LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11)-- Commanding curve is déjà vu for trainer Dallas Stewart.
Just like last year, his derby contender went from the bubble to the starting gate in the final hours before the post position draw.
For the owners at West Point Thoroughbreds it was a mixed blessing. They own both Commanding Curve and Ring Weekend, the horse that was scratched.
“On the other hand, you feel pretty good about the partners in that group, that are able to do the walk over and enjoy Derby week. So it's a bittersweet time for West Point Thoroughbreds,” Stewart said.
Now handicappers have something else to think about. Stewart provided the bottom half of the exacta last year with Golden Soul in second place. Golden Soul was a real long shot, and Commanding Curve may also see long odds. Stewart thinks they are similar.
“I really do think he's so much on par with Golden Soul. Maybe he's ever a stronger type horse, looks like his will is stronger,” Stewart said. “He's had a good couple of weeks here, I feel good about him, he's good and sound and healthy. So we're ready to go.”
And Terry Finley has been looking a past Derbies to fashion a strategy for Commanding Curve.
“I looked at Orb. I think going into the far turn, Orb had like two horses beat and made that big bold run,” Terry Finley said. “I'm not saying we're Orb but I'd like to think we've got the same kind of style.”
When they turn that final curve at the top of the stretch Stewart hopes his horse is in command or at least in position to hit the board. Stewart, deep closer, another derby, it's something to consider.