JC / Railbird

Foundation

Tom Jicha considers whether Khozan can break the last Kentucky Derby rule, that the winner started at least once as a 2-year-old:

The greatest example of all that the curse of Apollo is nothing to scoff at is Curlin. He broke his maiden at Gulfstream then galloped in the Rebel and Arkansas Derby. But the best he could do in Louisville was third.

He went on to win the Preakness, the Jockey Club Gold Cup twice, the Dubai World Cup and was twice Horse of the Year. But the Run for the Roses was too tough a challenge too soon.

Bill Finley shrugs at Khozan’s challenge:

… the modern Kentucky Derby bears little resemblance to what the race was even just 15 or 20 years ago. Khozan won’t be going up against grizzled veterans of the turf wars, horses that have started 15 times or so, including seven or eight starts as two-year-olds. He will be facing horses more like him than not. Most will have had only six or seven lifetime starts, their races carefully spaced out and their trainers careful never to have pushed them too hard. As a lightly raced horse with no experience as a 2-year-old, he’s simply not going to be at that big of a disadvantage.

Previously re: the curse: 2014, 2013.

The complete list of Kentucky Derby starters unraced as juveniles (PDF).

3/6/15: And just like that, Khozan is out. The colt exited a routine gallop on Friday morning with an apparent right hind ankle injury.