Blue Grass Stakes

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Peace Rules Edges Brancusi in Slow Blue Grass Renewal

When Harlan's Holiday won last year's Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) in a time of 1:51.51, it was the slowest winning time in the 1 1/8-mile race since Granacus (1:52) beat Intensive Command by three lengths in 1988. On Saturday, Peace Rules creeped home slower than Harlan's Holiday, finishing the key Kentucky Derby prep race in 1:51.73 on the fast track.

Big 3, Pick 3 Returns on April 12

The 79th running of Aqueduct's grade I, $750,000 Wood Memorial for 3-year-olds at nine furlongs on Saturday, April 12, 2003 will once again be the first leg of the Big 3 Pick 3. The Big 3 Pick 3 is a $1 national wager in which fans try to pick the winner of three important prep races for 3-year-olds planning on running in the upcoming Visa Triple Crown races.

Steve Haskin's Derby Report (4/15): On to Louisville

As difficult to believe as this may seem, we're actually going to keep it relatively short this week, as everyone saw what transpired on Saturday and has formed their own opinions. We are starting from scratch and tossing the past performances. We've looked at them so many times over the past four months, they no longer register in our brain.

Aqueduct, Keeneland Do Well with Derby Preps

Aqueduct registered its largest attendance figure since 1993 for Saturday's card and attendance at Keeneland for the Blue Grass Stakes was the fifth highest total in the Lexington track's history.

Easyfromthegitgo Bound for Lexington Stakes; 11 Entered for Northern Spur

Trainer Steve Asmussen said Easyfromthegitgo will have his final Kentucky Derby prep in the April 20 Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II) at Keeneland. Meanwhile, 11 3-year-olds entered Wednesday's Northern Spur Stakes at Oaklawn Park, and the ever-changing list of horses probable for the April 13 Arkansas Derby (gr. II) is currently down to 10.

Keeneland Report: Pincay, the Millennium Man

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).

Trainers Gearing Up For Big Stakes; Godolphin Pair Arrives at Churchill

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.

Songandaprayer Works; Accident Disrupts Keeneland Training Regimen

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.

A P Valentine to Run at Hialeah Saturday

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.

Road to Louisville: Who's Going Where

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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