With Uncle Mo now officially out of the 2011 Kentucky Derby, trainer extraordinaire Todd Pletcher will focus his energy on Stay Thirsty as he looks to capture his second consecutive Run for the Roses crown. The latest 2011 Kentucky Derby Odds are not in the colt's corner, though, with the Repole Stable owned three year old presently listed at +2000 moneyline odds to win tomorrow's Triple Crown series opener.
While Todd Pletcher and owner Mike Repole had most of their Derby winning hopes invested in Uncle Mo, they are still in the mix with Stay Thirsty, who has at least one graded stakes victory on his resume. Also working in Thirsty's favor, according to Pletcher, is an advantageous gate four starting spot.
"We were sort of rooting for the No. 4 (for Stay Thirsty)," Pletcher said. "We had great luck there last year (with Super Saver) and we don't mind going back there again."
Stay Thirsty is coming off the worst race of his career, a seventh place run in the Grade 1 Florida Derby, but he did take the top spot in the Grade 3 Gotham Derby prior to the lackluster finish at Gulfstream Park. The win at Gotham marked Stay Thirsty's first victory since breaking his maiden last August.
Stay Thirsty's pedigree would suggest that the Derby's 1 1/4 miles distance would not be a problem as his sire Bernardini came from the great A.P. Indy. A.P. Indy, a product of Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew, took first at the Belmont Stakes, the longest of the Triple Crown runs, in 1992.
Riding Stay Thirsty tomorrow afternoon will be 2010 Eclipse Award winner Ramon Dominguez. Dominguez best finish at the Kentucky Derby came in 2006 when his ride, Bluegrass Cat, placed second to the great Barbaro.
Stay Thirsty 2011 Kentucky Derby Odds:
To Win +2000
To Finish in the Top Three +500