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.
While Bobby Frankel will be at Churchill Downs on Saturday to saddle favored Empire Maker in the 129th Kentucky Derby, an assistant trainer will tend to likely favorite Blue Steller in Hollywood Park's $100,000 Inglewood Handicap (gr. IIIT) at 1 1/16 mile on turf.
Voodoo Dancer and Wonder Again, a pair of grade I winners that sit near the top of the female turf division, square off for the first time in Saturday's $100,000 Beaugay Handicap (gr. IIIT).
Saturday's $100,000-added Three Chimneys Juvenile at Churchill Downs will put the spotlight on 2-year-olds.
The $200,000-added Churchill Downs Handicap (gr. II), like most of Saturday's stakes races at the Louisville track, will feature a Bobby Frankel-trained morning line favorite in Flaxman Holdings' Aldebaran.
Bobby Frankel will saddle another morning line favorite Saturday for Juddmonte Farm at Churchill Downs when homebred Heat Haze, unbeaten in two U.S. races, takes on a full field in the $100,000-added CITGO Distaff Turf Mile (gr. IIIT) for fillies and mares.
Juddmonte Farm's Sightseek, a runner-up to Starrer in the recent Santa Margarita (gr. I) at Santa Anita, is the 2-1 morning-line favorite in a field of eight in the $200,000 Humana Distaff at seven furlongs for older fillies and mares at Churchill Downs.
A showdown between veteran star With Anticipation and exciting French newcomer Rouvres is expected to provided added sizzle in Saturday's $300,000-added Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (gr. IT) at Churchill Downs.
A showdown between two of America's finest 4-year-old fillies headlines the $300,000 Louisville Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II), one of three important stakes events that share the spotlight on Friday's race card at Churchill Downs that is headlined by the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I).
Final Round, runner-up in the Forward Gal (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park March 14, is the likely favorite in a field of six 3-year-old fillies vying in Thursday's $100,000-added La Troienne at seven furlongs at Churchill Downs.
There was a flurry of activity at Churchill Downs Tuesday morning as the last group of contenders for Saturday's Kentucky Derby had their final workouts over a track that was playing to speed.
Here's a look at what some of the contenders for Saturday's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) were up to on Monday morning, according to Churchill Downs track notes.
Lady Tak, the Fair Grounds Oaks winner who will probably be second choice in Friday's Kentucky Oaks, worked a half-mile in :49 under jockey Lonnie Meche at Churchill Downs Monday.
Desperado Stable's Santa Anita Derby winner Buddy Gil turned in his final prep for Saturday's Kentucky Derby when he worked five furlongs in :59 3/5 at Churchill Downs on Monday. The breeze left jockey Gary Stevens and trainer Jeff Mullins both expressing confidence heading into the season's first classic for 3-year-olds.
Storming Home and Ballingarry, a pair of group I winners targeted for the $400,000 Jim Murray Handicap at 1 1/2 mile on turf May 10, worked on the Hollywood Park grass Sunday.
Fair Mix, a 5-year-old bought out of a claiming race, shrugged off his humble background to win Sunday's Group I Prix Ganay at Longchamp.
B. Wayne Hughes and Biscuit Stable's Atswhatimtalknbout breezed five furlongs in :59 2/5 in his final preparation for next Saturday's Kentucky Derby. Meanwhile, trainer D. Wayne Lukas named Cornelio Velazquez to ride Coolmore Lexington Stakes winner Scrimshaw in the Derby.
Laura de Seroux, who enjoyed an unprecedented ascent last year when guiding 4-year-old filly Azeri to Horse of the Year recognition, seems to have Sunday's $100,000 Wilshire Handicap (gr. IIIT) surrounded at Hollywood Park.
Horse of the Year Azeri has been declared from the list of fillies and mares nominated to the $300,000-added Louisville Breeders' Cup (grade II) on Kentucky Oaks Day, a move that leaves Select Stable's Take Charge Lady as the likely starting highweight in the handicap for older fillies and mares.
Domestic Dispute, third in the Coolmore Lexington Stakes, has been purchased by David Bienstock and Chuck Winner and will be entered in next Saturday's $1-million Kentucky Derby under new trainer Patrick Gallagher. The price received by previous owner and breeder Gary Garber was not disclosed.
James and Karen Stone's daughter of In Case breezed five furlongs in 1:02 over a "sloppy" track at Churchill Downs' Trackside Louisville training center on Friday.
Churchill Downs will offer all-stakes Pick Four wagers with combined guaranteed pools of $1 million on next week's racing programs for the 129th renewals of the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks.
Ladies Din, an 8-year-old gelding who has earned nearly $2 million, heads the field for Saturday's $200,000 San Francisco Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IIT) at Bay Meadows.
Saturday's $100,000 Fort Marcy Handicap (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/16 mile at Aqueduct is supposed to be the first stakes race run on grass in New York this year. With forecasts calling for more than an inch of rain from Friday night into Saturday, horses entered for the main track only may be in luck.
Handicapper Jim Quinn has been appointed to the newly-formed position of Players' Representative for the National Thoroughbred Racing Association Wagering Integrity Alliance.
With no workouts at Churchill Downs for Kentucky Derby contenders, it was a relatively quiet morning Thursday at the Louisville, Kentucky track. The lack of activity on the track did not diminish backside buzz centered around horses that are still "on the bubble" for the May 3 race.
For the second consecutive year, Kim Loves Bucky has won the Elkhorn Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Keeneland. The 6-year-old gelding completed the 1 1/2-mile turf distance in 2:29.39, with Man From Wicklow a half-length back in second, and Williams News a nose behind for third.
Alexine, a gray mare who lost by a nose when favored in last year's Hawthorne Handicap (gr. III), will be the high weight and probable favorite in this year's $100,000-added running on Friday night at Hollywood Park.
Final Destination, a graded stakes winner on two continents, seeks her sixth straight victory Sunday in the Wilshire Handicap (gr. IIIT), a $100,000-added test for fillies and mares at one mile on turf.
Calder's turf will be in use prominently for the Friday afternoon opening card with two divisions of the Blazing Sword overnight stakes highlighting the 10-race card.
While the Kentucky Derby attracts most of the attention on the backside of Churchill Downs this week, 3-year-olds fillies continue to work toward the May 2 Kentucky Oaks.
The $150,000 Elkhorn Stakes (gr. IIIT) on Wednesday at Keeneland boasts a field of many of the nation's top turf marathoners set to square off at 12-furlongs on the Central Kentucky oval.
With many of the partners of owner Azalea Stables on hand, Holy Bull Stakes winner Offlee Wild worked in company at Churchill Downs on Tuesday and accomplished what trainer T. V. Smith wanted from the workout.
Trainer Tom Amoss said Tuesday morning that he and owner Buddy New are keeping their options open for Lone Star Sky to be thrown into the Kentucky Derby mix after the colt worked six furlongs at Churchill Downs in 1:12 4/5.
The Thoroughbred Corporation's Atlantic Ocean worked five furlongs under exercise rider Dana Barnes in :59 3/5 according to Churchill Downs clockers. Also on Monday, three-time stakes winner Lady Tak worked six furlongs in 1:13 1/5 in company after the renovation break.
Because the Pimlico Special (gr. I) has been moved this year to the day prior to the Preakness (gr. I), a Daily Double will be offered on the two races.
Santa Anita Derby winner Buddy Gil passed a key test in his quest for the Kentucky Derby when the gelding worked at Churchill Downs on Monday. While the son of Eastern Echo was timed in 1:11 4/5 for six furlongs under jockey Gary Stevens, more important to trainer Jeff Mullins was the five-furlong split of :59 3/5 and the fact he did not bleed during the training regimen.
With less than three weeks remaining to Derby 129, there are now 15 horses on the list of leading contenders compiled by Steve Haskin, senior correspondent for The Blood-Horse.
Steelaninch and Star Vega, the Jim Cassidy-trained duo who swept the La Puente and Providencia, respectively, last weekend at Santa Anita will likely make their next starts during the upcoming Hollywood Park meeting, Cassidy said.
A field of nine was entered for Sunday's San Juan Capistrano Invitational Handicap at Santa Anita. At about 1 3/4-mile on turf, it is the longest grade I race in North America.
Santa Anita presents a pair of graded turf events Saturday. In the $250,000 Santa Barbara (gr. IIT), Noches de Rosa goes for a repeat of her sharp Santa Ana score against Megahertz and Garden in the Rain. Juddmonte Farms' Speak in Passing returns after a 15-month absence in the $125,000 San Simeon (gr. IIIT).
Trainer Mike Keogh has a simple wish list for Saturday's running of the $135,875 Woodstock Stakes at Woodbine, when Queen's Plate Winterbook favorite Wando gets his second test of the season.
Henry Pabst's speedy Keats is the morning line favorite for Saturday's $250,000 National Jockey Club Handicap (gr. III) at Hawthorne Race Course.
Adam Russo's 8-year-old campaigner P Day faces six other older warriors in the $125,000 Baltimore Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III) at 1 1/8 mile at Pimlico.
A field of eight will face the starter for Saturday's $325,000-added Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II) at Keeneland. The 1 1/16-mile race is the eighth on the nine-race card, with an approximate post of 4:45 p.m.
Trainer Gary Capuano returns to the Triple Crown trail Saturday with Maryland-bred Cherokee's Boy in the $150,000 Federico Tesio Stakes at Pimlico.
Californian made his first start in North America a memorable one by pulling away in the stretch under jockey Kent Desormeaux to win Thursday's $111,200 Forerunner Stakes at Keeneland by 3 1/4 lengths.
Raging Fever figures to have an edge in Saturday's $150,000 Bed O' Roses Handicap (gr. III) at Aqueduct. The one-mile race for fillies and mares is the ninth of a 10-race card that begins at 1 p.m.
Ivanavinalot, winner of the Bonnie Miss Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park, needs to breeze once more at Calder before trainer Kathleen O'Connell decides if she is going to take the 3-year-old filly to the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I).
Trainer Manny Tortora said Thursday morning that as of now, he is taking Supah Blitz to the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) at Churchill Downs.
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