Blended Citizen Connections Stick With Derby Plans, Need Defections

After Greg Hall and SAYJAY Racing’s Blended Citizen finished fifth in the Toyota Blue Grass (G2) on April 7, it appeared the colt’s Kentucky Derby dreams were toast.

Last Friday, Jack Sisterson, assistant to trainer Doug O’Neill, said the plan was to look for a race to use as a prep for the Belmont (G1) because Blended Citizen had accumulated only 22 points toward the Derby. That total ranked 25th on the list for the race that is limited to 20 starters.

Then Saturday, in the final two points races toward the Run for the Roses, no horses jumped ahead of Blended Citizen and a couple of other runners were dropped from Derby consideration. Suddenly Blended Citizen was No. 23.

“Things have changed,” Sisterson said Tuesday morning. “Doug called me yesterday afternoon and said, ‘Let’s point to the Kentucky Derby.’ ”

Sisterson said Blended Citizen most likely would work Saturday.

“Brooke Hubbard, the racing manager for SAYJAY, will be here Thursday when What’sontheagenda runs (for SAYJAY in a turf allowance race),” Sisterson said. “Doug will make the decision, depending on weather, but probably Saturday.”

Should O’Neill follow his pattern of the past two years with 2016 Derby winner Nyquist and 2017 Toyota Blue Grass winner Irap, Blended Citizen would have one more work after this weekend before going to Churchill Downs.

As it stands now, Blended Citizen is three defections away from making the Derby. Last year at this time, his half-brother Lookin At Lee was in a similar spot on the Derby bubble at No. 22.

Lookin At Lee wound up finishing second in the Derby to Always Dreaming.

The post Blended Citizen Connections Stick With Derby Plans, Need Defections appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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