Updated on 04/09/2013 9:41AM

Goldencents will follow same pattern to Kentucky Derby that worked for O'Neill last year

Shigeki Kikkawa
Goldencents, in the Santa Anita winner's circle with jockey Kevin Krigger, earned a career-high 105 Beyer Speed Figure for his Santa Anita Derby victory.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Goldencents, who won the Santa Anita Derby on Saturday, emerged from the race “great,” trainer Doug O’Neill said Sunday morning, and will move on to the May 4 Kentucky Derby, a race O’Neill won last year with I’ll Have Another, who also won the Santa Anita Derby in his final prep.

“We’re flying high,” O’Neill said Sunday morning.

Goldencents was awarded a career-best 105 Beyer Speed Figure for his performance in the Santa Anita Derby.

[ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY: Prep races, point standings, replays]

O’Neill said he envisioned the same timetable in terms of works and shipping for Goldencents prior to the Derby as he used last year with I’ll Have Another. Specifically, he said Goldencents would do the bulk of his training in the next few weeks in California – Goldencents trains at Santa Anita – and would have his final Derby drill here.

“Nine or 10 days out, he’ll have his final breeze here, and then we’ll fly seven days out, something like that,” O’Neill said. “It worked last year.”

Goldencents is owned by a partnership that includes Rick Pitino, the University of Louisville basketball coach. Pitino’s RAP Racing owns the smallest share, just 5 percent. Glenn Sorgenstein and Josh Kaplan – who race under the banner W C Racing – own the majority interest, 75 percent, and Dave Kenney has 20 percent.

But Pitino’s celebrity status gives Goldencents a higher profile than the average Derby contender, and one can only imagine how the city of Louisville would react over the next four weeks if Pitino and the Cardinals win the NCAA basketball championship Monday night against Michigan and then Pitino has a runner in the Derby.

“Can you imagine the fun we’d have?” O’Neill said. “One more win, baby.”

Trainer Bob Baffert, who finished second, third, and fifth in the Santa Anita Derby with, respectively, Flashback, Super Ninety Nine, and Power Broker, initially said all three had come out of the race well. On Sunday afternoon, however, Flashback was found to have a small chip in his right knee and is off the Kentucky Derby trail. He was expected to make a full recovery after having surgery in Kentucky.

Justin More than 1 year ago
KK rode the horse perfectly. He layed off the pace setter and didn't get into a speed duel with him. That enabled him to have something left in the stretch when he scooted away from Flashback. A terrific ride all the way around.
D More than 1 year ago
I want to know the true fractions of this race?? If you watch the replay of the race and watch the fractions throughout the race as they are running its one time... then after the wire in the gallop out it shows different times... and then at the end as the horse is coming back to the winners circle it show the same early fractions as the first time when the horses are running but the final time is different? What the heck is going on here??? Someone please explain.... this is the weirdest thing I ever seen...
Mike Rutledge More than 1 year ago
If you went a store and you think they over charged you or cheated you, why in the world would you go back. If you think all of racing is fixed and you'r being cheated do all of us a favor and don't post don't participate in any manner don't come back you won't be missed.
Sandra Swan More than 1 year ago
I agree...When the horse they bet loses its automatically, "cheating and drugs" why can't they just go away
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
in all fairness to oneill and the horse..there was extra surveillance for this race and he did not scratch and the horse ran well...now im not saying he's a saint but they were watching and it did not affect his horse so we have to take it for what it is.
Ann Maree More than 1 year ago
Trainer bashing, sport bashing are worthless. Spouting off just to see your name in print is disgusting. For those who want to continue to pile on O'Neill, you would do well to read the full report of his infraction last year. He was not found to have violated ANY drug rules, none, nada. It had to do with elevated levels of HC02 (a natural substance), which the report clearly says could be from many sources, including the feed, bad reaction to lasix, etc. A horse's metabolism varies widely from horse to horse. The report said also that it was unusual for female horses to have been "tampered" with if this had been deliberate for the purpose they were concerned about. In CA, no matter what the cause of any infraction, there is a "trainer is ultimately responsible" rule, which is basically ALL that they found against Doug. I find fault with trainers as to their stand on raceday meds and some other conditioning type issues, but attacking their integrity and the sport indiscriminately is just not productive.
Dave More than 1 year ago
There's a difference between being a fan of a horse and being a horseplayer. A horseplayer would never declare who will win the Derby without seeing the post draw and the full field. Pace and trip make the race. There's no horse in this year's field that is so good that those things don't matter. I'm just not a big Goldencents fan, but maybe he can prove me wrong and get the 1 1/4 from up close to the pace? Now that we know Flashback was not himself due to injury, it really makes me question the SA Derby field.
steve milgats More than 1 year ago
The injury if it took place during the race would have not changed a thing. The adrenaline would not allow Flashback to stop running unless things became catastrophic. This injury had nothing to do with the outcome. He was flat outrun.
FMeatball More than 1 year ago
I have him @ 49/1 WHOOP WHOOP !!
Kim Lee More than 1 year ago
At this point in time...I have.Goldencents at the head of the class
Lenny Mamola More than 1 year ago
You know..there's a lot of bad mouthing here about trainers..and thats pure B/S..If you think that way just leave the game and sport......Because you really do not belong or have any love for it.......... to talk and write like that..... I have been with the sport 50 years and it has been a wonderful experience...But to see a handful of Idiots bring it down... is disgusting....Baffert .... O'Neil are Xlnt trainers...Do you have any Idea what it takes to train 50+ horses and do the Job they do???The hours involved the moves they have to make to be successful ??????????/ No... of course you don't your just all mouth...
Perl More than 1 year ago
You're the one doing all the talking. The game is filthy and your reaction and others is the whole "love it or leave it" credo. Please spare me.
jttf More than 1 year ago
didnt i read somewhere last year that o'neill's horses get sidelined more than double the national average ? it is a bad sign, when a california horse does 6 furlongs works on a continued basis.