Racing News

Trinniberg likely for Derby Trial, not Derby

  • Trinniberg's owner believes he's better served sticking to one-turn races (NYRA/Adam Coglianese)

With the final round of major prep races for the Kentucky Derby completed on Saturday, the Calder-based multiple Grade 3 winner Trinniberg sits in 17th place in the latest graded stakes earnings list. But even with his spot in the Derby starting gate seemingly assured, owner Shivananda Parbhoo has indicated that his colt is likely to pass the race.

"Right now I'm 85 percent not going to the Derby," Parbhoo said on Sunday morning. "But I could reach 100 percent pretty soon. The way the horse is feeling right now, he's doing so well, I don't want to run him over his head. He's a nice three-year-old with so many options the rest of the year. I don't want to ruin him."

While those future options could include such races as the Grade 2 Woody Stephens at Belmont Park on June 9 and the Grade 1 King's Bishop at Saratoga August 25, the next option for the recent Grade 3 Bay Shore winner could be the Grade 3 Derby Trial at Churchill Downs, run at the distance of one mile on April 28.

"We'll work him some time between the 18th and the 20th, and then we'll look at the Derby Trial as the next logical spot," Parbhoo said. "I think the one-mile distance of that race is perfect for him. And it's a way to stretch him out a bit, without asking too much of him."

Following a possible start in the Derby Trial, Parbhoo hinted that Trinniberg could still make a Triple Crown appearance in Baltimore, contesting the Grade 1 Preakness Stakes on May 19. But even that option appears to be fading somewhat from the owner's mind.

"The Preakness could still be a goal, but a lot of that would depend on how he ran in the Derby Trial," Parbhoo said. "If we decide to run (in the Derby Trial) and he was to win that race really easy, then we might look at the Preakness. But right now, my thinking is that I'd really like to keep him at seven furlongs to one mile.

"Believe me, I want to go to the Derby; the day we bought our first horse, our dream was the Derby," Parbhoo continued.

"But it's not about me, it's about the horse. I won't ruin a really nice horse just to say I ran a horse in the Kentucky Derby."