Trainer Todd Pletcher had won just a single race at Keeneland going into the April 12 card. But he won again where it counted, and with Monba and Cowboy Cal finishing 1-2 in the $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I), it looks like North America's leading trainer of 2007 will be headed to the May 3 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) after all.
There are two ways of looking at Saturday's Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I)- either as a rich workout for the first Saturday in May for Pyro, Cool Coal Man, Visionaire, Big Truck, and Halo Najib, who all have sufficient earnings, or as a final, desperate attempt to sneak into the Derby field by utilizing the often dirt form-challenged Polytrack.
Trainer Todd Pletcher was at Keeneland April 6 for the first time during the spring meet to oversee his horses stabled here, including the 3-year-olds Cowboy Cal and Monba. Both colts worked before sunrise, Monba in company with Ready's Image at about 6:15 a.m., and Cowboy Cal some 45 minutes later.
Three-year-olds around the country continue to get "zapped" by the Derby trail's three-headed monster. You know, zap, as in Nick Zito, Steve Asmussen, and Todd Pletcher.
Why Tonto, not favored Cowboy Cal, won the Feb. 16 Hallandale Beach Stakes at Gulfstream.
Derby prospect Cowboy Cal will start in the Feb. 16 Hallandale Beach at Gulfstream Park instead of taking a traditional route.
Churchill Downs oddsmaker Mike Battaglia has installed the "all others" bet as the strong 5-2 favorite in his morning-line odds for Pool 1 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager, which begins its four-day run at noon Feb. 7 at racetracks and satellite wagering outlets across the United States and Canada.
The 3-year-old colt Wise Answer will make his turf debut in the Jan. 1 Tropical Park Derby.
As we head into December, a well-funded trainer is looking for a potential Kentucky Derby horse, but does not want a horse based in Southern California. At the same time, a well-funded gambler is looking for a solid Derby horse to bet in the future book, but he, too, is looking away from California. The reason behind their thinking is quite simple.
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