LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino will be the first to tell you that rankings and standings are meaningless in January.
But here in the first week of 2013, Pitino finds himself at the head of an unusual daily double. After just one game in Big East play, his No. 4-ranked Cardinals are tied atop the Big East standings (at least in the loss column). And Goldencents, a colt in which he is part owner, finds himself atop the new Kentucky Derby points standings after an impressive victory in the $100,000 Grade 3 Sham Stakes at Santa Anita on Saturday.
The Derby points system is in its first year, and is weighted to reward the major prep races more heavily. But in the early going, the Doug O'Neill-trained Goldencents is atop the leader board with 24 points, followed by Todd Pletcher's Shanghai Bobby and a group of seven others with ten points.
What makes Goldencents a serious contender is his versatility -- he's now won at three different tracks and raced at four different ones, with the lone loss coming to Shanghai Bobby. He's also trained by O'Neill, the trainer of 2012 Derby winner I'll Have Another, who now has the benefit of that Triple Crown campaign to draw on.
Goldencents also showed Saturday that he can rate just off the lead after winning from the front in his prior two victories. A 2-5 favorite, Goldencents caught front-running Manando in the final furlong and drew away for a 1 1/2-length victory. He's ridden by 29-year-old Kevin Krigger, a native of the Virgin Islands, one of the few black jockeys on the major circuits.
Pitino's RAP Racing Stable owns the colt along with W.C. Racing and Dave Kenney.