Valhol, confidently ridden by Robby Albarado, won Saturday night's running of the $100,000 MAXXAM Gold Cup at Sam Houston Park.
The connections of horses now off the Triple Crown trail have begun to plan new courses for their respective horses, with Palmeiro entered to run Monday against older horses in a Hollywood Park allowance race. Trainer John Sadler hopes to use the 1 1/16-mile race as a prep for the $150,000 Affirmed Handicap.
Kentucky Derby favorite Point Given and stablemate Congaree had their last workouts before Saturday's race, each posting fast times for their five furlong efforts. Point Given was timed in :58.50 seconds, as clocked by trainer Bob Baffert, who caught Congaree in :58.75 for five furlongs. Also Monday, Churchill officials announced that Tincin, winless in seven starts, was no longer being considered for the Derby after developing a cough.
Throw 'em in a hat and pick one. Regardless of which one you choose you'll have the work of the day. That's how similar this morning's four Derby works were. In fact, the times of all four horses – Dollar Bill, Balto Star, Thunder Blitz, and Invisible Ink – were within a fifth of a second of each other. For the seventh morning in a row, since we arrived, the dawn brought bright skies and mild to crisp temperatures. More of the same is predicted through the week, with showers arriving, you guessed it, on Friday.
Two 3-year-olds being shipped to Churchill Downs for other races on Kentucky Derby (gr. I) week could join the field for the season's first classic. Trainer Tony Richey said Boyce Roberts' Arctic Boy may run in the Derby rather than a conditioned allowance race on Derby Day he is being pointed toward. Richey said a final decision on Derby plans for the son of Maria's Mon will be made following a Monday workout under jockey Calvin Borel. Meanwhile, Churchill officials said trainer Simon Bray could also decide to run Turf Paradise Derby winner Startac in the Derby rather than the Crown Royal American Turf (gr. III), a 1 1/16-mile grass test on Friday's Kentucky Oaks card.
Gray or roan colt, foaled March 19, 1998, Maria's Mon--Al Nasr Star, by Al Nasr
Seven 3-year-olds, including three horses that ran in Oaklawn Park's Rebel Stakes (gr. III), were nominated to the Visa Triple Crown and $5-million Visa Triple Crown Challenge before the March 31 late deadline. As a result of the new nominees, the total nominated to this year's series was 447, just short of the record 452 nominees to the three-race series in 1986.
Crafty Shaw charged along the rail in deep stretch Saturday at Oaklawn Park to win the $100,000 Rebel Stakes (gr. III) by three-quarter lengths. Arctic Boy finished second, a half-length in front of Strike It Smart. It was a neck farther back to 3-2 favorite Son of Rocket.
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