75-1 Win Puts Spotlight on One-Eyed Un Ojo, Courville

Longshot Rebel winner runs in Arkansas Derby with Kentucky Derby spot assured.


For the last few weeks, Ricky Courville’s family and friends have been peppering him with suggestions for the first week in May. They have been urging the Louisiana-based trainer to buy airline tickets or make hotel and restaurant reservations. Some have recommended buying a new suit. But at the moment, Courville would prefer to wait until next week before handling all those details.

“It’s been an exciting time,” Courville said, “but I know anything can happen in this game so I just keep on working like normal and think about what’s going on. I’ve got family talking about making reservations in Kentucky but I tell them, ‘Whoa, we have one more race to go. Let’s not jinx anything now.”‘

For Courville, who has a string of about 30 horses based in Louisiana and spent the first 13 years of his training career without experiencing the thrill of a graded stakes win, his life finally shifted into the fast lane Feb. 26 through the heroics of Un Ojo , a one-eyed gelding by the late stallion Laoban owned by Cypress Creek Equine and Whispering Oaks Farm.


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