King Of Positivity Kendrick Carmouche Hopeful For Big Late Kicks From Bourbonic, Maracuja – Horse Racing News

Bourbonic (Bernardini) and jockey Kendrick Carmouche win the Wood Memorial (Gr II) at Aqueduct Racetrack 4/3/21. Trainer: Todd Pletcher. Owner: Calumet Farm

Jockey Kendrick Carmouche could be a walking, talking advertisement for optimism.

Here’s the proof. The other day, Carmouche was asked what’s his best finish he has ever had in the Pennsylvania Derby? The 37-year-old rider smiled – he’s always smiling – and snapped back.

“Saturday,” he said. “It will be on Saturday.”

For the record, Carmouche’s best finish in the signature race at Parx Racing came in 2017 when he checked in fourth aboard Game Over. That was his sixth career mount in the Derby.

Saturday, he’ll be aboard Calumet Farms’ Bourbonic in the Grade 1, $1 million Pennsylvania Derby, a horse he rode to a stunning victory in the Wood Memorial in April at odds of 72-1.

“I will need some pace,” Carmouche said about his partner, who is 12-1 on the Derby morning line. “Hopefully, he will have the same kick that he had in the Wood and we can run them down.”

Being back in the saddle are soothing words for the native of Louisiana, who had a bummer of a summer.

Two races after riding Bourbonic to a fifth-place finish in the Belmont Stakes on June 5, Carmouche broke his right ankle when his mount Kentucky Pharoah leapt in the air and unseated the rider. The horse landed on his ankle, breaking it. Goodbye, summer.

Now he’s back. And loving every second of it.

“I am ready. I am hungry,” Carmouche said. “I just want to succeed.”

Carmouche returned to the saddle on Sept. 5 and started his comeback at Parx, a place he has had plenty of success at.

He owns seven riding titles at Parx, including four straight from 2008-11.

In his second start back from the injury, he won. In 56 starts since his injury, Carmouche has seven wins, four seconds and six thirds.

Saturday, he’ll have nine rides on the 13-race Parx card. Besides Bourbonic, he is also being reunited with Beach Haven Thoroughbreds LLC, Medallion Racing, Parkland Thoroughbreds and Barry Fowler’s Maracuja in the Grade 1, $1 million Cotillion.

Carmouche rode Maracuja three times earlier this year before getting hurt. He missed the mount when Maracuja won the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks at Saratoga on July 24.

“I am happy to have Kendrick back on her,” Rob Atras, Maracuja’s trainer, said. “He knows the filly. Obviously, he knows Parx. I know that definitely can’t hurt.”

Carmouche’s upbeat nature didn’t sour when he watched Ricardo Santana Jr. win the Coaching Club American Oaks. It’s not his way.

“I am always looking forward,” he said. “Life goes on, man. It’s part of the game. Nobody wants to get hurt, but it happens. I just kept on pushing, kept on fighting. I am always in a good mood, you can never get me down. It’s just the way I’ve always been.”