Just when it looked as if Rockport Harbor's luck had run out and he'd be unable to make the March 19 Rebel Stakes (gr. III), trainer John Servis, while still cautious, said the foot looked much better Sunday.
High Limit became the first gate to wire winner of the $600,000 Louisiana Derby (gr. II) in 15 years when he rolled to an easy victory in his initial start for trainer Bobby Frankel Saturday at Fair Grounds.
Stan E. Fulton's favored Uncle Denny surged to the front on the home turn and won drawing off for jockey Russell Baze, capturing Saturday's $200,000 El Camino Real Derby (gr. III) at Bay Meadows.
Rockport Harbor's rocky road to Louisville continued Saturday when trainer John Servis announced that the undefeated colt has re-aggravated the foot bruise he suffered on Feb. 20. Although he still is on schedule for the March 19 Rebel Stakes (gr. III), Servis won't know for sure until Sunday morning.
Kinsman Stable's Bellamy Road rocketed onto the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) scene Saturday when he ran off to a 15 3/4-length victory in a one-mile allowance race at Gulfstream Park in his first start for new trainer Nick Zito.
Cash Is King Stable's Afleet Alex and Harry Aleo's unbeaten Lost In The Fog emerged as the favorites at the midway point of Pool 2 of Churchill Downs' Kentucky Derby Future Wager following the defection of the injured Declan's Moon.
Tracy Farmer's Sun King, impressive winner of his 3-year-old debut, worked five furlongs in :59 2/5 at Palm Meadows training center Saturday in preparation for the March 19 Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III).
With wagering beginning today on the second of three pools in the 2005 Kentucky Derby Future Wager, Steve Haskin, senior correspondent for The Blood-Horse, analyzes the 23 individual horses and mutuel field and their respective morning-line odds.
Declan's Moon, champion 2-year-old and early favorite for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), has been taken off the Derby trail after X-rays disclosed a small chip fracture in his left knee, trainer Ron Ellis said Friday morning.
California Breeders' Championship Stakes winner Uncle Denny is the morning line choice in a contentious field of ten 3-year-olds included for the $200,000 El Camino Real Derby (gr. III) at Bay Meadows Saturday.
Nick Zito, who already has four solid Kentucky Derby (gr. I) contenders, will try to add to his roster when he sends out the newly acquired Bellamy Road, winner of the Miller Genuine Draft Cradle Stakes (gr. III), in a one-mile allowance race at Gulfstream Saturday.
Declan's Moon, champion 2-year-old colt last year, and Wilko, winner of the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I), are among the 126 nominations for Keeneland's $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I).
For Virginia Kraft Payson's Scipion, the long stretch at Fair Grounds beckons once again, as the Patrick Biancone-trained colt returns to New Orleans for the $600,000 Louisiana Derby (gr. II) Saturday in an attempt to duplicate his stirring victory in the Feb. 12 Risen Star Stakes (gr. III).
Grade II winner Roman Ruler, getting ready for a start March 19 in either the San Felipe Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita or the Gotham Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct, worked a mile from the gate at Santa Anita Wednesday in 1:38 3/5.
The Kentucky Derby Museum has announced the receipt of Smarty Jones' "Garland of Roses", which has been donated to the museum by Roy and Patricia Chapman, the owners of the 130th Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner.
The Kentucky Derby (gr. I) picture finally cleared up a bit last Saturday as Declan's Moon and Afleet Alex returned in grand style and Nick Zito put the finishing touches on his powerful four-horse Derby package, all of whom are coming off impressive victories. But the weekend's events still left us with several questions.
The second of three pools in the 2005 Kentucky Derby Future Wager will open four days of betting with co-favorites in unbeaten juvenile champion Declan's Moon and the mutuel field, the wagering interest that includes all 3-year-olds other than the 23 individual horses in the March 10-13 pool.
A field of nine is expected for Saturday's Louisiana Derby (gr. II) at Fair Grounds after grade I winner Proud Accolade was discovered to have a fever and withdrawn from consideration by trainer Todd Pletcher.
Iroquois Stakes (gr. III) winner Straight Line suffered a mild shin bruise during Saturday's Swale Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park and the Boundary colt will now miss valuable training time if he hopes to get back on the Florida Derby (gr. I) and Kentucky Derby (gr. I) trails.
Beverly Green's Dearest Mon, a promising 3-year-old son of Maria's Mon, was a late scratch out of Saturday's Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) because of his outside post.
Thanks to High Fly's victory in the $300,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) and Noble Causeway's stylish win in a $33,000 allowance, trainer Nick Zito is building a stockpile of Kentucky Derby contenders and crystallized his hold on favorite status for the $1 million Florida Derby (gr. I) April 2.
Undefeated Declan's Moon, the early favorite for this year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I), pulled away from challengers Going Wild and Spanish Chestnut in the final furlong to register an impressive victory in the $200,000 Santa Catalina (gr. II) Saturday at Santa Anita.
Making his first start for trainer Nick Zito, High Fly rebounded from a third-place finish in the Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III) to win Saturday's Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park.
Lost in the Fog raced his way into the Triple Crown picture Saturday when the 3-year-old son of Lost Soldier rolled to a 4 3/4-length victory in the $150,000 Swale Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park.
Magna Graduate captured the $100,000 John Battaglia Memorial Stakes at Turfway Park Saturday, setting him up for the Lane's End Stakes (gr. II) three weeks away.
Harris Farms' High Standards kept his record unblemished when he came from slightly off the pace to collar tiring Run Thruthe Sun and draw off to an easy 2 1/2-length victory in Saturday's $110,450-added Baldwin Stakes for 3-year-olds at Santa Anita Park.
With Willie Martinez up and trainer John Servis looking on from the frontside press box, Rockport Harbor went to the Oaklawn Park racetrack at 7:00 Friday morning for a mile work.
Last year's juvenile champion Declan's Moon makes his long-awaited 2005 debut in Saturday's $200,000 Santa Catalina Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita Park.
Ogden Mills Phipps' Defer will face a two-turn test against a field of 10 other sophomores entered in Saturday's Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park, the final major prep for the $ 1-million Florida Derby (gr. I) April 2.
Chandtrue, unbeaten in four starts at Hollywood Park at 2, gets his sophomore campaign started on the turf in Saturday's $100,000 Baldwin Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Santa Anita.
Maryland invader Malibu Moonshine will carry top weight of 121 pounds in Saturday's John Battaglia Memorial Stakes for 3-year-olds at Turfway Park as he faces eight others while going for his third consecutive stakes win.
A trip down the Triple Crown Trail could be on the line when Northern California-based Lost in the Fog leads a field of 11 runners to the gate for the March 5 Swale Stakes (gr. II), going seven furlongs at Gulfstream Park.
Cash is King Stable's Afleet Alex will make his 3-year-old debut in the Saturday's Mountain Valley Stakes, going six furlongs at Oaklawn Park.
Owner-breeder Dan Borislow has purchased the 3-year-old colt Wild Desert from the partnership of Sarah-Lyn Stables and Carl Gessler Jr.
Declan's Moon, who was forced to miss a mile work last week due to the bad weather, still is nearly 100% fit for his scheduled 3-year-old debut in Saturday's Santa Catalina Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita, trainer Ron Ellis said Tuesday.
Nick Zito is licking his chops after last weekend's impressive victories by Sun King and Andromeda's Hero. Now, he tries to put the finishing touches on his four-horse feast when he saddles High Fly in the Fountain of Youth (gr. II) and Noble Causeway in an allowance race. All indications are that Zito will be flying high once again.
Philip and Marcia Cohen's Closing Argument, winner of the Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III) and one of the most prominent 3-year-olds on the 2005 Triple Crown trail, worked a handy five furlongs in 1:01.40 at Palm Meadows Feb. 28.
Dearest Mon, the highly regarded sophomore owned by Beverly Green and trained by Rick Violette Jr., worked four furlongs handily at Palm Meadows Feb. 28 in :48.60 in preparation for Saturday's $300,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes, one of five grade II events on tap for the Spectacular Saturday III program at Gulfstream Park.
Ken McPeek-trained Kansas City Boy, runner-up in the Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III), turned in a five-furlong breeze Feb. 28 at Gulfstream Park in preparation for Saturday's $300,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II).
Trainer Ralph Ziadie vanned the promising Port Town from his Calder Race Course base to Gulfstream Park for a Feb. 28 morning workout with an eye on a 3-year-old debut in the $150,000 Swale Stakes (gr. II) Saturday.
Multiple grade II winner Roman Ruler, now targeted for the March 19 Gotham Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct, worked six furlongs in a bullet 1:12 2/5 from the gate under jockey Gary Stevens over Santa Anita's fast main track Sunday morning.
Two talented Bay Area 3-year-olds, Lost In The Fog and Stellar Magic, had workouts Sunday morning in preparation for their next major assignments.
The 34th running of the $500,000 Lane's End Stakes (gr. II) at Turfway Park has drawn 130 nominations. The race, run at 1 1/8 miles as an early prep for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), is March 26.
Trainer Nick Zito, always a threat along the Triple Crown trail, was sitting comfortably Sunday after two of his 3-year-olds posted wins Saturday and a third, High Fly, cruised through his workout and into the picture for the $300,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) on March 5.
Champion Declan's Moon, getting ready to start in the Santa Catalina Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita March 5, worked seven furlongs in 1:25 3/5 Saturday at Hollywood Park. Trainer Ron Ellis also breezed Don't Get Mad, while across town, Spanish Chestnut and Scipion drilled for Patrick Biancone.
The Nick Zito-trained Andromeda's Hero flew past 52-1 shot Summer Legacy in the final furlong and powered home to a convincing 2 ½-length victory in Saturday's $100,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes, a 1 1/16-mile test for 3-year-olds at Tampa Bay Downs.
Undefeated Cajun Pepper will make his 3-year-old debut by leading a dozen sophomores to the gate for Sunday's $100,000 Borderland Derby, going 1 1/16 miles at Sunland Park. The Borderland Derby is the final local prep for the April 2, $500,000 WinStar Sunland Park Derby.
Fox Hill Farm's undefeated Rockport Harbor served notice that he is fully recovered from the foot bruise suffered last week by working seven furlongs at Oaklawn Park Friday in 1:27 2/5 over a fast track as he progresses toward his 3-year-old debut in the March 19 Rebel Stakes (gr. III).
Although there are only two minor stakes this weekend, Nick Zito and Shug McGaughey will have important tests for two of their big horses. This also is a good time to see if there are still any live longshots in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) future book lurking out there who might be worth taking a hard look at.
Wannawinemall, a four-length winner of a maiden special weight event Feb. 17 at Santa Anita, should make his next start in graded stakes company, according to trainer Kristin Mulhall, who said the long-term goal for the son of Royal Anthem is the Triple Crown trail.
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