Glenn Webster, the lead outrider at Churchill Downs, was in critical condition late Saturday at Ceritas Medical Center in Louisville, Ky. Webster collapsed shortly after the running of Friday's Kentucky Oaks.
As the Kentucky Derby win pool grew to $6.3 million by 4:00 p.m. (EDT) Saturday, Point Given was still favored at 2-1 odds. That is a radical departure from advance wagering Friday, when Dollar Bill was favored over Point Given.
Even though Hall of Fame Thoroughbred trainer D. Wayne Lukas will miss Saturday's Kentucky Derby for the first time since 1980, the conditioner will have six Quarter Horse runners in the May 5 trials for the $392,900 Kindergarten Futurity (G1) at Los Alamitos. Lukas' wife Laura trains the couple's American Quarter Horse runners.
Ask Bobby Frankel about Flute, and the 59-year-old trainer starts acting like a teen-ager in love. His eyes grow soft, his mouth stretches into a dopey smile, and his gruff voice turns into a warm purr. "What a sweetheart she is," Frankel said as he patted the friendly bay filly's nose one morning on the Churchill Downs backstretch. "She's a doll; she's my baby. Sometimes, I think she's almost human; she's so nice."
In a thrilling finish, Strategic Partner just got past Baptize, and then withstood an objection to win the $100,000 Crown Royal American Turf (gr. III) Friday at Churchill Downs.
Secret Status won the Kentucky Oaks a year ago. This year on Kentucky Oaks Day, she ran out as the 4-to-5 favorite in the $250,000 Louisville Breeders' Cup (gr. II). The winner in a photo was the Bob Baffert-trained Saudi Poetry over a fast closing Royal Fair.
$100,000 Aegon Turf Sprint (gr. III) Friday at Churchill Downs, the first stakes race on the weekend that will culminate Saturday with the Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
Hat hoopla started early Friday with Tony Offutt's mechanized table-sized hat. Offutt attracted the attention of the backside's most popular man this morning, Al Roker. Let's amend that...the most popular man besides trainer Bob Baffert.
A chapter in horse racing history in New Jersey, and in fact nationally, ended early Thursday evening when the last race was run at Garden State Park in Cherry Hill. The $180-million facility will be demolished and replaced with a residential and retail complex.
- By Dan Liebman
A bill to assist jockeys that passed both houses of the West Virginia legislature is set to become law today.
As expected, Raging Fever was scratched Friday morning from the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) at Churchill Downs.
Magna Entertainment reported an 87% increase in earnings to 28 cents per share along with double digit increases in revenue and net income for the first quarter ending March 31.
Grade II winner Appealing Skier was represented by his first winner when his daughter Charming Skier won a three-furlong race May 3 at Tampa Bay Downs for breeder/owner/trainer Don Rice.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, who with other members of his family operates Godolphin Racing, created a buzz on the backstretch at Churchill Downs Friday. Godolphin is seeking its first Kentucky Derby triumph with Express Tour. With a strong contingent of horses running in England on Saturday, it was uncertain whether Mohammed would be at Churchill Downs. Mohammed and entourage arrived Thursday in a jet that passed over the racetrack on its approach to the Louisville airport.
Carl F. Pollard's Caressing, the 2000 Eclipse Award-winning two-year-old filly who captured the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (GI) here at Churchill Downs last November, made a triumphant return to competition Thursday with a powerful victory in the featured grade III $121,000 La Troienne Stakes. Also on the card, Chilean-bred Separata, an invader from California trained by new Hall of Fame inductee Richard Mandella, sped to the front shortly after the start and never was seriously threatened in winning the $109,700 Mamzelle Stakes for older fillies and mares today at Churchill Down
As a throng descended upon Churchill Downs Saturday morning for the 127th Kentucky Derby, the National Weather Service was forecasting a possibility of afternoon thunderstorms.
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