Battle of Midway and Royal Mo, second and third, respectively, in the April 8 Santa Anita Derby (G1), each worked April 16 at Santa Anita Park.
Trainer Miguel Hernandez said Conquest Mo Money came out of the Arkansas Derby (G1) well and that he and owner Tom McKenna will discuss whether to pay the $200,000 for a supplemental nomination to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1).
Less than 24 hours after champion Classic Empire crossed the wire first in the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1), trainer Mark Casse was overseeing approximately 20 of his runners put in their first works at Churchill Downs April 16.
Instead of listening to outside noise, Mark Casse heeded what his champion charge was telling him. And when the rubber hit the road in the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) April 15, the Hall of Fame finalist's instincts where proven dead-on accurate.
Classic Empire let his actions silence some of the doubts that had mounted since February when he surged past Conquest Mo Money and Malagacy in late stretch to capture the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) at Oaklawn Park.
Fern Circle Stables' Senior Investment nabbed West Coast at the wire after circling the field in a thrilling finish of the $200,000 the Stonestreet Lexington Stakes (G3) April 15 at Keeneland.
Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) contender Girvin recorded his first breeze since winning the TwinSpires.com Louisiana Derby (G2) with a half-mile move in :47 4/5 April 15 at Trackside Louisville.
Gunnevera, winner of the Xpressbet Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2), returned to the worktab at Gulfstream Park West April 15 for the first time since his late-closing third in the $1 million Xpressbet Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream Park April 1.
Just like 2015 with Far Right and Whitmore last year, trainer Ron Moquett is trying to get to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) with only one candidate—Arkansas Derby (G1) contender Petrov.
Steve Haskin shares memories of covering the Kentucky Derby
Always Dreaming, impressive winner of the Xpressbet Florida Derby (G1) April 1 at Gulfstream Park, breezed April 14 for the first time since his five-length victory in the $1 million event.
Lael Stables' homebred No Dozing, who has four graded stakes starts under his belt, holds the class edge in Keeneland's Stonestreet Lexington Stakes (G3) April 15. The 1 1/16-mile race for sophomores is worth $200,000.
Thanks to lack of the clarity on the Road to the Kentucky Derby, Classic Empire could bring the hype full circle back to him should the 8-5 morning-line favorite prevail in the Arkansas Derby against 11 others.
The Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association is hosting an open house May 16 at historic Sagamore Farm near Glyndon, Md.
Churchill Downs Racetrack April 12 announced that multi-platinum recording artist Harry Connick Jr. will sing our national anthem May 6 at the 143rd Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1).
Heading into April weekends we love seeing stories with headlines such as "Preps to Clear Derby Picture" because: a) the features always focus on the obvious, over-worn angles, and b) the results often prove them to be incredibly wrong.
Janis Whitham's McCraken arrived at trainer Ian Wilkes' Barn 26 at Churchill Downs the morning of April 10 following a third-place finish in Saturday's Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G2) at Keeneland.
Mike Langford has campaigned two millionaires, but it's a horse with $256,800 in earnings under the care of Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen that the Jonesboro, Ark., owner calls his most talented runner to date.
Although L and N Racing didn't start its first horse until June 2015, the partnership has already hit a home run in Lookin At Lee, who was purchased for $70,000 at the Keeneland September yearling sale.
How did the weekend stakes results impact the Derby Dozen? Did Blue Grass winner Irap make the cut?
Results released April 10 of National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Top 3-Year-Old poll.
WinStar Farm, China Horse Club, and SF Racing's undefeated One Liner is out indefinitely and will miss his planned start in the April 15 Arkansas Derby (G1) and is off the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) trail.
Isabelle de Tomaso's Irish War Cry has settled back into his Fair Hill base in good condition following his victory in the $750,000 Wood Memorial (G2) at Aqueduct Racetrack.
The relative quiet surroundings of Keeneland's Barn 43 provided the perfect setting for the connections of Irap the morning of April 9 as they went about digesting what the son of Tiznow pulled off the evening before.
Dennis O'Neill's keen eye has yielded two Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) winners and another of his sale finds, Irap, is en route to Churchill Downs following a stunning upset victory in the April 8 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G2).
Trainer Ian Wilkes had his humor intact and his perspective on point Sunday morning less than 24 hours after McCraken finished third in the $1 million Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G2) April 8, the colt's first loss in five career starts.
Keeneland officials reported a spike in attendance for this year's Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G2) card and cited improved on-track handle, although total pari-mutuel handle was slightly down.
Gormley showed a different dimension in a grind-it-out Santa Anita Derby (G1) victory.
Reddam Racing's Irap moved to the lead turning for home and held off a late challenge from grade 1 winner Practical Joke to upset the 93rd edition of the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G2) at Keeneland.
Irish War Cry put doubts to rest April 8 in the $750,000 Wood Memorial Presented by NYRA Bets (G2), clearing Battalion Runner by open lengths to rebound from his lackluster performance last out.
John Oxley's reigning juvenile champion Classic Empire turned in his final serious drill in advance of his expected run in the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1), breezing an easy half-mile in :50 at Winding Oaks Farm in Ocala the morning of April 8.
Consider this your weekly guide to the best stakes in North America. This week we have massive stakes cards at Aqueduct Racetrack, Keeneland, and Santa Anita Park built around three top Triple Crown preps.
What is already a successful comeback by any definition could take a storybook twist when jockey Rajiv Maragh pilots grade 2 winner Irish War Cry in Saturday's Wood Memorial Stakes Presented by NYRA Bets (G2).
Horse Racing Radio Network (HRRN) has announced its schedule for Saturday's vital Kentucky Derby preps.
J. Keeler Johnson handicaps the Santa Anita Derby (G1) and Ashland Stakes (G1).
Trainer Graham Motion views the April 8 Wood Memorial Stakes Presented by NYRA Bets (G2) at Aqueduct Racetrack as Irish War Cry's opportunity to convince him his presence in the first leg of the Triple Crown is necessary.
If there are no scratches in the $1 million Santa Anita Derby (G1) April 8, the 13-horse field entering the gate will be the largest for the West Coast's top Triple Crown prep race since 1981.
As his connections watched their $1.2 million purchase finish last in the field of 10 in his Saratoga Race Course debut, they were hit with the sinking feeling that the potential they thought they saw the summer before had led them awry.
There's a new number one in the Derby Dozen, and the return of an old face at number 12
John Oxley's reigning juvenile champion Classic Empire worked April 3 at Winding Oaks Farm in Ocala, Fla. in preparation for his anticipated start in the Arkansas Derby (G1) April 15 at Oaklawn Park.
Chad Brown will send out Practical Joke in the $1 million Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G2) and the Eclipse Award-winning trainer likes that the April 8 race at Keeneland allows his two-time grade 1 winner an extra week of training.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Top 3-Year-Old Poll results were released April 3.
McCraken closed as the narrow 5-1 favorite over Always Dreaming.
In preparation for their next start in the Wood Memorial (G2) April 8, Todd Pletcher trainees Battalion Runner and Bonus Points both worked April 2.
The top three finishers in the Xpressbet Florida Derby (G1) exited in good order and connections said that all will be heading to Louisville to prepare for the May 6 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1).
Unbeaten McCraken soared through his final move in preparation for the April 8 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G2), covering a half-mile in :49 2/5 at Keeneland.
Isabelle de Tomaso's homebred grade 2 winner Irish War Cry, back on familiar ground at the Fair Hill Training Center in Fair Hill, Md., continued preparations for his next start with a six-furlong breeze over the main track April 2.
Always Dreaming took a massive jump up in class and continued his winning ways April 1 with a five-lengths victory in the $1 million Xpressbet Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream Park.
Girvin booked his trip to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum Brands (G1) with a 1 1/4-length victory over Patch in the $1 million TwinSpires.com Louisiana Derby (G2) April 1 at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.
- By BloodHorse Staff
- Thoroughbred Racing, Triple Crown, Northeast Region, Southeast Region, Southwest Region, West Region
This week we have cards loaded with stakes at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots and Gulfstream Park, Dortmund's return to dirt, and more.
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