One of the great uncertainties in evaluating the prospects of this year's Kentucky Derby contenders is weighing all-weather form. And it has been brought into particularly sharp focus by the efforts of two horses that have run behind the West Coast's dominant 3-year-old, Pioneerof the Nile.
This week's And They're Off is all about the Kentucky Derby, including the prospects of the California horses, the depth of the field, musical jockeys, graded earnings, and last but not least, the winners of the Kentucky Derby Contest.
We're getting close to judgment day -- finding that single horse or betting angle or most attractive overlay possibilities. Until the horses can be observed in the flesh starting next week, here are some of the most memorable moments on this year's Derby trail in one person's opinion that will help in finding potential overlays.
Bo Hirsch's homebred Papa Clem, winner of the $1 million Arkansas Derby (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park April 11, arrived at Churchill Downs April 14 to continue his preparation for the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
David Lanzman and IEAH Stables' I Want Revenge, the possible favorite for the 135th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), turned in his first serious training move since his arrival at Churchill Downs when he worked an easy half-mile over a muddy track on April 14.
Like all quarters, General Quarters is a two-sided coin. So far, it's only come up heads, with the face of Tom McCarthy and his Cinderella story receiving all the press. But a flip of the coin to the tails side will reveal the faded and forgotten face of Mark Miller.
Southern California shipper Papa Clem outfought even-money choice Old Fashioned in a thrilling stretch duel at Oaklawn Park to win the $1 million Arkansas Derby (gr. II) by a half-length April 11.
Triple Crown Talk blog, with host Jason Shandler, analyzes the Blue Grass and the Arkansas Derby. Plus, join Jason for a live chat at noon Eastern on April 11.
Jason, Evan, and the Wizard analyze the Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) and the Arkansas Derby (gr. II). Watch Video
With a more favorable pace scenario than the one he got in last month's Rebel Stakes (gr. II), trainer Larry Jones is confident that his colt Old Fashioned will prove his ability in the $1-million Arkansas Derby (gr. II).
Vinery Stables and Fox Hill Farm's Friesan Fire swept the Louisiana 3-year-old series and made a bold statement for the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) when overwhelming eight rivals to win the $600,000 Louisiana Derby (gr. II) by 7 1/4 lengths March 14 at Fair Grounds.
Triple Crown Talk blog, with host Jason Shandler, analyzes the Louisiana Derby.
In this episode, Lenny and Steve discuss the upcoming Derby preps, including the Louisiana Derby, the San Felipe, and the Rebel, Bob Baffert's Hall of Fame quest, and Helen Pitts and Einstein. Plus, win a Backside Tour Derby Week, with the Derby Contest!
Winner of the Jan. 10 LeComte (gr. III) and Feb. 7 Risen Star (gr. III), Friesan Fire will try to sweep the Louisiana series for 3-year-olds and stamp himself as one of the top Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) contenders in the nation. The son of A.P. Indy--Bollinger was installed as the 5-2 morning-line favorite.
Friesan Fire, winner of the LeComte (gr. III) and Risen Star (gr. III), has been installed the 5-2 morning line choice in the 10-horse field that will contest the March 14, $600,000 Louisiana Derby (gr. II) at Fair Grounds.
Triple Crown contender Pioneerof the Nile, overcoming traffic problems on the final turn, charged from the back of the pack to win the $200,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes (gr. II) in the final strides over 17-1 shot Papa Clem at Santa Anita Feb. 7.
We have an interesting assortment of 3-year-old stakes this weekend, even though the Whirlaway and WEBN Stakes came up pretty thin. Will the Derby winner be in the Robert Lewis (gr. III) or Risen Star (gr. III)? We could have a much better idea once certain questions are answered.
Triple Crown Talk blog, with host Jason Shandler, looks at the San Rafael Stakes, as the Derby Trail moves to Santa Anita.
Jason and Tom analyze the San Rafael Stakes (gr. III) at Santa Anita on January 17. The Wizard's Spotlight Play is Fair Grounds Race 10 on Saturday, January 17.
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