Louisville, KY (SportsNetwork.com) - The field for Saturday's 140th Kentucky Derby will have only 19 horses after Friday's announcement that also-eligible Pablo Del Monte will not be a starter.
Trainer and part owner Wesley Ward said Friday morning that the other owners of Pablo Del Monte have decided not to start the 3-year-old in the 1 1/4-mile Run for the Roses, but instead will have the colt go in the Preakness Stakes two weeks later.
"It's amazing to have the opportunity to run," Ward said Thursday before talking to the other owners. "I own 25 percent of the horse. With my 25 percent there is nothing I'd love better, with a horse that I bred, than to run. But I have to go with what my partners want to do, and respect it.
"The original plan, when we weren't in the race, was to go to the Preakness because we didn't think we'd have this decision to make. We felt the spacing of five weeks between races was ideal and that everything looked good."
Susan Magnier, Derrick Smith, Michael Tabor are the other owners of Pablo Del Monte and are based in Europe. The colt would have started the Kentucky Derby from the far outside post in the auxiliary gate.
An opening for Pablo Del Monte appeared Thursday when 6-1 morning-line second pick Hoppertunity was scratched with a foot injury.