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2012 Kentucky Derby: Mark Valeski Out, Optimizer In

The field in the 2012 Kentucky Derby looks a bit different than it did yesterday. Larry Jones, who is the trainer of horse Mark Valeski, has decided not to run Mark Valeski in the race. Optimizer, who has been trained by Wayne Lukas, will take Mark Valeski's place in the deep field.

Jones cited the deep field as the reason for withdrawing Mark Valeski.

"This is a very deep field," Jones said. "We feel like we belong with them, but there's going to be a horse that runs 15th that's a very good horse. It's not like you just go out there and hope that if Union Rags gets a bad trip then we win. What with Gemologist, Bodemeister, Alpha, Take Charge Indy, somebody's going to get a good trip other than just, say, Mark Valeski."

It's unfortunate that Mark Valeski won't get a chance to run in the Kentucky Derby, but that's Jones' decision to make.

Optimizer enters the field with 60/1 odds to win the 138th Kentucky Deby. Only Hero of Order has worse odds, at 100/1.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.