March 24, 1979
Spectacular Bid in the Flamingo Stakes
March 24, 1979
Martin Cherry's Wynn Dot Comma, who upset leading Kentucky Derby (gr. I) contender Eurosilver in the Swale Stakes (gr. III), was euthanized Tuesday after breaking down during a routine gallop at Calder Racecourse.
Steve Taub's multiple grade II winner Imperialism, getting ready to make his final stop on the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) trail in the April 3 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), worked five furlongs in a bullet 1:00 4/5 over Hollywood Park's fast main track Tuesday.
When trainer John Kimmel announced after the Florida Derby (gr. I) that his upset winner Friends Lake likely would train up to the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), it was before he found out the colt was suffering from a viral infection, which has reinforced his decision.
Some Kentucky Derby pundits have questioned Smarty Jones' pedigree due to the speed influences of his sire, Elusive Quality, and broodmare sire, Smile. Their problem lies in the fact they haven't scratched much beyond the surface.
March 23, 1951
Counterpoint at Gulfstream Park
Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith's grade I winner Lion Heart, in preparation for his probable start in the April 3 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), worked one mile in 1:42 2/5 in company with stablemate Tarkovsky March 22 on Santa Anita Park's fast main track.
It seems as if each Monday brings with it a new set of excuses for beaten favorites in Kentucky Derby (gr. I) preps. Some will prove to be legitimate and some won't. But the bottom line is no one has a clue who is going to win this year's Derby, which is as muddled as any in memory at such a late date.
Ten additional 3-year-olds were nominated to the $500,000 Illinois Derby (gr. II) before late nominations for the April 3 race at Hawthorne closed Friday, March 19.
March 22, 1972
Riva Ridge at Hialeah
March 21, 1970
Personality in New York
Under a steady rain, top Kentucky Derby prospect Birdstone never got going in Saturday's $500,000 Lane's End Stakes (gr. II), clunking home fifth as 16-1 frontrunner Sinister G scored a major surprise at Turfway Park.
Someday Farm's undefeated Smarty Jones continues to have all of the answers, tallying a sharp 3 1/4-length victory in the $200,000 Rebel Stakes for 3-year-olds at Oaklawn Park Saturday.
Kentucky Derby hopeful Rock Hard Ten worked seven furlongs in a bullet 1:24 2/5 at Santa Anita on Saturday morning in preparation for a start in either the April 3 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) or the April 10 Arkansas Derby (gr. II).
Saratoga County took advantage of a fast pace to collar Pomeroy in mid-stretch and pulled away to a 2 1/4-length victory in the $200,000 Gotham Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct Saturday.
Fred F. Bradley's homebred maiden Brass Hat, ridden by Jason Lumpkins, took command in the stretch and rolled to an easy 3 3/4-length victory over a suspect field of 3-year-olds in the $100,000 Rushaway Stakes at Turfway Park.
March 20, 1971
Hoist the Flag Breezes Home
Five 3-year-olds are pointing to the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) on April 3, with three others awaiting developments this weekend before a decision is made.
Trainer D. Wayne Lukas, who did not compete in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) last year for the first time since 1979, will miss the West Coast's premier 3-year-old race again this year.
In February, it looked as if Fort Calder was about to unleash the most potent corps of Kentucky Derby contenders ever assembled there. But most of the big names are gone, and it's now down to a pair of unlikely heroes to carry on the Calder name on this year's Triple Crown trail.
On paper, The 33rd running of the Grade II, $500,000 Lane's End Stakes looks like a one horse race. You guessed it, Birdstone, the even money morning line favorite.
I got hooked on Smarty Jones just off his name--then really got interested off his run in the Count Fleet when he stumbled out of the gate, swept three wide around the field and cleared by five.
While we haven't been covering Saratoga County as a potential Kentucky Derby contender on
TheDowneyProfile.com, he is nominated to the Triple Crown, and there are several angles going for him in the Gotham.
March 19, 1980
Although the Gotham Stakes is only grade III, and is not known for producing Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winners, Saturday's running of the one-mile event features the most intriguing matchup of the year, between two of most gifted 3-year-olds in the country, Eddington and Redskin Warrior.
Trainer Nick Zito and jockey Jerry Bailey, the connections for even-money favorite Birdstone who drew the rail for the $500,000 Lane's End Stakes, will also join forces Saturday with El Prado Rob, who drew the rail for the Rushaway Stakes on the undercard.
Trainer Nick Zito is beginning his assault on the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) by shipping three of his top contenders to Keeneland. The plane carrying Eurosilver, Birdstone, and The Cliff's Edge was expected to land in Central Kentucky today.
Jockey Richard Migliore is hoping that Redskin Warrior can provide him with another hot potential Visa Triple Crown Challenge runner. Last weekend Migliore guided Friends Lake to victory in the Florida Derby (gr. I) and this weekend he and Redskin Warrior will break from post six in Saturday's $200,000 Gotham Stakes (gr. III) , going a mile around one-turn at Aqueduct.
Smarty Jones likes Oaklawn Park, as proven by his win there in the Southwest Stakes, but the colt will give weight to all of his competitors in Saturday's Rebel Stakes.
Marylou Whitney's Birdstone was installed the even-money favorite against 10 rivals for Saturday's Lane's End Stakes (gr. II) at Turfway Park. The 3-year-old son of Grindstone drew post one for the 1 1/8-mile race.
Friends Lake may have paid $76.80 for his Florida Derby (gr. I) victory, due perhaps to a two-month layoff and an uninspired third in the Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III). Certainly, his success should have come as no surprise when considering his pedigree.
In the March 7 Louisiana Derby (gr. II) at Fair Grounds, Wimbledon served notice that he was a 3-year-old to be reckoned with by registering an impressive 2 1/4-length win. That win solidified what trainer Bob Baffert had said since the son of Wild Rush joined his stable last year as a juvenile. This colt has the pure talent to outrun his pedigree and tackle the Visa Triple Crown Challenge.
March 18, 1978
Affirmed in the San Felipe Handicap
The $750,000 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) April 3 is shaping up as one of the most competitive races of the year, with Wimbledon, Lion Heart, St Averil, and Imperialism all battling for West Coast supremacy among the 3-year-olds.
There are eight firm candidates for Saturday's Lane's End Stakes (gr. II), according to the racing office at Turfway Park, with as many as four others riding the fence.
March 17, 1973
Secretariat Impresses in 3-Year-Old Debut
On Thursday Midway Road is scheduled to make his first start since June. His trainer Neil Howard is also looking ahead to the next starts for Breakaway, Gradepoint, and Shadow Cast.
Bob Baffert said Tuesday he has decided to keep Louisiana Derby (gr. II) winner Wimbledon home and point for the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), while San Felipe (gr. II) winner Preachinatthebar will head to Keeneland for the Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I).
Marylou Whitney Stables' homebred Birdstone, winner of the grade I Champagne Stakes at Belmont last year, is the talk of Turfway leading up to their signature Kentucky Derby (gr. I) prep, Saturday's Lane's End Stakes (gr. II). However, the diminutive son of Grindstone hasn't exactly scared anyone off from the $500,000 race with as many as 14 others considering the race.
Paraneck Stable's exciting Redskin Warrior, impressive winner of the Best Turn Stakes, breezed a half in :47 2/5 at Aqueduct for Saturday's one-mile Gotham Stakes (gr. III), which also will attract the up-and-coming star, Eddington, who will be ridden for the first time by Edgar Prado.
Mike Pegram's San Felipe Stakes (gr. II) winner Preachinatthebar emerged from his first career graded stakes score in good order, trainer Bob Baffert said.
March 16, 1991
Hansel in Florida
With Bob Baffert pairing up over the past two weekends, and Nick Zito still sitting with three of a kind, it should be quite a game of cat and mouse if the two born again Kentuckians meet at Churchill Downs with their hands intact.
March 15, 1980
Temperence Hill in the Rebel Handicap
This is the first of a two-part column on this past weekend's races. The first will deal with Saturday's card at Gulfstream Park, featuring the Florida Derby (gr. I) and Swale Stakes (gr. II). The remainder of the Derby preps will be discussed in part two.
Following a weekend of Kentucky Derby prep races in which several leading Kentucky Derby contenders suffered defeats, the field of "all other 3-year-olds" emerged as the favorite when the second of three pools in Churchill Downs' 2004 Kentucky Derby Future Wager ended its four-day run Sunday.
Three-time Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Bob Baffert is on top of the game again after Preachinatthebar narrowly won the $250,000 San Felipe Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita Sunday, Baffert's second major Derby prep win in the past week.
Dogwood Stable's favored Limehouse answered a major question about his distance capabilities, catching the leaders late to register a neck victory over Mustanfar in the $250,000 Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III) Sunday.
Triple Crown candidate Minister Eric mad his long-awaited return to the races Saturday with a third-place finish in a $49,000 allowance/optional claiming event for 3-year-olds on the downhill turf course at Santa Anita.
A string of major upsets in Saturday's preps for the 130th running of the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) May 1 helped solidify the mutuel field's grip on the favorite's role heading into the final day of Pool 2 of Churchill Downs' 2004 Kentucky Derby Future Wager.
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