Welcome to Derby Week, or week 11 of the "Starting Gate," one person's look at this year's Kentucky Derby lineup. As we approach Wednesday, entry day, this how we would handicap the top 20 contenders for the May 5 Run for the Roses. Actual entry into America's greatest race is reliant on graded stakes earnings -- this lineup is based on some speculation, past performances, and potential performance on Saturday.
Summer conditions expected this weekend at Churchill Downs have led the track to relax its security measure prohibiting patrons from packing sunscreen.
- By Mark Popham
Martin Collins, the creator of the Polytrack artificial surface, admitted to having faced problems in North America in an interview with a British monthly racing magazine.
Goffs, the Irish-based bloodstock auction company that is in talks to take over Britain's number two firm, Doncaster Bloodstock Sales, announced on April 30 an extra set of bonuses involving the Goffs Million yearling sale in October.
The 2007 Barretts May Sale of Two-Year-Olds in Training, to be held May 15 beginning at 10:30 a.m. in California, will be broadcast live on HorseRacing TV.
Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) contender High Again breezed a strong half-mile in :47 4/5 at Churchill Downs Monday for trainer Bill Mott. Jockey Larry Melancon deputized for Cornelio Velasquez in the saddle.
The connections of Maryland-based Xchanger continue to point the Federico Tesio Stakes winner toward Saturday's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
It takes a lot to steal the spotlight from Curlin, but at approximately 8:35 Monday morning, Hard Spun made Curlin's half-mile work two hours earlier seem like a distant memory. That's when the Lane's End (gr. II) winner went out and worked five furlongs in :57 3/5, all but leaving sparks as his feet hit the ground.
Yum! Brands, presenting sponsor for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), announced Monday, April 30, that it will offer a $1-million to the connections of any horse that wins this year's Derby and beats Barbaro's winning margin of 6 1/2 lengths.
Thirty-six representatives of the Kentucky horse industry have agreed to join the Sales Intergrity Task Force, which will meet again sometime in May. The complete list of members was released April 30 by the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association.
A bill banning horse slaughter for human consumption was approved by the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee April 25, while the House on April 26 voted 277-137 to ban the government from selling wild horses and burros for slaughter.
NBC, which pre-empted "Barbaro: A Nation's Horse" April 29 for a Stanley Cup hockey playoff game that went two overtimes, has re-scheduled the documentary for Friday, May 4, at 9 p.m. ET on its cable channel CNBC.
The Steve Asmussen-trained duo of Curlin and Zanjero each worked a half-mile at Churchill Downs as Kentucky Derby week got off to a warm and busy start Monday, April 30.
The work of the morning at Churchill Downs Monday was Hard Spun's :57 3/5 scorcher, but other Derby hopefuls went through their final paces over the main track just after the renovation break. Trainer Bill Kaplan sent out Storm in May and Imawildandcrazyguy while trainer Darrin Miller worked Silverton Hills' Sedgefield.
Multiple stakes winner Bwana Bull, who was added to the contenders list for this year's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) over the weekend, worked six furlongs in 1:14 2/5 at Churchill Downs Monday, April 30.
NBC will begin its Kentucky Derby coverage with a special 30-minute red carpet and celebrity interview program featuring talent from its "Access Hollywood" show.
Richard Porter's Hard Spun scorched the Churchill Downs main track Monday morning, blazing five furlongs in :57 3/5 under regular rider Mario Pino. Hard Spun worked in company, for a while at least, with graded stakes winner Wildcat Bettie B.
Stakes winners Decarchy and Shore Breeze were represented by their first winners, both of which won at first asking.
When I hear about the Yumfecta and Yum! Brands, I suddenly have an urge for a Root Beer Float...
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