Ride for Colonel John in question

Apr 13, 2008 8:14 PM

by Ed Golden | Eoin Harty, trainer of Colonel John, and Ron Anderson, agent for Garrett Gomez, denied any knowledge early Sunday morning that Gomez would replace Corey Nakatani on the Santa Anita Derby winner in the Kentucky Derby on May 3.

""I didn’t hear that rumor," Harty said by phone from Kentucky. "As far as I know, Corey is going to ride him in the Derby. I haven’t heard anything to the contrary."

Harty, who was due back in California "late tonight," said Colonel John is scheduled to have his first workout since the April 5 Santa Anita Derby "probably sometime early this week."

When asked by phone about the gossip Sunday morning, Anderson said: "This is the third time I’ve heard this, and I don’t know anything about it."

Anderson added he did not know which horse he would ride in the Derby at this point, but did say the Gomez would be at Hollywood Park on Gold Rush Day, April 27, to ride Final Fling for Jeff Mullins in the $200,000 Melair Stakes at 1 1/16 miles, and Pleasure Grounds for trainer Dean Pederson in the $250,000 Snow Chief Stakes at 1 1/8 miles.

Nakatani is winless in 13 Kentucky Derby mounts, while Gomez, the Eclipse Award winner as the nation’s outstanding jockey in 2007 and the national money leader the past two years, is 0-for-4 in the race.