Blood-Horse Staff

Noonmark, Mister Triester Top Derby Trial

The last of the traditional preps for the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) is unlikely to have an impact on next week's "Run for the Roses," but Saturday's $100,000-added Derby Trial at Churchill Downs will undoubtedly get the 132nd Spring Meet at historic Churchill Downs off to a rousing start.

11 to Contest Texas Mile at Lone Star Park

This may be the 10th running of the grade III, $300,000 Texas Mile, but it feels like the first time. Trainer Bob Baffert is coming to Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie for Saturday's marquee event with a speedy Mike Pegram horse; the next week he'll be in Louisville, Ky., preparing to take the Kentucky Derby by storm.

Heavenly Ransom Sets Mark in Wilshire Win

Second-choice Heavenly Ransom rallied under jockey Jon Court en route to her fourth win in five starts, establishing a stakes record on the newly installed Hollywood Park turf course in Wednesday's $100,000 Wilshire Handicap (gr. IIIT). The program opened the 67th spring/summer meet in Inglewood.

Santanna, Green, Landsburg Added to NTRA Board

Santanna, Green, Landsburg Added to NTRA Board

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association has announced that Joe Santanna, president of the National HBPA; Robert W. Green, president and CEO of Greenwood Racing; and Thoroughbred Owners of California director and board chair Alan Landsburg have joined the NTRA Board of Directors.

T.H. Approval Chases 'Capistrano Repeat

Tadahiro Hotehama's homebred T.H. Approval, looking for his first victory since last year's San Juan Capistrano Invitational Handicap (gr. IIT) for trainer Eduardo Inda, is the 117-pound high weight in a field of 13 entered for Sunday's closing day marathon fixture at Santa Anita Park.

Velazquez Injured After Colt Wins Forerunner

Velazquez Injured After Colt Wins Forerunner

Two-time Eclipse Award-winning jockey John Velazquez remained hospitalized Thursday evening following a nasty spill in Keeneland's feature race, the Forerunner Stakes. The incident occurred when Velazquez's mount, Up an Octave (Brahms), broke down and fell less than a sixteenth of a mile after winning the $110,600 turf event for 3-year-olds.

Coolmore Lexington: No Time Like Now

With a last-chance grab at $325,000 in graded stakes earnings on the table, 10 3-year-olds have been entered in Saturday's Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II) at Keeneland. Heading the list appears to be John Dillon's Like Now, winner of last month's Gotham Stakes (gr. II).

Oaklawn Park Meet Posts Record Handle

Highlighted by a record 72,464 on hand for Lawyer Ron's victory in the closing-day Arkansas Derby (gr. II), the 2006 meet at Oaklawn Park posted record wagering during its 53-day meet. The meet was originally scheduled for 56 days, but racing was canceled on three days of the Presidents' Day holiday weekend due to adverse weather conditions.

Keeneland Wagering Record Set

Wagering on Saturday's 10-race Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) program totaled an all-time Keeneland record $18,306,844. It topped by almost $1 million the previous record of $17,347,623 set during last year's Blue Grass program.

Ready to Please Wins a Wild Fantasy

Ready to Please Wins a Wild Fantasy

The 2006 Fantasy Stakes (gr. II) will go down as one of the strangest races of the year when the 40-1 shot Miss Norman, who was leading the field and seemingly in control twice bolted toward the outside rail, allowing Ready to Please to take the victory Friday at Oaklawn Park.

Former Western Trainer Jack Phillips Dies

James J. (Jack) Phillips, who retired as a trainer in 1984 after a career that took him to Churchill Downs, Del Mar, Santa Anita, Hollywood Park, Oaklawn Park, and numerous other tracks, died at his home in Aton, N.M., April 11.

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