After the inexperienced Greeley's Galaxy made a laugher out of Saturday's $500,000 Illinois Derby (gr. II), it didn' take owner B. Wayne Hughes long to make a decision on whether he would spend $200,000 to supplement his chestnut colt to the Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
Live Oak Plantation's High Fly, whose recent victory in the Florida Derby (gr. I) was his fifth in six career races, emerged as the betting favorite on Friday as Pool 3 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager ("KDFW") reached the midpoint.
It's now or never for the eight starters entered in Saturday's $750,000 Wood Memorial (gr. I). If any hope to make it to the May 7 Kentucky Derby (gr. I), they must deliver the goods in the Wood, especially with only two of the participants – Bellamy Road and Survivalist – on the top 20 list of graded earnings.
Amerman Racing Stables' Chattahoochee War won the Central Bank Transylvania Stakes (gr. IIIT) on Keeneland's opening day, but he had to battle hard to do it. The 3-year-old son of War Chant rallied to nip Guillaume Tell by a nose at the wire, then had to wait for the stewards to disallow an objection to secure the victory.
Cat Shaker, upset winner of the Rushaway Stakes at Turfway Park on the Lane's End Stakes (gr. II) undercard March 26 is headed toward next Saturday's Arkansas Derby (gr. II), according to owner Bill Callis.
Robert LaPenta's Andromeda's Hero, prepping for a possible start in the April 16 Arkansas Derby (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park, worked five furlongs at Keeneland Friday morning.
Officials with Dubai-based Godolphin have notified Churchill Downs that Blues and Royals, winner of the $2 million UAE Derby (UAE-II), would arrive in Kentucky on April 25 for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
This is a bad week for the Future Wager if you like anyone in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), Wood Memorial (gr. I), or Illinois Derby (gr. II). The only way you can get a decent price in those races is if you happen to like a horse who gets beat and feel he might move forward off it.
Dogwood Stable's Vicarage, who most recently finished seventh in the Florida Derby (gr. I), has been vanned to Lexington and will be pointed toward the April 30 Derby Trial Stakes on opening day at Churchill Downs.
Take a popular husband and wife who have already known the thrill of owning two Kentucky Derby-Preakness (both gr. I) winners and the agony of two close Belmont (gr. I) defeats. Add one of the most colorful and controversial trainers of modern times, and throw in the hottest commercial sire living. Add a French connection with an international flair, and what do you have?
Rick Porter, owner of Rockport Harbor, said that although the colt is doing much better after suffering his third setback of the year, he is 50-50 at best to make the April 16 Arkansas Derby (gr. II), and that the April 23 Lexington Stakes (gr. II) at Keeneland appears to be the more likely spot at this time."
With few standouts to emerge on the Kentucky Derby trail, a field of nine will be headed to Saturday's $500,000 Illinois Derby (gr. II) Hawthorne Park to see if they are the next to jump up and make a splash in the 3-year-old division.
Marty Wygod, owner of Sweet Catomine, said Tuesday on a national teleconference that if his filly does not run in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), she most likely will not ship to Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I). Sweet Catomine is scheduled to face colts this weekend in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I).
Cash is King Stable managing partner Chuck Zacney, co-owner of Afleet Alex, announced Tuesday he has accepted Dan Borislow's $50,000 challenge matching Borislow's Wild Desert against Afleet Alex and Rockport Harbor in a horse-against-horse showdown in the April 16 Arkansas Derby (gr. II).
High Fly and Sun King, trained by two-time Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winning trainer Nick Zito, and juvenile filly champion Sweet Catomine are listed among the favorites in a wide open third and final pool of Churchill Downs' 2005 Kentucky Derby Future Wager, which opens its April 7-10 run Thursday.
Nick Zito's Run For the Roses Regiment continued its assault on Churchill Downs this past weekend, as High Fly and Noble Causeway finished one-two in the $1-million Florida Derby (gr. I) on April 2, giving Zito five top Kentucky Derby (gr. I) contenders for five different owners.
Patrick Valenzuela has been named to ride Lane's End Stakes (gr. II) runner-up Wild Desert in the April 16 Arkansas Derby (gr. II), majority owner Dan Borislow said Monday. If Wild Desert runs well enough at Oaklawn to merit a trip to the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), Valenzuela will remain aboard.
Trainer John Servis made a phone call Monday morning, a phone call he didn't really want to make. Servis called the Keeneland racing office to nominate Rockport Harbor to the $325,000 Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II) scheduled for April 23 at the Lexington, Ky. track.
Tracy Farmer's Sun King, winner of both his starts this year including the Tampa Bay Derby, breezed an easy five furlongs in 1:02 4/5 at Churchill Downs Monday in preparation for the April 16 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I).
The Blues are returning to Kentucky this year after a two-year hiatus. Godolphin's royal blue silks will be worn in this year's May 7 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) by the appropriately named Blues and Royals.
Champion Sweet Catomine was put through her final prep before she faces the boys for the first time in Saturday's $750,000 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), topping a Southen California work tab that included several of her rivals.
Consolidator, Going Wild and Bellamy Road – all considered to be major contenders for the $2 million Kentucky Derby (gr. I) – turned in sharp workouts on Sunday at Churchill Downs in preparation for their final preps for the 131st renewal of the "Run for the Roses" on May 7.
Blanked with his 16 previous starters, trainer Nick Zito finally won the Florida Derby (gr. I) when his heavily favored High Fly rolled to a confident victory for Jerry Bailey Saturday at Gulfstream Park.
Thor's Echo, who couldn't hold off Southern Africa when the two met the last time, turned the tables on his rival in the $500,000 WinStar Derby at Sunland Park Saturday.
Murphy's Law continues to plague Fox Hill Farm's Rockport Harbor, who now has come down with an undetermined ailment, forcing trainer John Servis to cancel his scheduled work Saturday and putting his status for the April 16 Arkansas Derby (gr. II) in question.
Shamardal, Godolphin Racing's chief Kentucky Derby (gr. I) hope before his disappointing run in the UAE Derby (UAE-II) at Nad Al Sheba on March 26, is almost certain to miss the American classic May 7 due to sore shins.
Frankie Dettori, who rode Wilko to a 28-1 upset in the 2004 Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) at Lone Star Park, will fly in from Europe and be aboard the colt once more in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) on April 9.
Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel said that Mary and Gary West's High Limit, winner of the Louisiana Derby (grade II), was doing well on the day after his first work at Churchill Downs and would make his next start in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland on April 16.
The Twin Spires are out there somewhere. We should see them once the fog lifts. The crystal clear path that once was the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) trail is no more. No matter how we analyze, theorize, or just plain romanticize, we all meet this time every year at the same crossroads, with no idea in which direction we're heading.
A field of eight, highlighted by the first three finishers in the Borderland Derby and stakes winner Sort it Out, will take the gate for Saturday's $500,000 WinStar Derby, going 1 1/8 miles at Sunland Park.
Godolphin Racing's Blues and Royals, who won the March 26 UAE Derby (UAE-III) by 12 lengths, is among 14 late nominees to the Visa Triple Crown.
Trainer Nick Zito, who has failed to win the Florida Derby (gr. I) in 16 prior attempts, will saddle the top two morning-line favorites in Saturday's $1-million race.
She's big. She's bold. She's beautiful. And she just may be the best distaff prospect for smelling Derby roses in years.
Champion Sweet Catomine as well as Don't Get Mad, Giacamo, and Buzzards Bay worked in Southern California over the last two days in preparation for the April 9 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I).
A March 28 teleconference sponsored by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association was designed to profile entrants in the April 2 Florida Derby (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park, but it looks as though the prospective field will undergo some changes. Instead, the media event focused largely on equine health.
Stan Fulton's grade III winner Uncle Denny has been withdrawn from the Triple Crown trail after suffering a bone chip to his right front ankle, trainer Rafael Becerra revealed Sunday.
El Camino Real Derby (gr. III) runner-up Wannawinemall, set to make his next start in the April 9 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), worked six furlongs in 1:12 4/5 under trainer Kristin Mulhall at Santa Anita Sunday morning.
One race after watching his Proud Accolade flop as the heavy favorite in the Rushaway, trainer Todd Pletcher's inexperienced Flower Alley surprised his rivals in the $500,000 Lane's End Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-olds Saturday at muddy Turfway Park.
Bill Callis' Cat Shaker, sent off at odds of 38-1, ran down the loose pacesetter Daddy Joe in the $100,000 Rushaway for 3-year-olds at muddy Turfway Park Saturday as 2-5 favorite Proud Accolade failed to fire.
Godolphin's second string Blues and Royals turned the UAE Derby (UAE-II) into a procession under Kerrin McEvoy in a race run at a furious gallop Saturday at Nad Al Sheba.
Should Greater Good win the May 7 Kentucky Derby (gr. I), it would make the second time in the past three years the winner cannot stand at stud.
With the next Kentucky Derby Trail column not until Wednesday, March 30, when the Lane's End Stakes (gr. II) and UAE Derby (UAE-I) will be discussed belatedly, this seems like a good time to offer some lingering thoughts, facts, and observations left over from last weekend.
Virginia Kraft Payson's homebred Scipion is the latest casualty on the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) trail after X-rays revealed a condylar fracture of his right hind cannon bone.
B. Wayne Hughes said Thursday morning that Don't Get Mad will run in the grade I Santa Anita Derby April 9 rather than the April 16 Arkansas Derby (gr. II), for which the son of Stephen Got Even was also being considered.
Padua Stables' Proud Accolade, winner of the seven-furlong Hutcheson Stakes (gr. II) earlier this year, seeks to get back on track after overcoming an illness in Saturday's $100,000 Rushaway Stakes at Turfway Park. The 1 1/16-mile race is part of Lane's End Stakes (gr. II) day at the northern Kentucky track.
Spanish Chestnut, the only graded stakes winner in the bunch, drew post 8 Thursday afternoon for Saturday's $500,000 Lane's End Stakes (gr. II) at Turfway Park. The West Coast shipper was installed the 5-2 morning line favorite by Turfway's announcer and odds maker Mike Battaglia. The nine-furlong prep for the May 7 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) drew a field of nine.
Showing no ill effects from a bruised foot suffered earlier this month, Fountain of Youth (gr. II) fourth-place finisher Papi Chullo posted a bullet five-furlong workout Thursday in preparation for the April 2, $1 million Florida Derby (gr. I).
Giant's Causeway, Europe's Horse of the Year in 2000, did the expected and reigned as Europe's leading freshman sire of 2004. His four stakes winners included European champion male Shamardal and two other group winners. However, Giant's Causeway has yet to sire a stakes winner on the dirt in North America, leading to questions regarding his suitability as a sire for American racing conditions.
The field for the nine-furlong Lane's End Stakes (gr. II) stands at nine as of Wednesday afternoon with the defection of the D. Wayne Lukas' trained Silent Bid. The official cast for the $500,000 race Saturday will be drawn at a special luncheon at Turfway Park Thursday.
Bea Oxenberg and Laurie Plesa's B. B. Best, third in Gulfstream's March 5 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) and one of the leading candidates for Gulfstream's $1 million Florida Derby (gr. I) April 2, will probably get one last work March 26 in preparation for the showcase event of the season one week later.
Most Popular Stories
- Archarcharch, Tizway to South Korea
- Better Talk Now Euthanized at Age 18
- After 26 Stakes Wins, Fan Favorite Ben's Cat Retired
- Lights of Medina Leads Pletcher Trio in Mother Goose
- Curlin's Approval Heads Princess Rooney
- Holy Helena Favored for Queen's Plate
- Mott Set for Queen's Plate Debut With Channel Maker
- Obituary: Jack Arterburn Spent Life in Racing
- Fasig-Tipton Horses of Racing Age Sale Offers Diversity
- Delta Bluesman Aims to Repeat in Smile Sprint