04/18/2014 1:46PM

Kentucky Derby: Dance With Fate confirmed as starter


Dance With Fate will run for the roses.

After being noncommittal regarding a start in the Kentucky Derby following Dance With Fate’s victory in the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes over Keeneland’s Polytrack on April 12, the colt’s connections announced Friday that the horse will run in North America’s most famous race May 3 at Churchill Downs.

The decision was first announced by Britney Eurton, the daughter of trainer Peter Eurton, on TVG and later confirmed by the trainer.

“We are a definite go,” Peter Eurton said by phone from California. “As long as he keeps doing the way he’s been doing, I see no reason why no. It’s a moment of a lifetime. I just want things to be going as well as they were for the Blue Grass, and so far it’s going as well as possible.”

Eurton also said, “Churchill Downs is conducive to horses that have his style.”

Following the Blue Grass, Eurton expressed concern about running the horse back in three weeks and running on dirt, a surface over which Dance With Fate is 0 for 2. However, Dance With Fate finished second to Bond Holder in the Grade 1 FrontRunner Stakes on dirt. He finished eighth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, the only start of his career in which he did not race on Lasix.

“I think the biggest thing that day was he got away poorly, and the kickback really bothered him,” Eurton said. “I think he’s much better now. He’s stronger in behind and hopefully gets through the dirt better than he did in the fall.”

Dance With Fate shipped back to Southern California on Tuesday, and on Friday he returned to the track, jogging over Santa Anita’s dirt training track.

Eurton said Dance With Fate would ship to Kentucky on April 28 on the same flight with Derby favorite California Chrome. Eurton said Dance With Fate would have one work before then, possibly over the Santa Anita turf course.

Corey Nakatani, who rode Dance With Fate in the Blue Grass, will ride him in the Kentucky Derby.