03/20/2009 12:00AM

Thompson to ride Old Fashioned in Ark. Derby


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Jockey Terry Thompson will replace Ramon Dominguez on Kentucky Derby candidate Old Fashioned next month in the Grade 2, $1 million Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park.

"It's a one-race commitment," said Larry Jones, who trains Old Fashioned. "I don't know who will ride in the Kentucky Derby."

Old Fashioned suffered the first defeat of his career in last weekend's Rebel Stakes. He was close to a quick pace set by Silver City, overtook him midway on the final turn, then was caught late by 56-1 shot Win Willy.

Dominguez said the rider change took him by surprise, but he added he was not happy with his ride in the Rebel.

"I feel like I got after my horse too early to try and push that horse," Dominguez said. "I feel like I could have waited. I respect their decision. It was Terry Thompson's mount to begin with; I happened to win on him. I'd be very happy to see that horse go on and do well."

Jones said the ride was not the reason he decided to replace Dominguez. He noted that Dominguez first got the mount on Old Fashioned for the Grade 2 Remsen at Aqueduct because he was that meet's leading rider and knows the track well. Thompson, who had ridden Old Fashioned to his first two career wins, has regularly worked the horse the past few months in Arkansas and is the leading rider at Oaklawn.

"We want every advantage going into the Arkansas Derby," said Jones, who trains Old Fashioned for Rick Porter.

Porter was supportive of the decision.

"I said, 'Larry, whatever you want to do, it's up to you,' " said Porter.

- additional reporting by David Grening