Futural edged betting favorite Skimming by a length Saturday in the $150,000 Mervyn LeRoy Handicap (gr. II) at Hollywood Park. Ridden by Chris McCarron, Futural ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.02, and paid $5.40, $2.80 and $2.20.
Monarchos exploded to the lead as the field straightened for home and won the 127th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs Saturday. The track had been playing fast all day and it did again in the Derby, Monarchos recording the second fastest winning time in Derby history. He covered the 1 1/4-miles in 1:59.97. Secretariat ran 1:59 2/5 (before timing in hundredths) in 1973.
Richly Blended rebounded from a third-place finish behind Kentucky Derby runners Congaree and Monarchos in last month's Wood Memorial (gr. II) to win the one-mile, $150,000 Withers Stakes (gr. III) by 4 1/4 lengths Saturday at Aqueduct. With the win, Richly Blended remains undefeated in races contested at one mile or less.
Amid sunny, hot, humid wearther, the second-largest crowd in Kentucky Derby history was on hand at Churchill Downs on Saturday. The track reported attendance of 154,210, which susrpassed last year's 153,204. The largest crowd for the Derby was the 163,628 for the 100th renewal in 1974. While on-track betting declined, Churchill reported overall handle on the day rose to a record $107.3 million.
Amid sunny, hot, humid wearther, the second-largest crowd in Kentucky Derby history was on hand at Churchill Downs on Saturday. The track reported attendance of 154,210, which susrpassed last year's 153,204. The largest crowd for the Derby was the 163,628 for the 100th renewal in 1974.
With a three-wide move under Gary Stevens on the turn, White Heat took the lead in the stretch and held off favorite King Cugat to win the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (gr. IT) by a neck.
Shortly after Bill Mott trainees Iftiraas and Dream Supreme won their respective stakes races Saturday at Churchill Downs, another of his charges led at every call to win the $112,900 Fort Marcy Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Aqueduct. Under Richard Migliore, Strategic Mission completed the 1 1/16 miles in 1:41.62 on a firm turf course.
Dream Supreme won the Humana Distaff Handicap (gr. II) Saturday at Churchill Downs, possibly aided by the fact Alex Solis, aboard La Feminn, dropped his whip in the stretch.
Obviously when you have three track records in the first three races on Kentucky Derby Day, the track superintendent is going to have to answer questions as to why the racing surface is so fast.
Jerry Bailey bided his time, then sent Iftiraas to the front and held off a late-charging Gino's Spirit to win the Citgo Distaff Turf Mile (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs Saturday by a neck.
It is getting to be expected at Churchill Downs on Saturday. Three track records set during the first four races on the Kentuckky Derby card. In fact, in the fourth race, the Three Chimneys Juvenile, two horses set a track record--City Street and Open Story dead-heated.
Alannan set a track record, the second established Saturday at Churchill Downs in just three races, in winning the Churchill Downs Handicap (gr. II). The race was marred by and injury suffered by Rollin With Nolan.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association has reached an agreement in principle with CNBC to televise a new series of races beginning this summer, the NTRA and CNBC announced today. Carrying a potential bonus of $1.3 million, the NTRA Two-Year-Old Challenge is a series of races for two-year-old colts and geldings from top tracks across the country leading up to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, part of the Breeders' Cup Championship to be run at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y. The Breeders' Cup Championship will air October 27 on NBC.
The race trainer Bob Baffert wants to win Saturday at Churchill Downs is the Kentucky Derby (gr. I). He saddles the favorite, Point Given, as well as possible second-choice Congaree.
"Poor Pepe looked like a gerbil hanging on to a piece of PVC pipe," Bob Baffert said Saturday morning after Kentucky Derby favorite Point Given gave the trainer a scare following a routine gallop over the Churchill Downs surface. Baffert said Point Given came off the track, wheeled, and repeatedly reared straight up in the air, flailing his front legs, and causing exercise rider Pepe Aragon to hold on for dear life.
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