Donegal Racing

Donegal Racing Aims for Derby Weekend Triple

April 30, 2015

Donegal Racing, which puts together racing partnerships, heads to Louisville with a three-pronged attack on trio of grade I races, including the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands, May 1-2 at Churchill Downs.

The Iowa-based partnership has Keen Ice, trained by Dale Romans, for the May 2 Kentucky Derby; Puca, trained by Bill Mott, for the May 1 Longines Kentucky Oaks; and Finnegans Wake, trained by Peter Miller, for the May 2 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic.

Jerry Crawford, president of Donegal Racing, also announced that Junior Alvarado will ride Puca; Victor Espinoza will ride Finnegan's Wake; and Kent Desormeaux will take the mount on Keen Ice.

"We probably buy the fewest horses of any of the major partnerships," Crawford said. "To get horses in all three of the major races is quite an accomplishment for our partners."

Donegal forms one partnership per year in September, and every partner owns a piece of each horse acquired that year, usually about eight to ten horses.

"The entire sport of horse racing owes (Dogwood Stable president) Cot Campbell a big wet kiss for coming up with the partnership concept," said Crawford. "It has been one of the brightest growth spots in our industry. Cot figured out a way for folks to be on the inside of horse racing without doing all the work it would take them individually; it was a brilliant idea."

Crawford added that Donegal expects more than 150 guests at Churchill Downs on Derby weekend. "We travel pretty well," Crawford said, "Our partners aren't afraid to have a good time.

"We look forward to a very exciting week in Louisville with all of our partners and friends. For them to be able to experience the walk over for both the Oaks and the Derby is an achievement and experience that will create memories for a lifetime during what is the arguably the biggest weekend of racing in America."


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