It will be his 44th starter in the Kentucky Derby. Dublin is not the favorite in Kentucky odds but anytime a horse in the Derby is trained by Lukas he has a chance.
Kentucky wagering lists Dublin at 20-1 to win the Kentucky Derby. He definitely has a better chance of winning than Flying Private did a year ago. “We were in last year but we weren’t in it,” Lukas said, “This horse gives me the feeling that we’ve got a chance to pull it off. I am excited about him but I get very excited very easy.” Dublin is the son of 2005 Preakness and Belmont winner Afleet Alex. He was second in the Grade III Southwest, third in the Grade II Rebel and third in the Grade I Arkansas Derby. He worked this past week at Churchill Downs with regular rider Terry Thompson going five furlongs in 59.13 seconds. “If you have a Derby horse and have a contender, they better be able to go 59,” Lukas said. “That type of effort signifies you might be getting a pretty good effort in two weeks.”
Dublin has not won a race since last year but he did have a throat problem to deal with. He is going off at double-digit odds in Kentucky wagering but longshots have won for Lukas in the past. Thunder Gulch won in 1995 and paid $51. Charismatic won in 1999 and paid 64.60. “We’ve got quite a bit of experience and that helps a great deal,” Lukas said. In this year’s Derby he has Dublin who continues to improve. “Oh, boy, he is a man,” Lukas said. “He looks good in the lobby … there isn’t a horseman on the grounds who doesn’t say, `damn, how about that one!’ All of us trainers have to see if they can get over this racetrack and he damn sure does. I feel very comfortable where we are at, two weeks out.”
The favorite in Kentucky odds will be Todd Pletcher’s Eskendereya but favorites don’t always win the Derby. Just a year ago it was Mine That Bird winning as a 50-1 longshot. Dublin will go off at shorter odds than that horse and he definitely could be a factor on Saturday, May 1st.