Barring any late defections by horses whose riders have an established relationship with trainer Todd Pletcher, jockey Corey Lanerie has secured the assignment to ride Cutting Humor in the 2019 Kentucky Derby, Horse Racing Nation has learned.
"Who knows Churchill Downs better than him?" a source said Monday afternoon, calling the deal 99% done.
A final call will be made Tuesday morning ahead of the entry deadline. The post-position draw is set for 11 am ET.
The Sunland Derby (G3) winner Cutting Humor runs for Starlight Racing, a Louisville-based ownership group headed by Jack Wolf. In addition to full ownership of Cutting Humor, Starlight owns a share of Improbable, the Grade 1 winner the partnership campaigns along with WinStar Farm and China Horse Club.
Lanerie has ridden four times previously in the Kentucky Derby with his best finish second in 2017 aboard the longshot Lookin At Lee. The 44-year-old native of Louisiana is a 16-time meet-leading rider under the Twin Spires.
Two riders known for their stakes success with Pletcher, John Velazquez (Code of Honor) and Javier Castellano (Vekoma), have elected to remain aboard Grade 2 winners for other barns in Saturday's race.
Kentucky Derby horses and jockeys
1. Tacitus (Jose Ortiz)
2. Omaha Beach (Mike Smith)
3. Vekoma (Javier Castellano)
4. Plus Que Parfait (Ricardo Santana Jr.)
5. Roadster (Florent Geroux)
6. By My Standards (Gabriel Saez)
7. Maximum Security (Luis Saez)
8. Game Winner (Joel Rosario)
9. Code of Honor (John Velazquez)
10. Haikal (Rajiv Maragh)
11. Improbable (Irad Ortiz Jr.)
12. War of Will (Tyler Gaffalione)
13. Long Range Toddy (Jon Court)
14. Tax (Junior Alvarado)
15. Cutting Humor (Corey Lanerie)
16. Win Win Win (Julian Pimentel)
17. Country House (Flavien Prat)
18. Gray Magician (Drayden Van Dyke)
19. Spinoff (Manny Franco)
20. Master Fencer (Julien Leparoux)