11 horses racing in Kentucky Derby have ties to Ocala
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OCALA, Fla. (WCJB) - The Kentucky Derby is this weekend in Louisville, and several of the thoroughbreds competing have connections to north central Florida.
There are 20 horses competing in this year’s Kentucky Derby, just over half of them have ties to Ocala.
One of them is Known Agenda.
This is the 15 horse that Eddie Woods has had compete in the Derby.
“We had this horse as a yearling, we broke him. We were supposed to take him to a two year old sale but due to COVID, the sale didn’t take place, so we went on to the training program to be a race horse and last April, we sent him to Todd Pletcher and Todd is taking him on from there,” Woods said.
Woods said he’ll be watching the Derby from home this year, and said he has a good feeling about the race.
“Yeah, I think he’ll run a good race. You never know if you have a derby horse until later on, but to train quality horses is very nice,” he added.
And having quality Ocala horses in such a high stakes competition, is something Mary Thomas said is good for the job market.
“Whenever there’s there’s horses that have been trained here or born here that go on to compete in the Kentucky Derby and perhaps win, it’s definitely a boost to this area and our reputation,” Thomas said.
Thomas and her team are based in Ocala, and bring people from all over the world to work in the equine industry.
“A lot of them have Florida connections where they’re trained here and raised here because it’s such a great climate where you can work with your horses year round so especially from November time about May, all of the training centers fill up and people really ship from all over the county to be able to train here in Florida,” Thomas added.
Race one on Derby Day will start at 10:30 Saturday morning.
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