Vicar’s in Trouble a 30/1 longshot to win the Kentucky Derby on Saturday after he drew post position No. 1. Despite what some bookies are saying, the horse’s owners and jockey, Rosie Napravnik, are not giving up on him just yet.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. ‘He’s Got a Tiny Little Head’
— Jerry Bossert (@JBossertNYDN) April 30, 2014
That’s accoring to his jockey, Napravnik. Vicar’s in Trouble’s size has been much talked about, but Napravnik thinks that’s overplayed. She told Kentucky.com:
He’s got a little tiny head. Maybe that makes him look smaller. He’s got a great big stride. And he’s extremely well put together. If you look at any of the photos of him, if you weren’t standing near him, you’d think he was as big as anybody else.
2. No Louisiana-Bred Horse Has Ever Won the Derby
Vicar’s in Trouble is a Louisiana horse, bred at the Spendthrift Farm. He was bought by the Kentucky-based Ramsey family in 2012 for $80,000 at the Fasig Tiptown Midtlantic sales in May 2013. The Ramsey family made their money through real estate investments in the 1980s but moved into investing in cellular phone companies early in the 1990s. According to Kenneth Ramsey, the family’s patriarch:
I’ve been living the American dream. I’ve been able to do what I’ve always wanted to do, I’m very passionate about the horses, about the whole racing game. The extra money we picked up from the cellular telephone business enables us to do all that. We’ve been in a position to get lucky and we’re happy.
3. Vicar’s in Trouble Won the Louisiana Derby in March
He has some early speed, which he’ll have to use at the break on Saturday to avoid getting hemmed in on the rail. He’s a small horse who can get out the gate fast, combined with a long stride, could be the Cinderella of the Derby.
4. Rosie Napravnik is Aiming to Become the First Female Jockey to Win the Derby
If Vicar’s in Trouble can overcome the odds and take home the Kentucky glory, Napravnik will be the first female jockey to do so. In the 2013 Derby, Napravnik finished fifth riding Mylute. That made her the highest placing female jockey of all time. Unfortunately for Napravnik, no horse has won the derby from the No. 1 position since 1986 when Ferdinand won. Not only that, but no horse from the first has finished in the top three since 1998, according to the New Orleans Advocate.
After the Derby, Napravnik is facing a four day suspension for making contact with Embellishing Bob and his jockey Brian Hernandez Jr.
For more information on Napravnik, click the below link:
5. Expect Something Unpredictable From Vicar’s in Trouble
Speaking to Kentucky.com, his trainer, Mike Maker, was coy when asked about the kind of pace the horse will maintain during the race:
I don’t think (the pace) really matters for him. I’m just gonna let Rosie place himself. When we tried to take him back in the Risen Star he kind of resented it a little bit, so we’re going to let him place himself. If it’s front so be it, if it’s 10th it’s 10th, as long as he’s happy. He’s a little horse but he doesn’t know it. He doesn’t run like it.
The same Kentucky.com article notes that in the derby, “Nimble, more explosive horses can accelerate out of trouble. And Vicar’s in Trouble is explosive. In a separate interview, Maker told The New Orleans Advocate that Vicar’s in Trouble is a better horse now then it was when he won the Louisiana Derby:
Since the race, he’s really moved forward, put on weight. He looks fabulous, and he’s been very aggressive — which, you know, built a lot of character for him. So I see a lot of positive signs in Vicar’s in Trouble.