May 4—LOUISVILLE — Confidence Game has become one of the more talked about horses over the last few days going into the 149th Kentucky Derby. The 20-1 morning line odds horse has raced and worked in Kentucky, and has an Owensboro connection in the ownership group.
Robert Edge and wife Katie Edge are in the ownership group that’s a part of Don’t Tell My Wife Stables, based out of Texas. Members of the ownership group, which also now includes Ocean Reef Stables, were out in the renovated paddock at Churchill Downs on Tuesday watching Confidence Game and the other 19 entrants get used to their surroundings, schooling in the area where they will be saddled and where their riders will go up in the irons before heading to the starting gate for the Derby.
“I was at his (Confidence Game) maiden, at his first race here, the Iroquois race, I was at the Rebel,” Robert said. “It’s an absolute gift from God and a dream come true, just to be a part of this, just to be in this.”
Confidence Game debuted July 2 at Churchill Downs and has won three of seven starts, two of those at Churchill. He won by five lengths in a six-furlong maiden last August in his second career start, and by a half-length over eventual Holy Bull (G3) winner Rocket Can in a 11/16-mile allowance in November.
An insurance business trip to Texas in a few years ago helped connect Edge with others who would be in the ownership group from Don’t Tell My Wife Stables. Another future partner at a dinner on the last night on the trip asked if anybody at the table was interested in thoroughbred horse racing, and Robert said sure, he loved horse racing.
“My dad was a horseman, he used to run horses at Ellis (Park),” Robert said of Jim Edge. “My grandparents, aunts and uncles all came to the Derby every year, it’s been in the family history and tradition, it’s awesome.”
The Edge family history with thoroughbreds makes this Derby trip very meaningful for Robert and Katie, along with the rest of the family.
The colorfully-named Don’t Tell My Wife Stables was co-founded by Kirk Godby and Rob Slack, and they have been longtime clients of trainer Keith Desormeaux. The story on how the stable was named was that an early partner kept telling Godby and Slack “don’t tell my wife” on getting involved with the horse racing business, and that name stuck.
Putting these partnerships together is an interesting mix. Another partner in the Confidence Game group, Chris Oldham, had bought Godby’s house in Texas and was getting Don’t Tell My Wife Stables mail at the old address. A mutual friend connected them, and Oldham ended up in the CG group after meeting Godby.
“I’m like, ‘I don’t know who this guy is, but I’ve got to get this mail to him,’ ” Oldham said, recounting his first contact with the Stables.
Confidence Game has become the ‘buzz horse’ of this Derby after a bullet five-furlong workout in 59 seconds Saturday at Churchill Downs.
“That seemed to open up some eyes, didn’t it?” Desormeaux said Monday at Churchill. “Well, we’ve always said he was a good horse. You can’t win the Rebel (Stakes), you can’t win a race like that and not be talented, but that was a strong work and it was his last work. He pulled up well and he galloped fine this morning, so we’re good to go.”
The Kentucky Derby will be Confidence Game’s first start since the Feb. 25 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn. The time between races hasn’t worried to Desormeaux. The brother of three-time Derby winner Kent Desormeaux, Keith bought Confidence Game for a mere $25,000.
“We think the time has been beneficial,” Desormeaux said. “It can only help. If he was a big heavy-muscled, heavy-bodied horse, maybe I would have had to start him again in order to win a mile and quarter race like the Derby, but he puts a lot in his works.
“That’s why everybody’s talking about Saturday’s work. He’s really aggressive. He doesn’t need a crowd of horses in a race for him to put forth a full effort in his work. So, it’s a nonissue. It can only help. The 10 weeks can only help.”