With Thursday's moves by Essence of Dubai and Request for Parole, the first wave of works have just about concluded. Tomorrow we'll go over what we've seen so far, and what significance they may play in the Kentucky Derby.
The Maryland Jockey Club will offer guaranteed minimum gross pools on its popular Pick 4 on Black-Eyed Susan and Preakness Days, May 17-18.
The Michael Tabor-owned pair of Mayakovsky and Shah Jehan were among nine horses entered for the Derby Trial (gr. III), which highlights Saturday's opening day card at Churchill Downs.
The Triple Crown will gain additional exposure this year as a result of a promotion involving the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and the popular "Imus in the Morning" syndicated radio program hosted by Don Imus.
On a cool, windy morning that the horses seemed to like more than the people on the backside of Churchill Downs, Kentucky Derby contenders Essence of Dubai and Request for Parole were the only two classic hopefuls working out.
West Point Thoroughbreds' Ethan Man, winner of the Swale Stakes, will be out of action for several weeks following the discovery of a bone chip in the colt's left front ankle.
Once again, we had leading Kentucky Derby contenders turning is totally dissimilar works, which just adds to this year's complicated Derby picture.
Probable Kentucky Derby favorite Harlan's Holiday turned in a fast workout at Churchill Downs on Wednesday, with trainer Ken McPeek expressing satisfaction in how the colt is coming into the season's first classic.
Pedigree vs. Performance. That is the battle within the battle that may very well decide this year's Kentucky Derby winner. The more we see of Came Home, the more we think that maybe performance can conquer pedigree on Derby Day.
Editor's Note: Steve Haskin is an award-winning turf writer and senior correspondent for The Blood-Horse. During his 29 years with the Daily Racing Form, Haskin became known for his insightful coverage of the Triple Crown races. Haskin won the Red Smith Award for Kentucky Derby writing in 1997, 1999, and 2000.and received the David Woods Award for best Preakness story in 1997. In 1999, he co-authored "Baffert: Dirt Road to the Derby" with trainer Bob Baffert and wrote the books, "Dr. Fager" and "John Henry" for Eclipse Press'"Thoroughbred Legends" series. In his latest book, "Racing's Holy Grail - The Epic Quest for the Kentucky Derby," Haskin takes readers behind the scenes and into the trenches as he examines what it takes to win the world's most famous horse race. He plumbs the secrets of successful trainers, the common pitfalls that hinder so many others, and the enigmatic nature of the race itself. Below are Haskin's daily reports leading up to this year's Kentucky Derby.
In what trainer Paco Gonzalez said was a faster work than he preferred, Santa Anita Derby winner Came Home zipped six furlongs in 1:12 3/5.
The state of confusion that has been so prevalent over the past several months has now manifested itself in the form of real live horses.
Chapter 10 -- Etched in Stone?
It was a busy day Monday at Churchill Downs and Belmont Park for horses pointing toward the Kentucky Derby. In one development, German-bred Flying Dash was taken out of consideration for the Derby after his workout.
Gotham Stakes (gr. III) winner Mayakovsky drilled five furlongs in :58 1/5 Sunday at Churchill Downs as he prepares for Saturday's Derby Trial Stakes (gr. III) at the Louisville track.
Gary West's Wood Memorial (gr. I) winner Buddha breezed six furlongs over Belmont Park's training track Sunday. The son of Unbridled's Song completed the drill in 1:14 2/5.
Trainer Neil Drysdale said Fusao Sekiguchi's Flying Dash will run in the April 27 Derby Trial Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill Downs and then go on to the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) if the German-bred performs well in the one-turn mile event.
G Three Stable's Smoked Em set unpressured fractions en route to a two-length win over Magic Weisner in Saturday's $107,250 Federico Tesio Stakes at Pimlico. Smoked Em's victory snapped 9-10 favorite Magic Weisner's five-race winning streak.
The D. Wayne Lukas-trained Proud Citizen earns a Kentucky Derby berth after winning the Lexington .
David Flores will ride Essence of Dubai for the first time in the May 4 Kentucky Derby and also has the mount on Tempera in the May 3 Kentucky Oaks. Frankie Dettori will ride Imperial Gesture in the Oaks, but will be in England on Derby day to ride Naheef in the Sagitta Two Thousand Guineas.
Robby Albarado will ride Request For Parole in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), according to the jockey's agent, Lenny Pike.
Stonecrest Farm's Lane's End Spiral Stakes (gr. II) winner Perfect Drift worked six furlongs for trainer Murray Johnson Friday at Churchill Downs' Trackside training center.
Officer is out of Saturday's Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II) because of a "suspicious area" discovered on his left front tendon.
Santa Anita Derby winner Came Home, a top Kentucky Derby contender, will leave Friday for Churchill Downs.
For all you Saarland fans who are looking for some positive news, it was discovered after the Wood Memorial that the colt had displaced his soft palate. On Wedneday, veterinarian Mark Cheney performed a tenectomy to correct the problem.
Kentucky Derby contender War Emblem, purchased by The Thoroughbred Corp. after his win in the Illinois Derby (gr. II), sparkled at Churchill Downs Thursday in his first work for new trainer Bob Baffert.
Jockey Michael Kinane was suspended for seven days for his ride on Sahara Desert in the Boadicea Conditions Stakes at Newmarket Thursday and may be unable to ride Johannesburg in the Kentucky Derby.
It could be called the "last chance" Derby. The Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II) at Keeneland has drawn a strong field of nine for its $325,000, 1 1/16 mile race.
Trainer Tom Amoss will join the cast for "The Works," a TV Games Network program sponsored by Keeneland, from April 22-May 1.
Maryland's major prep race for the Triple Crown takes place Saturday at Pimlico as a field of six 3-year-olds, headed by Magic Weisner, meet in the $125,000 Federico Tesio Stakes.
Leading contenders for this year's Kentucky Derby, ranked by graded stakes earnings; the final field of 20 will be determined on the basis of earnings in graded stakes races.
Kentucky Derby contender Essence of Dubai and Kentucky Oaks hopefuls Tempera and Imperial Gesture arrived safely in Kentucky on Wednesday.
A slight chance remains that the Thoroughbred Corp.'s Officer will run in the Kentucky Derby, but trainer Bob Baffert first needs to see an impressive performance in Saturday's Coolmore Lexington Stakes at Keeneland.
Sam and Jeri Knighton's Request for Parole worked five furlongs at Churchill Downs Wednesday for trainer Stephen Margolis.
List of leading contenders narrows to 20 following final weekend of prep races leading to May 4 Kentucky Derby.
Jockey Jerry Bailey may ride either of Coolmore's two Kentucky Derby candidates, according to a report in the Irish Times.
TVG will again produce "The Works" from Churchill Downs, focusing on Kentucky Derby and Oaks-bound horses and their daily doings at the Louisville track.
Bottled water bought in the Churchill Downs infield on Oaks and Derby Day will cost $1.25, one penny less than the same product at Thornton's stores in greater Louisville.
Mayakovsky, winner of the Gotham and fourth in the Santa Anita Derby, breezed four furlongs in :47.20 for trainer Patrick Biancone at Churchill Downs on Tuesday.
Farish, Goodman, Toffan and McCaffery's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) hopeful Came Home worked five furlongs in 1:01 4/5, breezing, over a fast Santa Anita main track on Tuesday with regular rider Chris McCarron in the irons.
As difficult to believe as this may seem, we're actually going to keep it relatively short this week, as everyone saw what transpired on Saturday and has formed their own opinions. We are starting from scratch and tossing the past performances. We've looked at them so many times over the past four months, they no longer register in our brain.
The Thoroughbred Corp.'s grade I winner Officer, gearing up for a start in Saturday's Lexington Stakes (gr. II) at Keeneland, worked a half-mile in an impressive :47 4/5, breezing, over a fast track at Santa Anita Monday.
"Racing's Holy Grail - The Epic Quest for the Kentucky Derby"
The decision to scratch One Tuff Fox from the Illinois Derby (gr. II) was mandated by state racing rules and was in the best interest of the wagering public, chief state Steward Eddie Arroyo said Sunday
James Cassels and Bob Zollars' Arkansas Derby (gr. II) winner Private Emblem arrived at Churchill Downs Sunday morning to continue preparing for the May 4 Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
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