Derby Contender Profile: Lani

05/07/2016 02:30 AM

Post Position: 8
Morning Line Odds: 30-1
Trainer: Mikio Matsunaga
Jockey: Yutaka Take

Lani is a gray or roan colt by Tapit, out of the Sunday Silence mare Heavenly Romance, foaled Feb. 22, 2013 in Kentucky. Lani is one of three sons of Tapit entered in this year’s Kentucky Derby; Creator and Mohaymen are the other two. The last gray to win the Kentucky Derby was Giacomo in 2005. Lani will become the ninth Kentucky Derby starter that raced exclusively outside of North America prior to running in the Kentucky Derby.

Lani owned by Koji Maeda, trained by Mikio Matsunaga and ridden by Yutaka Take. Mikio Matsunaga was the top jockey in Japan before switching to training 10 years ago. He won more than 1,400 races as a jockey, 11 of which were Group 1 races. Yutaka Take’s father was legendary jockey Kunihito Take. He rode Deep Impact, the second undefeated winner of the Japanese Triple Crown in 2005. He was champion jockey in Japan from years 1989-1999, with the exception of 1991. Take is a three-time winner of the Japan Cup, and five-time winner of the Japanese Derby.

Kaci Kust

Kaci joined cn|2 in May 2012 and is a graduate of Hope College in Michigan where she earned a degree in journalism. After playing basketball in college, Kaci chose to follow her passion for sports and become a sports reporter. In fact, she says if she wasn’t covering athletics for a living, she’d still be up early checking scores and stats. Follow Kaci on Twitter @KaciKustCN2.

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