05/01/2012 12:19PM

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.