In what trainer Barclay Tagg described as a "perfect" work, Big Truck zipped five furlongs in :59 2/5 at Churchill Downs on Monday, April 28, in preparation for the May 3 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Bob Black Jack, the runner-up to Colonel John in the April 5 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), drilled a half-mile at Churchill Downs late Monday morning in :48 3/5.
There should have been a celebration at trainer David Carroll's barn at Churchill Downs Monday morning, but instead it was more like a funeral.
The Steve Asmussen-trained duo of Pyro and Z Fortune kicked off the week leading up to Saturday's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) with their final workouts Monday, April 28.
The Kentucky Stakes (gr. III) for 2-year-olds has been the exclusive property of trainer Steve Asmussen for the past five years. Heiligbrodt Racing Stable's Merkel will attempt to run the string to six May 1, when he faces seven foes in the $150,000, five-furlong race. A son of Forest Wildcat, Merkel will break from the rail under Shaun Bridgmohan. Asmussen scored in this race with Posse (2002), Cuvee (2003), Lunarpal (2004), Datrick (2006), and Rated Fiesty (2007), with all but Cuvee being owned by Heiligbrodt.
WinStar Farm's Colonel John, one of the favorites for Saturday's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), solidified his status with a scintillating five-furlong bullet work over the main track at Churchill Downs Sunday morning.
Adriano worked five furlongs at Churchill Downs Sunday morning in preparation for the May 3 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). The striking chestnut son of A.P. Indy got the distance in 1:00 4/5 under exercise rider Xavier Aizpuru.
Former Kentucky Gov. Brereton C. Jones said April 27 that Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II) winner Proud Spell would be pointed only to the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) and not the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
West Point Thoroughbreds' Macho Again had the determination to overcome four graded stakes winners, plus four others, when he powered to the lead in the $115,200 Derby Trial at Churchill Downs April 26.
With a nationwide network of top clients and an agent who keeps him on the country's best horses, Garrett "Go-Go" Gomez used up enough frequent flier miles last year to earn him plenty of free trips to Louisville. Now the key is finding a winner in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
David Flores has been around the block a time or two, but he has yet to find his way to the Kentucky Derby winner's circle. This year, he has two potential mounts in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Before the running of last year's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), Keeneland Race Course was overrun with trainers whose potential contenders were squeezing in final works prior to shipping up to Churchill Downs. This year, Todd Pletcher cut a lonely figure along the rail at the Lexington oval as he sent Behindatthebar to gallop and then watched Monba and Cowboy Cal complete their final preparations April 26.
Keeneland reported an average on-track attendance increase of 6.2% but a 5% drop in total handle from all sources based on preliminary figures following the conclusion of the 16-day meet April 25.
Phipps Stable's Dancing Forever came three-wide into the final turn, collared Drilling for Oil mid-stretch, and hit the wire in front to take the Fifth Third Elkhorn (gr. IIT) by a length to close out the Keeneland fall meet stakes program.
The team that won the 2007 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) with Street Sense will reunite at Churchill Downs, the scene of their stirring victory, for a special book signing April 27
Keeneland and the Jockeys' Guild, along with Lexington physician Dr. Barry Schumer, have formulated a plan to develop a national system to maintain updated medical histories of jockeys.
Javier Castellano buys you a drink, then wraps the glass in a napkin so your hands don't get cold. If you're standing and he's sitting, he jumps up to offer his chair. In the paddock, greeting owners, he doffs his helmet with remarkable chivalry. And he loves puppies and kittens, which has nothing to do with racing, but adds to his delightful personality. We've dubbed him the most charming jockey riding in this year's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Manoel Cruz has never won a grade I race, and his most significant career victory came in a grade II event with a purse of $200,000. On May 3, he'll tackle the $2-million Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) aboard Smooth Air.
Louie Roussel didn't like the weather forecast for Saturday, or Sunday, and Monday for that matter, so he moved Recapturetheglory's five-furlong work to Friday morning.
Only four other runners will go up against the Shug McGaughey-trained Criminologist in her second start of the season, but those four have solid credentials and equal chances at taking the $100,000 Beaugay Handicap (gr. IIT) at Aqueduct April 26.
Darley Stable's Little Belle, winner of the April 5 Ashland Stakes (gr. I), sailed through her April 25 half-mile work at Keeneland in :46.20, second-fastest of 42 outings at the distance.
Pure Clan and jockey Edgar Prado met for the first time, while Awesome Chic went for a trip around the Churchill Downs oval, and trainer Dallas Stewart has yet to decide if he will start Honest Pursuit in the Oaks.
Recapturetheglory wasn't scheduled to work Friday morning at Churchill Downs, but trainer and co-owner Louie Roussel changed his plan for the colt.
Anak Nakal breezes a half-mile in :46.60.
G. Watts Humphrey Jr.'s homebred Communique worked rail-skimming magic in deep stretch of the $150,000 Grey Goose Bewitch Stakes (gr. IIIT) and swung out just in time to keep Helen Groves' Tejida from a wire-to-wire win in the April 24 event at Keeneland Race Course.
Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) starter Bsharpsonata may be the current stable star in the barn of John and Tim Salzman, but she is not the first filly to draw attention to the Maryland-based father-and-son training team.
Eee-bar. I-bar. Aye-bar. Eibar Coa doesn't care what you call him -- or what you think of him. His bold edge, which some call egotism, is just self-confidence. The unforgiving techniques he employs on the racetrack are carefully-honed race-riding skills. And his intensely competitive side is an inborn trait that brought him success in other athletics, such as judo and basketball.
Call Shaun Bridgmohan the strong, silent type. This 28-year-old rider keeps a relatively low profile in the jockeys' room and could be overshadowed by his more flamboyant fellow riders. But his exceedingly professional approach to his career has been the foundation for a highly successful partnership with trainer Steve Asmussen, for whom Bridgmohan will ride Pyro in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
The first morning at Churchill Downs brought sunny skies and warm temperatures, as the Kentucky Derby horses began their final stretch to racing's biggest day. From here on, there is no room for error. We'll give a brief rundown of the day's activities and continue with the plusses and minuses of each contender.
Kinsman Stable's Majestic Warrior, winner of the Hopeful Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga last summer in his second career start, heads a field of 10 3-year-olds entered in the 84th running of the $100,000-added Derby Trial at Churchill Downs April 26.
One year ago, Rags to Riches was a superstar on the racetrack and the favorite to win the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I). Today, she is an expectant mother spending her retirement days at Ashford Stud near Versailles, Ky.
Fred Bradley's homebred Brass Hat will make the 24th start of his career in the $200,000 Fifth Third Elkhorn Stakes (gr. IIT) at Keeneland April 25, but he'll be up against a field of established turf contenders like morning line favorite Stream of Gold, second choice True Cause, Drilling for Oil, Dancing Forever, and Transduction Gold.
Edgar Prado was hospitalized, but quickly released April 23 following a spill at Keeneland Race Course. The Peruvian jockey, who will ride Adriano in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) for trainer H. Graham Motion, had been aboard another Motion trainee in the seventh race at the Lexington oval when the accident occurred.
In 2006, Ramon Dominguez rode Bluegrass Cat to a second-place finish behind Barbaro in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). He was close enough to practically taste the victory, and this year he's chasing it with renewed determination aboard the Todd Pletcher-trained Monba, his fifth Derby contender.
In spite of his affinity for Louisville, Robby Albarado is missing a victory in the race that makes that city famous. He'll be chasing that win in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) aboard the Steve Asmussen-trained Z Fortune, while making his 10th start in the race May 3.
Jockey Eric Camacho was in Louisville April 23 to work Cloverleaf Farm's Bsharpsonata, from the Tim Salzman stable, one of the favorites in the May 2 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) at Churchill Downs. The daughter of Pulpit was sharp in her five-furlong breeze, stopping the clock in :59.80, the third fastest drill of the morning at the famed Kentucky oval.
Two days after the Jockeys' Guild filed a formal plan of reorganization in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the U.S. Trustee overseeing the action dropped the group's former national manager Wayne Gertmenian from the unsecured creditors committee.
He has a new first-rate home base (California) and a new first-call trainer (Bobby Frankel), but Rafael Bejarano, 25, will be back in Kentucky to ride Anak Nakal for trainer Nick Zito in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) the first Saturday in May.
He can't live without his cell phone. If he could choose another profession, he would be a rock star. He once drove 165 miles per hour to reach the track in time for the first race. And May 3, E.T. Baird will be riding to the post aboard Recapturetheglory in the 134th Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I)
Jockey Edgar Prado will be in the irons when Pure Clan takes the gate for the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) May 2 at Churchill Downs. The Oaks will make Prado's first mount aboard the daughter of Pure Prize. She was ridden in five of her six previous career starts by Julien Leparoux.
TrackNet Media Group said April 22 it doesn't like a proposal from horsemen that would allow advance deposit wagering companies the cards of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), locking in place a stalemate over broader revenue sharing models.
Horsemen at odds with TrackNet Media Group over advance deposit wagering revenue sharing plans are suggesting a plan that would allow all ADWs to carry programs of both the May 2 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) and May 3 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Eric Fein's Big Truck, winner of the Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III), worked a half-mile in :48.8 over the Polytrack at Keeneland April 22.
The Kentucky Horse Racing Authority is looking into whether suspended trainer Patrick Biancone has violated an agreement he entered into with the regulatory agency.
In spite of the shocking news of the Triple Crown trail-ending injury to 2007 juvenile champion male War Pass and the apparent decision to forego the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) for a run in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) by the connections of Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II) winner Behindatthebar, a 20-horse field is still being predicted for the 134th Run for the Roses May 3 at Churchill Downs.
Horsemen at odds with TrackNet Media Group over advance deposit wagering revenue sharing plans are proposing an arrangement that would allow all ADWs to carry programs of both the May 2 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) and May 3 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Ignored at the betting windows, Melnyk Racing Stables' homebred Sterwins rallied from last, shot through the stretch, and pulled away for a commanding 3 1/4-length victory in the $150,000 Ben Ali Stakes (gr. III) April 20 on the Keeneland Polytrack.
Courtlandt Farm's Adriano, winner of the Lane's End Stakes (gr. II) at Turfway Park, continued his preparation for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) with a five-furlong work April 20 at Churchill Downs.
Critikola, dam of grade I winner Lemons Forever, died at Kip and Suzanne Knelman's Farfellow Farms near Paris, Ky.
Mr. Greeley is enjoying racetrack and commercial success overseas.
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