05/05/2011 2:44PM

Kentucky Derby: Albarado will ride despite injuries


Despite sustaining a broken nose when he was stepped on by his mount Smoke’n Al on Wednesday, jockey Robby Albarado is expected to keep his engagement aboard Animal Kingdom in Saturday’s Kentucky Derby as well as the remainder of his mounts on the card.

Albarado also sustained a gash over his right eye that needed to be stitched up, according to his agent, Lenny Pike. Albarado did take off his mounts on Thursday, but Pike was hopeful he could ride his nine mounts on Friday – which included Bouquet Booth in the $1 million Kentucky Oaks.

KENTUCKY DERBY DAY: Past performances, contender profiles, and video

“He’s not going to look the prettiest in the paddock, but he’s never been that pretty anyway,’’ Pike said.

Albarado is one of several jockeys looking to end long Derby droughts. He is 0 for 12 in the Derby with three third-place finishes. John Velazquez, who is named to ride Uncle Mo, is also 0 for 12 with just a second-place finish on Invisible Ink in 2001.

The longest Derby drought among those riding Saturday belongs to Corey Nakatani, who is winless with 14 rides. Nakatani, who rides Nehro on Saturday, finished fourth twice (Green Alligator in 1991 and Halory Hunter in 1998).

Steve Asmussen, the trainer of Nehro, is undeterred by Nakatani’s lack of success in the Derby and said he believes his strength makes him a natural fit for the late-running Nehro, who just missed in both the Louisiana Derby and Arkansas Derby.