Trainer Larry Jones announced that Mark Valeski (owned by former Kentucky Governor Brereton Jones) will not be running in the 138th Kentucky Derby on Saturday.
Larry Jones stated that the Proud Citizen colt was healthy, but he was not convinced the Louisiana Derby runner up was up to the challenge against a strong Derby field.
"When you go in," he said, "you've got to be ready to tackle the bears. This is the Derby."
Jones added that this year's Derby field was especially talented, stating "It's not like you just go out there and hope that if Union Rags gets a bad trip then we win. What with Gemologist, Bodemeister, Alpha, Take Charge Indy, somebody's going to get a good trip other than just, say, Mark Valeski."
With the departure, Optimizer moves into the 20th spot in the Derby field.