Only 20 horses will have the honor of racing in the greatest two minutes of sports May 2, and for one prospective competitor the road to the 141st Kentucky Derby begins in Palm Beach.
As of April 30, Danzig Moon, a 3-year-old thoroughbred owned by part-time Palm Beacher John C. Oxley, was ranked fifth for the season. The bay colt wouldn’t be the first Oxley horse in the race; his stallion Monarchos won the 2001 derby with a time of 1:59:97—the second-fastest time ever recorded, only behind Secretariat.
Local equestrians will recognize the Oxley name for the family’s pivotal role in bringing polo to South Florida by reconstructing the former Royal Palm Polo Club in Boca Raton in 1977—the venue at which to spectate before Wellington boomed. Oxley himself played polo for 51 years, including with the former Boca Raton team, and served as president of the U.S. Polo Association. He and his late father, John T. Oxley—who played until he was 83—are both in the Polo Hall of Fame.