By Brian Murphy
Rousing Sermon, raised in Parma and owned by Treasure Valley business owners Larry and Marianne Williams, will race in the Kentucky Derby on May 5. Larry Williams said he reached the decision to run Rousing Sermon in the Derby on Wednesday morning.
"We know we have a good horse. Do we have a great horse?" Williams said. "We're just going to put him in. We've always been willing to take a chance and that's what we're doing."
The horse was raised at the Tree Top Ranches in Parma, where the Williams' have 30 thoroughbreds. They also have horses in California and Kentucky.
Rousing Sermon, the offspring of Williams-owned horses Lucky Pulpit (sire) and Rousing Again (dam), finished third in the Louisiana Derby in his last race.
Rousing Sermon qualified for the Derby through his performances in graded stakes races, but the owners still had to decide if running in the race was the best decision.
"It's so hard to get there that we just determined we better do it while we could," Williams said.
Williams said he expects Rousing Sermon to be a 40- or 50-to-1 longshot in the Kentucky Derby. He said more than 40 people — employees, family and friends — will make the trip for the race.
"We'll be happy if we end up in the top half. There are 20 horses that run in the Derby," he said. "We'll be pleased if we run in the top 50 percent. You'd always like to do better than that.
The Kentucky Derby draw will be held on May 2.
Williams is a co-owner of Treasure Valley Racing, which operates Les Bois Park in Boise. Les Bois Park begins its live race meet on May 2. The park will also have racing on May 5, the day of the Kentucky Derby.
Become a fan of the Statesman on Facebook.