In stature Vicar's in Trouble will be one of the smallest starters in this year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I), but he will carry big hopes for not just his connections but the state of Louisiana as well.
PORTER ON PEDIGREES
Lecomte Stakes winner Vicar's in Trouble is keeping the spotlight on his sire Into Mischief.
Grade II winner My Pal Charlie was represented by his first winner when My Charlie Ray was awarded the victory in the first race July 25 at Evangeline Downs.
The first foal by grade II winner My Pal Charlie is a colt born Jan. 11 at Elite Thoroughbreds near Folsom, La.
PORTER ON PEDIGREES, by Alan Porter
Top 2-year-old colt Uncle Mo has to share some of the juvenile spotlight as newcomer Comma to the Top makes 2010 a bright year for the Indian Charlie sire line.
My Pal Charlie, who won the 2008 Super Derby (gr. II) and placed in five other graded stakes, has been retired and will stand in 2010 at Michele Rodriguez and Lee Daniel Thomas' Elite Thoroughbreds near Folsom, La.
Rachel Alexandra's attempt against older males has given the Woodward (gr. I) all the headlines, but Saratoga's other grade I race on Sept. 5--the $300,000 Forego Stakes--is no slouch. The seven-furlong sprint drew a solid field of a 12, including the morning-line favorite, Kodiak Kowboy.
The steady veteran Jonesboro angled off the rail for the drive, wore down pacesetting Shadowbdancing in deep stretch to win the $300,000 Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Handicap (gr. II) June 27 in Iowa.
Winless in six starts since capturing last fall's Super Derby (gr. II), My Pal Charlie is the 120-pound high weight for the $300,000 Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Handicap (gr. II) on June 27.
Marc Keller's 6-year-old gelding Bribon came five-wide into the lane and outran a trio of rivals to take the $600,000 Shadwell Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) by a half-length over Smooth Air May 25 at Belmont Park.
Ken and Sarah Ramsey's Accredit cruised through the slop May 2 to win the seven-furlong Churchill Downs Handicap (gr. II), the first stakes race on the Kentucky Derby undercard.
Carter Handicap (gr. I) victor Kodiak Kowboy heads the field for trainer Larry Jones in the $250,000 Churchill Downs Stakes (gr. II) on the main track May 2.
Five-year-old Eternal Star took advantage of a perfect stalking trip to bag his first graded stakes victory in the $250,000 Commonwealth Stakes (gr. II) April 11 on the Keeneland Polytrack.
Rebellion will attempt to become the first since Black Tie Affair in 1990-91 to win repeat renewals of the Commonwealth Stakes (gr. II) when he faces seven rivals April 11 in the $250,000 sprint at Keeneland.
Fox Hill Farms' Honest Man, winner of the grade III Mineshaft Handicap in his last start, is the 121-pound highweight and 3-1 morning-line favorite for the $500,000, grade II New Orleans Handicap, which is contested at 1 1/8 miles on the dirt as part of the March 14 Louisiana Derby card at Fair Grounds.
Fox Hill Farms' Honest Man stayed close to a slow pace, passed My Pal Charlie in upper stretch, and easily pulled away for a 4 1/4-length score in the $125,000 Mineshaft Handicap (gr. III), the first of four graded stakes at Fair Grounds Feb. 7.
A collection of familiar faces to Fair Grounds Race Course and Slots will line up Feb. 7 in the Mineshaft Handicap (gr. III), which is part of the six-stakes "Louisiana Derby Preview Day" card scheduled for the New Orleans-area track.
Goodwood Stakes (gr. I) winner Well Armed, trained by Eoin Harty for WinStar Farms, was installed the 3-1 morning-line favorite for the TVG Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile, which will be run over the Pro-Ride artificial surface on the main World Championship card Oct. 25.
Bucking the national trend, Louisiana Downs posted gains at the close of the 2008 meet. According to a release from the track, the race meet posted increases in handle of 6% on-track, 2% off-track and 2.5% overall.
This year the Breeders' Cup World Championships has expanded to 14 races. Trainer Eoin Harty was hoping for a 15th event, for swimming, not running.
Local hope My Pal Charlie put it all together in the $515,000 Super Derby (gr. II) with his first stakes victory for owner B. Wayne Hughes and trainer Albert Stall Jr. Sept. 20 at Louisiana Downs in Bossier City.
This week, Jason and Tom take on the Super Derby. Plus, selections from from Cary Fotias of Equiform for the Super Derby, the Fitz Cotillion and Arlington Park Race 3, Sept. 20.
Though he's lightly raced and has yet to run farther than seven furlongs, Forest Command figures to draw much of the attention in the $500,000 Super Derby (gr. II) at Louisiana Downs Sept. 20.
Pyro's form of old returned June 14 at Churchill Downs as the son of Pulpit powered to a 1 3/4-length win over five fellow 3-year-olds in the Northern Dancer Stakes (gr. III). The Steve Asmussen-trained colt covered the 1 1/16 miles of the $190,925 race in 1:43.53.
The last time Winchell Thoroughbreds' Pyro raced at Churchill Downs, he finished a disappointing eighth, 15 lengths behind Big Brown, in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). In the June 14 Northern Dancer Stakes (gr. III), trainer Steve Asmussen looks for a much-improved effort.
El Gato Malo, fifth as the favorite in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) last time out, takes on a dozen 3-year-old rivals in the $400,000 Lone Star Derby (gr. III) May 10 at the Grand Prairie, Texas, racetrack.
Last year, Steve Asmussen and Robby Albarado teamed up with eventual Horse of the Year Curlin to clobber eight other contenders in the $1 million Arkansas Derby (gr. I). On April 12 at Oaklawn Park the trainer/jockey duo will collaborate again with Zayat Stables' Z Fortune, but this time their starter has a lot to prove.
Denis of Cork, Blackberry Road, and My Pal Charlie worked at Churchill Downs March 30 as they prepared for final starts before the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
On Saturday, in one corner of the country, the mighty Pyro once again crushed his foes, winning the Louisiana Derby (gr. II) in grand style. On the same day, in the opposite corner of the country, a humbly-bred colt who sold for meager $1,000 as a yearling, Autism Awareness, mowed down his field to win the El Camino Real Derby (gr. III).
The doubters said that Pyro's last-to-first victory in the Risen Star (gr. III) was not as good as it looked. There won't be much for the skeptics to say after the Pulpit colt's latest performance, a commanding three-length score in the $600,000 Louisiana Derby (gr. II) March 8 at Fair Grounds, a victory that cemented the Steve Asmussen trainee as one of the top two 3-year-olds in the country.
With less than two months until the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), it is time that some of the highly-touted 3-year-olds begin to answer our questions. Many of those answers will be provided March 8 at Fair Grounds, when nine top challengers will do battle in the $600,000 Louisiana Derby (gr. II).
Winchell Thoroughbreds' Pyro, who stamped himself as a leading Triple Crown contender after his win in last month's Risen Star Stakes (gr. III), is the 7-5 morning-line choice in a field of nine 3-year-olds entered in the March 8 Louisiana Derby (gr. II) at Fair Grounds.
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