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Dance With Fate confirmed for Derby
Blue Grass winner Dance With Fate will indeed take his spot in the starting gate in the May 3 Kentucky Derby, connections announced Friday.
Both before, and after, his 100-point windfall at Keeneland last Saturday, trainer Peter Eurton wasn't ready to commit his charge to the Run for the Roses. Eurton cited Dance With Fate's apparent preference for turf and synthetic at this point in his career, as well as the possible concern of coming back three weeks after the Blue Grass.
But jockey Corey Nakatani, who rode the colt for the first time in the Blue Grass, was all for giving him the opportunity at Churchill Downs.
And with the benefit of time to reflect, connections -- including Sharon Alesia, Bran Jam Stable and Ciaglia Racing -- agreed. Britney Eurton, the trainer's daughter, took to TVG to reveal the news.
The colt's official Twitter account, @DanceWithFate, also helped spread the story on social media while confirming that Nakatani would retain the mount.
A prominent two-year-old in Southern California last season, Dance With Fate was a troubled second to Tamarando in the Del Mar Futurity on Polytrack. In his first dirt, and two-turn, attempt in the FrontRunner at Santa Anita, he struck the front, only to be passed in deep stretch by Bond Holder. Dance With Fate tried the Breeders' Cup Juvenile over the same track and 1 1/16-mile trip, only to end up eighth after being squeezed at the start.
Connections then mapped out a plan with the Blue Grass as his primary early-season objective. Dance With Fate reappeared in a January 24 allowance on the Santa Anita turf, and showed that he loved the surface with a stylish 1 3/4-length decision. That was his prep for the February 15 El Camino Real Derby on the Tapeta at Golden Gate Fields, where he was caught late by his old foe Tamarando.
Dance With Fate was freshened for two months in advance of the Blue Grass, and responded with a powerful move from well back on Keeneland's Polytrack. Blue Grass runner-up Medal Count is already in the Derby field, while third Pablo Del Monte is among those on the outside looking in at the moment.