After earlier saying he was not considering a change in jockey for Kafwain, his prime 3-year-old Kentucky Derby candidate, trainer Bob Baffert said he has offered the mount to Patrick Valenzuela, who was aboard the colt for a five-furlong work on Wednesday.
Atswhatimtalknbout lost the battle but could win the war. "Hopefully, that's the way it is," trainer Ron Ellis said Wednesday morning of the likely Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) favorite.
Trainer Bob Hess Jr. said Kent Desormeaux will ride undefeated El Camino Real Derby (gr. III) winner Ocean Terrace in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) on April 5.
Trainer Bob Baffert Wednesday said published reports saying he would replace jockey Victor Espinoza on Kentucky Derby (gr. I) contender Kafwain are incorrect.
Perhaps influenced by his patient father, Richard, Gary Mandella is not caught up in Derby fever with a promising 3-year-old colt named Man Among Men, who went from turf to dirt in upsetting 2-5 favorite Empire Maker in Santa Anita's Sham Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on Feb. 7.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) on Thursday unveiled an expanded, nine-show "CITGO Racing to the Kentucky Derby" series for 2003, airing on the ESPN networks and providing comprehensive coverage of key VISA Triple Crown prep races.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association has unveiled an expanded, nine-show "CITGO Racing to the Kentucky Derby" series for 2003.
Came Home's first-year stud fee will be $40,000. The son of Gone West, a multiple grade I winner and millionaire, will stand his first season at William S. Farish's Lane's End Farm near Versailles, Ky.
Tomorrow's NAPA Auto Parts Breeders' Cup Sprint will be trainer Howard Zucker's first Breeders' Cup contest, but it certainly isn't the first time he has been closely involved with world-class athletes.
The Thoroughbred Corp.'s grade I winner Officer, gearing up for a start in Saturday's Lexington Stakes (gr. II) at Keeneland, worked a half-mile in an impressive :47 4/5, breezing, over a fast track at Santa Anita Monday.
Gary Stevens discusses his nightmare trip aboard Easy Grades in the Santa Anita Derby, in which a faulty bridle caused him to have little control of the horse.
Her voice was starting to break. Her eyes were beginning to well up. And the admiration was undeniable. Trudy McCaffery, suffused with the glow of Came Home's brave victory in the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), stood in the track's posh Director's Room on April 6, extolling the countless virtues of the man who made it all happen.
Trainer Paco Gonzalez hopes to set the stage for his own daily double Saturday at Santa Anita Park. He'll start by winning the $200,000 San Bernardino Handicap (gr. II) with Bosque Redondo, then two races later cap off his day by taking the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) with probable favorite Came Home.
A contentious field of eight sophomores will line up and face the starter in Saturday's $750,000 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), for which Came Home was installed as the 6-5 morning-line favorite.
We are well aware that the term 3-year-old analysis this year is an oxymoron. Maybe 3-year-old guesses would be more suitable a title. But the trouper that we are, we will attempt to link the word analysis with 3-year-old and try to make some kind of sense of this weekend's stakes, which actually look crystal clear compared to what is in store for us the following weekend.
"Citgo Racing to the Kentucky Derby," the NTRA-produced series on the ESPN networks, will air a live doubleheader Saturday consisting of the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) and the Illinois Derby (gr. II). The show will air Saturday from 5-6 p.m. (EST) on ESPN.
Michael Tabor's Gotham Stakes (gr. III) winner Mayakovsky, set to start in Saturday's Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), worked a half-mile in :48 1/5, breezing, over a fast Santa Anita main track Tuesday morning immediately after the renovation break.
San Rafael Stakes winner Came Home, scheduled to compete April 6 in the grade I Santa Anita Derby, worked a half-mile in :48.20 the morning of April 2 in preparation for the race, co-owner John Toffan said. Meanwhile, Louisiana Derby winner Repent is galloping up to the grade II Illinois Derby to be held the same afternoon.
Santa Anita will offer a special "Derby Double" wager Saturday, with the two legs of the wager comprised of the Illinois and Santa Anita Derbys.
Gotham Stakes (gr. III) winner Maykovsky is definite for the April 6 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), trainer Patrick Biancone said Saturday, but Royal Gem has been declared from the race due to a quarter crack.
The fields for the major Kentucky Derby preps continue to take shape, leaving the connections of several horses searching for new jockeys for their charges.
Came Home, winner of the San Vicente and San Rafael Stakes this year, worked a sharp six furlongs in 1:13 2/5 in preparation for the April 6 Santa Anita Derby.
Michael Tabor's Gotham Stakes (gr. III) winner Mayakovsky drilled five furlongs in :58 3/5 at Santa Anita Wednesday and is now under consideration for the Santa Anita Derby. Trainer Bobby Frankel may run turf stakes winner Royal Gem in the 1 1/8-mile Kentucky Derby prep.
If any horse deserves smooth sailing on the Derby trail from here on it's Came Home, who was back on the track Tuesday for a mile and a half gallop.
San Rafael Stakes (gr. II) winner Came Home's precautionary nuclear scan came back clean and the 3-year-old son of Gone West resumed training Saturday morning.
$4.4 million yearling purchase Shah Jehan worked six furlongs Saturday in preparation for the $250,000 March 17 San Felipe Stakes (gr. II). Meanwhile, Fonz's is being prepared for a start in the April 6 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I).
The $1-million Santa Anita Handicap, to be run March 2, will be the richest of the 61 stakes races offered during the 2001-02 Santa Anita Winter/Spring Meeting that begins Wednesday, Dec. 26. The 85-day meeting, which concludes April 21, features 43 graded races and total stakes purses of over $11-million.
It's rare to see perfection in a young colt prepping for the Kentucky Derby, but that's just about what we saw from Point Given in the Santa Anita Derby. Frankly, we can't think of anything left for this colt to prove. Taking every factor into consideration, other than soundness, we've got a horse who has the right trainer; the right jockey; the right pedigree; is a dual qualifier; is not only bigger and stronger than his opponents, but is also quicker and faster; can come from the clouds, lay in mid-pack, or stalk the leaders; can handle dry and wet tracks; and has already shown he likes Churchill Downs.
The Thoroughbred Corp.'s homebred Point Given tracked pacesetter Crafty C.T. through the early going, went by the leader approaching the second turn, and pulled clear in the stretch to an impressive 5 1/2-length victory in Saturday's $750,000 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I). On a track listed as muddy, Point Given completed the 1 1/8 miles in 1:47.77 under jockey Gary Stevens.
The Thoroughbred Corp.'s Point Given, winter-book favorite for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), drew the rail for Saturday's Santa Anita Derby (gr. I). He has been installed the even-money morning line choice for the $750,000 1 1/8 mile race that drew a field of eight 3-year-olds.
Hall of Fame rider Gary Stevens has dropped Corey Black as his agent and hired Bob Meldahl to handle his book. The change took place Monday afternoon.
Turf Paradise Derby winner Startac, two-time grade II stakes runner-up Palmeiro, and San Felipe Stakes (gr. II) runner-up I Love Silver each worked at Santa Anita Sunday morning. All three are listed by the track as probable for Saturday's Santa Anita Derby (gr. I).
Crafty C.T. and Early Flyer, possible entrants for the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) on April seventh, put in works over the main track at Santa Anita on Saturday.
Early Flyer, winner of the grade II San Vicente Stakes, will be entered for the Santa Anita Derby Apr. 7, trainer Ron McAnally said Thursday. The son of Gilded Time had been a possibility for the Arkansas Derby the following week, but it was decided to stay home.
Point Given, who is expected to go off as the heavy favorite in the Apr. 7 Santa Anita Derby, breezed a sharp half in :47 1/5 at Santa Anita Tuesday. The son of Thunder Gulch captured the San Felipe Stakes in his only start this year.
The road to Louisville right now is like something out of "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World," where everyone is scurrying frantically about in different directions trying to get to a single destination. Many trainers are still confused as to where to send their steeds, whether they're trying to avoid the big guns, like Monarchos and Point Given, or looking for the best possible spot for their horse. Derby winners usually have set plans and stick to it, so it's almost time for those trainers who are still vacillating to make up their minds.
The re-entry of Magna Entertainment's seven racetracks into the National Thoroughbred Racing Association is expected to have an immediate impact on the NTRA's winter television schedule on ESPN and ESPN2, beginning with its first telecast on Feb. 3. That telecast will feature the Donn Handicap (gr. I) from Gulfstream Park and the Strub Stakes (gr. II) and San Vicente Stakes (gr. II) from Santa Anita. Both tracks are owned by Magna, whose chairman, Frank Stronach, announced on Jan. 17 in a joint statement with the NTRA that he has made a two-year commitment to rejoin the organization.
The Santa Anita Derby, the richest Kentucky Derby prep race this year when it was worth $1-million, will revert to its former purse level of $750,000 when it is renewed April7, 2001. The 25% purse cut for the 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-olds was among the changes in the Santa Anita stakes schedule released Friday.
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