This week's And They're Off is all about the Kentucky Derby, including the prospects of the California horses, the depth of the field, musical jockeys, graded earnings, and last but not least, the winners of the Kentucky Derby Contest.
Foxysox and Black Mamba, separated by a nose when they ran first and second, respectively, in last year's Santa Barbara Handicap (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita, return in what should be an intriguing renewal of the $200,000 grass event April 18.
Gallant Son underwent surgery for bone chips on both knees April 10 and will be out of action until at least this fall, trainer Frank Lucarelli said.
A son of Omega Code breezed an eighth of a mile in :9 4/5 April 15 during the first session of the under tack show for the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. spring sale of 2-year-olds in training in Central Florida. It was the fastest work for the distance.
Hillside turf course specialist Desert Code makes a quick turnaround for trainer David Hofmans as the 122-pound high weight in the $100,000 San Simeon Handicap (gr. IIIT) on Santa Anita's penultimate day for the 2008-09 racing season April 18.
A son of Medaglia d'Oro brought 260,000 guineas to top the opening session of the Tattersalls Craven breeze up sale April 15 in England. Bloodstock agent Richard O'Gorman purchased the bay 2-year-old from Gay O'Callaghan's Yeomanstown Stud.
Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) winner Pioneerof the Nile had his final workout at Santa Anita on a blustery but sun-drenched morning April 15, busting four furlongs on the Pro-Ride racing surface in a bullet :46 1/5, the fastest of 39 drills at the distance.
Mercedes Stables' Seattle Smooth, who took down eventual 3-year-old champion filly Proud Spell in the Fitz Dixon Cotillion Stakes (gr. II) last out, will return from a seven-month layoff and make her seasonal debut in the $150,000 Bed o' Roses Handicap (gr. II) at Aqueduct April 18.
Live racing begins at Pimlico Race Course on April 18 for the spring meeting, with the headline event of the six-week stand the 134th running of the $1 million Preakness Stakes (gr. I) - the middle jewel of the Triple Crown, on May 16.
The first graded stakes of the year in Canada, the $150,000 Whimsical Stakes (Can-III) for older fillies and mares at six furlongs on the main track April 18, brings together a field of eight horses, two of which have started this year.
Steve Haskin's blog, Hangin' with Haskin goes live on Wednesday, April 15 from 4-6 PM ET to discuss the Kentucky Derby.
For the first time since 2001, the infield crowd at Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks Days will be allowed to bring coolers into Churchill Downs for the 2009 renewals of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands and the Kentucky Oaks.
When Doug O'Neill discovered a left front shin injury on Square Eddie in the beginning of February, he figured the colt's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) chances were over. But a speedy recovery and a series of nice works has O'Neill thinking of roses just two months later, and a nice effort in the $300,000 Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II) April 18 at Keeneland will likely send the son of Smart Strike on to Louisville.
Four-time Churchill Downs' riding champion Julien Leparoux has been named to ride owner/trainer Tom McCarthy's Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) winner General Quarters in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) May 2 at Churchill Downs.
California invader Santa Teresita has won multiple races on the West Coast, including a triumph in the Santa Maria Handicap (gr. I). But now the daughter of Lemon Drop Kid will have to prove her form on dirt when she takes on five rivals in the $200,000 Sixty Sails Handicap (gr. II) April 18 at Hawthorne Race Course.
The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation Maker's Mark Secretariat Center will hold its inaugural Horses Helping Horses event starting April 19. It includes halters from Serena's Song, Distorted Humor, and Ghostzapper, among others.
Live coverage of the $300,000 Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II), a 1 1/16-mile test for 3-year-olds at Keeneland, is the main attraction on this week's fourth and final installment of "NTRA Racing to the Kentucky Derby."
We're getting close to judgment day -- finding that single horse or betting angle or most attractive overlay possibilities. Until the horses can be observed in the flesh starting next week, here are some of the most memorable moments on this year's Derby trail in one person's opinion that will help in finding potential overlays.
The Jockey Club announced today that it has established Tattoo Identification Services, a free resource to help owners identify tattooed but unknown Thoroughbreds in their possession.
Churchill Downs April 15 announced that multiple-award winner and country music superstar LeAnn Rimes will help the racetrack launch a new tradition when she performs the national anthem live as part of the ceremonies leading up to the 135th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) May 2.
The group I-winning mare La Montagna topped the second session of the William Inglis & Son Easter broodmare sale, bringing Aust$475,000 (approximately $345,914 in U.S. funds) during the auction's second session April 15 in Australia.
What type of impact do various terrains actually have on the health of a horse's hooves and legs? French researchers are using a highly sensitive 3-D dynamometric shoe and other instruments to give unprecedented insight into the biomechanical effects of diverse surfaces on not only a horse's limbs, but his entire musculoskeletal system.
The Jockey Club has established a free service to help owners identify tattooed but unidentified Thoroughbreds in their possession.
For legible tattoos, an owner can use a free tattoo lookup feature available from The Jockey Club's Web site and the
Trainer: Todd A. Pletcher
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Owner: Alto Racing, LLC
Jockey: Javier Castellano
Trainer: Todd A. Pletcher