Giant Finish has 10 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby, and bumped Fear the Kitten to the also-eligible list for the 20-horse field when it was announced he will run April 30.
Trainer Chad Brown brings 2012 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf runner-up Noble Tune to the May 3 American Turf (gr. IIT) at Churchill Downs after making a decision not to run him in the Toyota Blue Grass (gr. I).
For the 28-year-old native of the Dominican Republic, a mount aboard highly-regarded Florida Derby victor Orb in the May 4 Kentucky Derby is a natural progression after a whirlwind month.
Giant Finish, third in the Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati Spiral Stakes (gr. III) last month, will enter the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), trainer Anthony Dutrow confirmed April 30.
- By Claire Novak
Trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. talks about Kentucky Derby (gr.I) contender Itsmyluckyday at Churchill Downs April 30. watch video
- By Claire Novak
D. Wayne Lukas-trained contenders circle at the gap before working April 29 at Churchill Downs. Jockey Gary Stevens is in the irons on Oxbow. watch video
Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas sent Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) contenders Oxbow and Will Take Charge through their final pre-race moves April 29.
A face-off between 2012 Horse of the Year Wise Dan and multiple grade I-winning turf star Point of Entry is on for the Woodford Reserve (gr. IT) on Derby Day, trainer Charlie LoPresti confirmed April 29.
Last year's Kentucky Derby winners arrived at Churchill Downs with 2013 contender Goldencents on April 27. The duties of unloading are documented herein. read blog
Trainer Bob Baffert sent out Kentucky Oaks hopeful Midnight Lucky and potential Kentucky Derby starter Code West together April 28 at Churchill Downs. He expects to make a call April 29 on his Derby starters.
Two-time Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) winner Flat Out reaffirmed his affinity for the Belmont Park surface April 27, winning the $150,000 Westchester Stakes (gr. III) by a hard-fought head.
The Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) winner brings Team O'Neill back to Churchill Downs one year after their victory with I'll Have Another. Assistant trainer Jack Sisterson leads the colt into barn 45. watch video
Trainer Tom Amoss said he only wanted a maintanance work from Louisiana Derby (gr. II) runner-up Mylute April 27 at Churchill Downs, and that was exactly what jockey Rosie Napravnik delivered.
Wood Memorial (gr. I) runner-up Normandy Invasion has been getting 'sharper and smoother every day he's been here,' trainer Chad Brown said at Churchill April 27, after the Tapit colt breezed five furlongs in :59 flat.
Trainer Chad Brown talks about the April 27 work of Normandy Invasion. watch video
Claire Novak and Frank Angst handicap the Derby Trial Stakes at Churchill Downs. On last week's show, Frank hit a $92 exacta with the Illinois Derby! Next week, That Handicapping Show will be on location at Churchill Downs. watch video
Jockey Calvin Borel had nothing but praise for Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) contender Rose to Gold after her four-furlong work at Churchill Downs April 26. The Friends Lake filly went the distance in :47 4/5.
Vyjack, third in the Wood Memorial (gr. I) last time out, led a small group of workers for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) on the morning of April 26 at Churchill Downs. Also on the tab were Golden Soul and Falling Sky.
The long-range forecast in Louisville, Ky., calls for balmy temperatures and mostly sunny skies leading up to the May 4 Kentucky Derby (gr. I), and although Derby Day could be mostly cloudy, rain is not anticipated.
- By Claire Novak
Dam of 2012 Horse of the Year Wise Dan in Lexington on April 24, 2013, with commentary by farm manager Barry Ezrine. Watch Video
- By Claire Novak
An interview with new trainer Will VanMeter, Mike Smith's visit with Zenyatta, and a stop at Patchen Wilkes Farm to visit Lisa Danielle, dam of 2012 Horse of the Year Wise Dan. read blog
Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider's Departing rolled to a strong 3 1/4-length victory in the $750,000 Illinois Derby at Hawthorne April 20, proving his class after a third-place finish in the March 30 Louisiana Derby.
Alto Racing's Winning Cause got up in the final strides of the $200,000 Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. III) April 20 at Keeneland, earning 20 points on the road to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Claire Novak and Frank Angst handicap the Lexington Stakes at Keeneland and the Illinois Derby at Hawthorne. watch video
There was a time when "the other Dan" was Wise Dan, who went on to become Horse of the Year. On April 21 fans will witness the return of the original, Successful Dan, in the $150,000 Ben Ali Stakes at Keeneland.
Five days after reigning Horse of the Year Wise Dan won the Maker's 46 Mile (gr. IT) in his 2013 debut, trainer Charlie LoPresti confirmed the June 15 Stephen Foster (gr. I) as his likely next target.
It may not be worth points on the road to the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), but the $750,000 Illinois Derby (gr. III) drew a packed field of 14, including some familiar names, when entries were taken April 17
Out from the shadow of rival Joyful Victory, Brushed by a Star has a chance to shine in the $200,000 Sixty Sails Handicap (gr. III) at Hawthorne Race Course April 20.
The April 20 Coolmore Lexington (gr. III) offers 20 points and a potential place in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) starting gate, but not all contenders in the last-minute prep will aim for the first Saturday in May.
Donver Stable's Inglorious, winner of the 2011 Queen's Plate against males, heads a field of eight entered for the $100,000 Hilliard Lyons Doubledogdare Stakes (gr. III) April 19 at Keeneland.
Charles Fipke's homebred Java's War overcame a troubled start in the $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes April 13 at Keeneland, closing from last to first to earn his way into the field for the May 4 Kentucky Derby.
G. Watts Humphrey Jr.'s homebred Centre Court ran down 2012 Jenny Wiley (gr. IT) winner Daisy Devine in the final furlong of the 2013 renewal to get her first grade I victory for trainer Rusty Arnold at Keeneland April 13.
Turtle Bird Stable's undefeated Cluster of Stars repelled the challenge of Los Ojitos and preserved her perfect record April 13 at Aqueduct Racetrack, winning the $200,000 Distaff Handicap (gr. II).
Reddam Racing's 2012 Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II) winner Handsome Mike took the $175,000 Commonwealth Stakes (gr. III) at Keeneland April 13, earning his first victory for trainer Doug O'Neill since that upset score at Parx.
Anita Cauley's On Fire Baby hadn't raced since May 28 of last year. She came back with a vengeance April 12, holding off Tiz Miz Sue to win the $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) at Oaklawn by half a length.
Morton Fink's 2012 Horse of the Year Wise Dan easily won the $300,000 Maker's 46 Mile (gr. IT) by a length over Data Link at Keeneland April 12, successfully making his 2013 debut while recording his sixth straight victory.
This year's edition of the $300,000 Madison Stakes (gr. I) may not feature a superstar such as 2012 winner Groupie Doll, but 10 older fillies and mares will provide a good wagering event at Keeneland April 13.
Morton Fink's reigning Horse of the Year Wise Dan makes his 2013 debut for trainer Charlie LoPresti in the $300,000 Maker's 46 Mile (gr. IT) at Keeneland April 12, with only four contenders willing to face him.
"If horses could talk, what a job this would be," said one Gary Contessa, enjoying a bountiful breakfast at Keeneland. "I'd ask that sunofagun right now, 'Do you like that track as much as you like the grass?"
Patrick Smithwick was awarded the seventh annual Dr. Tony Ryan Book Award during an evening ceremony April 10 at Castleton Lyons Farm near Lexington.
Jockey Javier Castellano has committed to ride Fox Hill Farms' Wood Memorial (gr. I) runner-up Normandy Invasion in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
David A. Ross Racing Stable's Perfect Officer, a nose winner in last year's Shakertown Stakes (gr.IIIT), faces eight rivals April 13 when he makes his 2013 debut in the 17th running of the $100,000 turf sprint at Keeneland.
Defending Jenny Wiley Stakes (gr. IT) winner Daisy Devine is back to protect her title April 13 at Keeneland, but the 5-year-old daughter of Kafwain faces a steep question as she goes up against six stakes winners.
Jockey Joel Rosario has been named to ride Besilu Stables Florida Derby (gr. I) winner Orb in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), agent Ron Anderson confirmed April 10.
Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez, who was sidelined after an April 7 spill at Aqueduct, hopes to resume riding May 1 -- three days before the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Twin Creek Racing Stables' Graydar, back-to-back winner of the Donn Handicap (gr. I) and New Orleans Handicap (gr. II), will be sidelined for about 60 days after undergoing surgery to remove a chip from his left front ankle.
It was a crowded scene at the April 10 post-position draw for the $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I), as the connections crossed their fingers and hoped for good post positions.
- By Claire Novak
Claire Novak catches up with the connections of Wise Dan, Richard's Kid, Ramsey Farm, and Daisy Devine. read blog
Verrazano turned back the challenge of Vyjack and held off a late-closing Normandy Invasion in a formful edition of the $1 million Wood Memorial (gr. I) April 6 at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Close Hatches led at every pole, repelled Princess of Sylmar in deep stretch, and drew away to keep her unbeaten record intact, registering her first stakes score in the $250,000 Gazelle Stakes (gr. II) April 6 at Aqueduct.
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