He's the last chance for Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas to participate in the 2001 Kentucky Derby, but his trainer says Turnberry Isle will have to earn his way into the starting gate on the first Saturday in May at Churchill Downs. Michael Tabor and Mrs. John Magnier's Irish-bred son of Deputy Minister is scheduled to run in Saturday's $325,000 Coolmore Lexington (gr. II) at Keeneland and Lukas said Monday that a good performance by the colt in that 1 1/16-mile race could put him in the Kentucky Derby. If so, that would keep Lukas' record streak of Derby participation alive. The four-time Kentucky Derby winner has started at least one horse in every Derby since 1981.
Ol Memorial Stable and Michael Tabor's A P Valentine closed from eight lengths back after a half-mile run in :45.79 to earn a 3 3/4-length win in an optional claiming race for 3-year-olds and upwards Saturday at Hialeah Park. Ridden by Eibar Coa, the Champagne Stakes (gr. I) winner completed the 1 1/16 miles in track-record time of 1:40.39.
Mrs. John Magnier and Michael Tabor's Montjeu will not be administered lasix prior to the Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT), but the 4-year-old colt will be racing on bute in the 1 1/2-mile race, trainer John Hammond told Sporting Life.
Michael Tabor's Left Bank led throughout Wedenesday's $103,499 Discovery Handicap (gr. III) to easily win the 1 1/8 mile race for 3-year-olds by 2 1/4 lengths over Perfect Cat on opening day at Aqueduct.
Beckett, a 2-year-old colt owned by Mrs. John Magnier, rebounded from a third-place finish in the King of Kings E.B.F. Futurity Stakes (Ie-III), winning the Aga Khan's Studs National Stakes (Ire-I) by three lengths Sunday at the Curragh.
Montjeu rallied from last in the four-horse field to win the Prix Foy Gray d'Albion Barriere (Fr-II) by 1 1/2 lengths over Crillon Sunday at Longchamp, France.
Giant's Causeway dueled with Best of the Bests through the stretch, edged clear of that rival in the final furlong, and held off the late closing Greek Dance to win the ESAT Digifone Irish Champion Stakes (Ire-I) by a 1/2 length Saturday at Leopardstown, Ireland. The win marks the fifth group I win in succession for Mrs. John Magnier and Micheal Tabor's 3-year-old colt, who completed the 1 1/4 miles in 2:03.1 over good to firm ground.
The Racing Post reports that the Aga Khan's Sendawar has been retired from racing and that Montjeu has suffered a "training setback" and may miss his scheduled start in Saturday's Irish Champion Stakes (Ire-I). According to the Post, Giant's Causeway may now substitute for Montjeu in the Irish race.
Michael Tabor's Yonaguska earned his first graded stakes win and City Zip became the first horse since Dehere in 1993 to sweep Saratoga's three major juvenile stakes when the two finished on even terms in the $200,000 Hopeful Stakes (gr. I) Saturday.
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