2-time winner Nick Zito gets into Kentucky Derby
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) Hall of Fame trainer Nick Zito got his wish: Frammento is in the Kentucky Derby.
Stanford was scratched Thursday, moving 50-1 shot Frammento into the 20-horse field for Saturday's race.
Trainer Todd Pletcher said Stanford would skip the Derby and run in either the Peter Pan at Belmont Park on May 9 or the Preakness on May 16.
''We entered the horse to see what post he might draw,'' Pletcher said. ''We were on the fence as to whether or not to run him.''
Florent Geroux was to ride Stanford, who was listed at 30-1 odds.
That leaves Pletcher with three entries: Carpe Diem, the 8-1 third choice; 12-1 Materiality; and 30-1 Itsaknockout.
Frammento was on the also eligible list but needed a defection to get into the 141st Derby.
All horses outside of Stanford's assigned No. 11 post will move inside one position; Frammento will break from the No. 20 spot.
''We are all excited,'' Zito said. ''We made it. Everybody is happy. He has been training great. I know we have to break from the 20, but that is a lot better than post zero.''
Corey Nakatani rides Frammento.
Nakatani is 0-for-17 in the Derby. He has hit the board only once, finishing second on Nehro in 2011.
The lineup change means 5-2 favorite American Pharoah will start from the No. 17 post instead of 18, where the colt was drawn Wednesday.
IN THE SHADOWS: Large numbers of reporters and fans crowd around Bob Baffert's barn every morning for a glimpse of American Pharoah and Dortmund, the top Derby choices.
Hardly anyone pays attention when El Kabeir pokes his head out of the same enclosure. The gray colt anonymously slips by on the way to his daily exercise.
There is plenty of buzz around the barn, but little directed his way.
El Kabeir is only the second Derby starter for trainer John Terranova. Falling Sky ran 19th in 2013.
Terranova and Baffert have a longstanding relationship. When Baffert sends horses to New York from his Southern California base, they usually bed down in Terranova's barn. Now Baffert gets to reciprocate.
The barn connection runs deeper than that. El Kabeir and American Pharoah are both owned by Zayat Stables.
El Kabeir earned his way here with a tough campaign of four stakes races during a frigid winter at Aqueduct. He captured the Jerome and Gotham, finished second in the Withers and most recently was third in the Wood Memorial.
He comes into the Derby stakes tested. Two other factors make the 30-1 shot an enticing proposition for long-shot players: El Kabeir owns a victory over the track, and he reunites with jockey Calvin Borel.
El Kabeir posted a front-running victory in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes in November, the only time Borel was aboard.
Borel is a legend at Churchill Downs - and in Derby lore - for his trademark rail-skimming rides. He has three Derby victories, including a 50-1 shocker with Mine That Bird in 2009.
Borel missed the start of El Kabeir's winter campaign due to a death in the family. C.C. Lopez picked up the mount, and guided El Kabeir to a decisive win in the Jerome. Terranova stuck with Lopez through the four Aqueduct stakes.
In Kentucky, it's back to Borel.
''You come to Churchill, you think `Calvin Borel','' Terranova said. ''We felt coming into this type of race, and given Calvin's past success and history on this racetrack, we'd go back to where we started.''
FAR OUT: Far Right certainly will be when the Derby starting gate opens.
The winner of two stakes this winter at Oaklawn Park initially drew post 20. He now moves in one slot to post No. 19 with the scratch of Stanford.
A slight improvement, but he's still out in right field.
Trainer Ron Moquett put the best face on a tough draw.
''For us, it's actually OK because our running style won't be affected,'' Moquett said of his 30-1 shot. ''We'll let everybody do that voodoo that they do. We're going to sit behind and watch them, and come get them later.''
The question is how far back will Far Right be when he makes his move? The late-running colt came from well off the pace to win the Smarty Jones and Southwest Stakes.
He rallied from eighth to get second in the Arkansas Derby but was still eight lengths behind American Pharoah. And those races had much smaller fields, ranging from eight to 11 horses.
The ideal scenario for Far Right is a sizzling pace that leaves the front runners vulnerable to a closer with a big finishing kick.
''He has had to stop and start in some of his races and he has no problem doing it,'' Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith said. ''That ability is a plus in a big field. He could make some noise if things get heated up front early.''
This is the first Derby starter for Moquett. Smith is 1-for 20 in the race. That victory came in 2005 on a closer as 50-1 shot Giacomo rallied from 18th.