Ashbrook Farm's Reb, winner of the three straight including the American Derby (gr. IIT), and Irish invader Black Bear Island, who has a group II victory in England this season, lead a wide-open field of 11 in the $400,000 Secretariat Stakes (gr. IT) for 3-year-olds Aug. 8 on the Arlington Park turf.
Einstein, who stumbled at the start and finished fifth in last year's Arlington Million (gr. IT), drew the inside post for this season's prestigious turf race at Arlington Park, which will be held Aug. 8.
Last at the sixteenth pole, Reb unleashed a furious drive under jockey Julien Leparoux to nail No Inflation at the wire to win Arlington Park's $300,000 American Derby by a head in his stakes debut July 11.
Virginia Tarra Trust's homebred Giant Oak, successful in his seasonal turf debut while winning the Arlington Classic last out, will look for his first graded stakes win July 11 in the $300,000 American Derby (gr. II) at Arlington Park.
Euphony and Vacation earned their first graded wins on a big stakes day at Arlington Park May 23.
Two grade III stakes to be contested on Polytrack -- the $150,000 Arlington Matron and the $100,000 Hanshin Cup -- join with a pair of top-notch grass events to provide a quality afternoon of racing at Arlington Park on May 23.
The Virginia H. Tarra Trust's Giant Oak, runner-up in the Kentucky Jockey Club (gr. II) at Churchill Downs and the recent Illinois Derby (gr. II), is out of consideration for the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Like all quarters, General Quarters is a two-sided coin. So far, it's only come up heads, with the face of Tom McCarthy and his Cinderella story receiving all the press. But a flip of the coin to the tails side will reveal the faded and forgotten face of Mark Miller.
Musket Man took over at the top of the lane and cruised to an impressive two-length victory in the $500,000 Illinois Derby (gr. II) April 4 at Hawthorne Park. It was the second straight graded stakes victory for the son of Yonaguska, who also took the Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III) last month.
Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III) winner Musket Man and Illinois-bred Giant Oak lead a wide-open field of 11 in the 52nd edition of the $500,000 Illinois Derby (gr. II) April 4 at Hawthorne Race Course
Adele Dilschneider's Terrain, third in the March 14 grade II Louisiana Derby, remains on course for a run in the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Vinery Stables and Fox Hill Farm's Friesan Fire swept the Louisiana 3-year-old series and made a bold statement for the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) when overwhelming eight rivals to win the $600,000 Louisiana Derby (gr. II) by 7 1/4 lengths March 14 at Fair Grounds.
Perhaps no horse on the Derby trail is more aptly named than Giant Oak, who makes many of his opponents look like saplings next to him. A big, long-striding son of Giant's Causeway, his size, stride, and style of running can also be a detriment, as he demonstrated in the Risen Star Stakes.
Triple Crown Talk blog, with host Jason Shandler, analyzes the Louisiana Derby.
Winner of the Jan. 10 LeComte (gr. III) and Feb. 7 Risen Star (gr. III), Friesan Fire will try to sweep the Louisiana series for 3-year-olds and stamp himself as one of the top Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) contenders in the nation. The son of A.P. Indy--Bollinger was installed as the 5-2 morning-line favorite.
Friesan Fire, winner of the LeComte (gr. III) and Risen Star (gr. III), has been installed the 5-2 morning line choice in the 10-horse field that will contest the March 14, $600,000 Louisiana Derby (gr. II) at Fair Grounds.
Giant Oak's breeze on March 7, clocked in 1:00.80 for five furlongs, was a routine move in advance of Fair Grounds' $600,000 Louisiana Derby (gr. II) on March 14. However, just past the wire, trainer Chris Block's big horse bobbled briefly, giving the Illinois-based conditioner some moments of concern until he was able to check out his horse back at the barn.
It was an excellent weekend on the old trail, with some first-class performances, not only by the winners, but several of the losers as well. The latest Top 15 follows the column.
Vinery Stables and Fox Hill Farms' Friesan Fire stamped himself as a legitimate Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) contender by winning his second consecutive graded stakes race at Fair Grounds. This time, the A.P. Indy colt posted a two-length victory in the $200,000 Risen Star (gr. III) Feb. 7.
Triple Crown Talk blog, with host Jason Shandler, and a Kentucky Derby Fantasy with
We have an interesting assortment of 3-year-old stakes this weekend, even though the Whirlaway and WEBN Stakes came up pretty thin. Will the Derby winner be in the Robert Lewis (gr. III) or Risen Star (gr. III)? We could have a much better idea once certain questions are answered.
This week, Jason and Tom analyze the Risen Star (gr. III) at Fair Grounds on Saturday, February 7. Also Brisnet's handicapping expert The Wizard's Spotlight Play is Race 3 at Fair Grounds on Saturday.
Virginia Tarra Trust's Giant Oak, runner-up in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II) at Churchill Downs as a 2-year-old, was installed as the 3-1 favorite among 13 sophomores entered for the Feb. 7, $200,000 Risen Star Stakes (gr. III) at Fair Grounds.
The first Derby Dozen comes out next week, but we'll get a jump on it with a more comprehensive look before this weekend's stakes. Then we'll make any adjustments based on the results. So, this is more of a speculative list, with a great deal riding on the Hutcheson and Holy Bull Stakes.
No prominent 3-year-old races this weekend, but plenty of action on the worktab. Triple Crown Talk blog, with host Jason Shandler, looks at this week's works for Derby contenders.
Beethoven scored in the Kentucky Jockey Club Nov. 29 at Churchill Downs.
James Scatuorchio and John Iracane's Bittel Road, the only stakes winner in a field of 12 2-year-olds, tries to stay unbeaten when he lines up for the Woodford Reserve Bourbon Stakes (gr. IIIT) Oct. 5 on the Keeneland turf.
Fourteen 2-year-olds, all looking to take a giant step for their connections, are entered in the $200,000 Arlington-Washington Futurity (gr. III) at Arlington Park Sept. 13.
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