Ride on Curlin: Bargain horse, Derby contender
During his morning works, you can tell Ride on Curlin loves to run, but his owners hope he is fast enough to win it all.
"We're here. That's the biggest part of this whole journey that we actually made the Kentucky Derby," said owner Lori Dougherty.
Daniel and Lori Dougherty are from Louisville, and bought Ride on Curlin for $25,000, which they consider a bargain. The couple used to be in the furniture business, but sold it and now say they just do horse racing.
The beautiful horse enjoying his bath was sired by former Horse of the Year Curlin, North America's all-time richest Thoroughbred with $10.5 million in earnings.
"He had a little bit of a turned-in foot. Most of Curlin babies are going for half a million plus, so we're very fortunate to pick the horse up for what we did," Lori Dougherty said.
The owners got a $1-million offer for the horse, but turned it down.
"We're going to make that money up on the track, there's no question about it." Lori Dougherty said.
William Gowan is training just a small number of horses at Churchill Downs, but Ride on Curlin is his first Derby contender.
"We are real excited. This is an opportunity. Every trainer's dream is to make it to the Kentucky Derby. No matter where we finish in the race, I feel we've already become winners," said Tracy Gowan, the trainer's wife.
Hoping for his fourth Kentucky Derby win, jockey Calvin Borel will be aboard Ride on Curlin. Borel's wife Lisa says he has been working with the horse since his maiden race and has a good feeling about this Derby contender.
"He's a horse that has shown a lot of consistency in his last starts. Every single time he comes through the gate and breaks from the gate, he gives it his all," she said
"Aggressive, he's on his toes. He likes to bite, if you ever let your guard down, he's sharp," said Tracy Gowan, describing Ride on Curlin's temperament.
A sign outside his stall reminds people he bites. But he can be sweet, when Lori kisses his nose. She tries to feed him a four leaf clover that was growing just outside his barn. But he wasn't having it, showing her he doesn't need luck to win on the first Saturday in May.
"It goes to show you, you don't have to be the prettiest horse or the most expensive horse to make it to the Kentucky Derby," Lori Dougherty said.
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