Derby Contenders

Prep Race History

PDF Download Past Performances
Date Race Grade Distance Finish Chart Replay
Apr 5 2014 Santa Anita Derby Santa Anita Park I 1 1/8 Miles 2 REPLAY
Mar 15 2014 Rebel Oaklawn Park II 1 1/16 Miles 1 REPLAY
Feb 22 2014 Risen Star Fair Grounds II 1 1/16 Miles 4 REPLAY


Bob Baffert


Hall of Fame conditioner Bob Baffert won the Kentucky Derby back-to-back in 1997 and 1998 with Silver Charm and Real Quiet, and again in 2002 with War Emblem. He has saddled 24 horses in the Run for the Roses through 2014. The silver-haired trainer has also captured the Preakness Stakes a record-tying five times and earned the Eclipse Award for outstanding trainer three times. Baffert has saddled two Kentucky Oaks winners, Silverbulletday and Plum Pretty. In total, he has sent out the winners of nine Triple Crown races and 10 Breeders’ Cup events. 

Mike Smith


The son of a jockey, Smith, rode in his first race at age 11.  In 2005 Smith guided Giacomo to a win in the Kentucky Derby, and in 2013 rode Princess of Sylmar to victory in the Kentucky Oaks. He has won both the Preakness and Belmont Stakes and 17 Breeders' Cup races, including three Classics. He has won the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey, the Mike Venezia Memorial Award, the  George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award, and was inducted in the the Hall of Fame in 2003. Mounts include: Azeri, Zenyatta, Holy Bull, Skip Away, Thunder Gulch, and Lure.

Karl Watson, Mike Pegram & Paul Weitman


Pegram, Watson and Weitman have been lifelong friends and have had a great deal of success in the horse business together. The first horse the three partners purchased was Midnight Lute who won back to back editions of the Breeder's Cup Sprint and was named Eclipse Champion sprinter. They followed that success with champion two and three year old Lookin at Lucky . Pegram owns a string of McDonald's restaurants in Arizona and Watson and Weitman own car dealerships in Arizona. Watson frst owned horses with trainer Jack Van Berg before he teamed up with Weitman in the mid 1990's and sent their horses to Bob Baffert. Mike Pegram has been a longtime client of Baffert's and the two have been to the pinnacle of racing with Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Real Quiet and Dubai World Cup winner Captain Steve. They also teamed up with champion and Kentucky Oaks winner Silverbulletday among many other stable stars. Watson and Weitman were partners on two time Grade 1 winner Tough Tiz's Sis.


Any Given Saturday-Refugee, by Unaccounted For

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Hoppertunity is by Any Given Saturday, who also has another Derby hopeful in Smart Cover.

A prominent contender on the 2007 Kentucky Derby trail, Any Given Saturday captured the Sam F. Davis and fought champion Street Sense to a photo-finish in the Tampa Bay Derby before finishing third in the Wood Memorial and eighth in the Run for the Roses. He peaked later that summer, rolling to daylight victories in the Dwyer and Haskell Invitational and defeating older foes in the Brooklyn Handicap. 

Any Given Saturday is a son of Distorted Humor, who sired 2003 Derby and Preakness champion Funny Cide. Distorted Humor is also the grandsire of champion I'll Have Another, the 2012 Derby and Preakness hero. 

In his very first crop, Any Given Saturday sired a potential superstar in Princess Arabella, who extended her record to three-for-three in the 2012 Sunland Park Oaks. Unfortunately, she was retired due to injury before the Kentucky Oaks.

Hoppertunity likely inherits additional stamina from his dam, the Grade 2-placed Refugee. Spending nearly all of her career on turf, Refugee broke her maiden over 1 1/8 miles at Belmont Park, and stayed 1 1/2 miles effectively when a close, grudging third in the 2002 Orchid Handicap at Gulfstream Park.

Refugee has a perfect record so far as a broodmare: all eight of her registered foals of racing age have won (including one who competed only in Korea).

Refugee was best known for producing multiple Grade 1 heroine Executiveprivilege, one of the leading two-year-old fillies of 2012. Trained by Bob Baffert like her half-brother, Executiveprivilege swept the Del Mar Debutante, Chandelier, Landaluce and Sorrento, but just couldn't catch front-running Beholder in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies. She didn't duplicate those performances during an abbreviated sophomore campaign, and retired following her third in last December's La Brea. With $999,000 in career earnings, she narrowly missed becoming a millionaire.

Executiveprivilege had much more speed and precocity than Hoppertunity, fittingly enough as a daughter of First Samurai. Hoppertunity has another notable half-sibling in the stakes-placed sprinter/miler Profit.

Refugee is by Unaccounted For, winner of the 1995 Whitney Handicap who placed behind the mighty Cigar in both the Jockey Club Gold Cup and Breeders' Cup Classic. He sired multiple Grade 3 victress Quick Tip and Midlantic stakes veteran Grundlefoot before his export to Turkey, where he was responsible for several champions.

Daughters of Unaccounted For have produced the likes of turf standout Big Blue Kitten, successful in last year's United Nations and Sword Dancer; the versatile Summer Doldrums; Meadow Breeze; and 2013 Arkansas Derby star Overanalyze.

Hoppertunity's third dam is Hall of Famer Davona Dale, the champion three-year-old filly of 1979 after conquering such events as the Kentucky Oaks, Acorn, Mother Goose and Coaching Club American Oaks.

Bred and raced by the legendary Calumet Farm, Davona Dale descends from a full sister to the all-time great Citation, hero of the 1948 Triple Crown.

This family also claims $2.5 million-earner Gate Dancer, memorable for his wins in the 1984 Preakness and Super Derby and for being demoted to third in a rough stretch battle in the inaugural Breeders' Cup Classic.

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