Although the blistering five-furlong works by Smarty Jones and Birdstone dominated the morning activities Saturday, it was the well-conceived plan by Song of the Sword's owner Ernie Paragallo that set several major events in motion.
A daily report from the Kentucky Derby Notes Team tracking the progress of contenders for this year's classic on May 1 at Churchill Downs.
April 25, 1914
The commissioners of the California Horse Racing Board have scheduled a May 18 hearing to consider the appeal of jockey Patrick Valenzuela.
Southern California invader Kela was given a smooth ride by jockey David Nuesch and the 6-year-old responded with a convincing 5 ¼-length victory over late running Supah Blitz in Saturday's $300,000 Texas Mile (gr. III) at Lone Star Park.
Alex Solis guided favored Cheiron through a slight opening between horses in mid-stretch to win the $250,000 Snow Chief for 3-year-old California breds, the featured event in Saturday's 10-race, $1.3 million California Gold Rush at Hollywood Park.
The Allen Paulson Living Trust's Azeri, the 2002 "Horse of the Year" and champion older filly or mare in 2003, has been assigned high weight of 125 pounds for an expected start in Saturday's $250,000-added Humana Distaff (gr. I) at Churchill Downs.
Favored Singletary, urged on by jockey Jose Valdivia Jr. after taking command at the eighth pole, held off Captain Squire to win the $148,750 San Francisco Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IIT) by three-quarters of a length at Bay Meadows Saturday.
Jockey Rene Douglas thought he had Saturday's $250,000 Sixty Sails Handicap (gr. III) at Hawthorne measured with Bare Necessities poised for a late-running victory. But he didn't account for the tenacity of Allspice.
He Loves Me tracked undefeated Plata to the top of the lane before muscling her way to the lead and going on to victory in the $75,000 Caesar's Wish Stakes for 3-year-old Maryland-bred fillies at Pimlico Saturday.
Jockey Ken Shino reached the 2,000-victory milestone Friday at Prairie Meadows while recording a riding triple.
Off the board in three career turf starts for Hall of Fame trainer H. Allen Jerkens, Houbeau Farm's 32-1 Chilly Rooster defeated 50-1 Union Place by a half-length in Saturday's $111,400 Fort Marcy Handicap (gr. III) at Aqueduct.
Favored Sir Shackleton, making his stakes debut, repelled the challenge of Courageous Act in the stretch and went on to post a convincing victory in Saturday's $110,800 Derby Trial (gr. III) on opening day at Churchill Downs.
Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) winner Castledale worked six furlongs in 1:12 Saturday morning at Santa Anita, trainer Jeff Mullins sounding as though he was leaning toward a run in the Kentucky Derby.
On-track wagering totaled an all-time record $28,010,988 during Keeneland's 15-day spring meeting, which ended Friday. An all-time record 232,826 people attended Keeneland's meeting.
Long-distance specialist Epicentre emerged from the pack to take the lead in midstretch en route to a decisive victory in the $150,000 Elkhorn Stakes (gr. IIIT) as Keeneland closed its record-breaking 15-day spring meeting Friday.
Smarty Jones and Birdstone, among the 3-year-olds vying for favoritism in the May 1 Kentucky Derby (gr. I), sizzled in Saturday morning workouts at Churchill Downs.
Trainer Jason Orman scratched Rock Hard Ten out of the Derby Trial Stakes (gr. III) in favor of taking a chance on the Kris S. colt drawing in to the May 1 Kentucky Derby.
April 24, 1965
The moment of truth is at hand, as several Kentucky Derby (gr. I) scenarios are played out over the next couple of days. At Churchill Downs, the biggest activity Friday morning was trying to dodge the rain. But the miserable weather was brightened momentarily by the presence of the unbeaten Smarty Jones.
Isidore Sobkowski, previously chief technology officer at Self Service Technologies in Stamford, Conn., has been special consultant on technology and interim director of the National Office of Wagering Security.
Daily report on leading contenders for the 130th Kentucky Derby (gr. I) at Churchill Downs on May 1.
Grade I winner and millionaire More Than Ready was represented by his first winner when his initial starter, the filly Ready to Live, won a maiden special race April 21 at Lone Star Park.
Fusaichi Pegasus, the 2000 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner, reached sire status when his son In Excelsis won a maiden race April 22 in heavy going at Tipperary in Ireland.
Jockey Diane Nelson, who began riding in New York in the 1980s, is back in action after an injury last fall at Belmont Park left her on the shelf for the winter.
Legislation that would authorize a pari-mutuel takeout hike to defray workers' compensation costs passed the California Senate by a 31-6 vote April 22 and is headed to the state Assembly, where it is expected to be addressed the week of April 26.
Bruce Lunsford's undefeated Madcap Escapade zipped five furlongs in :58 1/5 over a sloppy track at Churchill Downs Friday morning in preparation for the April 30 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I).
Churchill Downs opens its 53-day spring meet Saturday with a 10-race program that features the 80th running of the $100,000 Derby Trial Stakes (gr. III).
After Arkansas Derby (gr. I) winner Smarty Jones returned from a gallop over the sloppy Churchill Downs track Friday morning, trainer John Servis said "he is doing fantastic. I wish the race were tomorrow."
Little Treasure, a graded stakes-winning 5-year-old mare, has been retired from racing with six wins from 16 starts and earnings of $305,262.
Almutawakel, winner of the 1999 Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) and a French group I winner, was represented by his first winner when his Irish-bred daughter Society Music won April 19.
U.S. District Court Judge Ralph Erickson says he will stick to an Aug. 23 trial date for Racing Services Inc., even though three of the four defendants don't have lawyers.
The Southern California jockey colony April 22 expressed its displeasure with the April 16 decision by California Horse Racing Board chairman John Harris to grant jockey Patrick Valenzuela a stay of his recent suspension that allows him to ride while he appeals the termination of his conditional license.
The Breeders' Cup and Thoroughbred Championship Tour are discussing a potential joint venture that would have to be in place within 45 days under an agreement reached April 22, a Breeders' Cup official said.
More than $1.3 million in purses are up for grabs Saturday and the best California-breds will duel it out over an entire day at Hollywood Park as part of the Citibank Gold Rush V program. A total of 100 horses were entered for the 10-race card, which is headlined by the $250,000 Citibank Snow Chief Stakes, a nine-furlong main track event for sophomores.
TV Games Network rolled out new graphics and features, which began appearing in conjunction with the opening of Hollywood Park's spring/summer season, at the April 22 California Horse Racing Board meeting. It also announced an increase in the number of viewers and a slight shift toward experienced racing fans.
April 23, 1987
Edited notes from Churchill Downs tracking the daily activities of leading contenders for the May 1 Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
Trainer Dick Mandella was looking for a big work from Action This Day Thursday morning to convince him last year's champion 2-year-old could rebound from two poor efforts. After the colt's six-furlong work in company with 2-year-old filly champ Halfbridled, Mandella had his answer.
A cough forced the juggling of the training schedule for Lane's End Stakes (gr. II) winner Sinister G and his trainer said the colt's status is "touch and go right now."
Churchill Downs announced Thursday that it will again offer racing a pair of lucrative all-stakes Pick Four wagers with large guaranteed minimum betting pools during its Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Kentucky Oaks Day (gr. I) racing cards April 30-May 1.
Midway Road, making just his second start since last June's Ohio Derby (gr. II), crushed a good field of handicap horses in record time while winning Thursday's $150,000 Ben Ali Handicap (gr. III) at Keeneland.
The only thing that may change more between now and Kentucky Derby day than who is in and who is out of the race -- and be discussed as much -- is the weather forecast.
Jockey Patrick Valenzuela worked two horses on the main track and De La Costa, a nominee for the Inglewood Handicap (gr. IIIT) on May 1, on the turf at Hollywood Park Thursday as he prepared for a return to riding on Sunday.
It's not everyday a horse based in the Keystone state earns national recognition. So given the accomplishments of Smarty Jones, the Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission has taken steps to honor the undefeated 3-year-old colt who is pointing to the May 1 Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
Snorter and Pie N Burger will headline a talented field in Saturday's $300,000 Texas Mile Stakes (gr. III) at Lone Star Park. Snorter is a perfect two-for-two on the year and Pie N Burger is undefeated in three career starts at the Texas track.
Rock Hard Ten, the hard-luck 3-year-old on the outside looking in on the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), drew post six in a six-horse field for Saturday's Derby Trial Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill Downs.
Spring has officially sprung as the first New York turf stakes of the season will be run Saturday, April 24 at the Big A.
Rich Orbann, president and chief operating officer of the racing division for Penn National Gaming Inc., will leave that post and instead become a consultant for the Pennsylvania-based company beginning May 7.
After watching Mike Pegram's Preachinatthebar work five furlongs in 1:01 3/5 Thursday morning, trainer Bob Baffert said the son of Silver Charm will not run in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
News By Topic
News By Date
Most Popular Stories
- Seeking the Gold Dies at 31
- Little Mike Retired to Old Friends
- Connect Leads 1-2 Finish for Brown in Curlin
- Borell Arraignment Set for Aug. 1
- Full Field Possible for West Virginia Derby
- Champion Tepin Will Bypass Fourstardave
- American Cleopatra Entered at Del Mar
- Arlington, Hawthorne Reach Dates Agreement
- Nyquist, Exaggerator Renew Rivalry in Haskell
- Thunderstorm Forces Ellis to Cancel Races