Originally created 04/02/04

Aiken stable hands reins to new jockey



Jose Santos, the jockey who guided Funny Cide to victory in last year's Kentucky Derby, will be in the saddle on Dogwood Stable's Limehouse at the Blue Grass Stakes.

Santos and Cot Campbell, the president of the Aiken-based stable, agreed Thursday on the partnership. The Blue Grass Stakes, a Grade I race for 3-year-olds, will be held April 10 at Keeneland in Kentucky.

Campbell said he was disappointed that Pat Day, who rode Limehouse to a win March 14 in the Tampa Bay Derby, wouldn't be in the saddle. But said he would stick with Santos if the decision is made to send Limehouse to the Kentucky Derby.

"If we go to the Derby, assuming he runs well and he rode him well, I think it would be wrong to take him off," Campbell said. "Jose has won many big races for us in the past. We're glad to have him on Limehouse."

Day opted to ride Shadowland, Campbell said. Day was in the saddle for Dogwood's biggest victory, when Summer Squall won the 1990 Preakness Stakes.

Santos was at the center of a controversy after last year's Derby because of a photo that showed him holding what some thought was an illegal electrical device. The jockey was cleared by racing officials and went on to guide Funny Cide to victory in the Preakness.

Limehouse's performance in the Blue Grass will determine whether he is entered in the Kentucky Derby, which is scheduled for May 1 at Churchill Downs. A field of eight is expected for the Blue Grass, and entries will be drawn Wednesday.

The colt has won both starts this year, including the Hutcheson at Gulfstream Park. The Florida-bred son of Grand Slam out of Dixieland Blues is listed at 15-1 in the latest Kentucky Derby wagering pool. Trained by Todd Pletcher, Limehouse has won five of eight career starts.

Reach John Boyette at (706) 823-3337

or john.boyette@augustachronicle.com.