Rattle N Roll Rocks in the American Derby

July 3, 2022

LOUISVILLE, Ky.— Lucky Seven Stable’s Grade I winner Rattle N Roll returned to the winner’s circle Saturday by running down Kuchar in deep stretch to win the 107th running of the $200,000 American Derby (Listed) at Churchill Downs by two lengths.

Rattle N Roll, winner of last fall’s Breeders’ Futurity (GI) at Keeneland, ran 1 1/16 miles over a “fast” track in 1:43.27. Brian Hernandez Jr. rode the winner for trainer Kenny McPeek and owner Michael J. Mackin of Louisville, who races as Lucky Seven Stable. 

McLaren Vale dictated the terms in the two-turn test for 3-year-olds through comfortable fractions of :24.40, :48.66 and 1:12.98 as Rattle N Roll tracked in the clear in fourth down the backstretch. Kuchar, who stalked in second, poked his head in front leaving the final turn but Rattle N Roll ranged into contention from the outside and dueled with him in upper stretch before gaining the advantage with a furlong to run and driving clear in the final sixteenth of a mile. 

The victory was worth $120,245 and increased Rattle N Roll’s earnings to $605,105 with a record of 3-1-2 in 10 starts. The Kentucky-bred son of Connect out of the Johannesburg mare Jazz Tune previously finished third in the $225,000 Matt Winn (GIII) at Churchill Downs 20 days ago on June 12.

“He’s a really nice horse and showed that today,” Hernandez Jr. said. “Kenny, I think, wanted to give him a confidence booster two starts ago and he was just second best that day but I think it worked because he ran a credible third last time (in the Matt Winn) and ran hard today.” 

At age 2, he impressively broke his maiden by three lengths at Churchill Downs and went on to a four-length score in the Breeders’ Futurity. After five winless starts as 3-year-old, the American Derby was his first triumph since the Breeders’ Futurity.

“It wasn’t 10 minutes after the announcement was made this race was going to be run on dirt that Mike (Mackin) called me and asked if we could supplement him to this field,” McPeek said. “I thought it was good idea. We didn’t even breeze him between races, just galloped him. He didn’t have to face the likes of Cyberknife or Howling Time today. I wouldn’t say he’s at the top of the 3-year-old class but he isn’t chopped liver either.”

Rattle N Roll paid $5.40, $3.20 and $2.60. Kuchar, with jockey Florent Geroux aboard, paid $4.60 and $2.80 as the 7-2 third betting choice. Red Run, ridden by Tyler Gaffalione at odds of 10-1, was another 3 ¼ lengths back in third and returned $4.60. 

KitodanSearch EngineJr’s Gift, McLaren Vale and O P Firecracker rounded out the field. Fowler BlueDouble Clutch and War Campaign were scratched.

Rattle N Roll was bred by St. Simon Place.

AMERICAN DERBY QUOTES

Brian Hernandez Jr. (jockey, Rattle N Roll, winner) – “He’s a really nice horse and showed that today. Kenny (McPeek), I think, wanted to give him a confidence booster two starts ago and he was just second best that day but I think it worked because he ran a credible third last time (in the Matt Winn) and ran hard today.”

Kenny McPeek (trainer, Rattle N Roll, winner) – “It wasn’t 10 minutes after the announcement was made this race was going to be run on dirt that Mike (Mackin) called me and asked if we could supplement him to this field. I thought it was good idea. We didn’t even breeze him between races, just galloped him. He didn’t have to face the likes of Cyberknife or Howling Time today. I wouldn’t say he’s at the top of the 3-year-old class, but he isn’t chopped liver either.”

Florent Geroux (jockey, Kuchar, runner-up) – “He ran a really hard race. We were just second best today.”

Churchill Downs Press Release
Photo by Coady Photography

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