Exaggerator ridden by Darren Nagle during training hours at Parx Racing on Sept. 23
Exaggerator still must prove to critics he’s more than a horse that needs a sloppy track to run his best race, and no less an authority than Keith Desormeaux isn’t eager to dispute that, although the trainer of the Santa Anita Derby and Preakness winner isn’t about to alter his thoughts on the colt’s achievements.
Exaggerator takes on Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist and 10 others in Saturday’s $ 1.25 million Pennsylvania Derby, scheduled to be run on a fast track at 1 1/8 miles. A son of two-time Horse of the Year Curlin, Exaggerator was purchased for $ 110,000 and to date has won $ 3,571,120.
“The numbers say he’s just as good on a fast track,” Desormeaux said. “He ran a great race in the San Vicente, he ran a great race in the Delta Jackpot and he ran a great race in the Saratoga Special. Those were dry tracks. (The Delta Jackpot was actually on a muddy track).
“But his major wins have all come on wet tracks, so it (the criticism) is not BS. Until I prove different, the naysayers can have their day. It doesn’t bother me. It doesn’t diminish what he’s accomplished, it doesn’t reflect on how much money he’s won. He’s a superstar.
“We don’t look at the Pennsylvania Derby any differently. The type of surface he runs on doesn’t change his style. It’s up to Kent (Desormeaux) to get him in a nice, rhythmic gallop behind the pace and run them down. Nothing changes.”
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