Kathleen Amaya and Raffaele Centofanti's three-time graded stakes-winning filly Rose to Gold is recovering from surgery for bone chips and will not resume racing until this September at the earliest.
Rose to Gold may bear the distinction of having the most modest sale price of any of filly in the starting gate for the May 3 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), but you would never know it by looking at her race record.
Unlikely Rose to Gold stamped her ticket for the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) with another dominating performance at Oaklawn Park April 10, splashing her way to a front-running 4 1/2-length victory in the $400,000 Fantasy Stakes.
Rose to Gold put away heavily favored Flashy Gray in the stretch for a gate-to-wire triumph under Calvin Borel in the $150,000 Honeybee Stakes (gr. III) March 9 at Oaklawn Park.
Rose to Gold returned to dirt and remained unbeaten on it, taking the $500,000 Delta Princess Stakes (gr. III) by half a length Nov. 17 at Delta Downs.
Crafty Unicorn made a big impression in his career debut, rolling to a 1 3/4-length victory in the male division of the $100,000 OBS Championship Stakes March 12 in Central Florida.
Grade I winner Rail Trip made a favorable impression in his first start since the Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) last fall, returning to Belmont Park June 5 with a strong runner-up finish behind Friend Or Foe in the Easy Goer.
Grade I winner Friends Lake has been sold to Saudi Arabian interests for stallion duty.
Poseidon's Warrior and Soundwave cruised to easy victories in their respective divisions of the Monmouth Park NATC Futurity in New Jersey Sept. 26.
Friend Or Foe wore down pacesetter General Maximus and drew clear to win the $100,000 Mike Lee Stakes for New York-breds at Belmont Park on June 20.
Merus Miami dropped back to last on the backstretch and then rallied through the final quarter of a mile to win the $75,000 Gold Rush Stakes by one length at Golden Gate Fields Dec. 20.
PORTER ON PEDIGREES, by Alan Porter
Lion Heart, currently the freshman sire leader, and Friends Lake, who is ranked eighth, got big boosts from their recent graded stakes winners Azul Leon and Screen Your Friends, respectively. The talent both of these sires showed as juveniles appears to be passing along to their offspring.
The first winner by grade I winner Friends Lake won June 4 at Churchill Downs.
Leprechaun Racing's Friends Lake colt among top prospects at OBS sale.
Stevie Wonderboy, champion 2-year-old male of 2005, will begin his stallion career for a fee of $17,500.
The number of horses sold, gross revenue, average price, and median price all dropped at the California yearling sale held Oct. 2 at Fairplex Park.
Sackatoga Stable's Eclipse-and-Classic-winning Funny Cide, whose 2004 graded victories included the Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I), was again named New York-bred horse of the year at the 25th annual New York Thoroughbred Breeders' awards banquet .
Whether you felt this year's 3-year-old crop was a good one or bad one, it certainly inspired a good deal of passion and provided a number of memorable moments. The following is a look back at the tumultuous 3-year-old season and its most notable performers, broken down into categories.
Brereton C. Jones' Airdrie Stud has purchased grade I winner Friends Lake for stallion duty from Chester Broman Sr. and his wife, Mary.
Yes, believe it or not, there are other 3-year-olds who inhabit the wild and wacky world of Smarty Jones, and several of them will be using Saturday's $200,000 Peter Pan Stakes (gr. II) as a dress rehearsal for their big showdown with America's wonder horse in the June 5 Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
TVG will present live coverage of the $200,000 Peter Pan Stakes (gr. II) from New York's Belmont Park on Saturday. The Peter Pan is the final major prep race for the June 5 Belmont Stakes (gr. I). Scheduled post time is 4:45 p.m.
Saturday's $200,000 Peter Pan (gr. II) at Belmont Park brings together a group of 3-year-olds taking their last shot to show they could possibly spoil Smarty Jones' quest to become racing's 12th Triple Crown champion.
So, we're suddenly down to 18, and Eddington's and Rock Hard Ten's connections can only wonder what if. Now, finally comes the question: how do you make sense of one of the wildest and most perplexing Kentucky Derby's (gr I) ever.
The works have all but wound down, there's one more day of anxiety left for Bob Baffert before he and Jerry Bailey are officially united, and only Tapit remains of those missing in action. Starting tomorrow, the focus will be on gallops, as well as a pair of blowouts, to see just who's looking super out there.
This year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) can be broken up into three categories -– Favorites, live longshots, and potential overlays. The favorites are obvious and the longshots will be dealt with at a later date. But if there is one horse who can have bettors pulling their hair out for not having him, it's Wimbledon.
Friends Lake, who has not started since winning the Florida Derby (gr. I) on March 13, worked five furlongs in 1:03 during heavy rain at Churchill Downs Sunday morning. Light rain started falling around 5:30 a.m., and the heavens opened up just after 6, rendering the track surface, already heavy with water from rains earlier in the week, to slop.
The moment of truth is at hand, as several Kentucky Derby (gr. I) scenarios are played out over the next couple of days. At Churchill Downs, the biggest activity Friday morning was trying to dodge the rain. But the miserable weather was brightened momentarily by the presence of the unbeaten Smarty Jones.
Trainer Dick Mandella was looking for a big work from Action This Day Thursday morning to convince him last year's champion 2-year-old could rebound from two poor efforts. After the colt's six-furlong work in company with 2-year-old filly champ Halfbridled, Mandella had his answer.
Some stallions still remain who are an influence for stamina in the breeding program. A.P. Indy is one of these sires. His son, Friends Lake, is a major Derby contender this year, and can tackle the 1 1/4 mile distance with ease.
With scattered showers and predictions of heavy rains in the afternoon, what little activity there was on the track this morning came early. In addition to the arrival of Florida Derby (gr. I) winner Friends Lake at 9:40, there was a mini buzz about the possible addition of the top-class filly Ashado to the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) field.
With no workouts at Churchill Downs on Wednesday by any Kentucky Derby (gr. I) contenders, the news of the day came from developments off the track.
Edited notes from Churchill Downs tracking the daily activities of leading contenders for the May 1 Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
Fountain of Youth (gr. II) winner Read the Footnotes breezed a mile Thursday morning for trainer Richard Violette at the Palm Meadows Training Center, where he continues his preparations for the May 1 Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
Florida Derby (gr. I) winner Friends Lake breezed five furlongs Saturday morning at Payson Park in a slow 1:04 3/5 as he prepares for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) May 1.
Undefeated Smarty Jones, the likely favorite for next Saturday's $1 million Arkansas Derby (gr. II), worked five furlongs Saturday in a bullet :58 3/5, almost two seconds quicker than the second fastest time (1:00 2/5) at the distance.
Lion Heart, St Averil, and Wimbledon have been installed as the 10-1 co-favorites in the third and final Kentucky Derby Future Wager pool, which opens Thursday at noon Eastern and closes Sunday at 6:30 p.m.
Although we're fascinated with numbers at TheDowneyProfile.com, we are not into numerology. However, it doesn't take much imagination to conjure up a projected field of 13 in Kentucky Derby 130.
When trainer John Kimmel announced after the Florida Derby (gr. I) that his upset winner Friends Lake likely would train up to the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), it was before he found out the colt was suffering from a viral infection, which has reinforced his decision.
It seems as if each Monday brings with it a new set of excuses for beaten favorites in Kentucky Derby (gr. I) preps. Some will prove to be legitimate and some won't. But the bottom line is no one has a clue who is going to win this year's Derby, which is as muddled as any in memory at such a late date.
Although the Gotham Stakes is only grade III, and is not known for producing Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winners, Saturday's running of the one-mile event features the most intriguing matchup of the year, between two of most gifted 3-year-olds in the country, Eddington and Redskin Warrior.
Friends Lake may have paid $76.80 for his Florida Derby (gr. I) victory, due perhaps to a two-month layoff and an uninspired third in the Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III). Certainly, his success should have come as no surprise when considering his pedigree.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- This note to Kentucky legislators: Friends Lake, winner of the $1-million Florida Derby (gr. I) March 13, was foaled in New York, the same state that produced Funny Cide, winner of last year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
This is the first of a two-part column on this past weekend's races. The first will deal with Saturday's card at Gulfstream Park, featuring the Florida Derby (gr. I) and Swale Stakes (gr. II). The remainder of the Derby preps will be discussed in part two.
A string of major upsets in Saturday's preps for the 130th running of the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) May 1 helped solidify the mutuel field's grip on the favorite's role heading into the final day of Pool 2 of Churchill Downs' 2004 Kentucky Derby Future Wager.
A New York bred won the $1 million Florida Derby (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park Saturday for the first time, but it wasn't Read the Footnotes. As the even-money favorite faded out of the money, 37-1 Friends Lake stormed from well off the pace to defeat a game Value Plus.
After this weekend's stakes gala, it's going to be much more difficult finding that one Derby horse who will pay off the mortgage and put the kids through college. But right now, that horse may still be out there in plain sight.
Fountain of Youth (gr. II) winner Read the Footnotes heads a field of 10 in Saturday's $1 million Florida Derby (gr. I), with four horses entering the picture at the 11th hour following last week's defection of Master David.
The lineup for the March 13 Florida Derby (gr. I) has gained another stakes-winning contender as Tapit's connections have announced they will enter the colt for the race.
Cynics be damned, it's time to see what the Derby gods might be scheming. With the equine version of March Madness starting next weekened, this is the last opportunity in a while to look at the Derby in an ethereal sense.
Barbara Cesare's Second of June grabbed command on the far turn and drew away from favored Silver Wagon in the stretch to record a convincing 2 3/4-length victory in Saturday's $100,000 Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III) for 3-year-olds at Gulfstream Park.
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