Connections of Attachment Rate, second in the Ellis Park Derby, are keen on a shot at the Kentucky Derby next month.
Trainer Dale Roman said he was pleased with Attachment Rate’s second behind Art Collector and suggested “we should probably try the Derby” in the wake of that promising run.
Attachment Rate, owned by Jim Bakke and Gerald Isbister, is ranked 18th on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard with 35 points, enough to get him a place at Churchill Downs for the legendary classic but with still one more points-eligible race remaining.
“That’s the best race he’s run for us so far, I think,” Romans said of the Ellis Park second. “With that being said, we should probably try the Derby.”
A tilt at the Kentucky Derby would likely see a rematch with Art Collector over a slightly longer distance. The trainer sees nothing that tells him Attachment Rate won’t get the mile-and-a-quarter distance come September 5th.
“I think he will [get the distance],” Romans said. “That’ll be the big separation, as it always has been [in the Derby].”
The final remaining points-eligible race is Saturday’s Pegasus Stakes at Monmouth Park, which grants points to the top four finishers on a 20-8-4-2 basis and could see Attachment Rate relinquish his place in the Kentucky Derby field if things go against him.
Meanwhile, rider Joe Talamo can look forward to a possible run in the Derby after Romans confirmed he would retain the seat if Attachment Rate is in the race.
The trainer praised Talamo for his ride in the Ellis Derby and, couldn’t contain his delight when informed he’d be in the saddle again next month, all going to play.
“I love it,” Talamo exclaimed. “We got the call, we got the call. That’s all I wanted to hear.”
Talamo has twice before ridden in the ‘Run for the Roses’; on Sidney’s Candy in 2010 and War Story in 2015, though he has yet to feature prominently at the business end of the race.
Attachment Rate gave him quite a feel in the Ellis Park Derby, the son of Hard Spun having travelled powerfully into the race. He knows there was no shame in giving best to Art Collector.
“At the three-furlong pole, I really had a feeling like I was going to win,” Talamo said. “He was running into the bit really well and ran a really good race. Hats off to the winner, he’s a really good horse.”