LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Regardless of their post-time odds, there has been plenty of buzz concerning three of trainer Todd Pletcher's four Derby starters. There has been virtually no discussion of the Pletcher-trained Discreetly Mine.
But there are some similarities between this situation and 1995 that may want to make you consider Discreetly Mine, who will likely be a 20-1 to 30-1 longshot. In 1995, Pletcher was an assistant to trainer D. Wayne Lukas, who won the Derby that year with 24-1 shot Thunder Gulch. Lukas had two other starters in the race, including the filly Serena's Song and Timber Country, the 1994 2-year-old champion who had won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Churchill.
Among Pletcher's four entries on Saturday are a filly, Devil May Care, as well as Super Saver, who posted a big win over the Churchill Downs track as a 2-year-old.
Thunder Gulch won the Fountain of Youth and Florida Derby at Gulfstream at 3, but finished fourth as the favorite in his last Derby prep, the Blue Grass. Discreetly Mine won the Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds, but finished fourth as the favorite in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby.
Another similarity between Thunder Gulch and Discreetly Mine is that both began their careers in the barn of other trainers. Thunder Gulch began his career for John Kimmel. As a 2-year-old, Discreetly Mine was trained by Stanley Hough.
During his daily press briefings this week, Pletcher has rarely been asked about Discreetly Mine, a son of Mineshaft. Pletcher did explain that he felt the horse's chances in the Louisiana Derby were compromised by a workout in which "he galloped out way too far and way too fast," six days before the race.
At Churchill Downs, Pletcher has been happy with Discreetly Mine's training.
"I like his energy level, I like the way he's moving, just his general attitude's good right now," Pletcher said.
If it rains and the track is sloppy, Discreetly Mine could become a big factor. Discreetly Mine is out of the mare Pretty Discreet, who in 1995 won the Grade 1 Alabama at 1 1/4 miles by eight lengths over a sloppy Saratoga main track. Pretty Discreet was owned by Einar Robsham, while Discreetly Mine is owned by his widow, Joyce.