Kentucky Derby Watch – Revolutionary


The Todd Pletcher-trained Revolutionary was a most impressive winner of this year’s Withers Stakes, a race that typically doesn’t produce a serious Kentucky Derby contender. Most legit Derby horses are not racing at Aqueduct in the frigid winter but rather training in the likes of Florida, Louisiana or California.

The problem for us handicappers is that pretty much everyone saw this troubled trip of this potential Kentucky Derby contender. It was really a combination of an overconfident ride from top jock Javier Castellano coupled with some bad racing luck. First, he steadied briefly behind a tiring horse on the far turn, which resulted in the colt being shuffled back to last. He made multiple moves in this race, including again at the top of lane when there was simply no hole to run into. Castellano altered course again aboard Revolutionary, ducked to the inside, and finished gamely to just get up at the wire. It was explosive turn of foot from a very inexperienced, young colt.

“I was watching the replay of the race…and there was nothing good about it except for the last two or three jumps,” stated Pletcher’s assistant, Michael McCarthy. “That may have been one of the worst winning trips I’ve ever seen.”


“This race,” said Elliot Walden, CEO and racing manager for WinStar Farm, “was worth three in terms of education. When you’re looking at a race like the Derby, potentially down the road, to get that kind of experience, it’s invaluable.”

Can’t argue with that.

Revolutionary sports an excellent pedigree. He is out of a dam (mother) who won the G1 Alabama Stakes, and his grandsire on that side is the great A.P. Indy. The colt is bred to run all day.



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About Editor

Rich Nilsen is a 19-time qualifier to the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC), an event he has cashed in four times. He was the first player to finish in the top 10 of the NHC twice. A former executive with and a member of the NHC Players’ Committee, Rich is a graduate of the University of Louisville Equine Business Program and is founder of, a site devoted to horse racing education and promotion.

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