With the field, post positions and odds all set, a filly by Malibu Moon is attracting as much attention as any horse in the Kentucky Derby (G1) lineup. There was plenty of drama prior to Wednesday's draw, with horses dropping in and out on a daily basis, and riders playing musical chairs as well.
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The nerves eased for Devil May Care's connections after she drew post 11, right in the middle of the 20 horse field. Said trainer Todd Pletcher, “I like her draw. It’s a good spot. The only caution I feel is the fact that she’ll be loading right near the start of it and will have to do some waiting. But other than that, it’s fine.” (The Derby field is loaded into the gate two horses at a time, so that 1 and 11 load first, then 2 and 12, and so forth.)
Devil May Care has been working at Churchill with blinkers on, and she will wear them in the Derby.
“We’ve been thinking about doing it since her (last start in the) Bonnie Miss (at Gulfstream March 20). When she made the lead that day she started easing up and looking around. We’ve been training her in them (blinkers) since and now it has become a no-brainer. It will just help her focus,” Pletcher said.
Devil May Care is one of only three horses in the Derby to have run a triple-digit Beyer Speed Figure, which is part of the reason she was made the 10-1 co-third choice in the morning line. Another factor is the presence of rider John Velazquez, who was scheduled to ride Eskendereya, also trained by Pletcher, before that colt was unfortunately scratched earlier in the week due to a minor injury.
John Greathouse, the owner of Devil May Care, said earlier this week that if Velazquez hadn't been available, his star filly would have run in the Apr. 30 Kentucky Oaks (G1).