Juddmonte Farm's Empire Maker, winner of the Florida Derby (gr. I) and the favorite for next week's Wood Memorial (gr. I) at Aqueduct, remained a strong favorite to win the 129th Kentucky Derby (GI) as wagering in the third and final pool of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager drew to a close on Sunday evening.
Reigning juvenile filly champion Storm Flag Flying has yet to race in 2003, but that did not stop racing fans across the United States from making the unbeaten filly a solid favorite in Churchill Downs' inaugural Kentucky Oaks Future Wager, which ended its four-day run on April 6.
The Phipps family's Storm Flag Flying, last season's champion 2-year-old filly, took another step toward her seasonal debut, breezing a half mile over Belmont's main track in :47 1/5.
Albert Fried Jr.'s Affirmed Success, who figures to be a major player in Saturday's $350,000 Carter (gr. I) at seven furlongs, breezed five furlongs over Belmont's training track this morning in :59 4/5.
Elloluv, who ran away from previously undefeated Lady Tak and the remainder of the Ashland Stakes (gr. I) field in an impressive display at Keeneland Saturday, is still a good price in Kentucky Oaks Future Wager at 12-1.
Odds on Buddy Gil, winner of the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I,) dropped from 25-1 to 15-1 as Pool 3 wound down Saturday on the eve of the final day for the 2003 Kentucky Derby Future Wager.
Ministers Wild Cat was scratched from the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby Saturday with a bruised right hind foot, trainer Neil Drysdale said.
Undefeated Storm Flag Flying is a lukewarm favorite at 5-1 in the first-ever Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) Future Wager as the betting closed on Friday.
Empire Maker remained the solid choice in pool 3 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager Friday, but the odds on the son of Unbridled edged up a bit to 3-1.
Irish-bred Ballingarry makes his first start since the Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) in Sunday's $150,000 Arcadia Handicap (gr. IIT) at 1 1/8 mile at Santa Anita, but the Canadian International (gr. IT) winner drew a tough spot for his return.
As he proved last year, the odds are often in trainer Bob Tiller's favor whenever the gates open. But in Sunday's $133,875 Jacques Cartier Stakes at Woodbine, the trainer has his rivals surrounded.
Doug Koch, owner of Berkshire Stud in upstate Pine Plains, N.Y. knows exactly how bad things can go at times in racing. Last Saturday in the Distaff Breeders' Cup (gr. II) at Aqueduct, his Saskya was to make her last start before retiring to broodmare duties.
A well-matched field of 3-year-old sprinters passed the entry box for Sunday's Lafayette Stakes (gr. III) at Keeneland. The seven-furlong race carries a purse of $100,000 added. Heading the cast is Fabien Ouaki and Patrick Biancone's Whywhywhy.
Inclement weather has forced Woodbine officials to call off Friday's race program.
Bettors made Empire Maker the solid 2-1 favorite at the close of the first day of Pool 3 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager Thursday.
The key factors surrounding Saturday's Santa Anita Derby will be the pace scenario and the enticing overlays awaiting bettors. If you go by the morning line, Domestic Dispute at 15-1, Ministers Wild Cat at 10-1, and even Kafwain as third choice at 4-1 look awfully appealing.
If Hour of Justice performs as well as his conditioner has in 2003, Saturday's $135,000 Star Shoot Stakes at Woodbine could be a foregone conclusion.
Embassy Belle is winless in two starts in the United States, but the 5-year-old Irish-bred mare has far from disgraced herself. She returns to the downhill turf course Saturday in the $100,000 Las Cienegas Handicap (Gr. III) for older fillies and mares.
Medaglia d'Oro, whose connections bypassed last weekend's Dubai World Cup, will lead a small field to the post with top weight of 122 pounds in Saturday's $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II).
Jim and Marilyn Helzer and Tom Durant's 6-year-old Wooden Phone, out for 15 months after fracturing a shoulder, returns to action as the 119-pound high weight in Saturday's $150,000 San Bernardino Handicap (gr. II) for older horses at Santa Anita.
Double G Stable's Tour of the Cat, winner of the Richter Scale Breeders' Cup Sprint Championship (gr. II) last month, is the high weight with 118 pounds in Saturday's $100,000 Artax Handicap at seven furlongs at Gulfstream Park.
Bee Bee Stables and Jacqueline Tortora's Supah Blitz, fourth in the Florida Derby and second in the Fountain of Youth (both gr. I) at Gulfstream earlier this season, may go favored in Saturday's $250,000 Aventura Stakes at the Hallandale Beach oval.
San Anita Derby morning line favorite Atswhatimtalknbout galloped about a nine furlongs early Thursday morning.
Wagering on Einar P. Robsham's Trust N Luck in Pool 3 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager has been suspended after trainer Ralph Ziadie notified officials at Churchill Downs that the winner of the Fountain of Youth (gr. I) would not compete in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) on May 3.
Claiborne Farm's Remind and Dave Feldman Stakes winner Hypnotist head the field of nine for Friday's opening day feature at Keeneland, the $100,000-added Transylvania (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-olds at one mile on the turf.
Century City prompted the pace before fading like a cheap suit in the Explosive Bid Handicap (gr. IIT) at the Fair Grounds on March 23. He returns after just two weeks in Sunday's Arcadia Handicap (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita.
A 10-horse field, including three 3-year-olds trained by Bob Baffert, were entered for Saturday's $750,000, grade I Santa Anita Derby at 1 1/8 miles.
Gotham Stakes (gr. III) winner Alysweep was installed the 2-1 morning-line favorite when 10 horses were entered Wednesday for Saturday's $500,000, grade II Illinois Derby.
In order to allow the posted odds to most accurately reflect the closing price, wagering during Keeneland's upcoming spring meeting will close as the first horse enters the starting gate.
Stonerside Stables' grade 1 winner Congaree will likely race next in the $350,000 Carter Handicap (gr. I) at Aqueduct on April 12, trainer Bob Baffert said. The 5-year-old son of Arazi finished second by a nose to Milwaukee Brew in the Mar. 1 Santa Anita Handicap (gr.) in his last start.
Jockey Gary Stevens is excited about the progression of Buddy Gil and is anxious for his 3-year-olds actions to speak louder than words in Saturday's Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park.
Ministers Wild Cat, likely favorite in Saturday's Santa Anita Derby, soared from 13th to fifth on the latest weekly list of leading Kentucky Derby contenders compiled by Steve Haskin, senior correspondent for The Blood-Horse.
Ten Most Wanted, a contender for Saturday's $500,000 Illinois Derby (gr. II), work an easy half Tuesday at Hawthorne. He went :25.2, :38.0, and :49.4 in a breeze, galloping out 1:03.3 for the five-eigths of a mile under jockey Larry Sterling Jr. for trainer Wally Dollase.
Robert and Beverly Lewis' Santa Catarina will skip Saturday's Ashland Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland and train up to the May 2 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) instead, trainer Bob Baffert said.
It was Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) preview day at the California oval Monday as four of the eight or nine expected runners were put through their final drills for Saturday‚s $750,000 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) prep.
Having to cope with a slow week like this right before the final push to Louisville is like being a little kid staring out the window on a rainy, summer day, trying to figure out what to do. So, what better time to indulge in a potpourri of minutia.
Rapidly maturing Ministers Wild Cat, a colt who drifted in during the stretch run of his last two races, will wear blinkers for the first time in Saturday's $750,000 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), trainer Neil Drysdale said.
Godolphin and trainer Saeed bin Suroor appears to have all options covered for the way Saturday's Group I Dubai World Cup will be run. Now it is a question of whether Moon Ballad and Grandera have what it takes to secure the stable their fourth win in the race.
Drawn perfectly in post 3 and gaining the weight advantage while taking on males, the outstanding mare Ipi Tombe should be the strongest favorite in the history of the $2 million Group I Dubai Duty Free, over 1,777 meters, at Nad Al Sheba on Saturday night.
The withdrawal of America's outstanding mare Xtra Heat makes the $2 million Group I Dubai Golden Shaheen wide open.
Godolphin's exciting new recruit Sulamani will carry the stable's hopes in reversing a frustrating recent run in the $2 million Group I Dubai Sheema Classic.
Queen's Plate winterbook favorite Wando, makes his 2003 debut in Sunday's $161,100 Achievement Stakes at Woodbine, the first major race on the road to the Canada's premier race.
Sunland Park's inaugural WinStar Derby, with the attractive scent of a $500,000 purse, has drawn a field of eight 3-year-olds to the New Mexico track just across the border from El Paso, Texas.
The heat is on in Dubai. It can be felt not just from the baking sun that beats through the hazy skyline, but among the trainers who have produced the strongest ever numerical raiding party for Saturday's $15.2 million World Cup meeting.
Corey Nakatani takes over the reigns on 9-year-old Kona Gold in Saturday's $200,000 Portrero Grande Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at 6 1 /2 furlongs at Santa Anita.
Grade 1-winning distaffers Raging Fever and Carson Hollow meet for the first time Saturday in the $150,000 Distaff Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Aqueduct.
The Aventura Stakes, Illinois Derby, and Santa Anita Derby will make up a national pick three April 5.
Koji Maeda's Japanese-bred Sunday Break worked a bullet seven furlongs in 1:26 2/5 handily around the dogs over Santa Anita's firm turf course Wednesday morning. Hall of Fame conditioner Neil Drysdale was on hand to supervise the son of Forty Niner, who went fastest of seven on the lawn for the distance on the day with jockey Corey Nakatani in the irons.
The subdued effect that war with Iraq is having on the $15.2 million Dubai World Cup meeting was evident at the official draw for the big race.
Godolphin Racing has nominated Tale Of The Cat's son Inamorato as its chief Kentucky Derby prospect ahead of his run in Saturday's $2 million UAE Derby at Nad Al Sheba.
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