Road to the Kentucky Derby Horse Profile: Lombo

When Lombo went to the gate for the 1 1/16-mile Robert B. Lewis Stakes (G3), he was seen mainly as a sprinter following three starts at 6 ½ furlongs or yet.

By the time he crossed the finish line, he was a Kentucky Derby contender.

Lombo made his debut on the Del Mar turf over five furlongs. He was well regarded but finished a mere seventh out of eight runners.

He then moved to the Santa Anita dirt, improving to finish third in a maiden over a six furlong trip. A few weeks later, he broke his maiden on the same track over 6 ½ furlongs.

Then came the Robert B. Lewis Stakes Feb. 3, and Lombo led all the way. He put a break on the field around the final turn, and held on to win by a comfortable two lengths from the fast-finishing Ayacara.

Bred in Kentucky by Twin Creeks Farm, Lombo made an impression as a weanling at the 2015 Keeneland November mixed sale, being sold for $110,000. Brought back for sale as a yearling at the 2016 Fasig-Tipton July sale he made $40,000, and he was then bought at the 2017 Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. March sale of 2-year-olds in training by Mike Pender, who trains Lombo for owner Michael Lombardi.

In winning the Robert B. Lewis Stakes, Lombo became the first stakes winner for his sire Graydar, from whose first crop he comes from.

The Taylor Made Farm stallion won five of his six starts as a racehorse, including the 1 1/8-mile Donn Handicap (G1) at Gulfstream Park, the New Orleans Handicap (G2), and the Kelso Stakes (G2). He is a son of Unbridled’s Song, whose progeny include the leading 1 ¼-mile runners Arrogate and Will Take Charge, while his dam Sweetest Smile is from a family that includes Ron the Greek and Musket Man, both good horses at 1 1/8 miles and further.

Lombo ‘s dam Burg Berg, whose most notable triumph was in the one-mile Swingtime Stakes at Hollywood Park on turf, is a daughter of Snowberg, a stakes winner and placed three times at grade one level. There is a fair amount of speed in his pedigree.

Lombo tends to run near the pace. His pedigree suggests some doubt about whether he has the stamina to stay 1 ¼ miles on Derby day, but the Unbridled’s Song factor means it can’t be ruled out either. Keep an eye on his upcoming races for more stamina clues.

(Lombo Photo by Benoit Photography)