Racing News

Borel picks up mount on Revolutionary; Smith on Palace Malice

  • Revolutionary (right) aims to give Calvin Borel his fourth Derby win (Lynn Roberts/Hodges Photography)

Three-time Kentucky Derby winner Calvin Borel has picked up the mount on Louisiana Derby hero Revolutionary for the 139th Run for the Roses, it was announced Monday.

Revolutionary represents the same connections -- WinStar Farm and trainer Todd Pletcher -- as Borel's most recent Derby winner, Super Saver, in 2010. The veteran rider first guided Street Sense to Derby glory in 2007 before springing the 50-1 upset aboard Mine That Bird in 2009.

Borel takes over the mount from Javier Castellano, who opted to ride Normandy Invasion in the Kentucky Derby. Castellano had been two-for-two on Revolutionary, engineering his victories in both the February 2 Withers at Aqueduct and the March 30 Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds.

"Calvin's Kentucky Derby experience and affinity for Churchill Downs makes him a perfect fit for most Derby contenders, and we're thrilled to have him aboard Revolutionary to once again carry the WinStar colors in horse racing's biggest race," WinStar President and CEO Elliott Walden said.

"Obviously, Calvin did a masterful job guiding Super Saver to WinStar's first ever Kentucky Derby victory a few years ago, which is something we'll be forever thankful for. So we've had good fortune together, and hopefully, history can repeat itself on May 4th."

Once the mount became available, WinStar had invited fans to vote for their Derby jockey of choice for Revolutionary. WinStar said in a statement that Borel and Rosie Napravnik dominated the balloting, and the fans' voice "helped to affirm the decision" to name Borel.

"We're thrilled with the response from the fans that took the interest and got involved in voting on who should ride Revolutionary in the Derby through our WinStar Stablemates website," Walden said. "We took every choice under serious consideration, and ultimately Todd (Pletcher) and I chose Calvin. We're pleased that many of the fans thought the same."

In other Derby news from the Pletcher barn Monday, Hall of Famer Mike Smith has been booked to ride Palace Malice.

The Dogwood Stable colt was narrowly beaten when third in the February 23 Risen Star at Fair Grounds and runner-up in last Saturday's Blue Grass at Keeneland. Palace Malice has already had four jockeys in his six-race career, and Smith will be his fifth.

Smith, whose only Derby win came courtesy of 50-1 Giacomo in 2005, was second aboard Bodemeister last year.

Pletcher has four horses confirmed for the May 4 Kentucky Derby, including presumptive favorite Verrazano, the Wood Memorial and Tampa Bay Derby hero, and Arkansas Derby winner Overanalyze.

Pletcher could have as many as five starters. His Blue Grass third Charming Kitten is 20th on the points list as of Monday, pending developments in the two "wildcard" races -- Saturday's Lexington Stakes at Keeneland and the April 27 Derby Trial at Churchill Downs.