A son, Native Nico, edges D' Sauvage by a neck in career debut.
Gallant Secret tuned up for an upset bid in the $300,000-added Fleur de Lis (gr. II) on the "Stephen Foster Super Saturday" card with a solid three-furlong blowout on Wednesday at Churchill Downs.
It took plenty of determination – from breeder/owner James Fortney and trainer James Jackson – to get the filly Gallant Secret into Friday's Kentucky Oaks. Now she gets her shot at the big girls. "We're here to win," says Fortney.
Trainer James Jackson said Elkhorn Oaks Inc.'s Gallant Secret, a contender in Friday's Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), breezed five-eighths of a mile over the Keeneland training track Saturday morning in 1:03 3/5.
James Jackson stood at the summit of Thoroughbred racing during the first Saturday in May in 1999 when his 3-year-old gelding Valhol started in the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. However, his memory of the Run for the Roses and what occurred a few weeks before have finally spurred the 49-year-old Texan to retire from racing.
Cutbacks in benevolence and backstretch programs, as well as termination of an investigation into alleged financial misdeeds, have been cited as the reason why some members of the Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association have called for a new election of the president and board of directors.
Graded stakes winner Allen's Oop has been retired from racing after injuring a tendon in his left front leg during a workout at Fair Grounds on Feb. 7.
Valhol finally got redemption and a stakes win the courts can't take away. In a much-maligned career that began at Fair Grounds less than two years ago, Valhol pranced to the winner's circle after a victory in the $75,000 Diplomat Way Handicap on Sunday. After a well documented win then disqualification in the 1999 Arkansas Derby in only his third career start, the strapping 5-year-old chestnut has been plagued by physical ailments
Valhol, who was disqualified from victory in the 1999 Arkansas Derby, won an allowance event at Delaware Park Tuesday in his first start since last summer.
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