05/01/2012 1:19PM

Kentucky Derby 2012: Why Hollendorfer chose Lezcano to ride Rousing Sermon

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Barbara D. Livingston
Rousing Sermon, with jockey Jose Lezcano up, works five furlongs in 1:00.13 on Tuesday at Churchill Downs.

Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said there were a lot of reasons that led him to choose New York-based Jose Lezcano to ride Rousing Sermon in Saturday’s Kentucky Derby.

Hollendorfer noted that a lot of big-name trainers such as Bill Mott and Tom Proctor use Lezcano regularly, he’s fearless, and he competes on a daily basis with the top riders in the country.

“He’s a fearless rider, and you need a fearless rider in the Derby,” Hollendorfer said. “He’s someone who’s ridden against many of the guys he will be riding against in the Derby.”

On Tuesday, Lezcano came to Churchill to guide Rousing Sermon to a five-furlong workout in 1:00.13 over the Churchill Downs main track.

“It was really worth doing,” Hollendorfer said. “He knows how you have to prompt this horse a little bit.”

Lezcano was seen pulling on the left rein in the stretch of the work. Hollendorfer said Lezcano told him that Rousing Sermon grabbed the bit, “wanting to go too fast. He was wanting to get him off the bit.”

Lezcano finished second in the 2010 Kentucky Derby aboard Ice Box.

Ian GW More than 1 year ago
I always liked the horse maybe the distance wakes him up and the jockey. Ill use him in there on tickets.
JeanK More than 1 year ago
Shot! Hollendorfer is in the hall of fame... This horse has been screaming for a 1 1/4 mile since he was 2. If the Speed dies watch out!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the one long shot (over 50 to 1) to use in the bottom of superfecta exotic. The Sermon has breeding and running style fits how the race has tons of speed, Hall of Fame Trainer has been tto the Big Dance.. Jockey who can get more out of him. Connections are new to the Derby, but not to horses, home breeding and TB racing business.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If he gets the distance he does so in pedestrian fractions. If your lQQking for a longshot try Done Talking, Sabercat or I'll Have Another. Good Luck on Derby Day.
Joe Tartaglia More than 1 year ago
I still don't understand why McLaughlin didn't get this guy for Alpha. Would have been a perfect fit.
JeanK More than 1 year ago
because this guy chose Rousing sermon! very simple.
Robert Whitlock More than 1 year ago
I doubt that it was a choice,Kiarin never uses Lezcano and I think the other two choices he had were Eddie Castro ,or Rosie . I doubt he wanted to wait and find out if she were going to be open.rajiv is a great rider with a great agent.He will deliver a quality ride.Take nothing away from Lezcano,he is obviously a great rider.
Michael Miner More than 1 year ago
Russell Muscle and Hollendorfer are Bay Area guys that go back decades together. I can't believe Baze didn't get to keep the mount. Oh well, love 'um both. Hope Jose enjos the ride.
TriniLoo More than 1 year ago
When Lezcano got his break from Kirk Ziadie, and rode in Tampa early in his career, there was no doubt he was going to rise among the elite. He may not win this derby, but in the future, he will win many graded stakes races, here and overseas. This lad isn't a rising star, he IS a star.
Panama Stallion More than 1 year ago
Jose is an excellent choice. I know it sounds corny but, I have to include my hometown boy in the exotics and place a WPS bet on him just for nationalistic pride. Damnnn my bets just got more expensive. Give' em hell Jose!!
Don Amaral More than 1 year ago
Good selection but it would have been nice to get Russell the muscle a derby ride!!!!
Justin More than 1 year ago
i wanted baze to get the mount too. its not like this horse has a chance
juan More than 1 year ago
his chances would have diminished had Russell gotten the mount. Even Jerry knows that.
Arjay More than 1 year ago
i'll have a 'saver' on him because of lezcano
superdog More than 1 year ago
Good choice. Lezcano is up there with best. Good luck.