With the first jewel of the 2003 VISA Triple Crown, the 129th Kentucky Derby, three weeks away, NBC Sports will focus on horseracing's 3-year- old picture Saturday with a 90-minute telecast of the "NTRA Road to the Kentucky Derby."
EUGENE'S THIRD SON
Edmund Gann's Peace Rules, winner of the Louisiana Derby (gr. II) in his last start, was installed the 7-5 morning line favorite after drawing post two for Saturday's Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland.
Saturday's Arkansas Derby has 12 colts scheduled to contest its nine furlong distance for a shot at the $500,000 purse.
Off his Santa Anita Derby victory, Buddy Gil moves up on the list of Kentucky Derby contenders compiled by Blood-Horse senior correspondent Steve Haskin. Meanwhile, Indian Express joined the contenders' list and Atswhatimtalknbout and Kafwain were demoted.
More from Aqueduct on Kissin Saint and watching the Wood on television.
It looks a like a big weekend coming up for Todd Pletcher, who will have starters in all three Kentucky Derby preps. Indy Dancer runs in the Wood Memorial, Aristocat goes in the Arkansas Derby, and Lion Tamer is a likely starter in the Blue Grass Stakes.
Empire Maker arrived Wednesday in New York, along with Aldebaran, Congaree, Senor Swinger, and others planning to battle Saturday in the Wood and the Carter.
D. Wayne Lukas has decided Ten Cents A Shine will race in Kentucky this weekend instead of his original plan of running the colt in Arkansas. Crowned Dancer is also slated to run at Keeneland Saturday.
Sometimes, when you dig deep to try to find something, all you wind up with is a big hole. In Saturday's Santa Anita Derby, we kept digging, hoping to find the key to unlock Kentucky Derby 129. But in the end, not even Indiana Jones could locate the treasure most everyone had been looking for.
Offlee Wild and Lots of Sizzle, both pointed toward Saturday's Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland, made their final moves over the Central Kentucky oval Tuesday morning.
Paraneck Stable's New York Hero, scheduled to take on current Kentucky Derby favorite Empire Maker in Saturday's grade I, $750,000 Wood Memorial at nine furlongs, breezed five furlongs in :59 3/5 over Aqueduct's "fast" main track Monday morning.
Juddmonte Farm's Empire Maker, winner of the Florida Derby (gr. I) and the favorite for next week's Wood Memorial (gr. I) at Aqueduct, remained a strong favorite to win the 129th Kentucky Derby (GI) as wagering in the third and final pool of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager drew to a close on Sunday evening.
Trainer Ron Ellis said he still plans to ship Atswhatimtalknbout, a disappointing fourth as the public choice in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), to Kentucky on Wednesday.
Although he was running with Lasix, Buddy Gil did "bleed slightly" through the nostrils during his victory Saturday in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), trainer Jeff Mullins said. It was the first time the horse has done so in a race, Mullins said.
Team Valor Stables' Colita will not run in the Wood Memorial,
according to trainer Carlos Morales. The beaten favorite in Tampa's Sam Davis and Aqueduct's Gotham (gr. III) will now be pointed to the Federico Tesio at Pimlico on April 19.
All three of trainer Bob Baffert's Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) starters came out of the race fine, but only two – Indian Express and Kafwain – will continue on the Kentucky Derby trail, the conditioner said Sunday.
Illinois Derby (gr. II) winner Ten Most Wanted came out of his four-length triumph on Saturday in good order and the son of Deputy Commander remains on target for the May 3 Kentucky Derby (gr. I), trainer Wally Dollase said.
Wertheimer Farm's Indy Dancer, who is scheduled to face off with current Kentucky Derby favorite Empire Maker in Saturday's $750,000 Wood Memorial (gr. I), worked five furlongs over Belmont Park's main track in :59 2/5 handily.
Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel sent out a slew of his stars, including top sophomores Empire Maker, Peace Rules and Midas Eyes, for workouts at Hollywood Park Sunday morning.
Heiligbrodt Racing Stable's Posse and jockey Corey Lanerie tracked a fast pace and chased down Roll Hennessy Roll in the stretch on his way to a solid victory in Sunday's $107,900 Lafayette Stakes (gr. III) for 3-year-olds at Keeneland.
Odds on Buddy Gil, winner of the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I,) dropped from 25-1 to 15-1 as Pool 3 wound down Saturday on the eve of the final day for the 2003 Kentucky Derby Future Wager.
Jockey Gary Stevens broke Bill Shoemaker's record with his ninth Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) victory Saturday aboard unheralded Buddy Gil.
Favored Ten Most Wanted and jockey Pat Day overcame traffic trouble at the top of the stretch and got to the lead inside the eighth pole, putting away Fund Of Funds to win Saturday's $500,000 Illinois Derby (gr. II) at Hawthorne Park.
Ministers Wild Cat was scratched from the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby Saturday with a bruised right hind foot, trainer Neil Drysdale said.
Empire Maker remained the solid choice in pool 3 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager Friday, but the odds on the son of Unbridled edged up a bit to 3-1.
Three-year-olds Inamorato and Danuta are traveling to the United States on April 5, Godolphin announced, but will not run in the Kentucky Derby or the Kentucky Oaks next month.
Trainer Manny Tortora is more than pleased with his 3-year-old colt Supah Blitz coming into Saturday's $250,000 Aventura Stakes. The Aventura will be run at 1 1/16 miles over Gulfstream Park's main track.
Norberto Arroyo Jr. is rebounding from some personal matters, and insists he is now investing 100% into his riding.
Godolphin's Danuta romped to an easy five-length victory in Thursday's UAE Oaks at Nad al Sheba racecourse in Dubai, but a representative of the Dubai-based racing giant is not ready to commit the budding star to a trip to Churchill Downs for the May 2 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I).
Bettors made Empire Maker the solid 2-1 favorite at the close of the first day of Pool 3 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager Thursday.
The key factors surrounding Saturday's Santa Anita Derby will be the pace scenario and the enticing overlays awaiting bettors. If you go by the morning line, Domestic Dispute at 15-1, Ministers Wild Cat at 10-1, and even Kafwain as third choice at 4-1 look awfully appealing.
James McIngvale's During will make his next start in the seven-furlong Bay Shore Stakes (gr. III) on Apr. 12 and not the Wood Memorial Stakes (gr. I), trainer Bob Baffert said.
Trainer Bob Baffert admits Lady Luck hasn't been good to him so far this year. He's hoping for some divine intervention in time for Saturday's Santa Anita Derby (gr. I).
Stan Fulton's multiple stakes-winning 3-year-old Roll Hennessy Roll arrived at Keeneland from California and looked magnificent as he galloped over the track Thursday morning preparing for Sunday's Lafayette Stakes.
Bee Bee Stables and Jacqueline Tortora's Supah Blitz, fourth in the Florida Derby and second in the Fountain of Youth (both gr. I) at Gulfstream earlier this season, may go favored in Saturday's $250,000 Aventura Stakes at the Hallandale Beach oval.
Man Among Men, a disappointing seventh in the San Felipe Stakes (gr. II) on March 16, will attempt to regain his footing on the Triple Crown trail when the son of Gentlemen runs in the $500,000 Arkansas Derby on April 12.
San Anita Derby morning line favorite Atswhatimtalknbout galloped about a nine furlongs early Thursday morning.
On Friday Keeneland's 15-day spring meet opens in Lexington. The track has some new and improved ways to watch its races, whether you're on the grounds or at home.
Wagering on Einar P. Robsham's Trust N Luck in Pool 3 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager has been suspended after trainer Ralph Ziadie notified officials at Churchill Downs that the winner of the Fountain of Youth (gr. I) would not compete in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) on May 3.
McCann's Mojave could have a bright future after the promising sophomore colt ran his unbeaten record to three, prevailing by a head in a $66,080 allowance race at one mile on the dirt at Santa Anita Wednesday.
Trainer Christopher Paasch is a new resident of Lexington, Ky.
Paasch and his partners have recently purchased a tract of the old 505 Farm and have renamed it Victory Haven Training Center.
David Flores has never won a Kentucky Derby, or a Santa Anita Derby, for that matter. But that doesn't mean he doesn't know what it takes to win one.
In addition to hosting Kentucky Derby prep the Wood Memorial on April 12, Aqueduct has also invited groups from the surrounding borough of Queens to the track that day to celebrate the area's diverse offerings.
A 10-horse field, including three 3-year-olds trained by Bob Baffert, were entered for Saturday's $750,000, grade I Santa Anita Derby at 1 1/8 miles.
Gotham Stakes (gr. III) winner Alysweep was installed the 2-1 morning-line favorite when 10 horses were entered Wednesday for Saturday's $500,000, grade II Illinois Derby.
Badge of Silver, who is scheduled to run in the April 12 Blue Grass Stakes, worked a mile Wednesday in Louisville...Two Beaumont contenders were also on the track.
Jockey Gary Stevens is excited about the progression of Buddy Gil and is anxious for his 3-year-olds actions to speak louder than words in Saturday's Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park.
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