04/22/2011 12:39PM

Kentucky Derby still up in the air for J P's Gusto

Benoit & Associates
J P's Gusto, with Patrick Valenzuela riding, wins the Del Mar Futurity.

No decision has yet been made on whether J P's Gusto will run in the May 7 Kentucky Derby, Steve Bajer, who works as a bloodstock adviser to owner Dr. John Waken, said Friday.

Bajer said J P's Gusto was sent to Kentucky following last week's Arkansas Derby, in which he finished eighth in the 13-horse field. In his prior start, J P's Gusto finished seventh in the Rebel Stakes.

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But J P's Gusto, by virtue of his outstanding 2-year-old form, has accumulated $544,000 in graded stakes earnings, which easily puts him in the Derby field should Waken decide to run. His status impacts horses on the bubble in terms of graded stakes earnings.

"As of today, we're up in the air," Bajer said. "It all depends on how Doc feels. He's 80-something. We should know more in the next couple of days."

Bajer said J P's Gusto is currently under the supervision of John O'Hara, a trainer who works in concert with Bajer under the banner Equine Prep. J P's Gusto had been trained in Arkansas by Joe Petalino, who took over when David Hofmans, the original trainer of J P's Gusto, quit when Waken and Bajer wanted the horse to go to Arkansas.

Many of Waken's horses, such as Nicole H and Harissas, are in New York with trainer Mike Hushion.