Desormeaux: Exaggerator Will Be “Far, Far” Back Early in the Derby

Desormeaux: Exaggerator Will Be “Far, Far” Back Early in the Derby

Exaggerator galloping at Churchill Downs on May 4th – Coady Photography

During his career, Kentucky Derby contender Exaggerator has showcased a wide variety of running styles. In most of his races, he has stalked the early pace, settling a length or two behind the leaders. In the Delta Downs Jackpot Stakes (gr. III), which he won, he took the lead shortly after the start and won in nearly gate-to-wire fashion.

But in his last two races, Exaggerator has switched to an off-the-pace running style, and that approach yielded spectacular results when he rallied from sixteen lengths behind to win the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) by 6 1/4 lengths, stamping himself as one of the favorites to win the Kentucky Derby. There has been speculation that Exaggerator could revert to a slightly more forwardly-placed running style in the Derby, but according to trainer Keith Desormeaux, that won’t be the case.

“He’s going to be far, far in the back,” Desormeaux was quoted as saying in a Churchill Downs press release. “He’ll be so far back, he’ll be behind the kick-back. You know these horses throw (dirt) kick-back when they run. I want that kick-back from the pack to go up and come down and then you’re going to see Exaggerator. Kent (his brother and the colt’s rider) will be back there counting cars.”

If you enjoyed this article, be sure to sign up for email newsletters and special offers from The Turf Board!

Follow J. Keeler Johnson ("Keelerman"):

J. Keeler Johnson is a writer, blogger, videographer, and all-around horse racing enthusiast who was drawn to the sport by Curlin's quest to become North America's richest racehorse. A great fan of racing history, he considers Dr. Fager to be the greatest racehorse ever produced in America, but counts Zenyatta as his all-time favorite. He lives in Wisconsin and also writes for the blog Unlocking Winners.

Leave a Reply

3 Comments on "Desormeaux: Exaggerator Will Be “Far, Far” Back Early in the Derby"

Notify of
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted

A bit strange, as this seems to be them willingly making their horse pace dependent, where as moved up a bit would seem to give them more good chances to win with different pace scenarios. On the other hand, they probably know what they are doing a bit better than me ;)

Eric Rickard

If that happens he will have to do an Arazi move. Not sure he is capable.

Gary Eisele

I don’t think that would be a great strategy in a 20 horse field, but Desormeaux knows his horse better than us.