Excess Summer, getting ready for a start in the Seabiscuit Handicap on the Oct. 25 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships undercard, blistered five furlongs in :56 4/5 over Santa Anita's fast main track Thursday morning.
Brancusi, scheduled to make his first start in Thursday's fourth race since finishing 16th and last in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), was scratched from the one-mile turf race.
Grade I winner Joey Franco worked six furlongs over Santa Anita's firm turf course Wednesday in preparation for a start over the Oct. 4-5 weekend. It was part of a very busy morning at the Arcadia, Calif. oval as it prepares for the Oak Tree meeting that begins Sunday.
Michael Tabor's multiple graded stakes winner Zavata, getting ready for a likely start in the Oct. 5 Ancient Title Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. I) at Santa Anita, worked a half-mile in :48 1/5 over the Arcadia, Calif. oval's fast main track Friday morning.
The 2002 Experimental Free Handicap has been more an experiment in futility, as none of the Top 10 weighted horses even made it to the Kentucky Derby. But several of the heavy hitters are back in training, with the No. 9 ranked Zavata leading the comeback assault on Thursday.
The 129th Kentucky Derby is one of the most perplexing races we've ever handicapped. With all the issues surrounding Empire Maker, there is a pretty good chance there's a big overlay out there just waiting to be snatched up. Finding it, however, is another thing.
Here's a look at Wednesday morning's backstretch developments at Churchill Downs.
Here's a look at what happened with the contenders for the Kentucky Derby on Tuesday morning.
Obviously, siring a Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner is a positive for any stud horse. But for a first crop sire, it can be huge. After all, by the time a stallion's first crop are 3-year-olds, he is covering his fifth book of mares.
Here's a look at what some of the contenders for Saturday's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) were up to on Monday morning, according to Churchill Downs track notes.
The storm that hit Louisville yesterday lingered until mid-morning, with the drizzle and wind finally giving way to brightening skies. With very little action, today will be more of a Derby potpourri. The heavy duty works pick up tomorrow, headed by Empire Maker and Peace Rules.
With no workouts scheduled at a rainy Churchill Downs Saturday morning, Brancusi underwent his preparations for the May 3 race over the yielding grass course at Keeneland in Lexington, Ky.
This is our last weekly report. Starting Monday we'll be filing a daily Derby Doings report detailing all the morning's activities. We'll cover the works, gallops, and jogs, and also the overall appearance of the horses as they graze in the afternoon
Jockey Tony Farina, who rode Brancusi, was upset with criticism leveled at him after a foul claim by jockey Kent Desormeaux, aboard Crowned Dancer in Saturday's Toyota Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland.
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.
Michael Tabor's Blue Grass Stakes bound Brancusi, a strong third in the March 16 San Felipe Stakes (gr. II), had his first work since then on Wednesday morning. He went six furlongs in 1:12 3/5 handily over Santa Anita's fast main track.
From Simple Pleasures Farm in Harrodsburg, Ky. to the powerful stable of Michael Tabor. The journey of Kentucky Derby hopeful Brancusi has taken his dedicated breeders, Nancy Much and Charles Whetzel, to the threshold of America's greatest race.
Unheralded Buddy Gil and jockey Gary Stevens came out of nowhere to hold off a flying Atswhatimtalknbout by a nostril in Sunday's $250,000 San Felipe Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-olds at Santa Anita.
Michael Tabor's Brancusi was put through his final preparations for next Sunday's San Felipe Stakes (gr. II) with a bullet seven-furlong work in 1:27 2/5 handily over Santa Anita's fast main track Saturday morning.
Michael Tabor's Brancusi, who impressed while winning a one-mile maiden event by five lengths at Santa Anita on Feb. 15, may turn up next in either the El Camino Real Derby (gr. III) at Golden Gate Fields Mar. 8 or the San Felipe Stakes (gr. II) on Mar. 16, trainer Patrick Biancone said.
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