Robert Evans' Elysium Fields, runner-up in the Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II), will be sidelined indefinitely, said trainer Barclay Tagg.
The April 19 Coolmore Lexington (gr. II), the final chance for Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) hopefuls to pick up graded stakes earnings, closed April 11 with 39 nominations.
Trainer Barclay Tagg worked Big Truck and Elysium Fields four furlongs April 8 over the Keeneland Polytrack. Big Truck got the distance in :46.60, the fastest of 56 works at that distance for the day. Elysium Fields was clocked in :47.60.
Winchell Thoroughbreds' Louisiana Derby (gr. II) winner Pyro turned in his final major prep for Saturday's $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass (gr. I) by working a half-mile in :50.60 early Monday morning at Keeneland.
With Big Brown hung out in post 12, Elysium Fields is our preference to win the Grade I Florida Derby. He has two good races over Gulfstream's track, has been training very well, and has the fastest time of the field at the distance.
A full field of 12 was drawn for the March 29 Florida Derby (gr. I), which on paper has turned out to be the most intriguing prep race for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) this year.
Jose Lezcano took a test drive on Bea Oxenberg's 3-year-old Hey Byrn, expected to be one of the favorites in the Florida Derby (gr. I), during a five-furlong work at Calder Race Course the morning of March 22.
Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) runner-up Elysium Fields and impressive allowance winner Big Brown turned in works this week in preparation for the $1 million Florida Derby (gr. I) March 29.
Robert Evans' Elysium Fields, runner-up in last month's $350,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II), worked March 12 at Gulfstream Park in preparation for the $1 million Florida Derby (gr. I) Mar. 29.
Mount Joy Stables' Smooth Air became a prime contender for the $1-million Florida Derby (gr. I) March 29 at Gulfstream Park after working a mile March 9.
Despite three losses to reigning 2-year-old champion War Pass, Winchell Thoroughbreds' homebred Pyro is the 4-1 favorite as Pool 2 of Churchill Downs' 2008 Kentucky Derby Future Wager closed March 9.
In his first workout since his strong runner-up performance in the $350,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) Feb. 29, Robert Evans's Elysium Fields posted a half-mile breeze March 6 at Gulfstream Park.
Unbeaten 2-year-old champion War Pass, winner of the $2-million Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I), and Pyro, the runner-up in the Juvenile and winner of the Risen Star Stakes (gr. III), are the early favorites for Pool 2 of Churchill Downs' 2008 Kentucky Derby Future Wager, which opens Mar. 6.
There's just no escaping it. You can question his pedigree and his running style all you want, but War Pass is simply in a class by himself right now, and until someone figures out how to beat him or his pedigree catches up to him, he has to be the top dog.
Cool Coal Man took over at the top of the stretch and then held off a stubborn Elysium Fields by a half-length to take the $350,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) Feb. 24 at Gulfstream Park.
A star-studded field of 12 3-year-olds, highlighted by a pair of starters for trainers Bill Mott and Nick Zito, will contest the $350,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) Feb. 24 at Gulfstream Park.
- By Steve Haskin
Steve Haskin's Derby Dozen for the week of Feb. 25 is topped by War Pass, who returned to the races with a striking win in an allowance race Feb. 24 at Gulfstream Park.
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