Wood Memorial (G1) winner Wicked Strong, who took the April 5 Kentucky Derby (G1) prep by a convincing 3 1/2 lengths, is certain to be among the favorites for the mile and a quarter Churchill Downs classic on May 3. The son of Hard Spun-Moyne Abbey, by Charismatic, who is trained by James Jerkins, is raced by a 20-person partnership under the Boston-based Centennial Farms.
Among the owners in the now $704,610 earner - who was a $375,000 Keeneland September yearling - are Ed Barker, owner of the Bellevue-based Capital Benefit Services; and Peter Horvitz, chairman of the Bellevue's Tateuchi Center and former chairman of Pacific Northwest Ballet. Horvitz was also the chairman, president and CEO of Horvitz Newspapers Inc., which published the King County Journal Newspapers.
Horvitz, who has been involved with racehorse ownership with Centennial for over 25 years, is joined in his most recent Thoroughbred venture by his wife Peggy Horvitz and mother Lois Horvitz.
Wicked (slang for very) Strong was named to honor the victims of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. Five percent of the runner's possible Triple Crown earnings have been pledged to the One Fund, a charity which helps those affected by the Boston tragedy.
At the Wednesday draw, Wicked Strong drew the outside post in the 20-horse Derby field.
Another Derby runner with a Seattle connection is Medal Count, the son of Dynaformer who won the Grade 3 Transylvania Stakes at Keeneland last month. The colt will race for Spendthrift Farm out of the 14 position in the Derby field of 19. Both Medal Count's first two dams Grade 3-placed Brisquette and G1-placed Pirate's Glow were bred or co-bred by Seattle businessman Herman Sarkowsky.