The Latest: Asmussen grateful for 2 Derby chances

May 7, 2016

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) The Latest from the 142th running of the Kentucky Derby from Churchill Downs. Post time for the race is 6:34 p.m. ET. (all times local):

2:44 p.m.

No matter what happens in the Kentucky Derby, trainer Steve Asmussen has appreciated this year's stay a little more than the others.

The feeling is understandable considering he has two contenders in Arkansas Derby winner Creator and Louisiana Derby winner Gun Runner.


Asmussen was also selected last week for racing's Hall of Fame, an honor he said has made him reflect on his career.

''I'm very grateful for the opportunity,'' the 50-year-old said this week. ''We realize how blessed and fortunate we are able to be given horses with their physical (ability) and that pedigree.''

The hard part is the all-day wait to see how it turns out.

This is the 10th Derby for Asmussen. His best finish was a second with Nehro in 2011. His horses are 0 for 13.

2:27 p.m.

Catalina Red pulled a 14-1 upset in the $500,000 Churchill Downs Stakes for sprinters, the seventh of 14 races on the Derby day card.

The 4-year-old, making his first start for trainer Jorge Navarro, was largely overlooked despite a recent win against state breds at Tampa Bay Downs.

He was always a factor in the Churchill Downs, laying third as Limousine Liberal and Holy Boss set the pace. Catalina Red and jockey Javier Castellano took charge in midstretch and held off Calculator by a length.

The 4-year-old son of Munnings improved to 5 for 10 with the richest victory of his career, and his first win outside Florida.

Catalina Red rewarded his backers with a $30.20 win payoff.

The time was 1:20.79 for seven furlongs.

The Derby is the 12th race on the program.


2:21 p.m.

Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly, famous for her feud with Donald Trump, has arrived at the Kentucky Derby with her husband.

She walked the red carpet in a blue dress and white fascinator, as the crowd shouted her name and raised their phones high in the air to snap photos.


1:55 p.m.

For a change, Ted Cruz didn't have much to say. Not even a pick for the Kentucky Derby.

Days after suspending his presidential campaign, the Texas senator showed up with his wife at Churchill Downs.

He got off the elevator at The Mansion, the track's most exclusive section near Millionaires Row.

Cruz said he's at the Derby to have a good time, and declined to be interviewed. His wife, Heidi, repeated ''no media interviews today, no media interviews today,'' as the couple ducked through a door, blocked by security guards, into the private club.


1:37 p.m.

Tepin is the queen of the grass runners following another impressive win in the $300,000 Churchill Distaff Turf Mile.

It was her sixth straight stakes victory, including a decisive win over males last October in the Breeders' Cup Mile. The consistent 5-year-old trained by Mark Casse improved her career mark to 11 for 19. She won this race last year as a 9-1 long shot.

Those days of cashing a big ticket on Tepin are long gone. She paid $2.60 to win as the overwhelming 1-5 favorite.

Rainha Da Bateria finished second, 3 1/4 lengths behind the winner.

Julien Leparoux was aboard the winner, covering the mile in 1:34.36


1:24 p.m.

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin is non-committal when it comes to his pick for the Kentucky Derby.

As governor, Bevin presents the Derby trophy to ownership interests of the race winner. A few hours before the Run for the Roses at Churchill Downs, Bevin said several owners said they hoped they'd see him in the winner's circle. Bevin said he didn't want to pick sides publicly, so he declined to reveal his pick.

Bevin is attending his first Derby since his election as governor last year.

The Republican governor sidestepped questions about politics. Like his predecessors, Bevin is using the Derby to mingle with business prospects at the track.


12:49 p.m.

Derby day weather is holding out, but it's a long way before the Run for the Roses. The forecast is calling for isolated thunderstorms with a high temperature of 81 degrees. There's a 30 percent chance of rain. Currently, it's partly cloudy with winds from the west up to 17 mph.

Some Derby weather nuggets:

- The average high for May 7 is 75 (record 89 in 1940); the average low is 54 (record 36 in 1989); average rainfall is .18 inches (record 4.6 inches in 1961).

- 94 degrees was the warmest, May 2, 1959 (Tomy Lee)

- 47 degrees was the coldest, May 4, 1935 (Omaha), May 4, 1957 (Iron Liege); the record cold in '57 was accompanied by north winds between 20-25 mph

- 2.31 inches of rain was wettest, May 11, 1918 (Exterminator).


12:40 p.m.

They ran the American Pharoah as the fifth race, an allowance optional claimer won by appropriately named Hesinfront ($17.80). The winner, trained by Dale Romans, ran his record to 5-for-5 this year.


11:43 a.m.

And they're off and racing at Churchill Downs on Derby day.

In the third of 14 races on the program, the American Pharoah Triple Crown team of owner Ahmed Zayat and trainer Bob Baffert sent out Jazzy Times for an easy win in his debut. Zayat bought the son of Discreetly Mine for $460,000.

Jazzy Times was ridden by Javier Castellano. The 6-5 favorite, the colt returned $5 for a $2 win bet. Winning time for the 6 1/2-furlong race was 1:15.21.

Baffert sends out Mor Spirit in the Derby later Saturday.

Rocket Time ($5.20) won the opening race Call the Colonel ($38.60) took the second.


11:25 a.m.

Miss Kentucky, Clark Davis, could barely take a step through the Derby crowd without someone stopping her to ask for a picture.

''It's not annoying,'' she said. ''It's practice.''

The 18-year-old beauty queen from Lexington has a big goal that tends to require lots of pictures with strangers. She plans to be president of the United States one day.

Though born and raised in horse country, this year is Davis' first Derby. She's a little disappointed she missed seeing a Triple Crown winner last year. But she's got her fingers crossed that one of this year's crop might make history again.

She smiled for photo after photo: a husband and wife, four sisters, a teenage girl who said she's like to be a beauty queen one day.

''Don't forget me,'' she told her fans, and maybe future voters.


11:11 a.m.

Nothing like the Stanley Cup showing up on the backstretch at Churchill Downs the morning of the Kentucky Derby.

That's exactly what happened early Saturday, when NHL officials brought the championship trophy to the barn of Derby favorite Nyquist.

The horse is named for Detroit Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist, a player Nyquist owner J. Paul Reddam admires but has not yet met. Reddam, who grew up in Windsor, Ontario, is a Red Wings fan.

Nyquist trainer Doug O'Neill stood by his unbeaten horse and they posed with the Stanley Cup. At one point, Nyquist stuck his nose into the cup.

Reddam also has named horses after other Red Wings players, including Pavel Datsyuk, Niklas Kronwall, Petr Mrazek and Henrik Zetterberg. Detroit is out of the playoffs, currently in the second round.

Post time for the Derby is 6:34 p.m.