Monarchos

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Oxley Extends Research Pledge Through Preakness and Belmont

John Oxley, the owner of Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) favorite Monarchos, announced today that he has extended his pledge of one per cent of purse earnings to the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation if his three-year-old colt wins Saturday's Preakness Stakes and/or the Belmont Stakes June 9. The total purses for the Preakness and Belmont Stakes are each $1,000,000.

Steve Haskin's Preakness Report: The Action Heats Up

The Derby winner, the speed, and the new arrivals dominated the Preakness scene at Old Hilltop this morning. Richly Blended, the last of the Preakness workers hit the track at 8:30 for an easy half-mile breeze, which was followed by another awesome gallop by Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos. At 10:30, two vans arrived on the backstretch, carrying Bob Baffert's pair of Point Given and Congaree, and Dollar Bill. A fourth Preakness starter, Mr. John, was dropped off at Mary Eppler's barn across the track on the backside. Finally, all the pieces are in place, leading up to tonight's post position draw.

Monarchos Rules, Even on Ebay

As of May 16, 30 different Monarchos-related items were offered on the popular auction site ebay. Some of them, such as Belmont Stakes programs and $2 Belmont win tickets on the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner, don't even exist yet.

Steve Haskin's Preakness Report: Bridgmohan on Griffinite

It was one of those bits and pieces kind of day on the Preakness front. With the leading contenders only walking the shed this morning, at Pimlico and Churchill Downs, most of the focus was on the two open riding assignments. As of 1 p.m., one (Griffinite) has been filled, and the other (A P Valentine) was due to be announced later this afternoon. Jennifer Leigh-Pedersen, trainer of Paraneck Stable's Griffinite, said earlier that New York-based Shaun Bridgmohan will be aboard the son of Unbridled's Song for the second leg of the Triple Crown.

Steve Haskin's Preakness Report: Baffert, Zito Hit the Work Tab

Enjoy today's action while you can. There won't be much more happening from a training standpoint from now on, as trainers will spend the remainder of the week using words like "maintain" and "preparation." With Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos sticking to a galloping program, today's works by Point Given and Congaree at Churchill Downs and A P Valentine at Pimlico were to be very revealing, as an indicator how these horses bounced out of the Derby.

Preakness Hopefuls On Track at Pimlico, Churchill Downs

Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos galloped at Pimlico Racecourse Monday morning as he continues preparations for Saturday's Preakness Stakes, second leg of the Triple Crown. Also at Pimlico Monday, A P Valentine worked five furlongs. At Churchill Downs, trainer Bob Baffert worked his two Preakness candidates, Point Given and Congaree, and Dallas Stewart reported Dollar Bill is on track after his workout.

Still No Rider For A P Valentine

Nick Zito, trainer of A P Valentine, likely will have to do some last-minute recruiting for a jockey, after it was announced Friday that Dollar Bill will point for the Preakness Stakes, and regular rider Pat Day will be aboard. Zito thought he had secured Day's services, but when Dollar Bill popped into the picture, Day popped out of the picture for A P Valentine.

Distilled Injured in Gallop; Out of Preakness

Dogwood Stable's Distilled, winner of the Illinois Derby, will not run in the 126th Preakness Stakes after suffering a small tear in the suspensory ligament in his left front ankle while galloping at Belmont Park Friday morning. In other news, Monarchos' stablemate Hero's Tribute, who was pointing for the Sir Barton Stakes on the Preakness undercard, popped a quarter crack during a jog at Pimlico this morning, and will now wait for the Peter Pan Stakes.

Derby Winner Monarchos Arrives at Pimlico for Preakness

John Oxley's Kentucky Derby hero Monarchos arrived at Pimlico Race Course Wednesday with plans to gallop under regular exercise rider Bryan Beccia Thursday. Trained by John Ward, Jr., Monarchos was accompanied on the flight by 3-year-old stablemate Hero's Tribute and a maiden, as well as the stable pony, and arrived under the supervision of assistant trainer Yvonne Azeff. Ward is due in Baltimore Saturday.

Haskin's Derby Story: Strong Dose of Monarchos

A stoic John T. Ward Jr. stood alone on the Churchill Downs grass course, watching Monarchos return from his magnificent triumph in the 127th running of the Kentucky Derby (gr. I). The third-generation Kentucky horseman was a stark contrast to the emotions that poured freely around him. Assistant trainer Yvonne Azeff, who dreamed of winning the Derby when she was 10 years old, was overcome with tears as she hugged her mother and exercise rider Bryan Beccia. When lifelong dreams come true, the only words the mind can muster are, "Oh my God!" It was as if a part of Azeff would not let her believe this was really happening.

Derby Winning Owners Strike Mother Lode

They don't call the major producers "gushers" at Oxley Petroleum. In the natural-gas exploration business, they're known as "high-flowing wells," exploding like the stride of John C. Oxley's Monarchos as he gobbled up the hallowed ground of the Churchill Downs stretch the first Saturday in May.

Murray Smith Hits Home Run With Monarchos

Florida pinhooker Murray Smith was looking for a quick profit when she bought Monarchos privately as a yearling for $100,000 in the spring of 1999. But the big payoff didn't come until two years later, when the gray colt charged down the Churchill Downs stretch to win the Kentucky Derby.

Buying Culled Mare Pays Off For Breeder Squires

No one likes to use the word "cull" when talking about broodmares. But everyone does it. In fact, if you don't, you never improve your stock. When he "retired" to Kentucky and decided to become a horse breeder 10 years ago, Jim Squires went out looking for "culled mares." They weren't hard to find. But who would have thought they included the dam of a future Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner?

Derby Dreams

By Ray Paulick -- John and Donna Ward's stable is thriving, in large part because of a team approach to their operation.

Monarchos Races For Charity

Monarchos' victory in the May 5 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) will provide the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation with a donation of $8,120 from owners John and Debby Oxley, and another $8,120 from the syndicate that owns the colt's sire, Maria's Mon.

Trainer Ward on Derby Win: Faith in Horse Justified

After checking on the horses at his Keeneland-based stable near Lexington, Ky. trainer John Ward arrived at Churchill Downs Sunday morning to reflect on the significance of winning his first Kentuckky Derby with Monarchos on Saturday. "As far as having any euphoria about winning the race, I was happy that we won the race and everything...I guess the feeling is it is a reinforcement that everything you believe isn't just a myth," Ward said.

Monarchos Wins Kentucky Derby!

Monarchos exploded to the lead as the field straightened for home and won the 127th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs Saturday. The track had been playing fast all day and it did again in the Derby, Monarchos recording the second fastest winning time in Derby history. He covered the 1 1/4-miles in 1:59.97. Secretariat ran 1:59 2/5 (before timing in hundredths) in 1973.

Steve Haskin's Derby Report: Major Derby Works Conclude

Another bright, mild morning saw the final flurry of Kentucky Derby works, as Millennium Wind, Fifty Stars, Jamaican Rum, and Keats all made the work tab. Now comes the task of sorting all through all the works we've seen over the past 10 days and trying to narrow down the three or four standout moves. We'll discuss these moves in Friday's Derby Report, along with the horses who have been the most impressive in their gallops and the ones who are flourishing physically and look to be sitting on a big effort. We'll combine all that with some logic, history, and speed figures, and narrow down the field to the three or four we feel will be peaking on Derby Day.

Steve Haskin's Derby Report: Monarchos Takes the Spotlight

Sorry, but we've got yet another terrific work to confuse you with. But even with all the top works we've seen this week, we'd have to give this morning's drill by Monarchos the highest marks. There was a great deal of confusion as to what time he actually worked, as the clockers somehow only caught the final three-eighths of his five-furlong work.

Steve Haskin's Derby Report: The Action Heats Up

Welcome to Churchill Downs. Many of the names and faces change each year, but the same charge of electricity still ripples through the backstretch. Bob Baffert has two shotgun cartridges aimed right at the Twin Spires, while Nick Zito is back after a one-year absence, and for the first time since Genuine Risk captured the roses in 1980, D. Wayne Lukas will be a spectator.

Steve Haskin's Derby Dozen; Point Given Still on Top

Steve Haskin, the award-winning turf writer and senior correspondent for The Blood-Horse, updates his top Kentucky Derby contenders weekly. During his 29 years with the Daily Racing Form, Haskin became known for his insightful coverage of the Triple Crown races. Haskin won the Red Smith Award for Kentucky Derby writing in 1997, 1999, and 2000.and received the David Woods Award for best Preakness story in 1997. In 1999, he co-authored "Baffert: Dirt Road to the Derby" with trainer Bob Baffert and wrote the book, "Dr. Fager" for Eclipse Press' "Thoroughbred Legends" series in 2000.

Congaree Continues to Fight, From Birth to the Wood

Go ahead, tell Congaree he doesn't have the experience or seasoning to win the Kentucky Derby (gr. I). He'll laugh in your face, just as he did to those who questioned his ability to defeat the mighty Monarchos in the April 17 Wood Memorial (gr. II) off only three career starts. We're talking about a colt who literally was born a fighter, and who has been defying the odds ever since. When you have to fight to get born, there isn't a challenge life has to offer that you back away from. To Congaree, the $750,000 Wood was just another race at just another track against just another horse. And the result was just another of his resounding victories.

Monarchos Wood Favorite

John C. Oxley's Monarchos will break from post two as the 4-5 favorite for the Wood Memorial (gr. II), to be contested April 14 over 1 1/8 miles at Aqueduct.

Monarchos Tops Field of Six in Wood Memorial

A field of six was entered for Saturday's $750,000 Wood Memorial, with the 4-5 morning line favorite Monarchos drawing post 2. California invader Congaree, listed at 8-5, will break from post 5. Richly Blended, wire-to-wire winner of the Gotham Stakes, drew post 6, and is expected once again to set the pace under jockey Rick Wilson. The remainder of the field is made up of It's So Simple, from the Nick Zito stable; Voodoo, third in the Gotham; and Paging, third in the Tampa Bay Derby.

Stallion Owners Get Involved in Race-For-Charity Pledge

The partnership that owns the stallion Maria's Mon has pledged contributions to equine research should Monarchos, who's by Maria's Mon, win Saturday's grade I Wood Memorial Stakes and/or the grade I Kentucky Derby May 5. The pledge was announced by Mrs. Josephine Abercrombie's Pin Oak Stud, home of Maria's Mon, the champion 2-year-old of 1995.

Trainers Gearing Up For Big Stakes; Godolphin Pair Arrives at Churchill

Top trainers from New York to Kentucky to Arkansas are gearing up for this weekend's three big Kentucky Derby preps, after which we should have a good idea who will provide the main challenges to Santa Anita Derby winner Point Given. On the foreign front, the two Godolphin invaders, Street Cry and Express Tour, arrived safe and sound at Churchill Downs today at approximately 1 p.m. after clearing quarantine at Keeneland.

Injury KO's Ommadon from Wood Memorial; Congaree Sharp in Work

Ommadon, winner of his only start this year, will not run in Saturday's $750,000 Wood Memorial after suffering a bruised foot last Monday. The son of Grindstone, winner of last fall's Nashua Stakes, will now be pointed for the $200,000 Federico Tesio Stakes on Apr. 21, which could be used as a prep for the Preakness Stakes.

Steve Haskin's Derby Top 20: Point Given Moves to Head of the Class

Steve Haskin, the award-winning turf writer and senior correspondent for The Blood-Horse, updates his top Kentucky Derby contenders weekly. During his 29 years with the Daily Racing Form, Haskin became known for his insightful coverage of the Triple Crown races. Haskin won the Red Smith Award for Kentucky Derby writing in 1997, 1999, and 2000.and received the David Woods Award for best Preakness story in 1997. In 1999, he co-authored "Baffert: Dirt Road to the Derby" with trainer Bob Baffert and wrote the book, "Dr. Fager" for Eclipse Press' "Thoroughbred Legends" series in 2000.

Point Given 2-1 Favorite as Derby Future Wager Closes

Impressed with his winning performance in Saturday's Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), bettors poured money on Point Given in pool three of Churchill Downs' Kentucky Derby Future Wager, with the son of Thunder Gulch the 2-1 favorite as the bet closed at 4:30 p.m. (EDT) Sunday. Florida Derby (gr. I) winner Monarchos was the 6-1 second choice, with both Dollar Bill and A P Valentine at 10-1.

Ward-Trained Pair, Dollar Bill Work at Churchill Downs

Three major contenders for Kentucky Derby 127 - John C. Oxley's Monarchos and Hero's Tribute and Mary and Gary West's Dollar Bill - turned in strong five furlong works at Churchill Downs Sunday as the colts prepared for their final prep races for the "Run for the Roses" at the Louisville track on May 5. All three horses breezed five furlongs over a "fast" surface on a warm, breezy morning just after the regular break for track maintenance.

Oxley's Triple Crown Contenders to Race for Equine Research

John C. Oxley, who with wife Debby has a pair of Triple Crown candidates in Florida Derby (gr. I) winner Monarchos and graded stakes-placed Hero's Tribute, announced that 1% of money either colt wins through victories in grade I races through the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) will be earmarked for the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation. The donations are retroactive to the Florida Derby, in which Monarchos earned $600,000 (which provided $6,000 to the foundation).

Haskin's Derby Top 20 (April 2): A P Valentine Still on Top

Steve Haskin, the award-winning turf writer and senior correspondent for The Blood-Horse, updates his top Kentucky Derby contenders weekly. During his 29 years with the Daily Racing Form, Haskin became known for his insightful coverage of the Triple Crown races. Haskin won the Red Smith Award for Kentucky Derby writing in 1997, 1999, and 2000.and received the David Woods Award for best Preakness story in 1997. In 1999, he co-authored "Baffert: Dirt Road to the Derby" with trainer Bob Baffert and wrote the book, "Dr. Fager" for Eclipse Press' "Thoroughbred Legends" series in 2000.

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