05/07/2011 3:25PM

Churchill Downs: Robby Albarado's thoughts on losing Derby mount on Animal Kingdom


Jockey Robby Albarado, who lost the mount on Animal Kingdom in the Kentucky Derby after not riding Thursday and Friday, rode Sassy Image to victory in the Grade 1 Humana Distaff Saturday on the Derby undercard.

Albarado had been injured in a spill in the third race post parade Wednesday, suffering a broken nose and facial lacerations.

He had these comments after being asked how it feels to win a Grade 1 after the week he's had:

"You don't even know. To win any race today would've been great.

"Barry Irwin (head of the Team Valor partnership that owns Animal Kingdom) decided he didn't think I was fit to ride; he didn't know my status or my situation. I'm just glad they thought of me first or all and I'll get plenty of opportunities to ride in the Derby down the road and this just wasn't my time today...

"I feel better than I look, I know that. It doesn't feel bad at all."

Albarado wore a plastic shield over his helmet, rather than goggles, which presumably may have caused discomfort with his broken nose.

Albarado was replaced on Animal Kingdom by John Velazquez, who became available for the Derby when Uncle Mo was scratched.