Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III) winner Equality and Fountain of Youth (gr. I) winner Booklet put in morning works at Gulfstream Park Saturday.
ESPN's coverage of the Toyota Blue Grass (gr. I), the Arkansas Derby (gr. II), and the Wood Memorial (gr. II) attracted slightly more than 435,000 viewers April 14.
The Big Three Pick Three wager, which linked Saturday's three major Kentucky Derby prep races, returned $121 for every $2 wagered on the correct combination.
One week before the Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I), Laffit Pincay Jr. sat comfortably in a rocking chair half a continent away from Keeneland in the Santa Anita Park jocks' room. Asked to pick his biggest thrill in racing, Pincay could be forgiven if he tussled awhile with the question. After all, there have been 35 years of memories: the ascension to all-time leading rider; induction into the Hall of Fame; six Eclipse Awards; seven wins on one card; historic stakes wins on horses like Affirmed and John Henry. Yet his answer came before the question had time to dry--his win aboard Swale in the 1984 Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
Thoroughbred Classics Presented by the NTRA will feature 17 program this year, with the first segment focused on the Triple Crown. Thoroughbred Classics will debut Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. (EDT) on ESPN Classic with a retrospective on this Saturday's Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland.
Top trainers from New York to Kentucky to Arkansas are gearing up for this weekend's three big Kentucky Derby preps, after which we should have a good idea who will provide the main challenges to Santa Anita Derby winner Point Given. On the foreign front, the two Godolphin invaders, Street Cry and Express Tour, arrived safe and sound at Churchill Downs today at approximately 1 p.m. after clearing quarantine at Keeneland.
Devil Eleven Stable and D J Stable's Fountain of Youth (gr. I) winner Songandaprayer worked five furlongs in a quick :59 2/5 at Keeneland Racecourse Friday morning in preparation for the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I). The workout by the bay colt with the distinctive blaze was held up for more than an hour when Keeneland's main track was closed due to a training accident.
In a surprise move, trainer Nick Zito has entered A P Valentine in a 1 1/16-mile race at Hialeah Saturday. It was originally planned to run the son of A.P. Indy in the Flamingo Stakes on April 7, but Zito felt it was time to find out just where the colt stood on the Kentucky Derby trail. Iin Saturday's race, A P Valentine will carry 108 pounds as he faces older horses in the optional claiming test for non-winners of two other/than. A P Valentine is one of two starters in the six horse field not running for the claiming price of $150,000.
John Oxley's Florida Derby (gr. I) winner Monarchos and The Thoroughbred Corp.'s San Felipe (gr. II) winner Point Given head the list of 109 nominations to the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I). The 1 1/8-mile event will be televised live on ESPN April 14 from Keeneland Race Course.
The road to Louisville right now is like something out of "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World," where everyone is scurrying frantically about in different directions trying to get to a single destination. Many trainers are still confused as to where to send their steeds, whether they're trying to avoid the big guns, like Monarchos and Point Given, or looking for the best possible spot for their horse. Derby winners usually have set plans and stick to it, so it's almost time for those trainers who are still vacillating to make up their minds.
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