Rebel Stakes winner Un Ojo will not participate in Saturday’s Kentucky Derby because of a bruised left foot, paving the way for Ethereal Road to run at the Derby instead. This, and more Kentucky Derby 2022 scratches.
Un Ojo’s trainer Ricky Courville confirmed the news on Monday.
“He came out of that work Saturday with a bruised foot and it’s just not the right thing to do to run him; he’s still a little tender on it,” Courville said. “We’ll let the dust settle … He might go to the farm here in Kentucky; he might come back home (to Louisiana), or if he’s better in a week, we might find something else for him.”
Ethereal Road is coming off a fourth place finish in the April 16 Stonestreet Lexington Stakes at Keenland and was seventh in the April 9 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes at the Lexington track. His best finish on the Road to the Kentucky Derby was, coincidentally, a runner-up finish to Un Ojo in the Feb. 26 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park.
List of Kentucky Derby 2022 Scratches
“I’m happy to be in, especially for the owner, he wanted to run,” trainer D. Wayne Lukas said. “I’ve been there, I’ve done it before, I’ve had the experience so I’m happy to give him the experience. The horse has trained very well. Whether he’s good enough, how far he’ll take us, I don’t know. But at least that owner’s going to have the experience of the Derby and that’s the important thing.”
Luis Contreras will ride Ethereal Road in the Kentucky Derby. He will be the 50th Derby starter for Lukas, who has won the race four times.