Eclipse Award champions Wait A While, the nation’s top 3-year-old filly of 2006, and Dreaming of Anna, last year’s champion 2-year-old filly, are among stars nominated to compete in stakes races scheduled to be run at Churchill Downs during Kentucky Derby Week, April 28-May 5.
The roster of stakes events scheduled during that premier week of racing includes a Kentucky Derby Day program on May 5, that will feature six graded stakes races and a record $3.35 million in total stakes purses. The Derby Day program – topped by the $2 million guaranteed Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) – will be the richest day of racing in the history of the 133-year-old home of the famed “Run for the Roses.”
The week also features a Kentucky Oaks Day program on May 4, that also will feature six stakes races and record total stakes purses of $1.35 million. Two stakes events are scheduled on May 3, and the meet kicks off with the running of the $100,000-added Derby Trial, the last prep race for the Kentucky Derby.
Two of the Derby Week stakes events that had previously been run as handicap races will be renewed in 2007 under allowance conditions. Those races are the $300,000-added Louisville Breeders’ Cup (gr. II) for fillies and mares on Kentucky Oaks Day, and the $250,000-added Churchill Downs (gr. II), a seven-furlong race for 4-year-olds and up run on Kentucky Derby Day.
The roster of nominees for the 12 remaining Derby Week stakes events is headed by the $300,000-added Humana Distaff (gr. I), one of four grade I events scheduled during the week.
Horses nominated to run in that seven-furlong race for older fillies and mares include Mike Pegram’s defending winner Pussycat Doll. The Bob Baffert-trained homebred will bid to become the first two-time winner of the Humana Distaff. Other nominees include Ricki and Ron Rashinski’s Bushfire, winner of the 2006 Ashland (gr. I), Acorn (gr. I) and Mother Goose (gr. I); and Oasis Racing Stable’s Wildcat Bettie B, winner of the Prioress Breeders’ Cup (GI) at Belmont Park. Other stakes stars among the 36 fillies and mares nominated to the Humana Distaff include Leah’s Secret, Ready to Please, Mary Delaney, Morner, Maryfield, Hot Storm and Oprah Winney.
Champions Wait A While and Dreaming of Anna are nominated to other stakes events on the Derby Day racing program. Arindel Farm’s Wait A While heads the roster of 49 fillies and mares eligible to compete in the $150,000-added Churchill Distaff Turf Mile presented by American Commercial Lines (gr. IIIT). Frank Calabrese’s homebred Dreaming of Anna is among 64 3-year-old fillies nominated to run in the $150,000-added La Troienne presented by GE Consumer & Industrial (gr. III).
Wait A While, winner of the American Oaks (gr. IT) and Yellow Ribbon (gr. IT) for trainer Todd Pletcher, heads a list of Churchill Distaff Turf Mile nominees that also includes Queen Elizabeth Challenge Cup (gr. IT) winner Vacare; Jenny Wiley (gr. III) winner My Typhoon; Garden City Breeders’ Cup (gr. IT) winner Magnificent Song; and Mrs. Revere (gr. IIT) winner Precious Kitten.
Dreaming of Anna, winner of the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) at Churchill Downs, is joined among the nominees for the 7 1/2-furlong La Troienne by West Point Thoroughbreds and Lewis Lakin’s Dream Rush, who defeated the champion in the Old Hat (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park; Heiligbrodt Racing Stable’s Appealing Zophie, winner of the Spinaway (gr. I) at 2; and Hidden Creek Farm’s Street Sounds, winner of Stonerside Beaumont (gr. II) at Keeneland. Also nominated is Frizette (gr. I) winner Sutra.
Horton Stable and Dallas Stewart’s 2006 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner Lemons Forever, Oxbow Racing LLC’s Apple Blossom (gr. I) winner Ermine, Martin Schwarz’s Spinster (gr. I) winner Asi Siempre, Amerman Racing Stable’s Santa Margarita (gr. I) winner Balance, and Stronach Stable’s Santa Maria Handicap (gr. I) winner Sugar Shake are among 29 nominees to the $300,000-added Louisville Breeders’ Cup (gr. II). The 1 1/8-mile race for fillies and mares ages 3 & up is one of the major events on the Kentucky Oaks Day racing card.