While all eyes were on California Chrome as he won the Kentucky Derby, several horses behind him had eventful trips, including two who are entered in the Preakness, Ride on Curlin and General a Rod.
Ride on Curlin, No. 19, wearing red and black silks, breaks from the next-to-outside position in the starting gate. Calvin Borel, renowned for his rail-skimming rides, lets his mount drop back to last and then angles sharply to the inside, getting to the rail before he has traveled an eighth of a mile.
The good news: He manages to save valuable ground around both turns while so many of his rivals are forced to go wide.
The bad news: He’s hopelessly far behind when the field turns into the stretch; he has no room to run; Borel has to maneuver him to the outside of the pack to get clear sailing. Belatedly, Ride on Curlin accelerates well to finish seventh. This is a colt who showed good speed in Arkansas stakes races this winter, and trying to come from 19th place probably wasn’t a great strategy. He should improve in the Preakness.
General a Rod, No. 8 in the orange silks, raced on or near the lead in his prior starts. But he doesn’t pop out of the gate and jockey Joel Rosario makes little effort to keep him close to the leaders in the Derby, even though they are travelling at a moderate pace. He races in the midst of traffic all the way — an unfamiliar experience for him — and his poor Derby finish can probably be forgiven.
— Andrew Beyer