Roman Ruler, one of the West Coast's top juveniles last season, is the likely favorite for Monday's $150,000 Dwyer (gr. II) for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles, one of two stakes on Belmont Park's special Independence Day racing program.
Fog City Stable's Roman Ruler, whom trainer Bob Baffert had been pointing for the Jersey Shore Breeders' Cup on July 2, worked six furlongs in a brilliant 1:10 1/5 Monday, and may now switch plans and run in the 1 1/16-mile Dwyer Stakes (gr. II) July 4.
Trainer Todd Pletcher reported Wednesday that Bandini, the 19th-place finisher in Saturday's Kentucky Derby (gr. I), sustained an ankle chip and will undergo surgery.
All horses foaled in the Northern Hemisphere have the universal birth date of Jan. 1 as their official age of racing, but not all of this year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) contenders are actually 3-year-olds as of yet. Who's the oldest? Who's the youngest? Whose birth date is actually Derby day, May 7?
Trainer Todd Pletcher was all smiles at Churchill Downs Sunday morning after watching two of his three Kentucky Derby (gr. I) contenders record their final works for the May 7 Run for the Roses.
With the inclement weather that had set in over Louisville, Ky. finally out of the area, seven contenders for Saturday's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) breezed at Churchill Downs Sunday morning.
Pletcher says Bandini doesn't need a rabbit to do well in Run for the Roses.
When horses from the Todd Pletcher barn go to the track at Churchill Downs for morning workouts, one exercise rider attracts more attention than the others. Observers know his face but often ask themselves, "Is that Angel?" The answer is yes, Hall of Fame jockey Angel Cordero Jr. is exercising horses for Pletcher,
Afleet Alex gave Oaklawn Park its second major contender for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) in as many years with his smashing win Saturday in the Arkansas Derby (gr. II).
Favored Afleet Alex bounced back from the worst race of his career, a last-place finish in the Rebel (gr. III) a month ago, to win the $1 million Arkansas Derby (gr. II) as much the best Saturday before 71,010 at Oaklawn Park.
A field of 10 was entered for Saturday's $1 million Arkansas Derby (gr. II), and although two of the "Big Three" stabled at Oaklawn this winter will run, it is not quite what the Hot Springs track had envisioned.
Rick Porter, owner of Rockport Harbor, said that although the colt is doing much better after suffering his third setback of the year, he is 50-50 at best to make the April 16 Arkansas Derby (gr. II), and that the April 23 Lexington Stakes (gr. II) at Keeneland appears to be the more likely spot at this time."
The Twin Spires are out there somewhere. We should see them once the fog lifts. The crystal clear path that once was the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) trail is no more. No matter how we analyze, theorize, or just plain romanticize, we all meet this time every year at the same crossroads, with no idea in which direction we're heading.
One race after watching his Proud Accolade flop as the heavy favorite in the Rushaway, trainer Todd Pletcher's inexperienced Flower Alley surprised his rivals in the $500,000 Lane's End Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-olds Saturday at muddy Turfway Park.
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