O’Neill To Bid For Third KY Derby Win With Calumet’s Happy Jack - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

O’Neill To Bid For Third KY Derby Win With Calumet’s Happy Jack

Happy Jack

Happy Jack will be a deserving longshot in the Kentucky Derby (G1) Saturday at Churchill Downs, but that hasn't dashed the optimism of trainer Doug O'Neill in pursuit of his third victory in the Run for the Roses, having won in 2012 with I'll Have Another and 2016 with Nyquist, both for principal owner Reddam Racing.

“It's a wide-open race,” O'Neill said by phone from Kentucky Sunday morning, “and we're happy to have Rafael Bejarano riding him. We all know how great he is from his days dominating in Southern California, and he's a legend in Kentucky as well.”

Third by 12 ¼ lengths in the Runhappy Santa Anita Derby (G1) April 9 behind Taiba and Messier, Happy Jack is owned and was bred by Calumet Farm, which won the Kentucky Derby a record eight times in the 1940s and 1950s when legendary trainers Ben A. Jones and his son H.A. (Jimmy) Jones developed Calumet's famed devil's red and blue silks into a dynasty

“Bejarano worked Happy Jack yesterday (one mile in 1:39.60 at Keeneland) and they got along super,” O'Neill said. “We're going to be an outsider, but I think the horse has the stamina and ability to step up and shock the world.”

Happy Jack, a son of Calumet stallion Oxbow, won his career debut January 22 at Santa Anita, but is winless in three subsequent starts, including his third in the San Felipe Stakes (G2) March 5 at the Arcadia, Calif. track.

Paulick Report Icon

Receive daily headlines, breaking news alerts, promotions, and much more!

Ask Ray?

Have a question for Ray that you'd like answered? Have a news tip? Ray will go to his network of sources in pursuit of an answer.

Ask Ray