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    In the Kentucky Derby, Ben Curtis and Honour Marie are living the dream
In the Kentucky Derby, Ben Curtis and Honour Marie are living the dream
In the Kentucky Derby, Ben Curtis and Honour Marie are living the dream. Source: skysports.com

In the Kentucky Derby, Ben Curtis and Honour Marie are living the dream

Ben Curtis would never have imagined how well things would work out in the future when he made the decision to ride in America for the winter back in October. It's also possible that he had no idea he would be competing in the 150th running of the Kentucky Derby.

The former all-weather champion jockey's career has taken off to the point where in March he declared his intention to remain in the United States. His consistent success has earned him a spot to ride live outsider Honour Marie for Whit Beckman in the "Run for the Roses."

Frankie Dettori's quest for a mount during the Churchill Downs spectacular garnered a lot of attention. Although he eventually succeeded in securing a ride on Society Man, the odds indicate Curtis has a better chance.

“It’s going well. Once we get past the Derby and back up to Delaware we can get a bit of normality back and get back to riding four or five days a week and hopefully start banging in winners again,” said Curtis, who was champion apprentice in Ireland back in 2010. “Some jockeys will have different agents for different tracks, but I’m lucky that since I got here I’ve been with Ron Faucheux. He was the leading trainer at the Fair Grounds for four years and packed it in about a year and a half ago when he was at the top of the game, he just wanted to enjoy life a bit more. Ron worked for Todd Pletcher for years before training himself and grew up alongside the younger trainers now coming through, like Whit who trains Honor Marie, like Rob Falcone, who is making a name for himself in New York. And with the contacts he got from training, he’s been a big leg up for me.”

It's common knowledge that racing on dirt differs significantly from racing on turf. Curtis, though, seems to have adjusted quite nicely.

“It’s very different riding on the dirt to turf, it’s a different style of racing, but he’s a very simple horse to ride. He’s not a strong puller, he likes to find his own rhythm and the key to him is not to interfere with him too much and just let him warm into a race,” said Curtis.

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