ¼-mile Queen’s Plate Stakes winner Inglorious; 2010 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf winner Shared Account; and First Dude, who finished second in the Preakness and third in the Belmont Stakes and Travers at three and captured the last year’s 1 ¼-mile Hollywood Gold Cup.

Dullahan’s second maternal dam, the stakes-placed Aspenelle, was a two-turn specialist as well, and his female family is packed with stamina influences.

Dullahan displayed a fondness for turf and all-weather tracks at two and is slated to race only on grass and Polytrack this season before the Kentucky Derby, but the chestnut colt showed his versatility when finishing fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs.

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Los Alamitos Futurity Added to 2014-15 'Road to the Kentucky Derby' Series

The $500,000 Los Alamitos Futurity (Grade I) has been added to the list of races that comprise the 2014-15 “Road to the Kentucky Derby.” The series of 35 select races – 19 “Prep Season” races and 16 “Championship Series” races – will determine which horses qualify to the 141st running of the $2 million guaranteed Kentucky Derby.

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