Showing Up gives owner possible second undefeated Derby entry


LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) -The owners already had one undefeated horse showing up at this year’s Kentucky Derby in Barbaro. Now they could have an unprecedented second: Showing Up.

Showing Up, who won the Lexington Stakes Saturday at Keeneland, could make history if he heads to the May 6 Derby at Churchill Downs – and his winnings from the Lexington give him plenty of graded stakes earnings to do so.

Never has an owner sent two undefeated horses to the same Derby, but Gretchen and Roy Jackson will do just that should they opt for Showing Up to join their prize colt, Barbaro.

Showing Up is 3-for-3; Barbaro, among the early Derby favorites, is 5-for-5.

But Showing Up’s trainer, Barclay Tagg, was reluctant to guarantee a Derby appearance Saturday, even though he has qualified in earnings.

“He has to be in tip-top condition,” Tagg said. “I’m not going to put him into a tough race. Probably good judgment and good sense would say not to run, but there is only one Kentucky Derby and he’s done everything we’ve asked of him, so you think you have to give him a chance.”

Tagg won the 2003 Derby with Funny Cide.

Showing Up, who missed the Wood Memorial with a leg bruise, was coming off a record-setting win in allowance race at Gulfstream Park. The colt, ridden by Cornelio Velasquez, earned $201,500 of the $325,000 purse in the 1 1/16th-mile Lexington.

Showing Up took the lead from Like Now and Bear Character midway through the stretch and won by 1 4 lengths.

Gotham Stakes winner Like Now, trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, was second with Bear Character a neck behind in third.

McLaughlin’s brother and assistant trainer, Neal McLaughlin, said the Derby was still a possibility but the Preakness Stakes is more likely.

“The Derby is a little too soon to run back,” he said.

A year after his stable sent a record-tying five horses to the Derby, trainer Nick Zito will be shut out this year. His final hopeful, Hemingway’s Key, finished eighth.

Showing Up paid $5, $3.20 and $3. Like Now returned $4.40 and $3.60, and Bear Character paid $9.40 to show.

AP-ES-04-22-06 1907EDT