Un Ojo Defection Allows Ethereal Road to Draw Into Derby

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Ethereal Road | Coady

According to a tweet from Churchill Downs' Senior Director of Communications and Media Services Darren Rogers, Un Ojo (Laoban), who registered a 75-1 upset in the GII Rebel S. at Oaklawn Park Feb. 26, was not entered for Saturday's GI Kentucky Derby. The Wayne Lukas-trained Ethereal Road (Quality Road), who missed by a half-length in the Rebel and exits a fourth in the GIII Stonestreet Lexington S. at Keeneland Apr. 16, will take the 20th spot in the field when entries are drawn Monday afternoon.

“It's a little bit unexpected,” said Lukas. “Going into the week I was a little apprehensive about even putting him on the also-eligible [list] because I didn't think there was a big chance, but it seems like as we go through this process every year, something happens or somebody decides that it's not the place for them. I'm happy for the owners. I've been there, sung 'My Old Kentucky Home,' watched it all happen and everything, but they're new clients, very enthused about everything and so they're tickled to death. I'm happy for them.”

He added, “He's going to have to have a pace up front, but there will always be one in the Derby. These guys who are worried about pace up front can quit worrying about it because it's always fast. He'll be closing. He has to improve. We're not sitting here with grandiose ideas that we're going to go in and beat everybody. We have to improve. Our numbers are not as good as some of the others, but we're in the race and it's a large purse with great prestige so we'll take our best shot.”

According to Rogers's tweet, Rich Strike (Keen Ice) and Rattle N Roll (Connect) are expected to be the also-eligibles in the race.

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