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Borel gets Kentucky Derby mount on Twice the Appeal

Calvin Borel is in.

That means everybody else had better watch out.

The winning jockey in the Kentucky Derby three of the past four years picked up a mount Wednesday for the 137th Run for the Roses on May 7 at Churchill Downs.

Borel will take over the ride on Twice the Appeal, who stands 11th on the Kentucky Derby graded-stakes-earnings list with $400,000.

Trainer Jeff Bonde told the Daily Racing Form that the horse's ownership group voted to go with Borel, replacing previous jockey Christian Santiago Reyes.

Twice the Appeal is owned by Edward Brown Jr., Victor Flores and Henry Hernandez.

Borel won the Derby in 2007 aboard Street Sense, in 2009 with Mine That Bird and last year on Super Saver. He finished third in 2008 riding Denis of Cork.

Borel, a first-time finalist this year for the National Racing Museum's Hall of Fame, was unable to connect with a hot horse during the Derby prep season and found himself without a ride for the first leg of the Triple Crown just 10 days before the race.

That was until his agent, Jerry Hissam, announced Wednesday afternoon that Borel had picked up the mount on a horse that should feel familiar.

Twice the Appeal is trying to win the Derby following a path similar to Mine That Bird two years ago.

"They offered him to me earlier this week," Hissam told Bloodhorse.com. "We were talking with the people from Master of Hounds, too, but they were waiting on Ryan Moore. There were also a couple of others we were talking to, but I decided it was time to make a decision."

Twice the Appeal earned his shot by winning the $800,000 Sunland Park Derby last month as a 25-1 shot with Santiago Reyes aboard.

"Calvin watched replays of (Twice the Appeal's) races the other day," Hissam told Bloodhorse.com. "He was impressed. The horse can lay off and finish strong. He's excited about the opportunity."

Mine That Bird finished fourth in the 11⁄8-mile Sunland before winning the Kentucky Derby at odds of 50-1.

Twice the Appeal jogged 2 miles in a steady downpour under exercise rider Nate Quinonez on Wednesday at Churchill Downs.

He is scheduled to go out for his final Derby workout on Friday morning with Borel aboard. Borel is one of five riders to win the Derby in consecutive years. No rider has won three consecutive Kentucky Derbys.

Uncle Mo doing fine

Trainer Todd Pletcher reported that all was well with Repole Stable's Uncle Mo a day after the colt worked 5 furlongs in 1:01.80.

"So far, everything is good," Pletcher said of the 2-year-old champion of 2010 who walked the shedrow Wednesday morning. Uncle Mo is scheduled to return to the track Thursday morning.

NBC names new voice of Triple Crown

Monmouth and Gulfstream Park announcer Larry Coll mus is the new voice of racing's Triple Crown.

Collmus will call the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes for NBC. He replaces Tom Durkin, who opted not to re-sign with the network, citing anxiety and health concerns.

Collmus has been calling races for more than 25 years, getting his start at Bowie Race Course in 1985 at age 18. He is part of NBC's revamped Triple Crown lineup.

"It's all I've ever dreamed about," Collmus told the Daily Racing Form. "It's incredibly exciting.

"I have to know those horses like the back of my hand," Collmus added, when asked about the 20-horse field.

The network will offer 14 hours of Derby coverage on NBC and Versus leading up to the Run for the Roses. Laffit Pincay III, son of Hall of Fame rider Laffit Pincay Jr., as well as Randy Moss and Jay Privman will help anchor the coverage on Versus.

The beefed-up Derby coverage is part of 27 hours of programming spread across NBC and Versus for the three Triple Crown races.

Bob Costas will anchor the network's coverage on race days and will be joined by commentator Tom Hammond, three-time Kentucky Derby- winning jockey Gary Stevens, handicappers Mike Battaglia and Bob Neumeier, reporter Kenny Rice and on-track reporter Donna Brothers.