Updated on 04/09/2013 9:41AM

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

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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.