04/17/2012 3:45PM

Kentucky Derby: Hollendorfer still in decision process with Rousing Sermon

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Shigeki Kikkawa
Rousing Sermon may start in the Snow Chief for California-breds rather than the Kentucky Derby.

A decision on whether Rousing Sermon will be pointed for the Kentucky Derby may be made this week, trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said on Tuesday.

Hollendorfer said he intends to have a conversation with owner Larry Williams and Dan Kiser, who manages Williams’s farm, to determine a plan. One option other than the Kentucky Derby is the $300,000 Snow Chief Stakes for California-breds at Hollywood Park on April 28.

“We have not ruled out the running in the Kentucky Derby,”

Hollendorfer said. “Our horse is good and fit. He’s has a good foundation. I think we’ll be okay whatever we chose.”

A stakes winner against California-breds at 2, Rousing Sermon was third in the Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds on April 1. Through Tuesday, Rousing Sermon was 20th on the list of 3-year-olds with graded stakes earnings, at $270,000, but one of the horses ranked in front of him, Louisiana Derby winner Hero of Order, is not nominated to the Kentucky Derby.

The Kentucky Derby has a maximum field of 20 horses. If the race oversubscribes, the top 20 horses who were nominated to the race secure a berth. A horse such as Hero of Order, who would have to be supplemented at time of entry, cannot replace a horse who was nominated in January or March.

Hollendorfer said that if Rousing Sermon runs in the Snow Chief Stakes, the colt could join the Triple Crown for the Preakness Stakes on May 19 or the Belmont Stakes on June 9. In addition, lucrative stakes at Monmouth Park and Saratoga during the summer have Hollendorfer’s attention.

“Every trainer in America would want to win the Derby,” Hollendorfer said. “Rather than make a rash decision, we have to decide what we want to do. In my opinion, it’s the toughest race in the world to win. There are a lot of good purses for 3-year-olds to run at.”