Mo Tom’s time as “first alternate” for the Kentucky Derby didn’t last long.
The Tom and Gayle Benson-owned three-year-old moved into the Derby field Monday when Bob Baffert withdrew Cupid from May 7 race at Churchill Downs.
The Benson-owned Tom’s Ready had already qualified, giving the Bensons two entries in their first year as thoroughbred owners. Dallas Stewart is the trainer of Tom’s Ready while fellow New Orleanian Tom Amoss trains Mo Tom.
“We are honored to have a chance to run in the most prestigious horse race in the country, and are very grateful to Dallas Stewart and Tom’s Ready,” Tom Benson said in statement from GMB Racing. “Placing two of our horses in the Kentucky Derby is very humbling to me and my wife, Gayle.
“But what has us the most excited is sharing this with everyone in New Orleans. We look forward to bringing New Orleans feel to Louisville.”
Mo Tom had slipped to 21st in the standings that determine the 20 Derby qualifiers after Saturday’s Arkansas Derby. However, Cupid, the favorite who already enough points, finished 10th and Baffert, trainer of 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, said then he was unsure if he would advance Cupid to the Derby.
Along with Tom’s Ready and Mo Tom, the Kentucky Derby field will include Santa Anita Exaggerator, trained and ridden respectively by Lafayette natives Keith and Kent Desormeaux.