(WHAS11) - Just 10 days before the Derby and three time winning jockey Calvin Borel finally has a horse.
Borel will ride Sunland Derby (GIII) winner Twice the Appeal, hoping to catch more of the New Mexico magic that helped him score with Mine That Bird in 2009.
Borel won the Derby at 50-1 two years ago with a horse that finished fourth in the race at Sunland Park. Now, he gets the winner. The owners of Twice the Appeal chose Borel over Christian Santiago Reyes, who pulled the 25-1 upset that got the horse in the Derby field.
It was a tough spin for Reyes, but trainer Jeff Bonde gets a jockey who has a chance to win his third Derby in a row. That's never been done.
There are not many seats left on the jockey merry-go-round for the Derby, but there are plenty of good jockeys without a mount.
Former Derby winners Kent Desormeaux and Edgar Prado are on the outside looking in. Garrett Gomez, former Churchill leading rider Rafael Bejarano and Javier Castellano are still looking for a mount.
Among the possibilities are Master of Hounds, who is supposed to ship in from Ireland and Anthony's Cross, who is still in California but is 21st on the earnings list. One more defection and he's in the gate.
The Kentucky Derby is race that many times sets up unexpected pairings of horse and jockey. Calvin Borel has never ridden Twice the Appeal but will be on board for the final Derby work on Friday.
You can bet the railbirds will be watching. In the Derby, no one takes Calvin Borel lightly.