Derby Contenders

Prep Race History

Date Race Grade Distance Finish Chart Replay
May 2 2009 135th Kentucky Derby presented by YUM! Brands Churchill Downs I 1 1/4 3 REPLAY

Connections

Derek Ryan

Trainer

Derek Ryan was born on September 22, 1966, in Tipperary, Ireland, and soon became interested in horses. “I began riding ponies as a little kid, and things just progressed from there," Ryan said. He gained experience as a horseman in his homeland, as well as England, France and Germany, before arriving in the United States in 1989. He worked as an exercise rider and assistant trainer on the East Coast, then set up shop on his own in 1996. Ryan's first major performer was Emergency Status, the winner of the Jersey Derby (G3) in 2002, and in 2008, he conditioned such stakes scorers as Bunker Hill, Call My Bluff and Allnightdance. But Ryan is unequivocal that Musket Man is his star. "He's the best horse I've had, by far," Ryan told the St. Petersburg Times. "The first time I worked him I was like, 'Whoa, what the hell do I have here?' He just does things that other horses can't do. He's got stamina and gears. When he hits the front, he idles...He has to have something to chase." Ryan says that he enjoys spending his winters at Tampa Bay Downs in Oldsmar, Florida, because “The track’s very good, especially the turf course. It’s great getting to the beaches and the weather is wonderful. ”

Eibar Coa

Jockey

Born in Monagas, Venezuela on February 15, 1971, Eibar Coa was a five-time judo champion in his homeland between the ages of eight and 18, but left the sport to go to jockey school from 1989-1991. He started riding in Venezuela in 1992, spent a stint in the United States in 1993, but shifted his tack permanently in 1996. Coa has become a top rider in both Florida and New York. Inducted into Calder’s Hall of Fame in 2004, he has also captured riding titles at Gulfstream Park, Belmont Park, Aqueduct and Monmouth Park. Coa led all riders in New York in 2006, becoming only the fourth jockey in history to win more than 300 races on that circuit in a single season, and he followed up by ranking as New York's leading jockey again in 2007. Coa's notable mounts of 2008 include Donn H. (G1) winner Spring At Last, Dwyer S. (G2) victor Mint Lane, Matron S. (G2) queen Doremifasollatido, Brooklyn H. (G2) hero Delosvientos and Harlem Rocker, winner of the Withers S. (G3) and the Prince of Wales S. Coa's best Kentucky Derby finish came in 2008 aboard fourth-place finisher Tale of Ekati.

Derek Ryan

Owner

Derek Ryan was born on September 22, 1966, in Tipperary, Ireland, and soon became interested in horses. “I began riding ponies as a little kid, and things just progressed from there," Ryan said. He gained experience as a horseman in his homeland, as well as England, France and Germany, before arriving in the United States in 1989. He worked as an exercise rider and assistant trainer on the East Coast, then set up shop on his own in 1996. Ryan's first major performer was Emergency Status, the winner of the Jersey Derby (G3) in 2002, and in 2008, he conditioned such stakes scorers as Bunker Hill, Call My Bluff and Allnightdance. But Ryan is unequivocal that Musket Man is his star. "He's the best horse I've had, by far," Ryan told the St. Petersburg Times. "The first time I worked him I was like, 'Whoa, what the hell do I have here?' He just does things that other horses can't do. He's got stamina and gears. When he hits the front, he idles...He has to have something to chase." Ryan says that he enjoys spending his winters at Tampa Bay Downs in Oldsmar, Florida, because “The track’s very good, especially the turf course. It’s great getting to the beaches and the weather is wonderful. ”

Jim E. Nelson & Sergio de Sousa

Breeder

Jim E. Nelson purchased Fortuesque, the dam of Musket Man, for $34,000 as a five-year-old mare at the 2001 Keeneland November sale. Sergio de Sousa (pictured) is the managing partner of Hidden Brook Farm near Paris, Kentucky. A prominent player on the auction scene, Hidden Brook has been involved in the acquisitions of such top horses as Kentucky Derby-winning champion Big Brown and Grade 1 stars Discreet Cat and Backseat Rhythm. As a consignor, Hidden Brook has offered the likes of Grade 1 winners Dixie Chatter, Ariege and Spun Sugar. Musket Man was raised at Hidden Brook and sold for $15,000 at the Keeneland September yearling sale.

Pedigree

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