04/19/2009 12:00AM

Gomez picks 'Pioneer'; Prado on Dunkirk

Email

Garrett Gomez has chosen to ride Pioneerof the Nile over Dunkirk in the Kentucky Derby, his agent, Ron Anderson, confirmed Sunday morning. Meanwhile, Edgar Prado has picked up the mount on Dunkirk, trainer Todd Pletcher confirmed via a text.

Anderson, who called this the most difficult decision he has had to make in 36 years as an agent, said it came down to the fact that Gomez has won four stakes - including two Grade 1's - on Pioneerof the Nile. Gomez is 4 for 4 on Pioneerof the Nile, including victories in the CashCall Futurity, Robert Lewis, San Felipe, and Santa Anita Derby.

"If I had won four stakes, two Grade 1's on the other horse I would have been on that one," said Anderson, who has been the jockey agent for winners of three Derbies.

Gomez had ridden Dunkirk to victory in a first-level allowance race as well as to a second-place finish behind Quality Road in the Florida Derby.

Gomez, in an interview with TVG, said that while Pioneerof the Nile has not been dazzling in his four victories, Gomez believes the horse has more to give.

"There is more there; I found that [out] a couple of races back and that s one of the things that really impressed me about him," Gomez said. "Hopefully, in the Derby, we ll be able to have some kind of nice trip where he's able to have some kind of target out there, and I'm sure we will."