Nine stakes winners were entered Wednesday for Saturday's $500,000 Lone Star Derby (gr. III), including Rebel Stakes (gr. III) winner Windward Passage.
This weekend in New York, Kentucky, and Arkansas, everyone will be picking up rocks, hoping to find the one that reveals the winner of the Kentucky Derby, or at least the winners of a couple of Saturday's big stakes.
It's pretty much pick 'em in Saturday's $500,000 Arkansas Derby, with five of the 11 horses entered ranging in odds from 7-2 to 6-1 on the morning line.
U S S Tinosa tuned up for Saturday's Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) with a four-furlong work at Golden Gate Fields Sunday morning. Also working were stablemate Cappuchino, Medaglia d'Oro, Holdthehelm, Jack's Silver, Charioteer, Habibti, and Raven Power. Also, Patrick Valenzuela has been named to ride Mayakovsky in the Santa Anita Derby.
The fields for the major Kentucky Derby preps continue to take shape, leaving the connections of several horses searching for new jockeys for their charges.
Trainer James Cassidy has decided to keep Rebel Stakes (gr. III) runner-up Ocean Sound at Oaklawn Park to run in the April 13 Arkansas Derby (gr. II). Another Southern California-based horse likely for the Arkansas Derby is Holdthehelm.
Holdthehelm, who was scheduled to ship from California for Saturday's $500,000 Lane's End Spiral Stakes, will be forced to miss the race after popping a quarter crack.
As the masses congregate at the start of the Kentucky Derby trail, there will, as usual, be lots of pushing and shoving until late February and early March when the contenders begin to separate themselves from the pack. But disappointment and frustration can be prevelant just getting to the Derby trail, as evidenced by the number of highly promising juveniles who stumbled along the way last week.
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