Although the names wouldn't lead you to think so, Flying Dash and Orchard Park were heading into the fifth running of the Virginia Derby at Colonial Downs Saturday touted as a monster matchup.
Fusao Sekiguchi's Flying Dash was installed as the 7-5 morning line favorite when seven horses were entered for Saturday's $500,000 Virginia Derby at Colonial Downs.
The "NTRA Summer Racing Tour On CBS," presented by Long John Silver's, visits Belmont Park, Monmouth Park, and Arlington Park for live racing this Saturday from 5:00-6:00 p.m. (ET).
Nine stakes winners were entered Wednesday for Saturday's $500,000 Lone Star Derby (gr. III), including Rebel Stakes (gr. III) winner Windward Passage.
Mike Pegram's Danthebluegrassman, a surprise entrant in Saturday's Kentucky Derby who was scratched on the morning of the race because of a muscle problem, showed no ill effects from the problem when he worked a half-mile in :50 3/5 at Churchill Downs on Tuesday.
Windward Passage, relishing the added ground, rolls to a one- length victory in the Rebel Stakes
With a host of local horses not entered in Saturday's $100,000 Rebel Stakes (gr. III), two horses shipping in from out of town -- Jeremiah Jack and Ocean Sound -- will likely vie for favoritism in the Oaklawn Park feature race.
Jeremiah Jack is slated to make his first start since undergoing surgery to correct a breathing problem in Saturday's $100,000 Rebel Stakes (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park.
Paloma Parilla and Cojet will both miss their anticipated starts in the March 23 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park. Calvin Borel was to ride Cojet in the Rebel, but quickly picked up the mount on Ocean Sound for the 1 1/16-mile race.
French Assault, preparing for his 3-year-old debut in Sunday's $150,000 Risen Star Stakes (gr. III), worked five furlongs at Fair Grounds Wednesday for trainer Keith Desormeaux. The son of French Deputy completed the breeze in 1:03 on a fast track.
For some owners and trainers, the $100,000 LeComte Stakes at Fair Grounds on Jan. 26 was the goal. For others, the mile race was just a pop quiz. Questions had to be answered before the final exam, the $750,000 Louisiana Derby (gr. II) scheduled for March 10. Intentions were hard to read.
Trainers on both coasts unwrapped some exciting early Christmas presents last week, and all the gifts appear to come with batteries packed with enough charge to last well past next May. This is the time of year when the colts with Derby pedigrees make their appearance, and if you like to see brilliance and a big closing kick to go along with a very low dosage index, then you're going to love Pelirrojo, Charioteer, Axis, and Iwin.
Churchill Downs' closing day $200,000-added stakes races for 2-year-olds -- the Golden Rod (gr. II) for fillies and the Kentucky Jockey Club (gr. II) -- have each attracted fields of six horses, although both races suffered late defections because of illness.
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