John Oxley's reigning juvenile champion Classic Empire did not break off in a scheduled workout March 19 at Palm Meadows Training Center, according to trainer Mark Casse.
Trainer Ian Wilkes breathed a sigh of relief March 11 when he sent unbeaten McCraken out for an easy half-mile move at Palm Meadows Training Center, the first work for the colt since a mild ankle strain was discovered in his left front Feb. 28.
Janis Whitham's unbeaten homebred McCraken has resumed galloping at Palm Meadows Training Center the past few days and remains on track to start in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G2) at Keeneland April 8.
John Oxley's reigning juvenile male champion Classic Empire is still targeting the April 8 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G2) at Keeneland trainer Mark Casse confirmed, despite having a workout aborted March 3.
Add the $1 million Florida Derby (G1) April 1 at Gulfstream Park to the list of Triple Crown preps being considered for M M G Stables' impressive 3-year-old El Areeb, a winner of his last four races including back-to-back graded stakes.
Keeneland announced Jan. 19 a $4.325 million stakes schedule for its 2017 Spring Meet that offers 16 stakes, featuring the $1 million Toyota Blue Grass (G2) and $500,000 Central Bank Ashland (G1).
The first foal by multiple grade 1 winner Palace Malice was born at Three Chimneys in the early morning of Jan. 12.
- By Steve Haskin
There have been many, myself included, who were shocked by the Graded Stakes committee's decision to downgrade two of the most historic Kentucky Derby preps, the Wood Memorial and Blue Grass Stakes, from grade I to grade II.
A start in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. II) at Keeneland is the first choice for Classic Empire's final Derby prep, but the race's downgraded status has prompted his connections to put other options back into the discussion.
In a dramatic reshaping of graded status of 2017 Triple Crown prep races, the American Graded Stakes Committee of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders' Association has downgraded the Toyota Blue Grass and the Wood Memorial from grade I to grade II.
J. Michael O'Farrell Jr.'s Ocala Stud has set 2017 stud fees for its expanded 13-stallion roster, led again by Canadian Horse of the Year Uncaptured and grade I winner The Big Beast, who will both stand for a fee of $6,000, stands and nurses.
Champion Will Take Charge's fee held steady at $30,000
Training Progeny of Curlin
Full Mast will tangle with improving Smokem Kitten and defending King Edward winner Tower of Texas in the one-mile turf battle at Woodbine. Solemn Tribute should improve off his first 2016 start.
The Blood-Horse has always played the Blue Grass Stakes close to the vest
Dan Tordjman and friends bet a Pick Four that included the Wood Memorial (gr. I) and Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I). Learn how to organize your notes, when you should pick favorites, and how to put together a ticket with a group. Watch Video
Brody's Cause found himself back at home at Keeneland April 9, and the son of Giant's Causeway proved his affinity for the Lexington oval with a strong score in the $1 million Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I).
In addition, it will also air the Equine Forum, its weekly talk show, on Saturday and provide live coverage of the Commonwealth, Shakertown, and Madison from Keeneland in its three-hour broadcast.
With a hefty purse and 170 Kentucky Derby Leaderboard points on the line, the $1 million Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) April 9 drew a lineup of youngsters whose connections hope a stop at Keeneland paves the way to Churchill.
Claire Novak, Ellis Starr, and Tom LaMarra come to you from Keeneland to preview the Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) featuring My Man Sam, Zulu, Star Hill, Cherry Wine, Brody's Cause, and Laoban. Watch Video
Claire Novak, Ellis Starr, and Tom LaMarra come to you from Keeneland to preview the Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) featuring My Man Sam, Zulu, Star Hill, Cherry Wine, Brody's Cause, and Laoban. Download Equibase Past Performances for the Blue Grass.
American Dubai put in his final major work April 2 in preparation for the April 9 running of the $1 million Toyota Blue Grass (gr. I) by working five furlongs in 1:01 2/5 after the renovation break at Keeneland.
Twelve-time defending Gulfstream Park Championship Meet leading trainer Todd Pletcher reached a personal milestone March 18, when Eagle Scout won the fifth race to give the trainer his 4,000 victory.
Grade I winner Brody's Cause is scheduled to make his 3-year-old season debut Saturday, March 12 in the Tampa Bay Derby (gr. II).
Following is information on incoming stallions to Kentucky standing for $10,000 and up and on select leaders in other markets:
|Horse||Trainer||Breeder / Owner|
|Balance the Books||Chad C. Brown||
|Channel Isle||D. Wayne Lukas||
|Charming Kitten||Michael J. Maker||
|Divine Ambition||Darrin Miller||
|Fear the Kitten||Michael J. Maker||
|Footbridge||Eoin G. Harty||
|Java's War||Kenneth G. McPeek||
|My Name Is Michael||Rachel Halden||
|Palace Malice||Todd A. Pletcher||
|Rydilluc||Gary C. Contessa||
|Uncaptured||Mark E. Casse||
|West Hills Giant||David Jacobson||
Upcoming Stakes Entries
|Any Limit S.||GP|
|Skip Away S. (G3)||GP|
|Southern Park S.||MVR|
|Purple Martin S.||OP|