Birdstone

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Tapit, Cliff Out of Belmont; Purge, Master David May Join Field

Wood Memorial (gr. I) winner Tapit will not run in the June 5 Belmont Stakes (gr.I), it was reported on trainer Michael Dickinson's Tapeta Farm web site Saturday. With Tapit's defection, as well as the defection of The Cliff's Edge, the connections of Purge and Master David are considering entering, although both are still doubtful starters.

Zito: 'Cliff' Needs a Miracle to Make Belmont

Trainer Nick Zito says he has until Saturday to get a work into The Cliff's Edge, who suffered a foot bruise before the Preakness Stakes (gr. I), or he will be forced to miss the Belmont Stakes (gr. I). The son of Gulch's problems started when he lost both his front shoes during the running of the Kentucky Derby (gr. I).

Zito Thrilled by Birdstone's Churchill Work

Marylou Whitney Stable's Birdstone, who was scratched from last week's Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland, resumed serious preparation for Kentucky Derby 130 (gr. I) May 1 with a five-furlong workout on Thursday at Churchill Downs.

Blue Grass Contenders Work at Keeneland

Dogwood Stable's Limehouse, the recent winner of the Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III), breezed an easy five furlongs just after the track renovation on Sunday morning, his final work for the $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass (gr. I) to be run Saturday.

Zito Shipping Big Guns to Keeneland

Trainer Nick Zito is beginning his assault on the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) by shipping three of his top contenders to Keeneland. The plane carrying Eurosilver, Birdstone, and The Cliff's Edge was expected to land in Central Kentucky today.

Birdstone May Face a Flock in Lane's End

Marylou Whitney Stables' homebred Birdstone, winner of the grade I Champagne Stakes at Belmont last year, is the talk of Turfway leading up to their signature Kentucky Derby (gr. I) prep, Saturday's Lane's End Stakes (gr. II). However, the diminutive son of Grindstone hasn't exactly scared anyone off from the $500,000 race with as many as 14 others considering the race.

Upsets Keep 'Field' Favored in Derby Wager

Following a weekend of Kentucky Derby prep races in which several leading Kentucky Derby contenders suffered defeats, the field of "all other 3-year-olds" emerged as the favorite when the second of three pools in Churchill Downs' 2004 Kentucky Derby Future Wager ended its four-day run Sunday.

Top Sophomores Nominated to Toyota Blue Grass Stakes

Almost all of the leading contenders for the Visa Triple Crown Challenge, including trainer Nick Zito's highly regarded twosome of Birdstone and Eurosilver, are among 157 nominees to Keeneland's $750,000, Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I). The 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-olds will be run on Saturday, April 10, three weeks before the Kentucky Derby (gr. I). It will be televised live on NBC from 4:30-6 p.m. (ET).

Mutuel Field Set at 9-5 in KDFW's Pool 1

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."

Wynn Dot Comma Faces 10 Rivals in Hutcheson

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.

Read the Footnotes, Funny Cide Top Palm Meadows Work Tab

The stars were out at Palm Meadows training center Tuesday morning following several days of bad weather, which forced the cancellation the Monday's Gulfstream card and most of Sunday's. Heading the 3-year-old workers was Read the Footnotes, who will make his debut in the Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. I).

Checking Up On Florida's 3-year-olds

Trainer Bob Durso said he will start his undefeated Frisky Spider in either the Hutcheson or the Fountain of Youth, while Nick Zito is considering those races and allowances for Birdstone, Eurosilver, and The Cliff's Edge.

Rogues and Royals Among Champagne Challengers

Chapel Royal, the East's leading 2-year-old throughout the spring and early summer, will be out to prove he is more than a sprinter in Saturday's grade I, $500,000 Champagne at 1 1/16 miles. Seven rivals, including Birdstone and Notorious Rogue, will stand in his way.

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