Tom Amoss couldn’t hide his disappointment after the Louisiana Derby.
After the Amoss-trained War Story finished a close second to the Ken and Sarah Ramsey-owned International Star in the Lecomte Stakes and Risen Star Stakes, Amoss figured the gelding had a shot at avenging the two losses in the marquee race of the season at the Fair Grounds.
War Story grabbed an early lead on the first turn, but International Star blew by him and the rest of the competition on the way to nabbing the Louisiana Derby crown and a comfortable lead in the Kentucky Derby standings.
War Story finished in third place, 41/2 lengths behind the lead.
“On the surface, you have to say that we were closer to International Star last time than we were this time and the pace wasn’t nearly as fast as last time,” Amoss told reporters after the race.
With the disappointing finish fresh in his mind, Amoss was non-committal about War Story’s chances of running in the Kentucky Derby on May 2.
After his third-place finish, War Story fell to 13th place in the Kentucky Derby standings, but Amoss said Wednesday that he and the gelding’s owners from Northern Afleet are “leaning toward” sending him to the first leg of the Triple Crown.
“That’s a decision that will be left up to the owners,” Amoss said.
“If I had to guess, I would say they’re leaning that way, but we still haven’t made a decision yet.”
Amoss added that the Kentucky Derby field will be very deep and competitive this year, and that they won’t consider entering War Story unless they believe he has a legitimate shot at winning.
“We’re really just trying to figure out how competitive we can be in the Kentucky Derby, because we know it will be much more tougher than the Louisiana Derby,” Amoss said. “Also, I wanted to see how he would train after the Louisiana Derby, and he’s looked good over the past few weeks.”