While the best three-year-olds in the country are running in the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, several up-and-comers in the one-mile Withers Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct could join the Visa Triple Crown trail later down the road.
Jockey agent Ray Kravagna, reloading after the recent retirement of Hall of Famer Eddie Delahoussaye, had reason to celebrate when veteran journeyman C.C. Lopez had his first winner and 16-year-old apprentice M.C. Baze got his first mount at Hollywood Park.
Trainer John Sadler confirmed Friday that he planned to run track record-holder Hombre Rapido in the $200,000 Los Angeles Times Handicap (gr. III) and Palmeiro in the $150,000 Mervyn LeRoy Handicap (gr. II), both on May 10 at Hollywood Park.
Continental Red worked six furlongs in 1:13 on the main track at Hollywood Park Friday in preparation for the $400,000 Jim Murray Memorial Handicap at 1 1/2 miles on turf May 10.
Before a crowd of 100,523, Marylou Whitney's homebred Bird Town stumbled out of the gate but recovered to pull an upset at 18-1 in the $573,800 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I). Bird Town drew away in the stretch to win by 3 ¼ lengths in a stakes-record time of 1:48.64.
Buffythecenterfold, a three-time stakes winner, looms as a solid favorite in the $100,000-added Railbird Stakes (gr. III) for 3-year-old fillies at seven furlongs Sunday at Hollywood Park.
Bob and Beverly Lewis' Senor Swinger rolled to a 2 ½ length victory in the Crown Royal American Turf Stakes (gr. IIIT) in the race just prior to the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I).
Magna Entertainment Corp. has plans for new pari-mutuel wagering machines designed to make betting easier for first-timers, officials said May 1 during a press conference after the company's annual meeting.
Here's a report from Churchill Downs on Friday's final preparations for the 2003 Kentucky Derby.
Janis R. Whitman's homebred Fiscally Speaking sprung a 47-1 upset in the $115,300 Aegon Turf Sprint (gr. IIIT) after surging past 2001 winner Morluc in the final strides at Churchill Downs Friday.
Wagering on the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) opened Friday at Churchill Downs, and while it's still early, and there is only about $265,000 in the pool as of 4:30 p.m., Ten Most Wanted is the early 4-1 favorite. Empire Maker, the 6-5 morning line favorite, is 9-1.
Ridden by Larry Melancon, Forest Shadows charged through the stretch to win the $113,500 Edgewood Stakes, the first stake on Friday's Kentucky Oaks card at Churchill Downs. The 3-year-old Woodman filly defeated Unbridled Femme and Ebony Breeze as she stopped the timer in 1:35.35 for the one mile on turf.
The 129th Kentucky Derby is one of the most perplexing races we've ever handicapped. With all the issues surrounding Empire Maker, there is a pretty good chance there's a big overlay out there just waiting to be snatched up. Finding it, however, is another thing.
William C. Lickle's Trebizond collared Naughty Prince inside the final 30 yards to post a half-length victory in the fifth running of the $106,200 Hard Scuffle (NSA gr. I) before a record Thursday crowd of 24,312 at Churchill Downs.
Arkansas Derby winner Sir Cherokee was scratched from Saturday's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) Friday morning after it was revealed he had suffered an injury in the last few days.
- By Tom LaMarra
In a mock trial held May 2 as part of the National Equine Law Conference in Lexington, a large majority of "jurors" ruled in favor of plaintiffs who filed civil action lawsuits against a farm for damages related to mare reproductive loss syndrome.
Attorneys for Michael Gill, one of the leading Thoroughbred owners in the country, filed a federal lawsuit in Delaware May 1. They claim Delaware Park officials unlawfully conspired to prevent Gill from racing his horses at the track, which opened April 26.
Etti Plesch, who campaigned Sassafras and Miswaki, died in Monte Carlo
Friday morning was not a good time at the barn of Kenny McPeek. He has been forced to scratch two horses from stakes races at Churchill Downs today--Take Charge Lady and White Cat.
Grade II winner Crypto Star was represented by his first winner
Grade II winner Mazel Trick's first winner came May 1 when Juventus scored at 4 1/2 furlongs
Mari's Sheba, whose first foal is multiple grade I winner Congaree, produced a chestnut filly by Thunder Gulch
You won't be able to walk very far in any direction this weekend at Churchill Downs without bumping into someone with a camera or a microphone.
It's like combining a Rolls Royce and a Mercedes when the rest of the world is represented by Dodge Darts. Bobby Frankel and Jerry Bailey have dominated their respective professions in the new century, and the dynamic duo hook up again Saturday with--and this is no surprise--the overwhelming favorite to win the Kentucky Derby.
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