The old adage 'the cream rises to the top' was in play as day one of Australia's biggest yearling sale -- in fact the southern hemisphere's biggest yearling sale -- came to a thunderous end on Tuesday evening.
Undeterred by waves of snow that lightly blanketed the Lexington area throughout the afternoon on Friday, Keeneland bettors set opening day records for on-track wagering of $2,000,304, and all-sources mutuel handle of $11,356,368.
Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith plans to ride on the Southern California circuit beginning with the final week of the current Santa Anita racing season, agent Brad Pegram confirmed Friday.
NBC will recount the heroic story of Barbaro in a one-hour documentary that will air on the network April 29, which would have been the horse's fourth birthday.
James Tafel's Street Sense, a major contender for the $2 million-guaranteed Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) on May 5, tuned up for a run in Saturday's $750,000-added Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland with a five-furlong workout on Tuesday at Churchill Downs.
Derrick Smith and Michael Tabor's Rags to Riches, the Todd Pletcher-trained winner of the Las Virgenes (gr. I) and Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I), will be a heavy favorite when the third and final pool Churchill Downs' 2007 Kentucky Oaks Future Wager ("KOFW") launches its four-day run April 12.
Trainers Darrin Miller, who has Dominican in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I), and Bob Holthus, who has Officer Rocket in the Arkansas Derby (gr. II), discuss their chances as the Triple Crown trail continues.
Juvenile champion Street Sense and grade I winner Nobiz Like Shobiz loom as the strong morning-line favorites heading into third and final Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool.
Multiple grade I winner Showing Up will make his 2007 debut in Friday's $250,000 Maker's Mark Mile (gr. IIT) on turf nearly a year after he captured the Coolmore Lexington (gr. II) on the former dirt surface on Keeneland's main track.
After the defection of Hard Spun, five horses remain as "probable" contenders for Saturday's $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass (gr. I), including Street Sense, Great Hunter, Zanjero, Dominican, and Teuflesberg. Starbase, from the stable of trainer D. Wayne Lukas, is also possible for the field.
Four groups vying for the franchise to operate Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga will present their proposals during hearings April 10-11 in Albany, N.Y.
We had a little bit of everything this week, with Nobiz Like Shobiz back to his winning ways; the dejaÂ vu-like return of Team Giacomo; and some shifts in the Todd Pletcher power structure. So, with links to Funny Cide and Giacomo providing a sense of recent history, the Kentucky Derby trail heads into its final big weekend of preps.
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