International Star enters Saturday’s 141st running of the Kentucky Derby with an impressive list of accomplishments.
The Ken and Sarah Ramsey-owned colt swept all three of the Kentucky Derby prep races at the Fair Grounds this year and comes into Saturday atop the Road to the Derby standings with 171 points.
The only thing that International Star seems to lack heading into Saturday’s race is the respect of the betting public. Despite his lofty list of achievements, International Star heads into the race a 19-1 shot, square in the middle of the pack.
“International Star has been a great surprise and has already proved a lot of people wrong,” Ken Ramsey said. “Guess we’ll try to go out and prove a few more wrong this weekend.”
Ramsey’s entrance in Saturday’s Derby will be the seventh time Ken and his wife have entered a horse in the race They were winless in those attempts — never finishing better than eighth.
While Ken Ramsey understands how difficult it would be, he said winning Saturday’s race would be one of the most memorable moments of his horse owning career.
“If we could pull this off, it would be one of prouder moments, no doubt,” he said. “We’ve got a really great group of horses set to race on Saturday, but I certainly think (International Star) could get it done.”
While International Star hasn’t received much respect from bettors, neither have some of the cohorts that he ran past in his most recent victory.
Mr. Z, Keen Ice and War Story each fell short in their attempt to take down International Star at the Louisiana Derby on March 28, and all three head into Saturday’s race as long shots. As of early Friday evening, Mr. Z had 28-1 odds, followed by Keen Ice at 29-1 and War Story at 50-1.
Trainer Tom Amoss, a New Orleans native, and owner Ryan Zamo mulled the decision on whether to enter War Story into Saturday’s race after his disappointing third-place finish in the Louisiana Derby.
“(Ryan) is a really competitive guy, and he believes if everything breaks right that we’ll have a chance,” Amoss said. “My job is to just make sure that, if everything does go right, that (War Story) is ready to jump on that opportunity.
“The field of horses in this year’s race is really impressive, so whoever ends up taking it is going to be a really good horse — no doubt about that.”
They’re from here
The jockeys and trainers in Saturday’s Kentucky Derby with area ties:
Miguel Mena: Will be riding International Star; he rode the horse in all three of his wins at this year’s Derby prep races at the Fair Grounds. Was second in this year’s Fair Grounds jockey standings. Has never won the Kentucky Derby.
Joe Talamo: Will be riding War Story in Saturday’s race after riding him in the Louisiana Derby. Born and raised in Marrero. Has never won the Kentucky Derby.
Kent Desormeaux: The Hall of Fame jockey will be riding Keen Ice on Saturday. Born and raised in Milton, he won the Kentucky Derby in 1998, 2000 and 2008.
Florent Geroux: Will be on Stanford after riding him in the Louisiana Derby. Was fourth in this year’s Fair Grounds standings. Has never won the Kentucky Derby.
Mike Maker: Trained International Star for all three races he won at the Fair Grounds this year. Has never won the Kentucky Derby.
Tom Amoss: Trainer for War Story was born and raised in New Orleans. Was atop this year’s Fair Grounds trainer standings. Has never won the Kentucky Derby.