04/28/2014 12:39PM

Kentucky Derby runner General a Rod sold

Barbara D. Livingston
General a Rod is now owned by Skychai Racing and Starlight Stables.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Skychai Racing and Starlight Stables have purchased Kentucky Derby contender General a Rod from his previous owner, J. Armando Rodriguez, the new ownership group announced on Monday.

General a Rod, runner-up in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth and the third-place finisher in the Grade 1 Florida Derby, will remain with trainer Mike Maker and be ridden by Joel Rosario in the Kentucky Derby, according to the new owners. He will wear the silks of James Shircliff, who is a partner in both Skychai and Starlight, in the Derby.

“I am proud of my involvement with both Skychai and Starlight Racing Partnerships,” said Shircliff. “I have been interested in acquiring this horse for some time and I’m thrilled we were finally able to come to terms with Mr. Rodriguez.”

Jack Wolf, whose Starlight Racing also owns a second Kentucky Derby candidate, Intense Holiday, will be the managing partner for General a Rod.

“Jim and I go back a long way,” said Wolf. “We owned claiming horses together back in the mid-80’s. Jim’s been talking to these people about General a Rod since January and we [Starlight] got involved six weeks ago or so.”

[ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY: Prep races, point standings, replays]

When asked about Starlight being represented by two horses in the Derby, Wolf said “you can’t have too many horses in the race when it comes to the Kentucky Derby. I’d like to have all 20.”

Maker was made aware of the sale on Monday.

“I’m a bit surprised, but I’ve been around the game long enough not to be surprised,” Maker said when informed of the owner change for General a Rod. “I haven’t been given any of the details of the arrangement just yet. Right now I’m just going to keep training this horse as I have been to run in the Derby on Saturday.”

General a Rod was scheduled to have his final work for the Derby at Churchill Downs on Tuesday.

– additional reporting by Byron King

Ian GW More than 1 year ago
Respect Rosario taking the mount. If you look at the works tells me they will be taking back. Would not look at the GULF efforts because you had to be up on the pace to have a shot and that was a tactical decision. I feel he sits third flight and makes one run. My only knock is form cycle. To me his form cycle just ended at Gulf.
Brian Woodward More than 1 year ago
Ownership aside, this horse has ran respectably and if he moves forward at all, he can be there at the wire. Business is business, and I do not read too much into this as far as the seller thinking he has no shot, therefore lets dump him now. If the price is right, you take the cash, in horse racing and pretty much anything else.
Jim Aljian More than 1 year ago
Reminds me of War Emblem. Wasn't he sold a week or two in front of the Derby? Maybe A Rod will duplicate that same wire to wire effort.
Joe Quillen More than 1 year ago
Wiki says he was sold three weeks prior.
tim More than 1 year ago
He was sold right after he won his last prep for the Derby. It was one of those toy track Derbies. Maybe Illinois?
Jim Aljian More than 1 year ago
yes, Illinois Derby. He ran a huge Beyer speed fig that nobody thought was legit.
Pom DeTerre More than 1 year ago
toy track??? tell that to one single trainer or owner or jock's face who stables at one of those"toy" tracks. does that make the owner or trainer second rate? does that make the jock's job any less dangerous? perhaps you're forgetting Jeremiah Englehart and the BC juvie filly race last November? does RiaAntonia ring a bell in your brain? Probably not as his home track is finger lakes. your comment reeks of sheer ignorance and utter arrogance.
Gustavo Garcia More than 1 year ago
u hit it right on the head Steve. Intense holiday is working like a horse possessed and johnny v gets off wildcat for intense holiday. the general will be going out with wildcat red and california chrome and chitu. setting it up for intense holiday and dance with fate.
Dave Mckenna More than 1 year ago
but in the meantime WICKED STRONG GOES BY THEM ALL!!!!
prose More than 1 year ago
Gustavo, Johnny V. also got off Orb (who he rode to victory in the Florida Derby) to get on ... come on .. does anyone remember this loser's name? He was a Pletcher horse. Intense Holiday is a Pletcher horse. I think Johnny V. getting of Wildcat Red is a plus! For Wildcat Red!
John Howland More than 1 year ago
Johnny V also got on Animal Kingdom for the Derby.That was...wait a minute...I think it was.......
Jaime Dubyna More than 1 year ago
Why would you purchase a horse that has a better chance to win the Derby, only to use it to "set up" a horse, that really doesn't look like he can win this?
jason javino More than 1 year ago
he was sold because the owners know he wont do better than 6th place in the KD
Steve DeCaspers More than 1 year ago
Jaime Dubyna More than 1 year ago
Is the trainer really going to send the horse out to be a rabbit for another trainer's horse? That seems a bit wacked.
Joan More than 1 year ago
Kinda like Rachael and Jess!! this is nothing new . I could never sell a horse that had worked so hard to get there and walk away, unless of course, I did not see him placing. Hmmm.
jaybern1 More than 1 year ago
I could never pay a lot of money to buy a horse unless, of course, I did see him placing. Hmmm.
Billy Spathanas More than 1 year ago
Its great to see new owners days before entry for the Derby buy General A Rod. Glad they had to put up with all the stress, late nights etc. to get there. Way to go, buy a horse ready to run for the roses days before, wow. Its that easy folks. Just like War Enblem years ago, really,
jon g More than 1 year ago
Social Inclusions owner should have sold him also.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yes, they should have. They were offered big bucks, but now he is going to have to do something special to get that kind of money rather than just being a hot unbeaten prospect. Having said that, I think selling him would have been the smart thing to do, but if I owned him, I'm not so sure that I would have sold him either. Not being rich, I hope I would have the sense to sell in a situation like that, but the idea of owning a high calibre horse is kinda irresistible to life long fan of this sport.
tim More than 1 year ago
Why? The owner is already a multimillionaire. He won't live long enough to spend what he already has. What's 5 million to someone who already has 3-4 times that?
John Howland More than 1 year ago
It's at least 20% more.That's significant,which means the guy has a lot more than that.
David Coyne More than 1 year ago
I wouldn't downgrade the general. People have financial needs. Business is business. that horse will likely never command the same price again.. unless of course, he wins. :)