From the Paulick Report
Hall of Fame, 5,000 victories, Breeders’ Cup successes. The only thing missing from the resume of Alex Solis is one every jockey savors: a Kentucky Derby triumph.
The native of Panama has been second the Kentucky Derby three times: on Captain Bodgit in 1997; Victory Gallop in 1998; and Aptitude in 2000. Solis has ridden in the world’s most famous horse race 14 times, but not since 2006 when he finished in a dead-heat for fourth aboard Santa Anita Derby winner Brother Derek.
It’s still two months-plus from the Run for the Roses–light years in horse racing time–but Solis maintains a positive outlook after winning the mile and an eighth El Camino Real Derby by 2 ½ lengths aboard Metaboss last Saturday for trainer Jeff Bonde in a $15.20 upset. The win was worth 10 qualifying points to the May 2 Derby.
“That’s what inspires you to get up every day,” said Solis, who turns 51 on March 25. “Horses like Metaboss make it exciting. You want to be on them. We’re out here every day, but a Derby horse is exactly what we’re looking for. I was very impressed with his race.
“It was the first time I had ridden him, so I studied his form. He was nice and relaxed in the race. They went slow the first part, but when they got to the backside they started marching a little bit early and it helped my horse.
“I had to be patient and wait inside for a while. When I got to the 5/16ths (pole) I got him out in the clear and he finished like a good horse and galloped out strong past the wire, so that’s a good indication, especially going a mile and an eighth this early.”
Said Bonde: “Alex rode a good race. He’ll stay on the horse.”
Next up: the Spiral Stakes on March 27 at Turfway Park, which, like Golden Gate, has a synthetic main track.