A federal judge is expected to rule this week on whether jockeys competing in this year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) would be allowed to wear corporate advertising on their pants.
This year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) can be broken up into three categories -– Favorites, live longshots, and potential overlays. The favorites are obvious and the longshots will be dealt with at a later date. But if there is one horse who can have bettors pulling their hair out for not having him, it's Wimbledon.
Although the blistering five-furlong works by Smarty Jones and Birdstone dominated the morning activities Saturday, it was the well-conceived plan by Song of the Sword's owner Ernie Paragallo that set several major events in motion.
Long-distance specialist Epicentre emerged from the pack to take the lead in midstretch en route to a decisive victory in the $150,000 Elkhorn Stakes (gr. IIIT) as Keeneland closed its record-breaking 15-day spring meeting Friday.
The moment of truth is at hand, as several Kentucky Derby (gr. I) scenarios are played out over the next couple of days. At Churchill Downs, the biggest activity Friday morning was trying to dodge the rain. But the miserable weather was brightened momentarily by the presence of the unbeaten Smarty Jones.
Juddmonte Farms' Intercontinental, a multiple group one-placed competitor in Europe, won her second straight in the United States Sunday, rolling past the leaders in the final furlong to win the $110,600 Jenny Wiley (gr. IIIT) at Keeneland.
Fountain of Youth (gr. II) winner Read the Footnotes breezed a mile Thursday morning for trainer Richard Violette at the Palm Meadows Training Center, where he continues his preparations for the May 1 Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
A film crew for 60 Minutes II film crew visited the Kentucky Horse Park's Hall of Champions Friday to capture footage of jockey Jerry Bailey's annual visit with the legendary Cigar.
Champion Halfbridled will lead a field of eight in Thursday's $250,000 Stonerside Beaumont Stakes (gr. II) at Keeneland. Halfbridled was entered but scratched from the April 3 Ashland Stakes (gr.I) after tying up after a morning gallop.
Undaunted by a brisk pace battle, Edmund Gann's Peace Rules had more than enough left to win the $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II) Saturday by two lengths over Ole Faunty.
Last year trainer Bobby Frankel saddled Medaglia d' Oro to win the Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II). This year Frankel hopes Peace Rules, who is listed as even money on the morning-line, can emulate his stablemate's success in Saturday's $500,000 race going 1 1/8-miles.
With plenty of down time left before the flood of Kentucky Derby (gr. I) preps begin on April 3, this is a good opportunity to continue looking for new angles, new faces, and a new perspective on the Derby picture.
The first course is over. It is time to take a deep breath and digest the odd smorgasbord of Kentucky Derby (gr. I) preps that has been laid out so far. Racing fans are starving for something more substantial, and they should get it beginning with the April 3 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) and Illinois Derby (gr. II).
Padua Stables' Class Above made her return to Turfway Park a successful one Saturday, handily winning the $150,000 Boubonette Breeders' Cup for 3-year-old fillies.
Marylou Whitney's Birdstone was installed the even-money favorite against 10 rivals for Saturday's Lane's End Stakes (gr. II) at Turfway Park. The 3-year-old son of Grindstone drew post one for the 1 1/8-mile race.
Marylou Whitney Stables' homebred Birdstone, winner of the grade I Champagne Stakes at Belmont last year, is the talk of Turfway leading up to their signature Kentucky Derby (gr. I) prep, Saturday's Lane's End Stakes (gr. II). However, the diminutive son of Grindstone hasn't exactly scared anyone off from the $500,000 race with as many as 14 others considering the race.
Juddmonte Farms' Sightseek looked like her old self Sunday, demolishing three rivals by 7 1/2 lengths in the $194,000 Rampart Handicap (gr. II) for fillies and mares at Gulfstream Park.
Bruce Lunsford's 3-year-old filly Madcap Escapade turned the $150,000 Forward Gal (gr. II) against four opponents Saturday into a procession, galloping to a 4 3/4-length front-running victory at Gulfstream Park.
Trainer Bobby Frankel is shipping a quartet of runners for Oaklawn Park's Racing Festival of South, including Peace Rules, who will look to defend the trainer's Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II) title. Frankel won the 2003 Oaklawn Handicap with Medaglia d'Oro, who is pointed toward the March 27 Dubai World Cup (UAE-I).
Who are the hot horses at Barretts? Because of wet weather, drag racing, and the delays in the under tack shows, it's difficult to tell. But keep an eye on Sequel's Tiger Ridge colt.
Peace Rules proved to be the toughest in Sunday's controversial Fair Grounds rodeo, also known as the $500,000 New Orleans Handicap (gr. II), prevailing by a short head over Saint Liam.
Marylou Whitney's Birdstone, winner of his 3-year-old debut in allowance company, may skip the March 13 Florida Derby and run in the following week's $500,000 Lane's End Stakes (gr. II) at Turfway Park instead, trainer Nick Zito said Monday.
Sarah and Kenneth Ramsey's homebred Kitten's Joy showed off his powerful closing kick to win The $100,000 Palm Beach (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-olds at Gulfstream Park Saturday and remain unbeaten in four starts on the grass.
Three-time leading Gulfstream Park jockey Jerry Bailey took the starring role before 60 Minutes II cameras in the Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. I) Saturday.
An all-out Read the Footnotes prevailed over Second of June by a neck in a gut-wrenching finish to Saturday's $250,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-olds at Gulfstream Park.
Trainer Ralph Ziadie reports last year's Hopeful Stakes (gr. I) winner Silver Wagon is "90%" sure to run in the Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) Saturday at Gulfstream Park.
Jerry Bailey is racing's version of Starship Enterprise Capt. James T. Kirk, boldly going where no man has gone before. In 2003, he won more stakes (70) in one year than any other rider in history, and his mounts set a single-season earnings mark of $23,354,960. Bailey also established another riding record when he scored his 14th victory in the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships while guiding Six Perfections to the wire first in the NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT).
Golden Eagle Farm's homebred Yearly Report seized the lead at the eighth pole and drew away for an easy four-length victory under jockey Jerry Bailey in Monday's $150,000 Santa Ynez Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-old fillies at Santa Anita.
Jockey Russell Baze has won the Isaac Murphy Award presented by the National Turf Writers Association for the ninth consecutive year. The award, given to the jockey with the highest winning percentage (with a minimum of 500 mounts) during the year, was inaugurated in 1995 and has been presented to Baze each year since its inception.
Mr. and Mrs. Martin J. Wygod's homebred Delmonico Cat surged to the lead in the final strides to win the $100,000 Honey Fox Handicap (gr. IIIT) for fillies and mares by a half-length Saturday at Gulfstream Park, registering her first career graded stakes victory.
For the second year in a row, jockey Jerry Bailey rode a Kentucky homebred owned by Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey to victory in the $100,000 Tropical Park Derby (gr. IIIT) on New Year's Day at Calder Race Course, guiding Kitten's Joy to an easy victory.
Second of June scored a minor upset over Hopeful Stakes (gr. I) winner Silver Wagon in Saturday's $100,000 What A Pleasure Stakes at Calder. The race was part of Grand Slam I at the Florida track.
Jockey Jerry Bailey, who has broken his own North American purse earnings record with more than $23.3 million and eclipsed the one-year total for stakes wins, will be aboard a pair of favorites in stakes Saturday at Calder Race Course, where his remarkable 2003 season began.
Stonerside Stable's strong favorite Congaree won the $350,000 Cigar Mile (gr. I) for the second year in a row and gave jockey Jerry Bailey his third consecutive stakes victory at Aqueduct Saturday.
Jockey Jerry Bailey made quick work of Mike Smith's longstanding record for stakes victories in a season when he guided favored Read the Footnotes to an easy victory in the $200,000 Remsen Stakes (gr. II) for 2-year-olds at Aqueduct.
Heavily favored Ashado gave jockey Jerry Bailey his record-tying 68th stakes triumph in 2003 by a head bob in Saturday's thrilling $200,000 Demoiselle (gr. II) for 2-year-old fillies at Aqueduct.
Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey will wrap up his year in New York on Saturday with a trio of stakes mounts. One behind Mike Smith's record of 68 stakes victories in a year, Bailey will be aboard likely favorites Congaree in the Cigar Mile, Read the Footnotes in the Remsen and Ashado in the Demoiselle.
Chatter Chatter once again proved herself the class of Calder's 2-year-old filly division by taking the $150,000 Joe O'Farrell Juvenile Fillies by two lengths Saturday.
Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey can set a new North American single season record for stakes wins by a jockey this weekend when he ventures to Calder Race Course in Miami for five stakes mounts on Saturday's big Florida Million card.
With odds-on favorite Value Plus eliminated at the start, Klaravich Stables' front-running Read the Footnotes, ridden by Jerry Bailey, pulled away from Paddington in the stretch to win Sunday's $113,100 Nashua Stakes (gr. III) for 2-year-olds at Aqueduct.
After delaying the start by refusing to load into the gate, Flaxman Holdings homebred Six Perfections more than made up for it by storming to the front around the far turn and rolling to victory in the NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT).
Claiborne Farm's Stroll solidified his status as one of the top 3-year-old turf specialists with an emphatic 3 3/4-length victory in the $200,000 Calder Derby (gr. IIIT) on Saturday at the Miami racetrack.
Even money choice Chatter Chatter, with Hall of Fame reinsman Jerry Bailey aboard, cruised to a 19 ½-length victory in the $400,000 My Dear Girl Division of the Florida Stallion Stakes on Saturday at Calder Race Course.
Bobby Frankel and Jerry Bailey each established new North American single season records over the weekend and are on track to set other marks before the racing year is over, according to Equibase Company, the Thoroughbred industry's official database for racing information.
Juddmonte Farm's' Sightseek romped to her fourth consecutive grade I victory in Saturday's $750,000 Beldame for fillies and mares at Belmont Park, setting the stage for a possible showdown with Azeri in the Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) on Oct. 25 at Santa Anita.
Marylou Whitney Stable's improving Birdstone put away favored Chapel Royal in the final furlong to comfortably capture the $500,000 Champagne (gr. I) for 2-year-olds at Belmont Park Saturday.
Joseph Higgins' Dimitrova, ridden by Jerry Bailey, edged in front in deep stretch and drove to a one-length victory in the $750,000 Flower Bowl Invitational (gr. IT) over the German entry Walzerkoenigin Saturday at Belmont Park.
Claiborne Farm's favored Stroll won his fourth straight in Sunday's $200,000 Jamaica Handicap (gr. IIT) for 3-year-olds at Belmont Park when jockey Jerry Bailey squeezed through a small opening on the hedge to defeat Kicken Kris and Joe Bear.
Although he has a first call to ride Godolphin's Moon Ballad in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) Sept. 27, Jerry Bailey will be aboard Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Empire Maker if the colt turns in a another good work this weekend.
The knock on Cuvee is that he has a sprint pedigree, but so far, the longer the distance for the standout chestnut colt, the bigger his margin of victory. The Verne Winchell-bred Carson City colt drew off to win Sunday's $200,000 Belmont Futurity (gr.I) for 2-year-olds by 8 1/4 lengths.
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