After weeks of uncertainty following a disappointing showing at the Louisiana Derby, War Story’s status for the Kentucky Derby is finally official.
Unwilling to commit to the race in recent weeks, trainer Tom Amoss said this week that the 3-year-old gelding, who finished in third place at the Louisiana Derby, will indeed be among the field on May 2 for the 141st running of the Kentucky Derby.
“It came down to his owners’ decision, but they believe that he’ll have a good shot at competing in the race,” Amoss said. “We were a little disappointed in how he ran at the Louisiana Derby, so they just wanted to consider every option.”
The son of Northern Afleet placed in all three of the Derby prep races held at the Fair Grounds this season, but he was unable to keep up with the Ken and Sarah Ramsey-owned International Star, who came away with victories in all three races.
International Star sports a comfortable lead in the Road to Kentucky Derby points, with 171, while War Story ranks 14th in the standings with 44 points.
“International Star is an impressive horse, there’s no doubt about that,” Amoss said. “We thought we had a chance to come away with a win in a few of those races, but you have to give them credit.”
While there is always much excitement surrounding a horse whenever he is entered into the field for arguably the most prestigious horse race of the year, Amoss has worked to temper the expectations for War Story heading into the race.
Amoss has been working with the gelding at Churchill Downs this week, and he says there is still much work to be done before May 2.
“He’s improving in all the work we’re doing, so that’s always a great sign,” Amoss said. “But he has a long way to go before we consider him a true contender to win the race. It isn’t impossible, but we’ve got a lot of work to do.”