Epicenter: Kentucky Derby contender profile
The probable Kentucky Derby favorite, Epicenter exits a pair of resounding wins in the Louisiana Derby (G2) and Risen Star (G2) at Fair Grounds. The frontrunning colt displayed a new dimension in the Louisiana Derby, rating kindly behind two early leaders before offering a dynamic turn of foot in the stretch, and the versatility should serve him well in a 20-horse Kentucky Derby field. Epicenter will attempt to provide a well-deserved first Derby victory to North America’s all-time winningest trainer.
Epicenter Speed Figures
Sire: Not This Time
Epicenter is from the second crop of Not This Time. He looked a top contender for the 2017 Kentucky Derby when recording a neck second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), but unfortunately he never raced again. By three-time leading sire Giant’s Causeway, Not This Time will also have Fountain of Youth (G2) winner Simplification in the Kentucky Derby field.
Dam: Silent Candy
Epicenter is out of the stakes-winning Silent Candy, a daughter of Candy Ride. Best known for siring champions Gun Runner, Shared Belief, and Game Winner, Candy Ride also looks poised for success as a broodmare sire. Simplification, another Not This Time colt who will join Epicenter in the Derby starting gate, is also out of a mare by Candy Ride.
Owner: Joan and Ron Winchell’s Winchell Thoroughbreds
Epicenter will be the ninth Kentucky Derby starter for Joan and Ron Winchell’s Winchell Thoroughbreds, either in partnership or sole owner, and Gun Runner’s third in 2016 is their best result. Wood Memorial (G1) winner Tapit was well-regarded in 2004 but he didn’t favor the sloppy track, finishing ninth. The Winchells paid $260,000 for Epicenter as a yearling.
Trainer: Steve Asmussen
Eventually, a Kentucky Derby trophy will have Steve Asmussen’s name on it, and this may be the year. The Hall of Fame trainer saddled his first starter in 2001, and he’s compiled a 23-0-2-2 record over the last 20 years, finishing second with Nehro (2011) and Lookin at Lee (2017). Horse of the Year Curlin had a big chance in 2007, but the inexperienced colt got caught up in traffic and finished third.
Jockey: Joel Rosario
Joel Rosario won aboard Orb (2013), and Epicenter will be his 11th Kentucky Derby mount.
Learn about all of the Kentucky Derby Contenders and the lead up to the Fastest Two Minutes in Sports here on TwinSpires.com