Graded stakes winner Buckle Down Ben will stand in 2010 at Leigh Ann Richwine's Richwine Farm near Anderson, Ind.
Buckle Down Ben enters Friday's $250,000 Iowa Derby at Prairie Meadows from June's third leg of the Triple Crown, the grade I Belmont Stakes, where he finished seventh off the lead from Point Given.
The post position draw is in, Point Given is in, Dollar Bill is in. Not much more to do now but wait. With the arrival of Team Valor's English import Dr Greenfield at approximately 6 p.m. this evening, the cast of nine for the 133rd Belmont Stakes will be in place. Everyone is in agreement that this year's Belmont looks to be one of the most contentious runnings in a long while.
There were no surprises Wednesday when nine 3-year-olds were entered for Saturday's $1-million Belmont Stakes, third leg of Thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown. As he did in the previous two legs of the series--the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness--morning line favorite Point Given will start from the outside post position.
Preakness (gr. I) winner Point Given had his final major workout before Saturday's mile and a half Belmont Stakes (gr. I), going five furlongs on a sloppy track at Churchill Downs in company with another 3-year-old from trainer Bob Baffert's stable. The son of Thunder Gulch covered the distance in :59 3/5, according to Baffert.
Belmont Stakes hopeful Dollar Bill worked five furlongs at Churchill Downs Sunday in company with stablemate Kazoo. Over the fast surface, the trouble-prone son of Peaks and Valleys covered the distance in :59 3/5 under exercise rider Joanne McNamara.
Point Given and A P Valentine, the first two finishers in the Preakness Stakes, were on the work tab Tuesday morning, at Churchill Downs and Belmont, respectively. Point Given breezed five furlongs in :59 3/5 with regular rider Dana Barnes aboard, while A P Valentine went the same distance in :59 2/5 under Jamie Sanders.
Michael Tabor's Buckle Down Ben, prepping for the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), earned a neck-length victory over X Country in a one-mile allowance race Sunday at Churchill Downs. Under jockey Pat Day, the 3-year-old son of Devil His Due completed the distance in 1:34.84 on a fast track. The win marked Day's 7,999th career victory.
Michael Tabor's Buckle Down Ben, a possible entrant for the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), has been entered to run in a one-mile allowance race at Churchill Downs on Sunday. Earlier this week, trainer D. Wayne Lukas said the son of Devil His Due would be trained up to the 1 1/2-mile third leg of the Triple Crown.
D. Wayne Lukas-trained Buckle Down Ben, considered a possible entrant for the 1 1/2-mile Belmont Stakes (gr. I), breezed four furlongs on Sunday morning at Churchill Downs. A Lukas-trained horse has won the Belmont on five occasions, most recently with Commendable in last year's renewal.
The Maryland Jockey Club lists 12 horses as possible entrants for the Preakness Stakes (gr. I), led by Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Monarchos.
In the days, hours, and even minutes leading up to the March 24 Spiral Stakes (gr. II), there wasn't a clear-cut favorite -- much less a star -- among the nine 3-year-olds going to the starting gate. Six of the nine starters were between 3-1 and 6-1 in the wagering. But all that changed at 4:42 p.m. EST as a star did emerge coming down Turfway Park's stretch. His name: Balto Star. And the strapping dark bay gelding, in an effortless performance, ran off from his foes to a surprising 12 3/4-length romp in the 1 1/8-mile Kentucky Derby (gr. I) prep.
Michael Tabor's Buckle Down Ben, winless in two starts this year but winner of last year's Laurel Futurity (gr. III), was installed the 5-2 morning line favorite after drawing post 8 for Saturday's $600,000 Spiral Stakes (gr. II) at Turfway Park. While there is no standout, a well-balanced field of nine 3-year-olds were entered for the 1 1/8-mile race that will be telecast live on ESPN from 4-5 p.m. EST.
The first two Kentucky Derby (gr. I) contenders arrived at historic Churchill Downs Wednesday. Dollar Bill, trained by Dallas Stewart, and Buckle Down Ben, trained by D. Wayne Lukas, arrived on a plane from Fair Grounds Racecourse.
One of the most intriguing Fountain of Youth Stakes in memory is set for this Saturday, as 11 top-class horses from all over the country converge on Gulfstream Park for the first major 3-year-old prep of the season. Favoritism will be up for grabs in this competitive 1 1/16-mile event, as a case can be made for several of the participants.
Steve Haskin, the award-winning turf writer and senior correspondent for The Blood-Horse, analyzes the horses included in Churchill Downs 2001 Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 1. 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.
Traffic will increase on the road to Gulfstream Park's $1 million Florida Derby (gr. I) next week as a field of 10, including some West Coast invaders, assembles for the grade I Fountain of Youth Stakes. The 1 1/16-mile Fountain on Saturday, Feb. 17, serves as the final major prep for the 50th anniversary running of the Florida Derby and the 3-year-old classics beyond.
After Saturday's seven-furlong Hutcheson Stakes, just one more stakes preview will remain on the Gulfstream Park schedule for the March 10 Florida Derby. Likely to await the $1 million Florida Derby (gr. I) are the major 3-year-olds in Florida – Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) winner Macho Uno, and Champagne Stakes (gr. I) winner A P Valentine. Another pointing directly to the mile and an eighth Florida Derby is Buckle Down Ben, winner of the Laurel Futurity (gr. III) last season and second in the Holy Bull.
The grade 1 Fountain of Youth, to be run February 17 as the last major prep for the $1 million Florida Derby March 10, is the next scheduled stop on the agenda for grade 3 Holy Bull winner Radical Riley. Runner-up Bukcle Down Ben could also try the Fountain of Youth or may go directly into the Florida Derby off Saturay's effort.
Radical Riley, a 15-1 shot, came from next to last to edge Buckle Down Ben by a head Saturday in the grade III, $100,000 Holy Bull Stakes for 3-year-olds at Gulfstream. Cee Dee, a 20-1 shot, was third, only half a length behind the first two. Master Planner, the 2-1 favorite, was fourth in a field of eight.
Buckle Down Ben, third in the Remsen Stakes (gr. II), has been installed the 5-2 morning-line favorite among eight 3-year-olds entered in Saturday's $100,000 Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park. The 1 1/16 mile Holy Bull is one of the steppingstones to the $1 million Florida Derby (G1) on March 10. All four of Buckle Down Ben's races have been around two turns and he has won two them, including the Laurel Futurity (gr. III) at 1 1/8 miles in Maryland on Nov. 4.
Windsor Castle rallied from last in the eight-horse field to win the $200,000 Remsen Stakes (gr. II) by 2 1/2 lengths Saturday at Aqueduct. The 2-year-old son of Lord Carson completed the 1 1/8 miles in 1:51.92 on a fast track.
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