Two 3-year-olds with excellent turf form hope to leave behind mediocre efforts on dirt and synthetic surfaces in the $150,000 American Turf Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on the grass May 1 at Churchill Downs. But the field is contentious from top to bottom.
J. Paul Reddam's Square Eddie will not run in Saturday's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), trainer Doug O'Neill told The Blood-Horse early April 28.
A memorial service for former Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner and Horse of the Year Alysheba will be held April 29 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, it was recently announced. The event is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. EST.
Quality Road, who figured to be among the top choices for Saturday's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) will not start in the Run for the Roses, it was confirmed Monday morning by Chris Baker, farm manager of Edward Evans' Spring Hill Farm. Jockey John Velazquez will now ride Mr. Hot Stuff.
A horrific accident on the track at Churchill Downs the morning of April 27 provided a tragic kickoff to the week leading up to the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Monday morning at Churchill Downs was a busy day for horses getting in their final preparations for Saturday's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Grade I winner Consolidator came through with his initial winner when his daughter Solid Lunar won April 26 at Lone Star Park at first asking.
The undefeated 2008 champion older mare will ship to Kentucky this week and is expected to start in the Louisville Distaff Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. II) May 1.
Six debut winners at Keeneland, a record-setting filly from Maryland and a West Coast invader highlight a field of nine 2-year-olds entered for the $100,000 Kentucky Juvenile Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill Downs April 30.
A full sister to Pioneerof the Nile, one of the leading contenders for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), was foaled April 23.
Michael Tabor, Susan Magnier, Derrick Smith's $3.7 million sale yearling Dunkirk drilled five furlongs in 1:01 the morning of April 25 at Palm Meadows training center. The son of Unbridled's Song will ship to Louisville, Ky., on April 28 for next Saturday's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Desert Party was the second of two Godolphin Racing horses on the track at Churchill Downs April 25 to complete his works for the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and his :59 3/5 timing for five furlongs was second only behind stablemate Regal Ransom's bullet work of :59 1/5.
Heiligbrodt Racing Stable, Team Valor, and partners' Hull became a graded stakes winner and stayed undefeated in three starts when he took over at the top of the lane and pulled away for a convincing four-length victory in the $112,00 Derby Trial (gr. III) on opening day at Churchill Downs April 25.
Trainer Gary Stute went "old school" April 25 at Churchill Downs, working his Arkansas Derby (gr. II) winner Papa Clem seven furlongs in 1:29 1/5. The trainer, the son and nephew of the legendary training brothers of Mel and Warren Stute (respectively), may give his colt a quarter-mile blowout a day or two before the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
George and Lori Hall's West Side Bernie got a tour of Churchill Downs' main track April 25, and drilled a half-mile in an easy :48 1/5. Trainer Kelly John Breen gave rider Stewart Elliott a leg up on the son of Bernstein just after the track reopened at 8:30 a.m. following the renovation break.
L and M Partner's Rachel Alexandra, who figures to be the favorite for the May 1 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), galloped a mile and a half under exercise rider Rudy Gallegos shortly before 7 a.m. April 25 at Churchill Downs.
Churchill Downs announced April 25 that advance-deposit wagering companies TwinSpires.com and Youbet.com, Inc. will offer the Churchill Downs signal for the racetrack's 2009 spring meet.
A complete package of training, veterinary care, and racing silks is included with the yearling's purchase.
The Lexington track attracted near-record crowds but the all-sources handle still fell 19.5%. The on-track handle fared a bit better.
Hall of Fame trainer Roger Attfield dominated the closing day feature at Keeneland, as his foreign-bred charges Spice Route and Musketier ran one-two in the $200,000 Fifth Third Elkhorn Stakes (gr. IIT) April 24 on the Haggin turf course.
Summer Bird worked six furlongs in 1:15 4/5 the morning of April 24 at Churchill Downs in preparation for a run at the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands.
Augustin Stable's homebred Winter View went from last to first in her graded stakes debut, charging through the lane under Julien Leparoux to score the Grey Goose Bewitch Stakes (gr. IIIT) by two lengths April 23 on the Keeneland turf.
Wagering on the Churchill Downs spring meet may again be restricted to customers of certain betting outlets, although negotiations appear to be ongoing to include some that are on the outside looking in.
The Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation will celebrate the 20th anniversary of its creation when it hosts a fundraising celebration at the Keeneland Entertainment Center in Lexington, Ky. Oct. 16.
Grade I winner Visionaire has been retired from racing after being unable to come back following an injury he likely suffered in his victory in the NetJets King's Bishop Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga.
Although the 2008 Derby Trial included four graded stakes winners and this year's field is without any, the historic dirt sprint is loaded with promising, but unproven 3-year-old colts that will likely be heard from as the season wears on.
Vertigineux, dam of champion Zenyatta, was voted top broodmare by the Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners & Breeders board of directors. Also honored were the breeders of the 2008 Kentucky-bred champions.
WinStar Farm's Hold Me Back, winner of the Lane's End Stakes (gr. II) and second in the Toyota Blue Grass (gr. I), is scheduled to leave Keeneland on April 24 for Churchill Downs in preparation for his next start in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
L and M Partners' Rachel Alexandra continued to show her readiness for the May 1 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) by galloping a mile and a half under stout restraint from exercise rider Rudy Gallegos at Churchill Downs April 22.
Simmering concerns over wagering security in the pari-mutuel industry flared up again April 21 with a strong call for independent monitoring and an end to the practice of "past-posting" -- making bets after races begin.
Zayat Stables' Pioneerof the Nile brought a smile to the face of three-time Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Bob Baffert with a sharp five-furlong work over a fast Churchill Downs track on April 21.
I Want Revenge was one of five horses posting workouts April 21 at Churchill Downs in preparation for the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), completing five furlongs on a slightly-off track in 1:01 3/5.
Two-time grade I winner Champs Elysees, who just missed in last month's Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I), will make his Keeneland debut on April 24 in the $200,000 Fifth Third Elkhorn (gr. IIT), the spring meeting's closing day feature.
Hooh Why, who won the Ashland Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland April 4, remains at the Lexington track while co-owner Mark Hoffman decides where the filly will go next. Hoffman had planned to send Hooh Why to Churchill Downs to work April 19, but changed his mind because of heavy rains at the track that morning. Instead, he worked the filly April 20 at Keeneland, where she covered five furlongs in 1:00.20.
G. Watts Humphrey's homebred Communique makes a return trip to Keeneland April 23 to defend her Grey Goose Bewitch Stakes (gr. IIIT) title, but will have all she can handle when facing Dress Rehearsal and Winter View, each coming off impressive marathon victories.
Churchill Downs has reconfigured its purse distribution for stakes events and overnight races during Kentucky Derby Week and the track's April 25-July 5 Spring Meet to encourage participation by as many horses as possible during the meet's races.
Kentucky Sen. Damon Thayer, who sponsored the legislation that resulted in Kentucky's Breeders' Incentive Fund, has inquired about another method of garnering funds for the state's Thoroughbred industry.
Sir Harry Lewis, who won the 1987 Budweiser Irish Derby (Ire-I), has died of a heart attack in England.
An Association of Racing Commissioners International committee amended a model rule April 20 to prevent suspended trainers from transferring their horses to family members or close associates while they serve out their penalties.
Stuck wide on the backstretch of the $150,000 Ben Ali Stakes (gr. III), jockey Kent Desormeaux took a chance when he encouraged Parading to take control over his pace rivals heading into the final turn. The decision paid off when Parading ran away in upper stretch on the way to his first graded stakes victory April 19 at wet and windy Keeneland.
On April 19, as light rain fell, Friesan Fire posted his final work at Keeneland before he heads to Churchill Downs for the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Bo Hirsch's homebred Papa Clem, winner of the Arkansas Derby (gr. II), breezed an easy five furlongs in the rain April 19 in his first serious training move over the track at Churchill Downs.
Six weeks ago, WinStar Farm looked as though it would be without a starter in the upcoming Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). Now, the powerful outfit could have three, the final potential starter coming thanks to a eye-catching, last-to-first victory by Advice in the $300,000 Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II) April 18 on the Keeneland Polytrack.
Some of the most accomplished jockeys in Thoroughbred racing participated in Riders Up!, a karaoke competition at Keeneland April 17 that raised more than $50,000 for the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund. The event attracted a capacity crowd of some 500 people.
Godolphin's pair of contenders for the $2 million-guaranteed Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) Desert Party and Regal Ransom turned in sharp works April 18 in their first serious training at Churchill Downs, while Illinois Derby (gr. II) winner Musket Man worked a strong six furlongs under Derby jockey Eibar Coa.
Third in the Doubledogdare Stakes (gr. III) a year ago, Donald Adam's homebred Indescribable was much the best in the 2009 running of the $100,000 event, as she pulled away in the stretch to win by 2 1/4 lengths April 17 at Keeneland.
West Point Thoroughbreds' Justwhistledixie tuned up for an expected run in the May 1 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) by working five furlongs in 1:00 in company with stablemate Fitz Just Right on April 17 at Keeneland.
Grade II winner Wild and Wicked sired his first winner when his daughter Unloch the Fury won April 15 at Turf Paradise in her initial start.
California stars Pioneerof the Nile and Chocolate Candy, the first two finishers in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) April 4, arrived at Churchill Downs April 16 to prepare for the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Afternoon Stroll pulled off a 50-1 shocker in the $100,000 Appalachian (gr. IIIT) April 16 on the Keeneland turf, getting up by a nose over Hot Cha Cha in a thrilling photo finish.
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