Derby Contenders

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Date Race Grade Distance Finish Chart Replay
Apr 5 2014 Wood Memorial Aqueduct I 1 1/8 Miles 3 REPLAY


Marcial J. Azpurua


Manny Azpurua is 85 and a native of Caracas, Venezuela.  Azpurua trained in Venezuela until 1979, saddling over 3500 winners, then moved to the United States where he has saddled over 1000 winners.  Azpurua has trained one previous Derby contender, Set n’ Go, who finished 16th in the 1979 Kentucky Derby.

Luis Contreras


Luis is a native of Mexico and began riding there at age 16. He moved to Golden Gate in northern California and rode his first winner in the states there in 2007. He has won the riding title at Sunland Park in the 2009-2010 season and wrapped up the leading rider title at Woodbine in 2011. There he set a record for purse earnings with over $11 million and won a reord tying 6 races on one day. He is the first rider to win the Canadian Triple Crown on more than one horse when he captured the prestigous series aboard Inglorious in the Queen's Plate and Pender harbour in the Prince of Wales and th Breeders Stakes. Other top mounts include Sovereign Award winner Points of Grace, Delightful Mary and Prospective.

Rontos Racing Stable Corp. (Ron Sanchez)


Ron Sanchez is the owner of Rontos Racing Stable Corp.  Sanchez is a native of Caracas, Venezuela and moved to the United States in 2010.  Sanchez has been in the horse business for over twenty years.


Pioneerof the Nile--Saint Bernadette, by Saint Ballado

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Social Inclusion descends from a male line rich in recent Kentucky Derby history.  While his great-grandsire Unbridled won the Run for the Roses in 1990, his grandsire Empire Maker (2003) and sire Pioneerof the Nile (2009) were each runner-up in the Kentucky Derby.

Pioneerof the Nile was the West Coast's top contender going into the 2009 Derby, having swept the CashCall Futurity, Robert B. Lewis, San Felipe and Santa Anita Derby. Turning for home in the slop at Churchill Downs, he looked ready to give Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert his fourth Kentucky Derby trophy, only to be stunned by the 50-1 shot Mine That Bird.

Pioneerof the Nile's first foals are now three, and at one point, he had as many as three potential Derby contenders. The most accomplished was Cairo Prince, hero of the Nashua and Holy Bull, who has been sidelined by injury. Vinceremos captured the Sam F. Davis and finished second in the Tampa Bay Derby before his uncharacteristic disappointment in the Blue Grass.

Other useful members of his first crop include River Dancer, the second-place finisher in last summer's With Anticipation on the turf at Saratoga; smashing debut winner Ari the Adventurer; and Jojo Warrior, runner-up in the April 12 Instant Racing in her second career start.

Social Inclusion's dam, Saint Bernadette, finished a close third in the 1 1/16-mile Hollywood Oaks in 2002. She has produced two other runners, both minor winners (including one in Korea).

Saint Bernadette is by Saint Ballado, a full brother to Canadian Horse of the Year and outstanding broodmare Glorious Song, and to champion Devil's Bag.

Saint Ballado sired 2005 Horse of the Year Saint Liam, two-time champion Ashado, and 1997 Kentucky Derby near-misser Captain Bodgit. His daughters have produced the likes of two-time Canadian champion Roxy Gap, Charitable Man, Code West and current Derby contender Dance With Fate.

Saint Bernadette is out of the stakes-placed Wedding Jitters, a daughter of Runaway Groom. Enshrined in the Canadian Hall of Fame, Runaway Groom scored his most memorable victory in the 1982 Travers, upsetting eventual Horse of the Year Conquistador Cielo.

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