Their names used to slide off the tongue with such ease – Siphonic, Repent, Saarland, Nokoma, just to name a few. Those were supposed to be the sounds of spring, not War Emblem, Sarava, Magic Weisner and Proud Citizen.
Danthebluegrassman zipped five furlongs in :58.6 at Santa Anita Park on Monday as he posted the fastest time of the day among the 49 horses working at that distance. His workout was the highlight of a busy workday Monday for 3-year-olds at tracks across the country.
Trainer Kenny McPeek works hard, saddles Starlight Stable's Harlan's Holiday to a Florida Derby victory.
If you feel there's no value in the Future Wager on the horses running this weekend, then you might want to consider looking for your value now. And D'Coach, High Star, and Puerto Banus are three horses you can have some fun with.
Eleven horses were entered Wednesday for Saturday's $1-million Florida Derby (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park, but the focus clearly was on two: Florida-bred Booklet and Harlan's Holiday.
Remsen Stakes (gr. II) runner-up Nokoma displayed his fitness for Saturday's $1-million Florida Derby (gr. I) with a fast workout at Gulfstream Park on Monday.
High Star, third in last year's Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes, turned in a sharp 5-furlong work in 1:00 4/5 at Gulfstream Park Monday in preparation for the March 16 Florida Derby.
First there was John Velazquez, who is the regular rider of Kentucky Derby contenders Saarland and Nokoma. Then it was Jerry Bailey, who already was in great shape with Siphonic and Blue Burner, adding Repent to his roster of live Derby mounts. Now you can add Gary Stevens to the list of top riders doubling up (and even tripling up) on hot Derby mounts.
The favored mutuel field entry, consisting of all 3-year-olds except the 23 individual betting interests, drifted up to 3-1 following the third day of wagering in Pool One of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager. The field began the day at 8-5.
The blurry Kentucky Derby picture should begin clearing up Saturday, as a number of Triple Crown hopefuls meet to determine who makes that all-important leap forward. The grade I Fountain of Youth Stakes, which drew a field of eight, is split right down the middle, with four stakes winners facing off against four up-and-coming stars. And in supporting allowance races, two promising colts lock horns in a prep for the Florida Derby, and a former Coolmore colt makes his U.S. debut.
With the Gulfstream surface doing a Jekyll & Hyde transformation, Breeders' Cup Juvenile runner-up Repent blazed 5 furlongs Wednesday in :58 flat, working in company with stablemate Take Charge Lady. The Kentucky Jockey Club winner galloped out 6 furlongs in 1:11 4/5.
Kentucky Derby winning trainer Nick Zito is enthusiastic about 3-year-old High Star's future, but Zito says his plan is to go slow with the colt.
Normally, a weekend that features the Lecomte Stakes from Fair Grounds and a pair of allowance races from Gulfstream is not going to cause any great tremors on the Derby trail. While this past weekend was no exception, we did have several impressive performances, by losers as well as winners, that could have an impact in the weeks ahead.
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