Kentucky Derby: Known Agenda adds his name to the mix with decisive Florida Derby effort

Things can change quickly on the Triple Crown trail. Odds-on favourite Greatest Honour, who had barely put a foot wrong in two previous wins on the Florida route to Kentucky, could finish only a one-paced third behind Known Agenda.

Trainer: TODD PLETCHER
Trainer: TODD PLETCHER Picture: Pat Healy Photography

Transformed by blinkers, the son of Curlin had recorded an 11-length win in a minor event over course and distance a month ago. Breaking in mid-division, Known Agenda saved ground before being produced between horses on the far turn and drawing clear in upper stretch under strong driving; he won by 2¾ lengths over Soup And Sandwich.

Dual Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Todd Pletcher has 'previous' here, having won the Florida Derby with Always Dreaming before that horse scored in Kentucky in 2017. He, too, had started the year at Tampa Bay before winning a minor allowance race at Gulfstream.

Greatest Honour's jockey Jose Ortiz isn't throwing in the towel, however. "He was the best horse today, but we'll turn the tables on them on Derby day, that's for sure," he said.

Todd Pletcher (Known Agenda's trainer): "He's taken a little while to kind of put everything together. We kept seeing talent in the mornings that he wasn't necessarily displaying in the afternoon but we knew it was there. John Velazquez had ridden him in the Sam Davis and his recommendation was to put blinkers on him.
"A lot of horses are more confident when they're outside in the clear. When he was making progress up the backside and picking off horses while he was inside and behind horses, I had a pretty good feeling at that point that he was running his race today and that it was a matter of we're going to find out how good he is."

Irad Ortiz (Known Agenda's jockey): "Probably now I have a horse for the Derby, if he stays sound and healthy. It's always exciting. I had to go to the rail and it worked out great. When I took him out he started rolling. I really like the way he handled the distance. He was better. I like that. He's a classy horse. He's not too crazy. You can do anything with him. He's got a good mind."

Jose Ortiz (Greatest Honour's jockey): "He broke a little slow like he always does. I tried to be aggressive but I wasn't fast enough to make it into a nice position so I had to take him back and drop in. I had Known Agenda in front of me and I followed him the whole way; at the three-eighths pole I kept following him. I felt like I was in contention at the quarter pole but the winner ran a nice race."


Horse Racing Planet