Edward P. Evans' Quality Road, winner of the Florida Derby (gr. I) for his third victory in four career races, remained the favorite to win the 135th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) on May 2 as the third and final pool of Churchill Downs' 2009 Kentucky Derby Future Wager reached its midway point on the evening of April 3.
Florida Derby (gr. I) winner Quality Road justified his status as the morning line choice for the third and final pool of Churchill Downs' 2009 Kentucky Derby Future Wager ("KDFW") when racing fans across North America made the Jimmy Jerkens-trained colt a tepid 5-1 favorite during the April 2 opening day of betting in the four-day pool.
Ruben Munoz, agent for jockey Gabriel Saez, will also handle the book for leading rider John Velazquez at the Keeneland meet that begins April 3.
Friesan Fire, whose Louisiana Derby (gr. II) romp cemented his status as one of the leading Triple Crown contenders, will most likely not have another race before the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), trainer Larry Jones said April 1.
Edward P. Evans' homebred Quality Road, winner of the Florida Derby (gr. I) and Fountain of Youth (gr. II), is the morning line favorite among 24 betting interests for the third and final pool of Churchill Downs' 2009 Kentucky Derby Future Wager, which opens four days of betting at racetracks and satellite wagering outlets April 2.
Join Trainer Larry Jones as he answers questions like: Tell about how your two leading Kentucky Derby contenders Old Fashioned and Friesan Fire are doing and what the plans are for them between now and the first Saturday in May.
In the metal-working technique called "brazing," two metals with disparate properties are joined by a third that is sufficiently similar to both to create an effective union.
I Want Revenge retains the top spot, but a big win in the Louisiana Derby moved Friesan Fire up to number 3 in this week's Derby Dozen.
As often happens on the Kentucky Derby trail, they fell like proverbial bowling pins last weekend, although two of the bigger names reinforced their strong position. Not all the vanquished will be taken off the trail, as some deserve another chance after racing on less than desirable surfaces, but they have put themselves in a desperate situation.
Cindy Jones, wife and assistant to trainer Larry Jones, said all three of the stable's horses who who ran at Fair Grounds March 14, including Louisiana Derby (gr. II) winner Friesan Fire, came out of their races well.
A weekend of upsets in important prep races for the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) convinced many racing fans to turn to the "all others" option as the mutuel field ended up as the lukewarm 9-2 favorite in the second of three pools in Churchill Downs' 2009 Kentucky Derby Future Wager.
Vinery Stables and Fox Hill Farm's Friesan Fire swept the Louisiana 3-year-old series and made a bold statement for the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) when overwhelming eight rivals to win the $600,000 Louisiana Derby (gr. II) by 7 1/4 lengths March 14 at Fair Grounds.
A pair of unbeaten horses and the betting interest that represents "all others" drew the strongest fan support on the opening day of second of three pools in Churchill Downs' 2009 Kentucky Derby Future Wager.
This week, Jason, Evan, and the Wizard look at both the Louisiana Derby (gr. II) at Fair Grounds, and the San Felipe (gr. II) at Santa Anita. Both races are Saturday, March 14. Watch Video
Triple Crown Talk blog, with host Jason Shandler, analyzes the Louisiana Derby.
Winner of the Jan. 10 LeComte (gr. III) and Feb. 7 Risen Star (gr. III), Friesan Fire will try to sweep the Louisiana series for 3-year-olds and stamp himself as one of the top Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) contenders in the nation. The son of A.P. Indy--Bollinger was installed as the 5-2 morning-line favorite.
Pool 2 of the 2009 Kentucky Derby Future Wager opens its four-day run on Thursday, March 12 and bettors will be able to wager on an exacta for the first time in the pool's 11-year history.
Friesan Fire, winner of the LeComte (gr. III) and Risen Star (gr. III), has been installed the 5-2 morning line choice in the 10-horse field that will contest the March 14, $600,000 Louisiana Derby (gr. II) at Fair Grounds.
Hosted by Lenny Shulman and Steve Haskin, "And They're Off" is a bi-monthly online video series sponsored by Darby Dan Farm. In this Mardi Gras edition, Lenny and Steve discuss Derby horses, including Dunkirk, Old Fashioned and Friesan Fire and older horses, including undefeated Rail Trip. Plus, the "And They're Off" Trivia contest announcement, and more.
Triple Crown Talk blog, with host Jason Shandler, reviews Old Fashioned's performance in the Southwest and offers a new top 10 Derby Watchlist.
The mutuel field, or "all others," was the solid 9-5 favorite among 24 wagering interests at the conclusion of betting in four-day pool. But Fox Hill Farm's Old Fashioned was a clear choice among the 23 individual horses in the Derby Future pool that ended on the eve of the colt's 3-year-old racing debut.
The traditional status of the mutuel field, or "all others," as the favorite in the opening pool of Churchill Downs' Kentucky Derby Future Wager seems secure for another year, but unbeaten Old Fashioned has strengthened his position as the leading individual contender for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) with one day of wagering remaining in the first of three 2009 Derby Future pools.
Hosted by Lenny Shulman and Steve Haskin, "And They're Off" is a bi-monthly online video series sponsored by Darby Dan Farm. In this Valentine's Day edition, Lenny and Steve evaluate the recent Derby preps, discuss the Preakness infield experience, touch on Nicanor's debut, celebrate the 96th Birthday of John Nerud, and more.
It was an excellent weekend on the old trail, with some first-class performances, not only by the winners, but several of the losers as well. The latest Top 15 follows the column.
Vinery Stables and Fox Hill Farms' Friesan Fire stamped himself as a legitimate Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) contender by winning his second consecutive graded stakes race at Fair Grounds. This time, the A.P. Indy colt posted a two-length victory in the $200,000 Risen Star (gr. III) Feb. 7.
Triple Crown Talk blog, with host Jason Shandler, and a Kentucky Derby Fantasy with
We have an interesting assortment of 3-year-old stakes this weekend, even though the Whirlaway and WEBN Stakes came up pretty thin. Will the Derby winner be in the Robert Lewis (gr. III) or Risen Star (gr. III)? We could have a much better idea once certain questions are answered.
This week, Jason and Tom analyze the Risen Star (gr. III) at Fair Grounds on Saturday, February 7. Also Brisnet's handicapping expert The Wizard's Spotlight Play is Race 3 at Fair Grounds on Saturday.
MAHUBAH'S CORNER, by Avalyn Hunter
In the case of Friesan Fire, understanding was a little slow in coming, but Larry Jones' patience seems to be paying off. On pedigree, Jones had every reason to be confident that Friesan Fire would eventually come around.
With the first Derby Dozen list scheduled for early February, this is a good time to make up a Top 10 list of horses who haven't accomplished enough just yet to make the official list, but who have a good chance of making it in the near future.
Friesan Fire, a talented 3-year-old colt who had disappointed in his last three starts, finally showed why trainer Larry Jones considered him a legitimate Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) prospect from the outset.
Triple Crown Talk blog, with host Jason Shandler, looks at the LeComte Stakes, the first important graded earnings test for Kentucky Derby Hopefuls.
Jason and Evan analyze the LeComte Stakes (gr. III) at Fair Grounds on Saturday, January 10. The Wizard's Spotlight Play is Fair Grounds Race 2 on Saturday, January 10.
Indygo Mountain, who broke his maiden impressively Nov. 19 at Churchill Downs but had to be scratched from his next start because of a minor injury, was installed as the 3-1 morning-line choice in the $100,000 Lecomte Stakes (gr. III) at Fair Grounds Jan. 10.
Clarence Scharbauer Jr.'s highly-regarded juvenile Indygo Mountain, scratched during the post parade of an allowance event for 2-year-olds at Fair Grounds Dec. 18, was standing comfortably in his stall the following morning while trainer Bret Calhoun updated his colt's status.
In what has to be one of the strongest and deepest 2-year-old allowance fields ever assembled at Fair Grounds, nine juveniles will go to the post in Thursday's one-mile test, several of whom have already excited fans with their dazzling performances.
Yes, it is early to start thinking about Kentucky Derby future bets, but this is the time of year when you can find the megabombs if you're willing to put your money on a wing and a prayer.
Break Water Edison took the overland route for jockey Alan Garcia to register his first stakes win in the $118,500 Nashua (gr. III) for 2-year-olds at Aqueduct Nov. 2.
When Vinery Stables transferred a handful of horses in-training from Steve Asmussen into the barn of Larry Jones earlier this summer, graded stakes winner Kodiak Kowboy grabbed much of the attention as the highest profile colt changing hands. But when Jones received his new shipment of horses Kodiak Kowboy wasn't necessarily the one he was most excited about. It was 2-year-old colt Friesan Fire.
Jockey Alan Garcia, who had his option of two top Kiaran McLaughlin-trained colts in the $250,000 Futurity at Belmont Park, made the right call when he guided favored Charitable Man to a convincing victory Sept. 13.
Trainers Larry Jones and Kiaran McLauglin each take two shots in the wide open $250,000 Futurity (gr. II) for 2-year-olds at Belmont Park Sept. 13.
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