Bourbonic horse

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Fierce field of 10 set for G1 Pennsylvania Derby, Hot Rod Charlie, Bourbonic, Midnight Bourbon

BENSALEM, Pa. – Three of the top contenders in Saturday’s $1 million, Grade I Pennsylvania Derby at Parx Racing will be able to keep an eye on each other. Hot Rod Charlie, Midnight Bourbon and Medina Spirit will line up side-by-side-by-side when the gates open for the 1 1/8 mile race, the centerpiece of the 13-race card.

Road Runner Racing, William Strauss, Boat Racing and Gainesway Stables’ Hot Rod Charlie was assigned post position seven at the Monday afternoon draw, which attracted 10 3-year-olds. Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Midnight Bourbon is right next door in post position eight and Zedan Racing Stables’ Medina Spirit drew the nine.

Those are the top three choices on the Pennsylvania Derby morning line. Medina Spirit, who is trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert and will be ridden by Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez, is the 2-1 morning line favorite and is coming off a win in the $100,000 Shared Belief at Del Mar on Aug. 29. Earlier this year, the son of Protonico won the Kentucky Derby and was third in the Preakness.

“They have all the heavyweights right next to each other,” Baffert said. “Once they draw, we don’t worry about it. The break is important no matter what post they have.”

Hot Rod Charlie, the 5-2 second choice on the morning line, crossed the finish line first in the Grade I, $1 million Haskell at Monmouth in his last start on July 17, but was disqualified and placed last after Midnight Bourbon clipped heels with him.

“It’s a lucky number. I like seven,” Hot Rod Charlie’s trainer Doug O’Neill said about his post. “With a mile and an eighth race on a mile track like that, there is probably not real bad post. No matter where we are, everyone just wants to get in those doors and get a good, clean break.” Midnight Bourbon is third on the morning line at 5-1. He is trained by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen and will be ridden by Ricardo Santana Jr. When last seen Midnight Bourbon finished second in the Grade I, $1 million Travers at Saratoga, beaten by a neck by Essential Quality, the leader of the 3-year-old division

Keepmeinmind, owned by Cypress Creek Equine, Arnold Bennewith and Spendthrift Farm LLC, will be coming to Parx after running against Essential Quality twice at Saratoga. He was second to him in the Grade II, $600,000 Jim Dandy on July 31 and fourth in the Travers. Trained by Robertino Diodoro and ridden by Joel Rosario, Keepmeinmind will be looking for his second career win in his 12th start. He is 8-1 on the morning line.

Four horses are coming into the race with morning line odds of 12-1: Calumet Farm’s Bourbonic, third in the Grade III, $500,000 West Virginia Derby in his last start, Juddmonte Farm’s Fulsome, winner of the Grade III Smarty Jones at Parx on Aug. 24, Godolphin LLC’s Speaker’s Corner, an allowance winner at Saratoga in his first start of 2021 at Saratoga on Aug. 14 and Chiefswood Stables Limited’s Weyburn, fourth in the Jim Dandy when last seen.

The other two horses in the field are WinStar Farms and China Horse Club Inc’s Americanrevolution, winner of three straight races against New York-breds, including the $250,000 Albany Stakes on Saratoga on Aug. 27 and the locally based I Am Redeemed, owned by Lawrence A. Rebbecchi Jr. He has won three of four career starts at Parx.

Here is the Pennsylvania Derby field, in post-position order, with trainer, jockey and morning line odds: 

1. Fulsome, Brad Cox, Florent Geroux 12-1
2. Keepmeinmind, Robertino Diodoro, Joel Rosario, 8-1
3. Speaker’s Corner, Bill Mott, Jose Ortiz, 12-1
4. Weyburn, Jimmy Jerkens, Paco Lopez, 12-1
5. I Am Redeemed, Penny Pearce, Abner Adorno, 20-1
6. Bourbonic, Todd Pletcher, Kendrick Carmouche, 12-1
7. Hot Rod Charlie, Doug O’Neill, Flavien Prat, 5-2
8. Midnight Bourbon, Steve Asmussen, Ricardo Santana Jr., 5-1
9. Medina Spirit, Bob Baffert, John Velazquez, 2-1
10. Americanrevolution, Todd Pletcher, Luis Saez, 15-1.

By Tim Wilkin/Parx Press Office

Update: Medina Spirit has been scratched and is now scheduled to run in the Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita

Photo: Pennsylvania Derby contender Hot Rod Charlie with exercise rider Johnny Garcia gallops on the track with at Parx Racing in Bensalem, Pennsylvania on Tuesday morning 9/21/21. Hot Rod Charlie will take on 9 other three-year-olds in the Grade 1 $1,000,000 Pennsylvania Derby at Parx racing on Saturday September 25th. By Bill Denver/EQUI-PHOTO


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Cached Time: 2021-10-21 01:37 AM


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Bourbonic: What to know about Kentucky Derby horse's jockey, trainer, bloodline and more

Bourbonic and jockey Kendrick Carmouche win the Wood Memorial on April 3 at Aqueduct. (Photo courtesy of Chelsea Durand/New York Racing Association.)


Color: Dark bay/brown

Bred in: Kentucky

Sire: Bernardini

Dam: Dancing Afleet, by Afleet Alex

Kentucky Derby 2021:Everything to know about the 147th Run for the Roses

Owner: Calumet Farm (Brad Kelley). Calumet has won a record eight Derbys in 26 appearances, the last victory coming with Forward Pass in 1968. Calumet is 0 for 5 during Kelley’s tenure, finishing sixth with Oxbow (2013) and Bravazo (2018).

Trainer: Todd Pletcher, 2 for 55 in Derby. Won with Super Saver (2010) and Always Dreaming (2017).

Jockey: Kendrick Carmouche, first Derby

Record: 3-1-0 in six starts

Road to the Kentucky Derby points (ranking): 100 (No. 6)

Last race: Won Grade 2 Wood Memorial on April 3 at Aqueduct by a head over Dynamic One

Running style: Late runner comes from off the pace.

Notes: After finishing sixth and 11th in his first two races, Bourbonic is 3-1-0 in his last four. The improvement coincided with the addition of blinkers, which Carmouche recommended. Bourbonic won the Wood Memorial at 72-1 odds, the longest shot to win in the race’s 96-year history. … Carmouche will be the first Black jockey to ride in the Kentucky Derby since Kevin Krigger, who finished 17th on Goldencents in 2013. … Bernardini, Bourbonic’s sire, won six straight races in 2006, including the Preakness, Jim Dandy, Travers and Jockey Club Gold Cup.

What they’re saying: “He knows how to fight, and he knows how to pass horses,” Carmouche said. “He ain’t coming next to you to play around with you. He’s coming to run. Some 3-year-olds get there and play around. This horse is seasoned, and he’s bred to make the distance.”

Jason Frakes: 502-582-4046; [email protected]; Twitter: @KentuckyDerbyCJ.

2021 Kentucky Derby Profile: Bourbonic


Bourbonic broke his maiden in a $50,000 maiden claiming race at Aqueduct on Dec. 6, 2020, drawing off to a 4 1/2-length win. He followed up that performance with a win in a starter optional claiming race at Aqueduct on Jan. 17, 2021, then was second in a first-level allowance race at Parx on Feb. 23.

On Apr. 3, Bourbonic earned his way into the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve with a shocking 72-1 upset win in the Grade 2 Wood Memorial Stakes Presented by Resorts World Casino at Aqueduct. Jockey Kendrick Carmouche had him well off the pace early, but he stormed down the stretch to get up over stablemate Dynamic One by a head in the last few strides. That win gave trainer Todd Pletcher his sixth Wood Memorial victory, one shy of the all-time record held by Sunny Jim Fitzsimmons. 

That win was worth 100 qualifying points, ensuring him a spot in the starting gate on the first Saturday in May.

Bourbonic is sired by 2006 Preakness Stakes and Travers Stakes winner Bernardini. His damsire (father of mother), Afleet Alex, won the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes in 2005.


Horse bourbonic

Bourbonic Past Performances

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Mihono Bourbon(ミホノブルボン), introduce the great horse of Japan

Horse Racing


Name Bourbonic
Born Apr 07, 2018
Age3 years

After adding blinkers, Bourbonic earned his way into the 2021 Kentucky Derby with victory in the Wood Memorial. At 72/1, Bourbonic was the longest shot to win the prestigious event in 96 years.

Bourbonic finished in seventh place on the Road to the Kentucky Derby leaderboard with 100 qualifying points, but unsurprisingly couldn't replicate his Wood Memorial performance at Churchill Downs. He finished in 13th place, 15-and-three-quarter lengths behind winner Medina Spirit.

Todd Pletcher trains the three-year-old colt and Bourbonic has three wins and a second-place finish from seven starts, with current earnings of $465,880.

Bourbonic is a deep closer with no early speed. These types either have to go very wide or pick their way through traffic during the Derby's later stages. Although some are successful, the majority settle for minor awards, and so it proved again.

2021 Road to the Kentucky Derby

After trailing the field through the early stages of the nine-furlong Wood Memorial at Aqueduct, Bourbonic made a sustained drive around the far turn and needed the length of the stretch to catch the dueling pacesetters, Dynamic One, Crowded Trade and Weyburn.

Jockey Kendrick Carmouche timed the ride precisely right, and the pair nailed the trio on the wire, beating stablemate Dynamic One by a head. The final time for nine furlongs was 1:54.49.

The Wood Memorial was the only qualifying race in which Bourbonic competed.

Fusaichi Pegasus was the last Wood Memorial winner to capture the Kentucky Derby in 2000. The winners of the Wood Memorial typically place third or fourth in the Derby.

Bourbonic's career beginnings

Last year, Bourbonic was unplaced in two Maiden Special Weight events, so in his last race of the season, Todd Pletcher dropped him in class to a $50,000 maiden claiming event at a mile over Aqueduct's main track.

Racing wide the entire way, Bourbonic made up ground from sixth place to draw clear by four and three-quarter lengths.

Bourbonic kicked off his three-year-old season with a victory in a Starter Optional Claiming event, again at a mile over Aqueduct's main track.

This time, he took the short way around the track, up the rail. He moved to second-place around the turn and battled through the stretch to win by a neck.

The Todd Pletcher trainee took a slight step up into Allowance Optional Claiming ranks in his final start before the Wood Memorial, this time at PARX Racing, traveling one mile and seventy yards on the main track.

Once again, Bourbonic showed no early speed and made up ground on the outside. However, he couldn't catch the winner and settled for being second-best, four lengths behind.

Prominent horseman Todd Pletcher is a seven-time Eclipse Award leading trainer. Since starting his training career in 1996, he has amassed over $405million in earnings.

Todd Pletcher established two separate single-season earnings records, plus a North American record for most stakes wins in a year.

His most accomplished charges include two-time champion and Hall of Fame recipient Ashado, Champion Grass Horse English Channel and Champion Older Dirt Male Vino Rosso.

Before the 2021 edition, Todd Pletcher had guided 55 colts at the Kentucky Derby, which is a record. He won the Derby with Super Saver in 2010 and Always Dreaming in 2017. Two other contenders finished second (Invisible Ink in 2001 and Bluegrass Cat in 2006) and four have placed third.

Besides Bourbonic, Pletcher's other Kentucky Derby contenders included Florida Derby (G1) hero Known Agenda, Dynamic One, the Wood Memorial runner-up, and Sainthood, who was second in the Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3).

Jockey Kendrick Carmouche will be the first Black jockey to ride in the Kentucky Derby in eight years.

The son of a jockey, Carmouche used to watch his father practice and ride when he was a youngster. Kendrick began his own riding career in 2000 at minor tracks in Texas, Louisiana and Philadelphia. Growing in skill and popularity, he moved his tack to New York and is now a multiple graded stakes-winning jockey.

Bourbonic will be Kendrick Carmouche's first Kentucky Derby horse.

The famed Calumet Farm bred and campaign Bourbonic. Established in 1925, the stable has produced some of the most famous horses in history, including Triple Crown heroes Whirlaway and Citation, plus six other Kentucky Derby winners, seven Preakness Stakes winners, six Horse of the Year Awards and 11 Hall of Fame recipients.

Bourbonic (Bernardini - Dancing Afleet, by Afleet Alex) has classic distance breeding.

In 2006, Bernardini was unstoppable, capturing six straight races including the Preakness (G1), Travers Stakes (G1), Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1), plus the Jim Dandy (G2) and Withers Stakes (G3).

Leading up to the Breeders' Cup Classic (G1), media hype surrounded Bernardini and the Argentinian invader, Invasor, who was an undefeated champion in his own country and winner of three-straight Grade 1 handicap for older horses.

The two seemingly invincible titans squared off in the 10-furlong Classic test. Both colts sat near the back of the pack and forged their way forward around the final turn. They fought through the stretch, but when the dust settled, Invasor had beaten the younger Bernardini by a length.

The Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) was the final start for Bernardini. The son of A.P. Indy retired with six victories and a second-place finish in eight starts, with earnings of $3,060,480. He earned the Eclipse Award as the Three-Year-Old Champion Colt of 2006.

Bernardini was one of the best first crop sires of 2010 and his offspring win at all distances and over all surfaces. His sons Stay Thirsty and Alpha won the Jim Dandy (G2) and Travers Stakes (G1), while Bernardini's most accomplished runner was the mare Cavorting. She was in the money 10 of 13 starts, most of them graded stakes.

Bourbonic's half-brother Avant Garde was slow to mature. Once he got the hang of it, he became a multiple-stakes-placed miler and finished in the money in the Fred Hooper Stakes (G3), the Gulfstream Park Mile and the Godolphin Mile.

Their dam Dancing Afleet was also a slow starter. She matured to win the Delaware Oaks (G2) at one-and-one-sixteenth miles. Dancing Afleet is the most accomplished foal out of the allowance-class mare Mrs. Vanderbilt with a record of three wins from six starts and earnings of $286,250.


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Kentucky Derby Horse Profile: Bourbonic

Calumet Farm homebred Bourbonic picked up 100 points on the 2021 Road to the Kentucky Derby following his upset victory in the $750,000 Wood Memorial S. (G2) at Aqueduct on April 3. He completed 1 1/8 miles on the fast main strip in 1:54.49 to earn his first stakes win under the guidance of Kendrick Carmouche. The son of Bernardini, who went postward as the 72-1 longest shot on the tote board, improved his lifetime line to 6-3-1-0, $465,880.

Bourbonic debuted on Oct. 11 and was never a factor when checking in fifth in a seven-furlong maiden special weight endeavor. Moving to the lawn for his second try, the dark bay was last over yielding ground at Aqueduct on Nov. 14.

His fortunes changed with the addition of blinkers in his third assignment. Tracking the pace with intent early on, the youngster drew off to a 4 3/4-length tally over maiden claiming foes going one mile on the dirt at Aqueduct to cap his juvenile campaign. He made it two straight when defeating optional claiming competition in his three-year-old bow, and the sophomore preceded his Wood triumph with a second-place result in an allowance tilt at Parx.

The winner was bred in Kentucky and produced from the Afleet Alex mare Dancing Afleet, who captured the 2013 Delaware Oaks (G2). Bourbonic counts Avant Garde, second in the Gulfstream Park Mile (G2) and third in the Godolphin Mile (G2) this season, as a half-brother.

Trained by Todd Pletcher, Bourbonic has shown marked improvement since adding blinkers four starts back, showing three wins and a second in that span. His Brisnet Speed figures are improving, and the sophomore earned a robust 109 Brisnet Late Pace number in his first try at nine furlongs on Saturday.

The late bloomer has to improve to compete with the best of his division beneath the Twin Spires on May 1, but his conditioner has saddled two prior Kentucky Derby (G1) winners. He also gives the impression of a colt who will benefit from running longer going forward. While he is an outsider to take the Run for the Roses at this posting, he could be an interesting exotics contender if he thrives on the Churchill Downs surface in the days leading up to the Derby.


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