- Sounds as if Rick Porter is determined to run his filly Eight Belles in the Derby.
"I'm conservative by nature," [Trainer Larry] Jones said at his Oaklawn Park barn Sunday morning, "and I've always believed in running fillies against fillies. But Eight Belles is something special, and her owner (Rick Porter) really would like to see her in the Derby.Porter has been watching the Derby preps, and obviously hasn't seen anything of late that would dissuade him.
"Right now, the plan is to give her a work over the Churchill strip, and then make a decision. I guess I better be prepared for a media circus if she goes to the Derby. If not, no one will know she's around." [Associated Press]
“Obviously, the (April 12 prep races) were a part of the decision-making process,” Porter said. “I’m going to get the (Ragozin) numbers on the top 20 horses, along with the past performances, and sit down and analyze them with Larry. [Bloodhorse]Hopefully, he won't get too crazy over the Ragozin numbers like a certain other owner did. And if he looks at the past performances, he'll see that she matches up against the prospective field just fine, at least in terms of Beyers. The 99 she earned in her troubled Fantasy win is second only to Big Brown in a two-turn prep this year (not counting a "preliminary" 103 Beyer that Crist reports was earned by Gayego in the Arkansas Derby).