Chris Block

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Giant Oak Leaves Derby Trail

Giant Oak Leaves Derby Trail

The Virginia H. Tarra Trust's Giant Oak, runner-up in the Kentucky Jockey Club (gr. II) at Churchill Downs and the recent Illinois Derby (gr. II), is out of consideration for the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).

Live Oak in Louisiana Derby

Live Oak in Louisiana Derby

Perhaps no horse on the Derby trail is more aptly named than Giant Oak, who makes many of his opponents look like saplings next to him. A big, long-striding son of Giant's Causeway, his size, stride, and style of running can also be a detriment, as he demonstrated in the Risen Star Stakes.

Giant Oak OK After Minor Scare

Giant Oak OK After Minor Scare

Giant Oak's breeze on March 7, clocked in 1:00.80 for five furlongs, was a routine move in advance of Fair Grounds' $600,000 Louisiana Derby (gr. II) on March 14. However, just past the wire, trainer Chris Block's big horse bobbled briefly, giving the Illinois-based conditioner some moments of concern until he was able to check out his horse back at the barn.

Les Grands Trois Tackles Perryville Field

Les Grands Trois Tackles Perryville Field

Live Oak Plantation's Les Grands Trois has been the victor in all but one of his four career starts despite an on-again off-again training regimen due to physical issues. The son of Officer looks for his first graded stakes win in the $200,000 Perryville (gr. III) at Keeneland Oct. 13.

Arlington's New Surface Healing Old Wounds

Arlington's New Surface Healing Old Wounds

A year after an unprecedented string of catastrophic breakdowns left horsemen wondering what was wrong with the dirt track at Arlington Park, they were singing the praises of a new synthetic racing surface.

Sterling, Janks Highlight Prairie State Festival

Jockey Larry Sterling Jr. scored a double in the seventh annual Prairie State Festival, Arlington Park's six-race showcase for Illinois-bred Thoroughbreds. Both of the the veteran local rider's victories came on horses he was not originally slated to ride.

Illinois Derby and State of Industry Special Planned for Horsin' Around TV

The Illinois Derby (gr. II) at Hawthorne Race Course and a special about the state of racing industry in Illinois will highlight the April 3 programming schedule of Horsin' Around TV. Dave Gutfreund, the show's regular Thoroughbred analyst, and the Daily Racing Form's Marcus Hersh will join producer and host Joe Kristufek to break down Hawthorne's key Triple Crown prep.

Team Block's Ioya Two Retired

Team Block's Ioya Two, who thrilled Thoroughbred racing fans twice last summer at Arlington Park with courageous victories, has been retired and will leave this week for her upcoming career as a broodmare.

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