Before we have any idea which horse will arrive in Baltimore as the Kentucky Derby champion, we know one who’s likely to line up as a fresh contender to knock him off.
That would be Quip, the Arkansas Derby runner-up, whose connections announced Monday that he’d skip Churchill Downs on May 5 and point to the May 19 Preakness.
“Of course I want to run in the Kentucky Derby, but I have to think about the horse first. To run in the Derby just to run is not the thing to do,” trainer Rodolphe Brisset told BloodHorse.com. “We have a horse who could definitely win a Grade 1 [race] down the line, but that three-week time frame is just too short. He’s going to need a bit more time. So he’s going to be pointed to the Preakness.”
Though he could not run down top Derby contender Magnum Moon in the April 14 Arkansas Derby, Quip has three wins in five career starts and would be a respectable challenger to the Derby champion.
The early Preakness field also includes Diamond King, winner of Saturday’s Federico Tesio Stakes at Laurel Park.
Meanwhile, Quip’s removal opens a spot on the back end of the 20-horse Derby field for the Steve Asmussen-trained Combatant.