Spendthrift Farm’s Medal Count, last Saturday’s runner-up in Keeneland’s Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes, will make his next start in the $2 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) May 3rd at Churchill Downs, trainer Dale Romans confirmed on Tuesday.
“Medal Count came out of the Blue Grass in great shape, and we’re looking forward to running him a mile-and-a-quarter in the (Kentucky) Derby,” Romans said. “He’s trained at Churchill Downs most of his life and seems to really love the track. Ever since he’s come into the barn, I’ve been very high on him. I think he’s as good as any of the 3-year-olds we’ve had.”
Medal Count has been back at Romans’ barn at Churchill since the Blue Grass, and will return to the track on Wednesday to begin his preparation for May 3rd. No breeze schedule has been set for the dark bay son of Dynaformer, who will be making his third start in 29 days when he lines up in the Derby.
Medal Count earned 40 points with his strong runner-up performance finish in the Blue Grass, which is good enough to be tied for 17th in the Kentucky Derby point standings and assuring him a spot in the field of 20. Prior to the Blue Grass, Medal Count won the Transylvania S. (G3) on opening day at Keeneland on April 4th.
Jockey Robby Albarado will ride Medal Count in the Derby. He’s been aboard the colt for his last two starts in the Transylvania and Blue Grass.
For B. Wayne Hughes’ Spendthrift Farm, Medal Count will become the fifth starter to don Mr. Hughes’ distinctive purple and orange colors in the Run for the Roses. The last was Don’t Get Mad, who finished fourth in the 2005 Derby a week after winning the Derby Trial S. Atswhatimtalkinbout also placed fourth two years prior in 2003. Breeders' Cup champion Action This Day (2004) and Greeley's Galaxy (2005) were the other two.
Medal Count has won three of seven starts to date, with earnings of $261,600. He is out of the multiple graded stakes-producing Unbridled’s Song mare Brisquette.