Smarty Jones was the first unbeaten winner of the Kentucky Derby since Seatle Slew. A fan favorite, Smarty Jones today stands at Three Chimneys.
Desert Party and Dunkirk were sale ring superstars and now they've both got a shot May 2 at winning what many consider to be the world's most famous horse race, the Kentucky Derby Presented By Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Following Monday's flurry of workouts, it was all about I Want Revenge on Tuesday, as the likely Kentucky Derby favorite had the center stage all to himself.
Wood Memorial winner I Want Revenge zipped along the Churchill Downs main track April 28 as he worked a half-mile in a bullet :47 1/5 in preparation for the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). The time was the fastest among 49 horses working that distance.
The Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) isn't just about the horse. This edition boasts an unusually fertile crop of human-interest stories in the connections behind the horses.
When trainer Kelly Breen saddles West Side Bernie and Atomic Rain in the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), it will be the first time the 39-year-old conditioner has started a horse in the Run for the Roses. But for now, he is trying to keep calm and keep his mind busy.
- By Dan Liebman
Take the Points will not run in the Derby but Atomic Rain and Advice will.
Just as human brothers and sisters can be totally different, the same is true with horses. Eoin Harty has trained full brothers Colonel John and Mr. Hot Stuff, and the two colts are nothing alike.
- By Dan Liebman
Trainer Todd Pletcher said the morning of April 28 that two of the horses in his care, Dunkirk and Join in the Dance, are definite for the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). Decisions have not been made on two others he trains, Advice and Take the Points.
There's lots to catch up on, with several works of interest over the weekend and a star-studded array of works this morning, which unfortunately were played out against a horrific backdrop.
2003 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Funny Cide, who arrived at the Kentucky Horse Park last fall, is perhaps best known as being one of only eight geldings to win the Derby.
Friesan Fire burned up the track April 27 at Churchill Downs, working five furlongs in a blazing :57 4/5 during his final serious move before the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented By Yum! Brands (gr. I). Wearing red and white blinkers and carrying jockey Gabriel Saez, the 3-year-old son of A.P. Indy turned in splits of :11 1/5, :22 1/5, :33 3/5, and 45:1/5. Friesan Fire galloped out six furlongs in 1:14.
Pioneerof the Nile didn't turn in the fastest five-furlong work April 27 at Churchill Downs, but that wasn't the goal for his trainer, Bob Baffert. The 3-year-old son of Empire Maker cruised through five furlongs in 1:01 and impressed onlookers with his long, free-flowing stride in his final breeze before the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented By Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Win Willy, the son of Monarchos who entered the Triple Crown picture with an upset victory in the Rebel Stakes (gr. II), turned in his final preparation for the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) with a five-furlong work in 1:02 2/5 April 27 at Churchill Downs.
Mine That Bird, the 2008 Canadian champion 2-year-old male, worked five furlongs in 1:02 April 27 at Churchill Downs in preparation for the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
D. Wayne Lukas, the dean of Kentucky Derby trainers with four winners from 42 previous starters, expressed confidence in Flying Private following the colt's four-furlong work in :47 2/5 April 27.
Trainer Todd Pletcher reported he was pleased with the April 27 workouts by three of his possible starters in the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), and said a decision on which would actually start in the classic would be made April 28.
In spite of the distractions caused by a gruesome racetrack collision and a wailing siren that Churchill Downs uses to warn horsemen that there is trouble on the racetrack, Chocolate Candy turned in a professional and fast work April 27.
The 2001 Kentucky Derby winner is the only horse besides the great Secretariat to win the race in under two minutes. Esther Marr visits with Charlie Nuckols, owner of Nuckols Farm, where Monarchos now resides.
Quality Road, a contender for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), returned from a mile and three-quarter gallop on the Belmont Park training track April 26 with a tinge of blood from a newly-patched quarter crack, but his connections remain optimistic he will make the May 2 "Run for the Roses."
WinStar Farm's Mr. Hot Stuff, third in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), had a West Coast tuneup for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) when he worked five furlongs in 1:00 2/5 at Santa Anita April 26.
On Friday, the day before the opening of Churchill Downs' Spring-Summer meet, Bobbie Jo Porter received a gift. It was a remembrance she didn't expect, but one she cherishes. And it was the simplest of gifts.
As the sun rose over Churchill Downs April 26, WinStar Farm's Hold Me Back posted a solid workout as he continues to prepare for the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
In an April 25 conference call, trainer Jimmy Jerkens reported that Quality Road jogged a couple of miles around the Belmont Park track and experienced no further problems with his latest quarter crack, which was patched by hoof specialist Ian McKinlay earlier in the morning.
Desert Party was the second of two Godolphin Racing horses on the track at Churchill Downs April 25 to complete his works for the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and his :59 3/5 timing for five furlongs was second only behind stablemate Regal Ransom's bullet work of :59 1/5.
Godolphin Racing's Regal Ransom showed his affinity for the Churchill Downs surface when the 3-year-old son of Distorted Humor zipped five furlongs in a bullet :59 1/5 April 25 in his final preparation for the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
2000 Kentucky Derby Winner Fusaichi Pegasus was the first favorite to win the race since Spectacular Bid in 1979. Today, he stands at Coolmore's Ashford Stud.
IEAH Stables announced on April 25 that Jeff Singer has acquired a percentage of Wood Memorial (gr. I) winner and Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) contender I Want Revenge from IEAH.
Illinois Derby (gr. II) winner Musket Man continued his progress toward the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) with a six-furlong workout in 1:14 4/5 at Churchill Downs April 25.
Concise, collated Kentucky Derby workouts and workout schedules, horse by horse, through April 25.
Trainer Jimmy Jerkens expressed optimism on the afternoon of April 24 that Quality Road, a leading contender for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), would be able to make the May 2 classic after noted hoof specialist Ian McKinlay treated a second quarter crack in the colt's right-front hoof at Belmont Park.
One of the closest Kentucky Derby finishes came in 1996, when Grindstone nipped Cavonnier at the wire. Grindstone today stands at the Young family's Overbrook Farm.
Thunder Gulch won the 1995 Kentucky Derby at odds of 25-1, as well as the Belmont Stakes, was retired at the end of his 3-year-old season due to a leg injury.
General Quarters, the "feel-good" horse of this year's Kentucky Derby, breezed five furlongs in 1:01 4/5 over a fast track at Churchill Downs April 23.
WinStar Farm's Hold Me Back, winner of the Lane's End Stakes (gr. II) and second in the Toyota Blue Grass (gr. I), is scheduled to leave Keeneland on April 24 for Churchill Downs in preparation for his next start in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Only a fool can be trusted with the Holy Grail, and William "La-Tee" Braud meets all of the qualifications.
Zayat Stables' Pioneerof the Nile brought a smile to the face of three-time Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Bob Baffert with a sharp five-furlong work over a fast Churchill Downs track on April 21.
I Want Revenge was one of five horses posting workouts April 21 at Churchill Downs in preparation for the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), completing five furlongs on a slightly-off track in 1:01 3/5.
Regal Ransom sneaks onto the list as Godolphin confirms he will run in the Derby.
Jockey Joe Talamo has pledged $25,000 to Children's Hospital in New Orleans if he wins his first Kentucky Derby (gr. I) May 2.
This final Derby Trail column before departing for Louisville is more of a potpourri of thoughts, scenarios, angles, trivia, and a touch of nonsense.
Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford said Monday that Regal Ransom and Desert Party are both scheduled to run in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
Updated: April 28, 2009
The field for the 135th running of the Kentucky Derby Saturday, to be run on May 2, 2009 at Churchill Downs, is limited to 20 horses. If more than 20 are entered, preference will be given to entrants based on earnings in graded stakes races.
On April 19, as light rain fell, Friesan Fire posted his final work at Keeneland before he heads to Churchill Downs for the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Bo Hirsch's homebred Papa Clem, winner of the Arkansas Derby (gr. II), breezed an easy five furlongs in the rain April 19 in his first serious training move over the track at Churchill Downs.
In a decision they agonized over for weeks, jockey Garrett Gomez and agent Ron Anderson finally have decided to stick with Pioneerof the Nile as their Kentucky Derby (gr. I) mount.
HRTV's weekly series analyzing the pursuit of the Triple Crown. This week's edition includes a preview of the Coolmore Lexington, and recaps of the Arkansas Derby and Blue Grass Stakes.
Derby fever continues to run rampant as usual as two more horses, Summer Bird and Mine That Bird, both sons of Birdstone, are heading to Churchill Downs for the Run for the Roses.
Quality Road, who suffered a quarter crack in his victory in the Florida Derby (gr. I), turned in a sharp six-furlong work in 1:12 2/5 Friday over the Belmont training track.
Triple Crown Talk blog, with host Jason Shandler, analyzes the the Coolmore Lexington (gr. II). Plus, join Jason and Double Deuce from The WinnersForum.com for a live chat at noon Eastern on April 18.
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