Grade I winners Artiste Royal and Einstein are among the favorites for the $500,000 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (gr. IT), the race that precedes the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) as part of Churchill Downs' packed stakes schedule May 3.
Summer Doldrums will have more than a rubber match with Strike a Deal when the two meet in the $1-million Virginia Derby (gr. IIT) July 21 at Colonial Downs. Not only will Summer Doldrums' trainer Rick Violette see his archrival, he will see the faces of past race victors.
Heiligbrodt Racing Stable's Inca King led from flag fall to finish in his graded stakes debut for trainer Steve Asmussen, turning back odds-on favorite Duveen in the stretch to win the Jefferson Cup (gr. IIT) Saturday at Churchill Downs.
Duveen will attempt to extend his winning streak to four when he heads to the post for the Jefferson Cup (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs June 16.
With less than a furlong left to go, Duveen got up to win the May 4 Crown Royal American Turf (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs over California invader Whatsthescript.
Zayat Stable's Marcavelly, a 3 1/2-length winner of the Transylvania Stakes (gr. IIIT) on the Keeneland turf in his only 2007 start, could be the one to beat in an evenly matched field of 3-year-olds entered for the $150,000 Crown Royal American Turf (gr. IIIT) at 1 1/16 miles on the Churchill Downs lawn Friday.
Jumping from the maiden ranks into stakes competition, Andrew Farm's Duveen won an all-out battle in the final furlong by a nose over favored Soldier's Dancer in the $115,500 Palm Beach (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-olds on the Gulfstream Park turf Saturday.
Herman Heinlein's gelding Soldier's Dancer is the most accomplished of seven 3-year-olds entered in Saturday's $150,000 Palm Beach Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Gulfstream Park and should rule as a strong choice in the 1 1/8-mile turf test.
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