The $750,000 Acorn Stakes (gr. I), for 3-year-old fillies at a mile, drew a well-heeled bunch that includes three unbeaten fillies.
Promise Me Silver put away 7-5 favorite Unbridled Reward down the stretch to win the $108,300 Debutante Stakes and became the second Texas-bred filly in a row to win the race for trainer Bret Calhoun June 21 at Churchill.
Stakes winner Silver City was represented by his first winner as a stallion when his 2-year-old daughter Promise Me Silver won the third race at Lone Star Park in her career debut May 11.
Valor Farm has the first foal by its stallion Silver City. The filly out of the Dixieland Band mare Delta Band.
Silver City, a stakes-winning son of Unbridled's Song, and Clarence Scharbauer Jr.'s stakes-producing homebred Jet Phone, will enter stud at Scharbauer Jr.'s Valor Farm near Pilot Point, Texas for the 2011 season.
Heiligbrodt Racing Stable, Team Valor, and partners' Hull became a graded stakes winner and stayed undefeated in three starts when he took over at the top of the lane and pulled away for a convincing four-length victory in the $112,00 Derby Trial (gr. III) on opening day at Churchill Downs April 25.
Although the 2008 Derby Trial included four graded stakes winners and this year's field is without any, the historic dirt sprint is loaded with promising, but unproven 3-year-old colts that will likely be heard from as the season wears on.
Win Willy, a 56-1 shot, handed Old Fashioned the first loss of his career when he outfought the heavy favorite in the final eighth of a mile to win the $300,000 Rebel Stakes (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park March 14.
Triple Crown Talk blog, with host Jason Shandler, looks at the Rebel, the Tampa Bay Derby, and the San Felipe. Don't forget to join Jason and professional handicapper "TopTurfTeddy", for a live blog from noon-1 p.m. EDT on Saturday, March 14.
Already regarded by many as the best 3-year-olds in the land, Fox Hills Farms' Old Fashioned will look to solidify himself as the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) favorite when he takes on eight rivals in the $300,000 Rebel Stakes (gr. II) March 14 at Oaklawn Park.
He had to work a little harder than the typical 2-5 shot has to, but Old Fashioned pulled clear late and came out on top in his 2009 debut Feb. 16 with a 3 1/4-length victory over a stubborn Silver City in the $250,000 Southwest Stakes (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park.
Unbeaten Old Fashioned, at the top of many early prognostications for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), makes his 2009 debut in the $250,000 Southwest Stakes (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park Feb. 16.
So, 23 "elite" 3-year-olds have been chosen to make up the first Kentucky Derby Future Wager field. Well, several of those who didn't make the cut are up in arms over the selections and are offering a challenge to the so-called leading Derby contenders.
High-profile Kentucky Derby (gr. I) hopefuls Old Fashioned, Silver City, and Flat Out are all likely for the Feb. 16 Southwest (gr. III) at Oaklawn, and now it seems there's a new contender coming from Southern California by the name of Square Eddie.
Before we get to this past week's races, including Monday's Smarty Jones Stakes, there is a pedigree pattern developing this year that you don't normally see to this degree.
Triple Crown Talk blog, with host Jason Shandler, looks at recent works for some Derby Hopefuls.
Clarence Scharbauer Jr.'s highly-regarded juvenile Indygo Mountain, scratched during the post parade of an allowance event for 2-year-olds at Fair Grounds Dec. 18, was standing comfortably in his stall the following morning while trainer Bret Calhoun updated his colt's status.
Bret Calhoun became the first trainer this season to saddle four winners on a single Fair Grounds program Nov. 30, but that achievement pales in comparison to what the Texas-born conditioner is hoping to accomplish before the local season ends March 29, 2009.
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