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Kentucky Derby Trail: A New Road Ahead

Yes, it's only December, but what better way to fill the gap between the turkey and the tinsel than to start talking Kentucky Derby (gr. I). Before discussing the Derby hopefuls gathering all over the country, it must be pointed out that next year's road to Louisville will be unlike anything we've ever seen, and there is no doubt that the times are indeed changing.

Lone Star Records Top Wagering Day

Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie had its single greatest on-track wagering day Saturday when 17,878 customers wagered a track record $3,412,562 on 12 live races and simulcasts across the country, including the 130th Kentucky Derby (gr. I) won by Smarty Jones.

Initial Ratings Show Derby TV Audience Increased

NBC Sports' broadcast of Smarty Jones' win at the 130th Kentucky Derby on Saturday (5-6:45 p.m. ET) delivered an 8.3 overnight rating and an 18 share -- tying the numbers for NBC's 2001 and 2002 Derby telecasts as the highest-rated since 1992 (9.5/26 on ABC) and giving NBC the three best Kentucky Derby overnight ratings of the past 12 years, according to Nielsen Media Research.

Kentucky Derby Wagering Sets North American Record

Total wagering on the 130th Kentucky Derby and the Derby Day racing card at Churchill Downs smashed North American records for total betting on an individual event and a single day of races that had been established in the 2003 renewal of the famed "Run for the Roses."

Steve Haskin's Derby Report: Smart Bomb Ready to Drop

After beginning his gallop aggressively, but controllable, Smarty Jones put it into high gear, and up from the saddle shot 170-pound exercise rider Pete Van Trump, whose broad shoulders make him look like Dick Butkus compared to other exercise riders. But to Smarty Jones, he was a mere rag doll.

Steve Haskin's Derby Report: Smart Bomb Ready to Drop

After beginning his gallop aggressively, but controllable, Smarty Jones put it into high gear, and up from the saddle shot 170-pound exercise rider Pete Van Trump, whose broad shoulders make him look like Dick Butkus compared to other exercise riders. But to Smarty Jones, he was a mere rag doll.

Steve Haskin's Derby Report: Smart Bomb Ready to Drop

After beginning his gallop aggressively, but controllable, Smarty Jones put it into high gear, and up from the saddle shot 170-pound exercise rider Pete Van Trump, whose broad shoulders make him look like Dick Butkus compared to other exercise riders. But to Smarty Jones, he was a mere rag doll.

Action This Day, Imperialism Turn in Final Works

B. Wayne Hughes' Action This Day zipped three furlongs in :35 1/5 and galloped out a half-mile in :48 2/5 Wednesday in his final preparation for Saturday's $1-million Kentucky Derby (gr. I) at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.

Lion Heart Works; Added to Blue Grass Lineup

Grade I winner Lion Heart will race next in the April 10 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland, trainer Patrick Biancone decided Monday, shortly after the chestnut son of Tale of the Cat worked five furlongs in 1:01 2/5 over Santa Anita's fast main track. Regular exercise rider Jean Claude was aboard for the move.

Churchill Addresses Kentucky Derby Seating

Patrons accustomed to a bird's-eye view of the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) from Millionaires' Row will instead be watching from the infield this year as a consequence of Churchill Downs $95 million clubhouse renovation.

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