When trainer Bobby Dibona saddled Actin Good for the $250,000 Pegasus Stakes (gr. III) on the Breeders' Cup undercard at Monmouth Park Oct. 27, he respected the horse more than the bettors who sent him off at odds of 10-1. Actin Good rewarded Dibona's faith with a gutsy frontrunning performance, fighting through a neck-and-neck stretch duel with Now A Victor to take the 1 1/8-mile event by a neck.
There's no Zanjero in the field, so Bwana Bull figures to be the colt to beat in the $250,000 Pegasus (gr. III) for 3-year-olds at Monmouth Park Oct. 27. The race kicks off the three stakes supporting the eight-race Breeders' Cup series that day.
With Curlin around, Zanjero will never be the star of Steve Asmussen's highly successful stable, but the Winchell Thoroughbreds' 3-year-old colt has enjoyed a tremendously productive sophomore season. He punctuated his year by exceeding the $1 million mark in earnings with a convincing victory in the $510,600 Indiana Derby (gr. II) at Hoosier Park on the night of Oct. 6.
Nine 3-year-olds will go to postward in the 13th running of the $500,000-added Indiana Derby (gr. II). Scheduled as the ninth race on the 12-race card Oct. 6, the estimated post time for the Derby is 9:50 p.m. EDT.
Increase purses and they will come. That fact was proven Aug. 31, as 11 horses, many of them high-profile, were entered in the 28th running of the $1-million Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II).
Zanjero carried a six-race losing streak into the $750,000 West Virginia Derby (gr. III), having last been to the winners circle in an allowance at Belmont Park in November. The 3-year-old colt outfought Bwana Bull in a heart-pounding finish to take the feature at Mountaineer Park Aug. 4.
Of the field of 10 running in the $750,000 West Virginia Derby (gr. III) Aug. 4, five have run in American Classicsno--none of them with any success. If one of them can break through in the 1 1/8-mile trek around Mountaineer Race Track & Gaming Resort's main track, it will go a long way to help separate itself in a competitive 3-year-old division that is beginning to take shape.
Arriving in Kentucky two weeks ago, the feeling here was that there were two horses in particular to concentrate on who looked to be coming into the Derby with enough angles to make them live at a decent price. After watching most of the Derby horses work and gallop at Keeneland and Churchill, things have changed a bit, as has track condition.
It takes a lot to steal the spotlight from Curlin, but at approximately 8:35 Monday morning, Hard Spun made Curlin's half-mile work two hours earlier seem like a distant memory. That's when the Lane's End (gr. II) winner went out and worked five furlongs in :57 3/5, all but leaving sparks as his feet hit the ground.
Multiple stakes winner Bwana Bull, who was added to the contenders list for this year's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) over the weekend, worked six furlongs in 1:14 2/5 at Churchill Downs Monday, April 30.
As Churchill Downs prepared for Saturday's opening-day card, a case of Derby fever was making its way around the stable area as trainers of Bwana Bull and Teuflesberg said their horses would be pointed toward the May 5 classic.
Kicking off Churchill Down's spring meet a week before the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) is the April 28 Derby Trial Stakes, where a full field of 14 3-year-old males will contend for the title of the $100,000 race. Appearing to head the field is Southwest Stakes winner Teuflesberg.
It was all in the genes for Tiago, the half-brother to 2005 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Giacomo who registered a timely come-from-behind victory in the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) Saturday.
Liquidity, hoping to bounce back from a sixth-place finish in the Louisiana Derby (gr. II) on March 10, has been installed as the 5-2 favorite for Saturday's $750,000 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) for 3-year-olds.
Todd Pletcher is dominating the Derby trail. Todd Pletcher is dominating the Derby trail. Todd Pletcher is dominating the Derby trail. Remember the kid in school who is forced by the teacher to write something over and over on the blackboard? Well, sorry, folks, but Mr. Pletcher is making us all write the same column over and over every week.
Even money favorite Bwana Bull closed from second to last in the opening quarter mile to capture the El Camino Real Derby (gr. III) Saturday at Bay Meadows.
California Derby winner Bwana Bull heads a field of seven 3-year-olds entered Wednesday morning in the $200,000 El Camino Real Derby (gr. III) Saturday at Bay Meadows.
The stalking Bwana Bull circled the pacesetters coming off the final turn of Sunday's $150,000 California Derby and was long gone at the end under substitute rider David Lopez at Golden Gate Fields.
The Bay Area's all-time leading trainer, Jerry Hollendorfer, will saddle half the six-horse field for Sunday's $150,000 California Derby at Golden Gate Fields.
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