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Features - RACING

Brothers-in-law Kevin Scatuorchio and Bryan Sullivan formed Let’s Go Stable in 2006. They offer  partnerships that emphasize quality over quantity in their bid to win North America’s most prestigious races. Their efforts have been richly rewarded as they prepare undefeated Verrazano for the 139th Kentucky Derby. Scatuorchio shared his insights with Tom Pedulla of America’s Best Racing as the Run for the Roses draws near:

So much can happen on the Road to the Kentucky Derby – to horses and their riders.

We experienced that firsthand. On April 7, the day after John Velazquez won the Wood Memorial with Verrazano at Aqueduct Racetrack, he injured his ribs and right wrist in a spill at the same track.

Since John played a huge role in each of our horse’s four wins, this is the last thing any owner would want to hear. You don’t want your jockey to have any interruptions, especially when he is really rolling. Velazquez won the Florida Derby with Orb the week before the Wood Memorial, so he was making all the right moves.

When I spoke to John about what happened, he said it was like getting hit by a car. But he also assured us that the medical people overseeing his recovery mapped out a schedule that would have him ready for the first Saturday in May. We trusted in that and he kept to it. He returned to competition for the first time since he was hurt with a mount at Belmont Park on Thursday before flying to Kentucky that night.

Velazquez is a jockey worth waiting for. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame only last summer. His statistics speak for themselves. There are other good riders out there, but he would have been tough to replace and he knows what makes our horse tick, something we see as a significant advantage as we break from post 14.

A lot goes into winning the Derby. A big part of the formula involves a jockey who can work out the right trip. John understands Churchill Downs so well, and it was just two years ago that he got it done with Animal Kingdom.

John knows his way to the winner’s circle. We dream of following him there.

2013 Kentucky Derby

Saturday, Churchill Downs, Race 11, 6:24 ET

3-year-olds, 1 1/4 miles

PP Horse Trainer Jockey Odds
1 Black Onyx Kelly Breen Joe Bravo 50-1
2 Oxbow D. Wayne Lukas Gary Stevens 30-1
3 Revolutionary Todd Pletcher Calvin Borel 10-1
4 Golden Soul Dallas Stewart Robby Albarado 50-1
5 Normandy Invasion Chad Brown Javier Castellano 12-1
6 Mylute Tom Amoss Rosie Napravnik 15-1
7 Giant Finish Tony Dutrow Jose Espinoza 50-1
8 Goldencents Doug O'Neill Kevin Krigger 5-1
9 Overanalyze Todd Pletcher Rafael Bejarano 15-1
10 Palace Malice Todd Pletcher Mike Smith 20-1
11 Lines of Battle Aidan O'Brien Ryan Moore 30-1
12 Itsmyluckyday Eddie Plesa Jr. Elvis Trujillo 15-1
13 Falling Sky John Terranova II Luis Saez 50-1
14 Verrazano Todd Pletcher John Velazquez 4-1
15 Charming Kitten Todd Pletcher Edgar Prado 20-1
16 Orb Shug McGaughey Joel Rosario 7-2
17 Will Take Charge D. Wayne Lukas Jon Court 20-1
18 Frac Daddy Kenny McPeek Victor Lebron 50-1
19 Java’s War Kenny McPeek Julien Leparoux 15-1
20 Vyjack Rudy Rodriguez Garrett Gomez 15-1
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