Edited press release
Cecil Peacock's Brother Derek heads an impressive list of 137 3-year-olds nominated to Keeneland's $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) April 15. The race will be televised live by ABC Sports from 5 to 6 p.m. (ET).
Nominations for the 82nd running of the Blue Grass increased over last year's total of 126, and count among them the strongest contenders to date for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). The 1 1/8-mile Blue Grass, run three weeks before the Derby, has traditionally been a stepping stone to the Run for the Roses.
Brother Derek, trained by Dan Hendricks, polished his credentials as top 3-year-old colt with a win in last Saturday's Santa Catalina Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita. The California-bred son of Benchmark had captured the Hollywood Futurity (gr. I) and San Rafael (gr. II) in his two starts previous to the Santa Catalina.
Two-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Todd Pletcher is represented by 13 Blue Grass nominees, including Keyed Entry, upset winner of the Hutcheson (gr. II) and Bluegrass Cat, who took the Sam F. Davis at Tampa Bay Downs. Pletcher celebrated his first Blue Grass win last year with Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith's Bandini before a record Keeneland crowd of 33,621.
Among the other accomplished three-year-olds nominated to the Blue Grass are Bruce Lunsford and Lansdon Robbins' First Samurai, winner of the Fountain of Youth (gr. II) upon the disqualification of Corinthian; Mike McCarty's Private Vow, winner of the Kentucky Jockey Club (gr. II); Lael Stables' Barbaro, winner of the Holy Bull (gr. III); and Peter Redekop B.C.'s Cause to Believe, winner of the El Camino Real Derby (gr. III).