After the inexperienced Greeley's Galaxy made a laugher out of Saturday's $500,000 Illinois Derby (gr. II), it didn' take owner B. Wayne Hughes long to make a decision on whether he would spend $200,000 to supplement his chestnut colt to the Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
With few standouts to emerge on the Kentucky Derby trail, a field of nine will be headed to Saturday's $500,000 Illinois Derby (gr. II) Hawthorne Park to see if they are the next to jump up and make a splash in the 3-year-old division.
There was plenty of pre-race action at Keeneland Race Course Tuesday morning as a handful of potential Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) runners, including a possible Marker's Mark Mile (gr. IT) and Ashland Stakes (gr. I) starter hit the oval. Opening day at Keeneland is April 8.
Bill Callis' Cat Shaker, sent off at odds of 38-1, ran down the loose pacesetter Daddy Joe in the $100,000 Rushaway for 3-year-olds at muddy Turfway Park Saturday as 2-5 favorite Proud Accolade failed to fire.
Padua Stables' Proud Accolade, winner of the seven-furlong Hutcheson Stakes (gr. II) earlier this year, seeks to get back on track after overcoming an illness in Saturday's $100,000 Rushaway Stakes at Turfway Park. The 1 1/16-mile race is part of Lane's End Stakes (gr. II) day at the northern Kentucky track.
Daddy Joe, a $900,000 son of owner Paraneck Stable's 1996 Wood Memorial (gr. I) winner Unbridled's Song who is set to run in the $150,000 Gotham Stakes (gr. III) Saturday, worked five furlongs in 1:00 on the Aqueduct inner track Wednesday with jockey Norberto Arroyo Jr. aboard.
Smarty Jones electrifying run at the 2004 Triple Crown started modestly enough with a victory in the Count Fleet at Aqueduct. Some horsemen took note. The $75,000 race for 3-year-olds at a mile and 70 yards Saturday attracted an overflow field of 13.
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