The 2015 Kentucky Derby field is one of the deepest in recent memory.
Top-heavy with the dominant American Pharoah and Dortmund, who are both trained by Bob Baffert, Carpe Diem will need the race of his young life and probably a little luck to win at Chuchill Downs.
But trainer Todd Pletcher is confident in his colt, and the other horses he has entered in the 141st Run for the Roses:
Carpe Diem and Materiality are as good as any we’ve brought to the Derby.
Here’s what you need to know about Carpe Diem:
1. Carpe Diem Is Trained by Todd Pletcher
Carpe Diem is trained by Todd Pletcher, who has 3 horses in the 2015 Kentucky Derby.
Pletcher’s Super Saver won the Kentucky Derby in 2010 for the 47-year-old’s only win in the Run for the Roses.
Pletcher’s other Derby participants are Materiality and Itsaknockout.
2. John Velazquez Will Ride Carpe Diem in the Derby
John Velazquez, Carpe Diem’s jockey, knows a thing or two about winning races. Actually, more like 5,306 things about winning races. That’s how many career victories Velazquez has.
Velazquez rode Animal Kingdom to the 2011 Kentucky Derby victory. He also was the winning jockey in the 2007 and 2012 Belmont Stakes.
3. Carpe Diem Is 2-0 in 2015
Carpe Diem has won both starts he has entered so far in 2015 – the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes and the Tampa Bay Derby. The colt has earned $810,000.
Overall, Carpe Diem has won 4 of 5 starts, which also include his maiden race in Saratoga and the Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity. He has earned a total of roughly $1.52 million.
4. He Is Owned by WinStar Farm LLC and Stonestreet Stables LLC
WinStar Farm LLC and Stonestreet Stables LLC is a multiple graded stakes winning owner. And they can thank Carpe Diem for that, as he has won all 3 – the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (Gr. 1), the Tampa Bay Derby (Gr. 2) and the Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (Gr. 1).
WinStar and Stonestreet split the $1.6 million price tag when Carpe Diem was a 2-year-old.
Said Barbara Banke of Stonestreet to The New York Times:
When you are buying into a 2-year-old, you know the prices are astronomical and that a lot of them don’t work out. This way if it doesn’t work, you’re only half as unhappy.
5. Carpe Diem Has Bloodlines From the 1990 Derby Winner
Carpe Diem’s parents are Giant’s Causeway (sire) and Unbridled Dreams (dam).
He was foaled on February 29, 2012.
Rebridled Dreams is part of Unbridled’s pedigree. Unbridled won the 1990 Kentucky Derby.