Multiple Grade 3-winning sprinter Trinniberg will aim for the Kentucky Derby after all, owner Shivananda Parbhoo announced Saturday.
Parbhoo had previously said that he was "85 percent" against stepping the speedy colt up from seven furlongs to 1 1/4 miles for the Derby, and had mentioned next Saturday's Grade 3 Derby Trial as a likelier option.
Trinniberg, an impressive winner of the Grade 3 Swale and Grade 3 Bay Shore last out, will be trying two turns for the first time in the Kentucky Derby.
"You want to know the reason," Parbhoo asked lightheartedly when questioned about his decision to reroute the colt to the Derby.
"Secret Circle. When he came out of the race (due to a reported sesamoid injury), that's what did it for me. With him out of the race, I know there isn't another horse in the race with the kind of speed my horse has."
Trinniberg and Secret Circle met in last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Sprint at Churchill Downs, a race where Trinniberg made the early running through a swift first quarter in :20.96 before yielding the lead, and ultimately the race, to Secret Circle. But with that rival out of the Derby, Parbhoo thinks this trip to Louisville can end differently.
"We'll know after the first half-mile what the result will be," Parbhoo said, indicating how important the early stages of the Derby will prove for his colt. "We'll know, the jockey will know, and the rest of the field will know. I'm not worried about anyone else in the race if my horse gets in front."
And while pre-race strategy for the Derby would seem to suggest that Parbhoo will have Trinniberg on the lead, the owner has begun working his horse in company in hopes of teaching the colt to be comfortable around and behind other horses.
"We've been taking him to the track with a couple other horses from our barn," Parbhoo said. "And we keep him behind those horses before letting him run. And he doesn't even budge. We put a horse right next to him, and it doesn't bother him a bit. But that comes with maturity. He used to be a little jumpy; he was a little high-strung. But very little seems to bother him anymore.
"Look, I'm just like everybody else in the race," Parbhoo said when challenged again on his decision to change course and run Trinniberg in the Derby.
"I have a real nice horse with four legs that can run. We're no different from any of the others. And it's a once in a lifetime dream to run in the Derby."