Hard Spun

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Evan Hammonds' Kentucky Derby Starting Gate

Welcome to Derby Week, or week 11 of the "Starting Gate," one person's look at this year's Kentucky Derby lineup. As we approach Wednesday, entry day, this how we would handicap the top 20 contenders for the May 5 Run for the Roses. Actual entry into America's greatest race is reliant on graded stakes earnings -- this lineup is based on some speculation, past performances, and potential performance on Saturday.

Steve Haskin's Derby Report: Spunrise at the Downs

It takes a lot to steal the spotlight from Curlin, but at approximately 8:35 Monday morning, Hard Spun made Curlin's half-mile work two hours earlier seem like a distant memory. That's when the Lane's End (gr. II) winner went out and worked five furlongs in :57 3/5, all but leaving sparks as his feet hit the ground.

Curlin Favored at 7-2 in Final Derby Pool

Unbeaten Curlin, a dazzling winner of the $1 million Arkansas Derby (gr. II) on Saturday, emerged as a strong favorite over such accomplished rivals as 2006 2-year-old champion Street Sense and Wood Memorial (gr. I) winner Nobiz Like Shobiz when betting drew to a close in the third and final pool of Churchill Downs' 2007 Kentucky Derby Future Wager.

Curlin Tops Derby Wager at Midway Point

Unbeaten Curlin, the morning line favorite for Saturday's $1 million Arkansas Derby (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park, is a slight favorite over juvenile champion Street Sense and Florida Derby (gr. I) winner Scat Daddy as betting on the third and final pool of Churchill Downs' 2007 Kentucky Derby Future Wager reached its midway point.

Hard Spun Derby Bound After Sharp Breeze

Fox Hill Farm's Hard Spun stamped his ticket to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) Thursday by breezing five furlongs in a bullet 1:00 1/5 at Churchill Downs and showing trainer Larry Jones that he handles the surface.

Hard Spun Likely to Skip Blue Grass Stakes

Following the defection from the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) of Any Given Saturday, it now looks as if the 1 1/8-mile test at Keeneland also will lose Lane's End (gr. II) winner Hard Spun, who will either go straight to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. II) or point for the Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II) and Preakness (gr. I).

Kentucky Derby Trail: Spun Gun Firing Bullets Again

There is no escaping the fact that Hard Spun proved he is a brilliant, classy horse with his bounce back performance in the Lane's End Stakes (gr. II), but there is a question that pops up, that will be echoed after the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I): how legitimate was this race, or any race for that matter, run over a synthetic surface?

Hard Spun Favored in Lane's End

Hard Spun, who won his first four races by 28 lengths before tasting defeat in the Feb. 19 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park, is the lukewarm favorite for Satuday's Lane End Stakes (gr. II) at Turfway Park.

Champion Street Sense, Nobiz Like Shobiz Favored in Derby Future Pool Two

Champion Street Sense and Nobiz Like Shobiz each closed at odds of 9-2 during the first of four days of betting in the Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 2. The mutuel field, the betting interest that includes all 3-year-olds other than the 23 individual horses in Pool 2 and the 4-1 morning line favorite for the pool, stood as the 10-1 third choice at the end of the first day of betting.

Kentucky Derby Trail: Two for the Road

When outnumbered, retreat. Times are no doubt changing, and with so many leading contenders looking at only two preps before the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), perhaps it is time to loosen our tight grip on the history books and accept the fact that one of these years some horse is going to write its own chapter.

Hard Spun Takes Unbeaten Mark Into Southwest

Fox Hill Farm's Hard Spun, a son of Danzig who has won all four of his career starts for trainer J. Larry Jones, heads a cast of nine for the $250,000 Southwest Stakes for 3-year-olds at Oaklawn Park, a fertile ground for grooming contenders for the $2 million Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).

Street Sense at 6-1 Midway Through Derby Pool 1

Individual stars such as juvenile champion Street Sense and Nobiz Like Shobiz continued to receive strong support, but the wagering interest that includes "all other 3-year-olds" remained the favorite at the mid-point of Pool 1 of Churchill Downs' 2007 Kentucky Derby Future Wager.

Street Sense at 6-1 Midway Through Derby Pool 1

Individual stars such as juvenile champion Street Sense and Nobiz Like Shobiz continued to receive strong support, but the wagering interest that includes "all other 3-year-olds" remained the favorite at the mid-point of Pool 1 of Churchill Downs' 2007 Kentucky Derby Future Wager.

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