Derby Contenders

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Todd Pletcher


Pletcher won the 2010 Kentucky Derby with Super Saver and also trained Kentucky Oaks winners Rags to Riches (2007) and Princess of Sylmar (2013). He won four straight Eclipse Awards as top trainer from 2004-2007 and again in 2010, 2013 and 2014. The Texas native has also been the leading American conditioner by money won nine times since 2004. He's conditioned multiple Eclipse champions including Uncle Mo, Ashado, English Channel, Speighstown, Fleet Indian, Wait a While, Lawyer Ron, and Left Bank – and has saddled a co-record five starters in the Kentucky Derby twice before (2007 & 2013). Pletcher ranks second by Kentucky Derby starters with 40, trailing only living-legend D. Wayne Lukas.

Ramon Dominguez


Dominguez was the 2010 & 2011 Eclipse Award winner for Outstanding Jockey. In 2011, his mounts earned an incredible $19,364,256, and in 2001 and 2003 he lead the nation in number of victories. Dominguez has two Breeders' Cup wins to his credit including the 2011 Breeders' Cup Juvenile aboard Hansen. He recently was chosen as the recipient for the prestigious George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award for his career achievements and personal character. Top Mounts for Dominguez have included: Havre de Grace, Hansen, Get Stormy, Gio Ponti and Stay Thirsty. He is seeking his first Kentucky Derby victory. At the age of 16, Ramon began riding horses in Venezuela despite his father’s disapproval who wanted him to be a doctor. His father convinced him to ride show jumpers for a short while, but Ramon went back to riding racehorses a year later. Although, his father was not happy with this initial decision, he became very supportive of Ramon, but insisted his son graduate high school before becoming a jockey. Ramon moved to the United States from his native Venezuela and began riding races at Hialeah Park in 1996. He won his first race in March 1996 aboard Solo Moondance. In 2001 and 2003, he led the nation in wins. In 2004 he was honored with the Isaac Murphy Award by the Turf Writers Association for having the highest winning percentage for the year. He was the leading rider at Delaware Park from 2004 through 2007. Ramon reached a milestone of 3,000 victories at Delaware Park on May 9, 2007. He was named the top jockey of the 2008-2009 Inner Track Meet at Aqueduct with 124 wins. Ramon Dominguez was born on November 24, 1976 and resides in Elkton, Maryland.

Repole Stable


Mike Repole is the founder of Vitaminwater and Smartwater which he sold to The Coca-Cola Company in 2007. Mike’s racehorses to date include Uncle Mo, the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner and Travers, Gotham, and Cigar Mile winner Stay Thirsty. In 2013 he starts Remsen winner Overanalyze in the Derby and Unlimited Budget in the Kentucky Oaks.

  • Photo: NYRA, Adam Coglianese

  • Photo: David Alcosser

  • Photo: David Alcosser

  • Photo: NYRA, Adam Coglianese

  • Photo: NYRA, Adam Coglianese


Bernardini--Marozia, by Storm Bird

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Pedigree features stamina on both top and bottom, signifying that 1 1/4 miles should be well within his scope.

Stay Thirsty was bred in Kentucky by John D. Gunther & John Darren Gunther.

From the first crop of Bernardini, who was voted the champion three-year-old of 2006 after victories in the Preakness S. (G1), Travers S. (G1) and Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1).

Bernardini is a son of Horse of the Year and outstanding sire A.P. Indy, winner of the 1992 Belmont S. (G1) and Breeders' Cup Classic (G1), and A.P. Indy was himself sired by 1977 Triple Crown legend Seattle Slew.

The royally-bred Bernardini is off to a fast start at stud, with his other leading runners including Derby contender To Honor and Serve, winner of the Nashua S. (G2) and Remsen S. (G2); Italian Group 1 hero Biondetti; Frizette S. (G1) queen A Z Warrior; and English Group 3 victress Theyskens' Theory.

Stay Thirsty is not the first Derby hopeful produced by his dam, Marozia, who scored her only career victory going 1 1/2 miles on Lingfield's Polytrack in England. She is also responsible for Grade 3 winner Andromeda's Hero, eighth in the 2005 Run for the Roses, but subsequently runner-up in the 1 1/2-mile Belmont.

All seven of Marozia's foals to reach the racetrack have won, other notables being stakes scorer Superfly, third in the 2005 Champagne S. (G1), and the distance-loving King Rama, a seven-time winner in Ireland at up to 1 5/8 miles.

Marozia is by the influential stallion Storm Bird, an English and Irish champion juvenile whose top progeny include Grade 1 star and supersire Storm Cat; Preakness hero Summer Squall, runner-up in the 1990 Kentucky Derby and himself the sire of 1999 Derby and Preakness champion Charismatic; and Irish highweight Balanchine, who defeated males in the 1994 Irish Derby (Ire-G1).

Storm Bird has likewise made his mark as a broodmare sire. His daughters have produced such outstanding performers as champion Thunder Gulch, who captured the 1995 Kentucky Derby, Belmont and Travers; Birdstone, the 2004 Belmont and Travers winner; champion and 2003 Kentucky Oaks (G1) queen Bird Town; and champion juvenile filly Flanders. Marozia is out of the multiple Grade 1-placed stakes heroine Make Change, who just missed in the 1 1/4-mile Alabama S. (G1) and finished third in the 1 1/2-mile Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) in 1988.

Make Change was sired by Epsom Derby (Eng-G1) winner and robust stamina influence Roberto, and Make Change's dam, Equal Change, was herself runner-up in the 1975 Coaching Club American Oaks.

Equal Change's sire Arts and Letters and broodmare sire *Cavan were both Belmont winners.

Moreover, Arts and Letters, a Hall of Famer, romped by 14 lengths in the 1969 Jockey Club Gold Cup, then held over two miles.

Although the female family has continued to churn out quality horses in recent years, ranging from stayers like Age of Reason and Highest, to milers like Nayyir and Futurity (G1) victor Whywhywhy, its brightest stars rose in ages past.

Stay Thirsty's fifth dam, Equal Venture, was a full sister to 1946 Triple Crown sweeper Assault, and tracing still further back in the maternal line, Stay Thirsty's eighth dam, Masda, was a full sister to the mighty Man o'War.

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