Excitable Lani settles down to run 9th in Kentucky Derby

May 7, 2016

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) Preparing Lani for Saturday's Kentucky Derby was the easy part. Getting him to follow directions on race day was a much tougher test for his handlers.

Known for digging in his hooves - and kicking - when he doesn't want to do something, the Japan-based gray colt frequently showed his mule side while being led from his barn to the paddock and starting gate at Churchill Downs. Lani stubbornly fought his handlers and kicked the paddock stall, and for a minute seemed headed toward being scratched.

Given special permission to stand apart from his counterparts as they paraded through the paddock, jockey Yutaka Take was soon in the saddle and on the track with arguably the Derby's most temperamental horse.

But concerns that he'd disrupt the race didn't materialize as the 30-1 long shot finished ninth of 20 horses from the No. 8 post position, better than most had predicted.