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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Trainer Richard Mandella says Action This Day is progressing nicely toward the juvenile champion's 2004 debut in the $75,000 Sham Stakes Feb. 8 at Santa Anita.
Eclipse Award winner Action This Day, Cuvee, and Ruler's Court accomplished enough as 2-year-olds last year to share top billing under the standard top weight of 126 pounds on the Experimental Free Handicap that was released Tuesday.
Action This Day didn't get into serious action for an Eclipse Award until the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I). But when he did, there was no stopping him in his first added-money start. The son of Kris S. charged through the Santa Anita stretch to win North America's richest race for 2-year-olds for owner B. Wayne Hughes and trainer Richard Mandella.
What Second of June accomplished in the Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III) was nothing short of sensational, and you don't have to go farther than his name to realize why. The son of Louis Quatorze was born on the second of June, which basically makes him a baby compared to his contemporaries.
Action This Day, looking to launch his 2004 campaign, will pass on Saturday's Santa Catalina Stakes (gr. II) and point to the Sham Stakes on Feb. 8, trainer Richard Mandella said Sunday morning.
B. Wayne Hughes' Action This Day, winner of the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) at Santa Anita last Oct. 25, is scheduled to make his 3-year-old debut in the $150,000 Santa Catalina Stakes (gr. II) at 1 1/16 miles on Jan. 17.
Diamond A Racing Corporation's Pleasantly Perfect, last seen winning the Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I), continues down the road to his first start since winning on the World Thoroughbred Championship card by working six furlongs in 1:12 1/5 with jockey Alex Solis aboard at Santa Anita Tuesday morning.
- By Steve Haskin
If you have an unraced 2-year-old, you have only a couple of weeks to avoid the dreaded curse of Apollo. Meanwhile, there were several interesting winners across the country in recent weeks, and last year's Hopeful (gr. I) winner, Silver Wagon, was defeated in his return.
Grade 1 winner Buddy Gil worked six furlongs in a bullet 1:12 2/5 over Santa Anita's fast main track Sunday morning with Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens aboard. The move was the best of 14 who went the distance on the day.
This is the second in a series of early looks at next year's potential Derby horses. Todd Pletcher and Richard Mandella hold hot hands on opposite ends of the country. The next report will focus on Bob "See me in January" Baffert and the Godolphin/Darley team.
Connections of most of the nine winning horses (counting one dead-heat) from Saturday's Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships were non-committal Sunday about future plans, but there is a possibility one or more of the horses could run again this year.
Trainer Richard Mandella remained non-committal Sunday about plans for his four Breeders' Cup winners, including Pleasantly Perfect, winner of the Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I).
Coming from off the pace, Action This Day delivered a longshot blow to the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) with a shocking last-to-first score at 26-1. Trainer Richard Mandella ran 1-2 as Minister Eric also rallied to run second.
Probable John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) favorite Storming Home worked seven furlongs in 1:28 2/5 in company with NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) hopeful Sarafan, who was clocked in 1:28 4/5 over Santa Anita's firm turf course Sunday.
James McIngvale's Consecrate, fifth in the Norfolk Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita on Oct. 5, turned in a five furlong breeze in :59 at Santa Anita on Monday, indicating his readiness for the Oct. 25 Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I).
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