Larry Collmus has been searching for every story he can uncover about the horses and personalities percolating around Kentucky Derby 137. It's his first Derby as the NBC race caller, and Collmus intends to deliver two minutes... more »
To find Juan Arias, don't go to his office.
Go to his horses.
"That's where he stays," his friend, Ruben Sierra, owner of Decisive Moment, said of the 46-year-old trainer who is experiencing his first Kentucky Derby. "He's always on his horses."
First, Arias was on them as a jockey. Now, the native of Panama is on them as his own exercise rider, part of the routine of someone who never wanted to get off the horse in the first place.
"I had weight problems all the time," he said. "So I knew my jockey career was going to be short."
So much so, the weight problems nearly cost him his life.
Let's back up for a second. This isn't the same Juan Arias who trained Kentucky Derby winner Canonero II back in 1971. Same name. Different person.
"I get that a lot," he said this week.