Headlines for Wednesday, April 30, 2008

  • The Derby Trophy stands watch over the Draw Proceedings.

    Favorite to Break from Post Position 20

    The connections of 3-1 morning-line favorite Big Brown selected the outside 20 post position for the undefeated colt in Saturday's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) during the April 30 post position draw held in downtown Louisville.

  • HRTV's Target Louisville - 4/30 (Video)

    HRTV's originally produced show on the Derby contenders. Arrival of Pletchers' horses (Monba and Cowboy Cal), gallops from Big Brown, Gayego, Colonel John, Focus on Adriano - including an interview with trainer Graham Motion, and an Oaks Preview.

  • Divine Park cruises to victory in the Westchester Handicap.

    Divine Park Strolls to Westchester Win

    Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin thought odds-on choice Grasshopper could be vulnerable running a one-turn mile in the $109,100 Westchester Handicap (gr. III) to open Belmont Park's spring/summer meet April 30, and he was proved correct when his Divine Park swept to a five-length victory.

  • Jockey Edgar Paucar Grabs 1,000th Win

    Peruvian-born jockey Edgar Paucar became the latest rider nationally to reach career win number 1,000 aboard Lil E's Express in the eight race at Ohio's Beulah Park on April 29.

  • Sugar Swirl seeks her first grade I victory in the Humana Distaff Stakes.<br><a target="blank" href="http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/photo-store?ref=http%3A%2F%2Fpictopia.com%2Fperl%2Fgal%3Fprovider_id%3D368%26ptp_photo_id%3D4024847%26ref%3Dstory">Order This Photo</a>

    Sugar Swirl Could Sweeten Humana Distaff

    Stronach Stables' homebred Sugar Swirl has taken everything trainer Brian Lynch has thrown at her, including four back-to-back stakes races " three of them graded. Now the 5-year-old daughter of Touch Gold seeks her first grade I victory against the likes of Hystericalady, Baroness Thatcher, and Intangaroo in the $300,000 Humana Distaff Stakes (gr. I).

  • Morning Line Goes To The Derby: Apr. 29

    Right by the main gap on the backstretch the Louisville Thoroughbred Club has set up a fundraising stand selling sausage and biscuits to the crowd on the backstretch. President, founder, and "benevolent dictator" of the club - Manny Cadima - mans the station.

  • Michael Iavarone hopes Big Brown does most of the talking come Saturday.

    IEAH Has Big Dreams

    Michael Iavarone, an accomplished investment banker, hopes Big Brown pays big dividends in the Run for the Roses.

  • Visionaire is accompanied from the racetrack by trainer Michael Matz aboard his pony Wednesday morning at Churchill Downs.

    Matz is Quietly Confident in Visionaire

    Things are relatively quiet at the barn of trainer Michael Matz and void of the media buzz that surrounded other such barns as Richard Dutrow and Eoin Harty leading up to Saturday's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).

  • Corey Nakatani

    Derby Jockey Profile: Corey Nakatani

    Although he has had 13 Kentucky Derby mounts, the winning prize has eluded 38-year-old Corey Nakatani. Not so honors in other racing events, from riding titles at Santa Anita, Hollywood Park, Del Mar, and Oak Tree, to seven Breeders' Cup victories.

  • Graham Motion, trainer of Adriano

    Motion Commotion

    Adriano will be providing trainer Graham Motion with his second Kentucky Derby (gr. I) starter. The Cambridge, England, native saddled his first horse in the Run for the Roses in 1998 when Chilito finished 11th.

  • John Velazquez

    Derby Jockey Profile: John Velazquez

    John Velazquez is well-known for his successful partnership with trainer Todd Pletcher, so it is extremely fitting that his Derby contender this year come from Pletcher's stable. Cowboy Cal is Velazquez's mount, and if the jockey improves off his second-place finish aboard Invisible Ink in 2001, he'll have himself a winner.

  • Awesome Chic training earlier this week at Churchill Downs.

    Awesome Chic Has Pedigree to Win Oaks

    Despite entering the May 2 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) at 20-1 on the morning line, Awesome Chic is a filly that should not be overlooked. She has the class and the pedigree to pull an upset in the 1 1/8-mile race for the lilies at Churchill Downs.

  • Attorney: Now is the Time to Plan Estate

    An attorney specializing in estate planning says now is a good time for horsemen and others to establish tax-friendly programs that pass along assets to descendants -- but warned that time was of the essence in organizing such efforts.

  • Hillsborough Stakes winner Dreaming of Anna is the one to beat in the Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (gr. IIIT).

    Dreaming of Anna Leads CD Distaff Turf

    Frank Calabrese's homebred Dreaming of Anna, winner of the March 15 Hillsborough Stakes (gr. IIIT) in her last start, will be the one to beat when nine older fillies and mares heads postward in the $150,000-added Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (gr. IIIT).

  • Noonmark looks for his second graded stakes score of the year in the Churchill Downs Stakes.<br><a target="blank" href="http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/photo-store?ref=http%3A%2F%2Fpictopia.com%2Fperl%2Fgal%3Fprovider_id%3D368%26ptp_photo_id%3D3215430%26ref%3Dstory">Order This Photo</a>

    Noonmark Eyes Churchill Downs Score

    Noonmark, who dropped down to allowance-optional claiming as late as September of 2007, looks for his second graded stakes score of the year when he takes on eight older horses in the $250,000 Churchill Downs Stakes (gr. II) May 3.

  • Edgar Prado

    Derby Jockey Profile: Edgar Prado

    Who can forget Edgar Prado's winning ride aboard Barbaro in the 2006 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I)? The experience seemed once-in-a-lifetime, but Prado is back this year aboard the H. Graham Motion-trained Adriano seeking a second Derby win.

  • A to the Croft

    Daily Oaks Notes: April 30

    Country Star, Elusive Lady, and Little Belle, scheduled to arrive today; A to the Croft, Awesome Chic, and Proud Spell gallop.

  • Monba arrives at Churchill Downs on April 30.

    Pletcher's Pair Arrives at Churchill

    As Todd Pletcher's contenders for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) arrived at Barn 34 from Keeneland April 30, accompanied by stakes contenders Danzon, Leah's Secret, and Garden District, the Eclipse Award-winning trainer took time to reflect upon the challenge of reaching - let alone winning - the first leg of the Triple Crown.

  • Big Brown knows he's prepping for an upcoming race.<br><a target="blank" href="http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/photo-store?ref=http%3A%2F%2Fpictopia.com%2Fperl%2Fgal%3Fprovider_id%3D368%26ptp_photo_id%3D4347211%26ref%3Dstory">Order This Photo</a>

    Big Brown: 'A Dream Come True'

    Big Brown has caused quite a stir on the backside in the days before the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), so much so that trainer Richard Dutrow decided the easiest way to handle the media was to host a daily question and answer session.

  • A bottle and numbered pills are used to determine the post position selection order for the Derby.

    Derby Post Position Selection Order

    Big Brown drew No. 16 at the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) post position selection order Wednesday morning, meaning that the probable Derby favorite may have to break from the auxiliary gate when the field of 20 lines up for action May 3 at Churchill Downs.

  • Visionaire is the first horse purchased by Vision Sales and the first horse campaigned under the Vision Racing colors.

    Name Games: Origins of Derby Monikers

    In our quest to discover the origins of names belonging to Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) contenders, we discovered a diamond mine, picked up some basketball lingo, learned Indonesian, and found out what brown can do for us. Here are the stories behind the names of a few runners going into this year's first Saturday in May.

  • Morning Line: It's All in the Draw

    The best drama in Louisville today takes place in the racing office on the backside at Churchill Downs. It's the pill pull to see what order post positions will be drawn later this afternoon in the made-for-television post position show on ESPN.

  • Heavenly Glow Wins AJC Oaks

    This is a great success story. It's the kind of story that makes the hearts of all racing people shine just a little bit brighter.

  • Big Truck is "Running for Re-Run" in the Kentucky Derby.

    Big Truck to Benefit ReRun on Derby Day

    The Barclay Tagg-trained Big Truck will be "Running for Re-Run" in the May 3 Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) at Churchill Downs.

  • Downey: Derby by the (Speed) Numbers

    No one horse expected to run in the 2008 Kentucky Derby is an absolute standout if examined purely by the numbers produced for their best 3-year-old races by Brisnet, Beyer and Daily Racing Form. They're compiled here side-by-side for easy comparison.

  • Target Louisville 4/30

    Arrival of Pletchers horses, gallops from Big Brown, Gayego, Colonel John, Focus on Adriano - including an interview with trainer Graham Motion, and an Oaks Preview.