If you're looking for a possible Kentucky Derby longshot, take a look at Spurrier, a 3-year-old by Dixieland Band who is named after South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier. He broke his maiden earlier this year at Aqueduct and followed with another victory last week.
John Fort of Peachtree Racing Stables purchased the colt for $45,000 at the Keeneland fall sales in 2006.
"He was a beautiful, little gray colt," Fort says. "He had a nice pedigree and beautiful conformation, but he was just a bit small for major buyers."
But Fort saw something and immediately named the colt Spurrier. "I thought it was a good name for a colt from South Carolina. Everybody is proud to have him as our coach, and I am a tremendous fan of his."
Fort said Spurrier was "extremely laid-back, kind of sleepy when we put him into training." But trainer Todd Pletcher, who won the 2007 Belmont with Rags to Riches, has been working his magic.
"Every time we put him against another horse in training, he is right there," Pletcher said.
Spurrier's big test is expected to come April 5 in either the Wood Memorial or the Illinois Derby.
"He has grown mentally as well as physically," Fort says. "If he improves as much in the next two months as he has in the past two, he will be right there [in the Kentucky Derby]."