Wertheimer Farm's Halfbridled, the unbeaten champion 2-year-old filly of 2003, is the favorite in the initial pool of Churchill Downs' 2004 Kentucky Oaks Future Wager, closing as the 7-2 choice when four days of wagering concluded Sunday.
Kentucky Derby fans backed such promising young stars as Eurosilver, Lion Heart, Action This Day and Read the Footnotes, but the heavy favorite at the end of four days of wagering in Pool 1 of Churchill Downs' 2004 Kentucky Derby Future Wager was the "mutuel field."
The connections of 2003 Horse of the Year Mineshaft may have a prime Triple Crown candidate this year with lightly-raced Gradepoint, who posted a resilient come-from-behind win over odds-on favorite Mr. Jester in the $150,000 Risen Star Stakes (gr. III) for 3-year-olds at Fair Grounds Sunday.
Adhering to the belief that timing is everything, Richard Mandella said Sunday morning that Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) runner-up Minister Eric could make his 3-year-old debut on the Santa Anita turf in the $100,000 Baldwin Stakes (gr. IIIT) at about 6 ½ furlongs on Feb. 28.
Feb. 15, 1958
Tim Tam at Hialeah
Future wager odds on both Fountain of Youth (gr. II) winner Read the Footnotes and runner-up Second of June for the May 1 Kentucky Derby dropped significantly following the Gulfstream Park prep race Saturday.
An all-out Read the Footnotes prevailed over Second of June by a neck in a gut-wrenching finish to Saturday's $250,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-olds at Gulfstream Park.
Dogwood Stable's Limehouse, making his first start in more than four months, came off the rail in the stretch to collar stablemate Deputy Storm and drew off to a 2 1/4-length victory in $150,000 Hutcheson Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-olds at Gulfstream Park Saturday.
Santa Catalina Stakes winner St Averil worked five furlongs in an easy 1:02 over Santa Anita's fast main track Sunday morning, after which trainer Rafael Becerra confirmed that the son of Saint Ballado's next start would be the March 13 San Felipe Stakes (gr. II).
TheDowneyProfile.com's guest picker for the Risen Star is Ryan Driscoll.
Feb. 14, 1976
Bold Forbes at Santa Anita
Caifornia-based colts Lion Heart and Master David emerged from the second day of wagering in pool 1 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager as the most fancied of 23 individual horses listed for the May 1 Derby.
Mr. Jester, winner of the $1 million Delta Jackpot last December, makes his 3-year-old debut in Sunday's $150,000 Risen Star Stakes (gr. III). Among his six opponents will be the Neil Howard-trained Gradepoint, winner of his last two starts.
Feb. 13, 1999
Excellent Meeting at Santa Anita
A $30,000 wager on the mutuel field – all 3-year-olds other than the 23 assigned to the pool – by an unidentified patron enlivened the early minutes of the first of four days of betting in Pool 1 of Churchill Downs' 2004 Kentucky Derby Future Wager.
Graded stakes winner Wynn Dot Comma will get a sharp challenge from a couple of Todd Pletcher-trained rivals, Deputy Storm and Limehouse, in the 51st running of the $150,000 Hutcheson (gr. II) Saturday, a seven-furlong test for 3-year-olds at Gulfstream Park.
Saturday's Fountain of Youth (gr. I) and Hutcheson Stakes (gr. III) and Sunday's Risen Star Stakes (gr. III) are only some of important 3-year-old races this weekend, along with allowance races featuring Birdstone, Value Plus, and Shaniko.
Read the Footnotes, winner of the Nashua (gr. III) and Remsen Stakes (gr. II), makes his 3-year-old debut in Saturday's $250,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II), where he takes on Calder-based stakes horses Second of June, Silver Wagon, Sir Oscar, and Broadway View.
Two 3-year-olds trained by Nick Zito top the list of leading contenders for this year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) in the first installment of Derby Watch, by Steve Haskin, senior correspondent for The Blood-Horse.
The first of three future wagers conducted by Churchill Downs on the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) will be held this week. from noon eastern time on Thursday until 6:30 p.m. on Sunday.
Will the Breeders' Cup Juvenile jinx be broken in 2004? We won't know until May 1--unless none of the Juvenile starters is entered in the Kentucky Derby--but this is as good a time as any to see what the starters from last year's edition of the race are doing now.
Nine Irish-based, Aiden O'Brien-trained colts, led by ONE COOL CAT and GRAND REWARD, were nominated to the 2004 VISA Triple Crown Challenge. Only one of them, TUMBLEBRUTUS, has raced in the United States.
Feb. 12, 1975
Foolish Pleasure at Hialeah
Grade I winner Lion Heart progressed toward the first start of his sophomore year in the March 6 San Rafael Stakes (gr. II) by working six furlongs in 1:12 2/5 over Santa Anita's fast main track Wednesday morning.
Remsen Stakes winner Read the Footnotes will launch his 2004 3-year-old campaign in Saturday's $250,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park, fresh off 10 weeks rest and fast workouts for trainer Richard Violette.
Trainer Ralph Ziadie reports last year's Hopeful Stakes (gr. I) winner Silver Wagon is "90%" sure to run in the Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) Saturday at Gulfstream Park.
Trainer Dick Mandella, unhappy with Halfbridled's last work, said he has decided to skip the Las Virgenes Stakes (gr. I) Feb. 15 and train her up to the March 13 Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I).
Silver Wagon, who missed some training last week due to a foot bruise, returned to the track in fine form Monday, working a strong mile in 1:41 4/5 at Calder Race Course.
O.K. Mikie, who started his career as a bottom-level claiming horse, captured the $83,175 Golden State Mile for 3-year-olds at Golden Gate Fields Sunday.
Favored Master David won a game stretch battle in the $81,400 Sham Stakes for 3-year-olds at Santa Anita Sunday by a length as 2003 juvenile champion Action This Day ran a close fourth.
Calder shipper Imperialism caught 11-10 favorite Hosco inside the final eighth of a mile to register a 1 1/4-length victory in the $150,000 San Vicente (gr. II) for 3-year-olds at Santa Anita Saturday.
Frisky Spider's seven-furlong workout in preparation for Saturday's $250,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-olds at Gulfstream Park had trainer Bob Durso excited Sunday morning.
Silver Minister drew off easily to win the $50,000 WEBN Stakes Saturday at Turfway Park.
Everest Stables' Mambo Train swept past 1-2 favorite Perfect Moon and pacesetter Bradford and pulled away in the stretch to register a 2 1/2-length victory in Saturday's $100,000 Turf Paradise Derby for 3-year-olds.
Michael Gill's White Mountain Boy won a three way thriller in the $75,000 Goss L. Stryker Stakes for Maryland-bred sophomores Saturday at Laurel Park.
Vincent Papandrea's Little Matth Man, last most of the way, gobbled up the muddy inner dirt track at Aqueduct on Saturday afternoon, and rallied for an upset victory in the $82,875 Whirlaway for 3-year-olds at a mile and a sixteenth.
Action This Day, last year's 2-year-old champion, makes his long-awaited return in Sunday's nine-furlong Sham Stakes. Trained by Richard Mandella, Action This Day will face six opponents, including promising Derby hopefuls trained by Bob Baffert and Bobby Frankel.
If someone told you right now, the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner will come out of Sunday's Sham Stakes, you'd obviously run to the windows and put down a bundle on Action This Day. But it might not be wise to rush to any hasty conclusions.
Castleton Lyons, owned by Dr. Tony Ryan, announced Thursday the purchase of a "significant" breeding interest in Action This Day, who recently earned an Eclipse Award as champion 2-year-old male for 2003.
David Flores says he is unconcerned about whether there will be sufficient pace for Action This Day when the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) champion makes his 3-year-old debut in Sunday's $75,000 Sham Stakes at 1 1/8 miles.
Trainer Patrick Biancone sent two of his most promising Triple Crown hopefuls, Lion Heart and Pomeroy, out for workouts Wednesday morning over Santa Anita's fast main track.
Action This Day, the champion 2-year-old male of 2003, faces a likely field of six other 3-year-olds in Sunday's $75,000 Sham Stakes at Santa Anita.
The much talked about Capac made a triumphant 3-year-old debut Wednesday, charging to the lead at the head of the stretch in a seven-furlong allowance race at Laurel, then drawing off to a convincing 3 3/4-length score.
Buckram Oak Farm's Eurosilver, runaway winner of the Lane's End Breeders' Futurity (gr. II), had little trouble in his 3-year-old debut, winning a seven-furlong allowance race at Gulfstream Wednesday by five lengths.
Tapit, winner of the Laurel Futurity (gr. III) and one of the leading contenders for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), will miss the Feb. 15 Risen Star Stakes (gr. III) due to weather interruption and a shin that trainer Michael Dickinson says is less than 100%.
So, Godolphin, which has been intent on winning the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) the past several years, has decided not to nominate a single horse this year. For a stable that focused each year on the first Saturday in May, this is a perplexing turn of events. Or is it?
Buckram Oak Farm's Eurosilver, runaway winner of the Lane's End Breeders' Futurity (gr. II) at Keeneland, has been entered in a seven-furlong allowance race at Gulfstream on Feb. 4. The son of Unbridled's Song will face five opponents.
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