Last year's Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner, Peachtree Stable's Plum Pretty, will carry top weight of 117 pounds in the 1 1/16-mile event for fillies and mares on the main track.
The Derby favorite could be as high as 6 or 7-1 this year. read blog
With Sheldon Russell aboard for trainer Hamilton Smith, Skeedattle Stable's Done Talking ran down Morgan's Guerrilla in the final yards to post a 12-1 upset in the $500,000 Illinois Derby (gr. III) April 7 at Hawthorne.
WinStar Farm's Gemologist will head to the Kentucky Derby undefeated and one of the favorites after he held off a surging Alpha to win the $1 million Wood Memorial in thrilling fashion April 7 at Aqueduct.
Alex G. Campbell Jr.'s homebred goes wire-to-wire in Keeneland feature April 7.
Just as she did in her last start, E. Paul Robsham's homebred Broadway's Alibi went wire-to-wire, this time scoring by 3 1/2 lengths in the $250,000 Comely (gr. III) and perhaps punched her ticket to the May 4 Kentucky Oaks.
Three big Kentucky Derby preps are on tap on Saturday from around the country. read blog
Take Control, the first foal out of 2002 Horse of Year Azeri and a $1.9 million purchase for Kaleem Shah in 2009, recorded his first work in more than seven months April 5 at Santa Anita Park.
Either Withers (gr. III) winner Alpha or the undefeated Gemologist could lay claim to the top 3-year-old spot if they were to impressively win the $1 million Wood Memorial (gr. I) April 7 at Aqueduct.
In what is easily the most wide-open field of all the final Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) preps, the $500,000 Illinois Derby (gr. III) drew a full field of 14 for the April 7 event at Hawthorne Race Course.
Trainer Larry Jones said April 4 that despite rumors that Mark Valeski came out of the Louisiana Derby (gr. II) with lameness, the horse is doing fine and is still being pointed toward the Kentucky Derby.
Mike Repole is taking the son of Street Cry to the $500,000 Illinois Derby (gr. III), where he will try to gain a berth in the May 5 Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
Take Charge Indy, with Calvin Borel aboard for Pat Byrne, went wire-to-wire in the $1 million Florida Derby (gr. I), as he outfought 31-1 shot Reveron. Union Rags, the 2-5 favorite, disappointed to finish third March 31.
Favored Corporate Jungle took over in upper stretch and held Trend at bay win in winning the $100,000 Appleton Stakes (gr. IIIT) in his stakes debut March 31 at Gulfstream Park.
Sent off as the 1-10 favorite against five overmatched contenders, E. Paul Robsham Stables' Awesome Maria was a comfortable winner of the $150,000 Rampart (gr. III) March 31 at Gulfstream Park.
Juddmonte Farms' homebred Cityscape took over turning for home and burst clear of the field in the stretch en route to a record-setting victory in the $5 million Dubai Duty Free (UAE-I) March 31 at Meydan Racecourse.
Ortensia, bred and based in Australia, rallied from last and gobbled up the field from the outside to score the $1 million Al Quoz Sprint Sponsored by Emirates NBD (UAE-I) March 31 at Meydan Racecourse.
Before beginning any talk about Take Charge Indy, Pat Byrne wants to make one thing clear: He has no regrets about not running the colt in the Tampa Bay Derby (gr. II).
A convincing Fla. Derby win will send the star to Louisville with a full bandwagon. read blog
Five-time graded stakes winner Keertana was a close second in her most recent start and will likely be favored to break through this time when she leads a field of nine fillies and mares in the $150,000 Orchid (gr. III).
Before any Triple Crown talk can start, Union Rags must handle his business against eight contenders in the $1 million Florida Derby (gr. I) March 31 at Gulfstream Park.
Smart Bid, who has claimed both of his graded stakes wins over the Fair Grounds turf course, will try to defend his Mervin H. Muniz Memorial Handicap (gr. IIT) title against nine others in the $400,000 turf race on April 1
The name doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, but if he wins the $1 million Louisiana Derby (gr. II) on April 1 at Fair Grounds, Triple Crown fans better get used to saying Mark Valeski.
The $1 million Louisiana Derby (gr. II) is the headliner on Fair Grounds' April 1 program, but the biggest names and most talented horses may be running on the undercard in the $400,000 New Orleans Handicap (gr. II).
Extra distance was the key for James Karp's homebred Newsdad to exact revenge on Simmard, as the son of Arch came from off the pace to win the $150,000 Pan American (gr. IIT) against a short field March 24 at Gulfstream Park.
In Lingerie destroyed an overmatched group of 3-year-old fillies in the $100,000 Bourbonette Oaks (gr. III), leading a one-two finish for trainer Todd Pletcher March 24 at Turfway Park.
You wouldn't know it by his record, but Stealcase has always been a standout ever since he arrived in the barn of trainer Mark Casse. He will finally try to put it all together in the $500,000 Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes.
If you like consistent, experienced Derby horses, Prospective fits the bill. read blog
Newtown Anner Stud's More Than Love will carry top weight and figures the one to beat in the $100,000 Bourbonette Oaks (gr. III) March 22 at Turfway Park.
A large and wide-open field of 12 was entered for Turfway Park's signature race and at least one of the winners should be moving on to Louisville six weeks from now.
Just when we thought we had the key matchups for final Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) preps all figured out, a couple major curveballs from two of the top contenders were thrown March 22.
Simmard and Newsdad, separated by only a nose in the recent Mac Diarmida (gr. IIT), will battle it out once again in the $150,000 Pan American (gr. IIT) March 24 at Gulfstream Park.
Peachtree Stable and Bob Baffert used the Sunland Park Oaks as a springboard to an eventual Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) win for Plum Pretty in 2011 and will attempt to do the same this year with Princess Arabella.
A cheat sheet from Jason Shandler for the remaining Derby preps. read blog
For Rick Porter and Larry Jones, Plan A is to run Havre de Grace in the Apple Blossom Handicap April 13. However, the connections have also made one thing clear: They will only do so under the right weight conditions.
Larry Jones' two top 3-year-olds, Mark Valeski and Mr. Bowling, were both sent out on separate five-furlong works March 20 at Fair Grounds in preparation for the $1 million Louisiana Derby (gr. II) on April 1.
Secret Circle handed trainer Bob Baffert his third consecutive victory in the Rebel Stakes (gr. II), taking over from Scatman in mid-stretch and holding off a late run by longshot Optimizer to score the $500,000 event.
Champion female sprinter Musical Romance earned her first win of the season when she split horses in deep stretch to capture the $150,000 Inside Information (gr. II) March 17 at Gulfstream Park.
A sharp claim a year ago, Marilyn's Guy notched his first graded stakes victory March 17 at Aqueduct when he held off a game effort by San Pablo to win by a neck in the $150,000 Excelsior (gr. III).
Son of Giant's Causeway could get his Derby shot for Pletcher. read blog
Five of the top six finishers of the two divisions of last month's Southwest Stakes (gr. III) are back for $500,000 Rebel Stakes (gr. II), which drew a competitive and jam-packed field of 13 3-year-olds.
Burning Sands Stable's San Pablo has been nearly flawless for more than a year, and now he will try to take his game to the next level in the $150,000 Excelsior Stakes (gr. III) March 17 at Aqueduct.
Champion Musical Romance, who disappointed in her 2012 debut, will have a chance to rebound when she meets 10 rivals in the $150,000 Inside Information (gr. II) March 17 at Gulfstream Park.
Spring Hill Farm, who finished fourth in the March 10 Tampa Bay Derby (gr. II), suffered a right knee fracture and will have surgery at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington March 14.
Like the 2010 Kentucky Derby third-place finisher Paddy O'Prado, Dullahan will begin his Triple Crown quest on the turf March 11 in the $150,000 Palm Beach Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Gulfstream.
The Tampa Bay Derby has produced two Derby winners in last five years. read blog
Three of the top four finishers of last month's Sam Davis are back for the $350,000 Tampa Bay Derby (gr. II), but it's a Todd Pletcher trained horse--go figure--making his stakes debut who will likely be favored.
If Jonathan Sheppard could ever get Ever So Lucky started, he might find out if the colt is a legitimate Kentucky Derby (gr. I) contender. Hopefully, he will finally get a chance March 10 in the $150,000 Swale (gr. III).
Mike Harrington admits it's not ideal, but the trainer has decided to run both of his Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) hopefuls this weekend in the $300,000 San Felipe (gr. II) at Santa Anita.
This weekend's San Felipe and Tampa Bay Derby feature four of them. read blog
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