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.”
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