Blue Grass, Ashland, Madison, Carter Handicap, Santa Anita Derby, Santa Anita Oaks, Queen Elizabeth, Oka Sho, Gazelle, Royal Heroine, Shakertown, Wood Memorial, Transylvania, Providencia, Excelsior, Disftaff H., Commonwealth, Bay Shore and more.
Consider this your weekly guide to the best stakes in North America. This week we have massive stakes cards at Aqueduct Racetrack, Keeneland, and Santa Anita Park built around three top Triple Crown preps.
- By Dave Litfin
- Thoroughbred Racing, Handicapping, Southwest Region, West Region, Southeast Region, Kentucky
Horse players will need three sets of eyes to keep track of this week's action, as Aqueduct Racetrack, Keeneland, and Santa Anita Park all run 170-point qualifiers to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1).
J. Keeler Johnson handicaps the Santa Anita Derby (G1) and Ashland Stakes (G1).
If there are no scratches in the $1 million Santa Anita Derby (G1) April 8, the 13-horse field entering the gate will be the largest for the West Coast's top Triple Crown prep race since 1981.
In an instant following the San Felipe Stakes (G2), Iliad went from a fringe Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) contender in the shadow of Mastery to the likely favorite in the April 8 Santa Anita Derby (G1).
With undefeated Mastery sidelined after an injury following the San Felipe Stakes (G2), Bob Baffert will go to his bench in quest of victory in the $1 million Santa Anita Derby (G1) April 8.
Peacock Racing Stables' multiple graded stakes winner Gunnevera put in his final breeze March 25 for the $1 million Xpressbet.com Florida Derby (G1) April 1 at Gulfstream Park, leading a coast-to-coast slate of sophomore works.
Last year, we undertook a review of the prospects of stallions with first 2-year-olds of 2016. The series focused on pedigree and biomechanical values as well as on our impressions of how their offspring performed at the juvenile sales.
Leading the roster are Creative Cause, Cairo Prince, and Majesticperfection at $15,000.
A filly from the first crop of Hill ‘n’ Dale stallion Violence bought in July for $25,000 returned a quick substantial profit for her owner when sold for $190,000 at the Fasig-Tipton October yearling sale.
A colt from the first crop of grade I winner Paynter sold for $520,000 at the Keeneland September yearling sale Sept. 16, becoming the fourth session's highest-priced horse a bit more than a quarter of the way into the session.
I'll Have Another, a United States champion and classic winner who stands in Japan, gained his first winner June 25 when Un Autre won his debut at Tokyo Racecourse.
Jim Weigel has just three broodmares, but has bred classic-placed Creative Cause and Belmont Stakes (gr. I) contender Destin out of his mare Dream of Summer.
U.S. champion and dual classic winner I'll Have Another will have his highly anticipated first starters June 5 in Japan, where he launched his stallion career in 2013 at Big Red Farm.
Kaleem Shah successfully bid $290,000 for a son of Candy Ride at the Barretts May sale of 2-year-olds in training and horses of racing age and immediately pointed to his 20-year-old daughter, Sophie.
Millennium Force, a daughter of Hansen, turned in the fastest furlong work of :09 4/5 at the under-tack preview for the Barretts May 2-year-old sale at Del Mar. Among those working a quarter-mile, a son of Speightstown posted :20 3/5.
The Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) was better the second time around for Mario Gutierrez, even though he won it both times.
Reddam Racing's Nyquist is scheduled to make his first visit to the track at Pimlico Race Course the morning of May 11 as he begins preparations for the May 21 Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
Just two days after winning the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), Reddam Racing’s Nyquist arrived at Pimlico Race Course May 9 to begin preparing to run in the $1.5 million Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
Trainer Doug O'Neill said he's confident in the training strategy he has employed with Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) favorite Nyquist, who did a little more than jog the morning of May 5 at Churchill Downs.
First-time starter Milton Freewater got up in the final stride in race one at Los Alamitos Race Course April 22 and became the first winner for grade I winner and classic-placed Creative Cause.
"When you have a horse like Mor Spirit and Cupid that could be competitive, there's a little hope, a little dream there," the trainer said. "But you still have to get there, just get in that gate."
The only horse in the $1 millon Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) field to have win over a wet track sure looked like he loved the slop April 9.
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.
|Horse||Trainer||Breeder / Owner|
|A Jealous Woman||Francis Meza||
|Belle Royale (IRE)||Simon Callaghan||
|Brother Francis||James M. Cassidy||
|Calle Vista||Richard E. Mandella||
|Creative Cause||Mike Harrington||
|Gem of Soul (BRZ)||A. C. Avila||
|Go Forth North||A. C. Avila||
|Holy Candy||John W. Sadler||
|I'll Have Another||Doug F. O'Neill||
|Imperialistic Diva (IRE)||Simon Callaghan||
|Longview Drive||Jerry Hollendorfer||
|Midnight Transfer||Ronald W. Ellis||
|Rosehill Dew (IRE)||Ronald L. McAnally||
|Senor Rain||Troy Taylor||
|Sweetly Peppered||Alex Paszkeicz||
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