Cot Campbell's Dogwood Stable was dominant in the 68th Aiken Trials, winning or placing with all seven of their entrants.
Zayat Stables' Halo Najib appears to be on the outside looking in as far as making the 2008 Kentucky Derby field. Barring a last-minute defection, he's more likely to make his turf debut in the $150,000 Crown Royal American Turf (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs May 2, the day before the Derby.
Dogwood Stable's Atoned, fourth last time out in the grade II, $500,000 Illinois Derby, will be entered in the grade II $325,000 Coolmore Lexington Stakes at Keeneland on April 19, according to Cot Campbell, Dogwood Stable President.
Last year, Steve Asmussen and Robby Albarado teamed up with eventual Horse of the Year Curlin to clobber eight other contenders in the $1 million Arkansas Derby (gr. I). On April 12 at Oaklawn Park the trainer/jockey duo will collaborate again with Zayat Stables' Z Fortune, but this time their starter has a lot to prove.
Dogwood Stable's Blackberry Road, runner-up in the Kentucky Jockey Club (gr. II), and WinStar Derby winner Liberty Bull prepped for scheduled runs in next week's $1-million Arkansas Derby (gr. II) with workouts in the mud April 5 at Churchill Downs.
Denis of Cork, Blackberry Road, and My Pal Charlie worked at Churchill Downs March 30 as they prepared for final starts before the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Complications with travel arrangements could keep the undefeated Denis of Cork from coming to New York for the $750,000 Wood Memorial (gr.I) at Aqueduct April 5. Denis of Cork's trainer, David Carroll, said the other option for the winner of the Southwest Stakes (gr.III) is the $500,000 Illinois Derby (gr.II) at Hawthorne Race Course April 5.
Dogwood Stable has finalized plans for their two Kentucky Derby hopefuls Atoned and Blackberry Road. The former will make his next start in the $500,000 Illinois Derby (gr. II) April 5, while Blackberry Road will have his final prep in the $1-million Arkansas Derby (gr. II) April 12.
Denis of Cork, the undefeated winner of the Southwest Stakes (gr. III) who was expected to vie for favoritism in Saturday's Rebel Stakes (gr. III), will not run in the race, and instead will await either the April 5 Wood Memorial (gr. I) or Illinois Derby (gr. II) the same day.
The doubters said that Pyro's last-to-first victory in the Risen Star (gr. III) was not as good as it looked. There won't be much for the skeptics to say after the Pulpit colt's latest performance, a commanding three-length score in the $600,000 Louisiana Derby (gr. II) March 8 at Fair Grounds, a victory that cemented the Steve Asmussen trainee as one of the top two 3-year-olds in the country.
With less than two months until the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), it is time that some of the highly-touted 3-year-olds begin to answer our questions. Many of those answers will be provided March 8 at Fair Grounds, when nine top challengers will do battle in the $600,000 Louisiana Derby (gr. II).
Winchell Thoroughbreds' Pyro, who stamped himself as a leading Triple Crown contender after his win in last month's Risen Star Stakes (gr. III), is the 7-5 morning-line choice in a field of nine 3-year-olds entered in the March 8 Louisiana Derby (gr. II) at Fair Grounds.
This year's Future Wager field includes some interesting morning line odds, withy only five of the 23 horses higher than 20-1 and only three less than 15-1. That means that 15 horses are either 15-1 or 20-1. That all seems to imply that no one -- not even the oddsmaker -- has a clue what to make of this year's classic crop so far.
Churchill Downs oddsmaker Mike Battaglia has installed the "all others" bet as the strong 5-2 favorite in his morning-line odds for Pool 1 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager, which begins its four-day run at noon Feb. 7 at racetracks and satellite wagering outlets across the United States and Canada.
Winchell Thoroughbreds' homebred Pyro will make his 3-year-old debut in the $300,000 Risen Star Stakes (gr. III) at Fair Grounds Feb. 9, but don't think the Steve Asmussen trainee lacks experience. Prior to a Feb. 5 move over the Louisiana oval, his last two works were impressive bullets fired in company with 2007 Horse of the Year Curlin.
Be careful how you handle Crown of Thorns. As we're well aware, the impressive winner of the Feb. 2 Robert B. Lewis Stakes (gr. II) has never run on a real dirt track. But with that said, let's pretend it will make no difference, and that he will be as good on dirt as he looked in the Bob Lewis.
Zayat Stables' Z Fortune put himself near the top of trainer Steve Asmussen's 3-year-old list when he came from off the pace to take the $100,000 LeComte Stakes (gr. III) at Fair Grounds Jan. 12.
Fair Grounds' "Road to the Derby" Jan. 12 kickoff day is headed by Silverfoot in the Colonel E.R. Bradley Handicap (gr. IIIT) and Blackberry Road in the Lecomte Stakes (gr. III), but four other $100,000 stakes races have drawn familiar names as well.
Dogwood Stable's Blackberry Road may be the 7-2 morning line choice for the $100,000 Lecomte Stakes (gr. III), but he'll face two unbeaten runners, a graded stakes winner, and an impressive 9 1/4 length victor when a field of nine heads to the post at the Fair Grounds Jan. 12.
As we head into December, a well-funded trainer is looking for a potential Kentucky Derby horse, but does not want a horse based in Southern California. At the same time, a well-funded gambler is looking for a solid Derby horse to bet in the future book, but he, too, is looking away from California. The reason behind their thinking is quite simple.
Two horses owned by Dogwood Stable have validated their status as early candidates for the 2008 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands, the partnership announced Nov. 26.
Trainer Nick Zito saddled the winner of the $250,000 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 24, but it wasn't the horse everyone expected.
The racing career of Gold Coyote could not have started any more impressively. On Sept. 1, he'll get his sternet test when he headlines a field of eight in the $200,000 Arlington-Washington Breeders' Cup Futurity (gr. III) for a group of promising 2-year-olds.
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