Churchill Downs' Kentucky Derby Future Wager pool 3 closed March 1 with the mutuel field, or "All Others", the tepid 4-1 favorite, while American Pharoah and Dortmund were the top two individual interests.
The Great War, who was last of 10 in the John Battaglia Memorial Stakes at Turfway Park Feb. 28 after bleeding during the race, is no longer a candidate for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas said he hopes to breeze champion filly Take Charge Brandi March 2 at Oaklawn Park in preparation for her next start, possibly against males in the $750,000 Rebel Stakes (gr. II) March 14.
Multiple graded stakes winner El Kabeir, most recently second in the Withers (gr. II), had his final serious work March 1 at Belmont Park for the $400,000 Gotham (gr. III) March 7 at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Trainer Bob Baffert confirmed March 1 that imposing colt Dortmund will start in the $400,000 San Felipe Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita Park March 7.
American Pharoah may be more than ready to make his 3-year-old debut. The Zayat Stables-owned son of Pioneerof the Nile worked an eye-catching seven furlongs in 1:23 4/5 Feb. 27 at Santa Anita Park.
- By Blood-Horse Staff
- Thoroughbred Racing, Triple Crown, Midwest Region, Southeast Region, Southwest Region, Kentucky
Churchill Downs Inc. officials said Thursday, Feb. 26, they aim to build on last year's highly profitable Kentucky Derby week but acknowledged they see little opportunity for racing growth outside of that week.
Owner Willis Horton confirmed Feb. 25 that the $750,000 Rebel Stakes (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park March 14 is under consideration as a target for champion Take Charge Brandi, although a decision has not yet been made.
Crediting its racing, casino, and online businesses, Churchill Downs Inc. enjoyed record revenues in 2014, while also finishing the year with record revenues in the fourth quarter.
Don't act bewildered when your freakishly fast Bellamy Road finishes up the track on the first Saturday in May and a "slowpoke" like Giacomo comes charging by you in the stretch. read blog
Zayat Stables will continue its chess game of 3-year-old prep racing by shipping Mr. Z to the March 28 Louisiana Derby (gr. II), while American Pharoah runs in the Rebel (gr. II) and El Kabeir starts in the Gotham (gr. II).
A pair of 3-year-olds trained by Bob Baffert are the top individual choices according to the morning line for this weekend's Kentucky Derby Future Wager pool, the third of four Derby future wagers that will be offered.
Frank Angst analyzes the Kentucky Derby picture following interesting prep races from the weekend, specifically weight assignments. read blog
J. Keeler Johnson recaps last weekend's Kentucky Derby prep races. read blog
Derby Eve Lexington, a new fundraiser the night before the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), will be held for the first time May 1 at the polo barn at Saxony Farm in Lexington.
A bumped start barely fazed heavily-favored Khozan in his second straight romp at Gulfstream Park Feb. 22. The $1 million purchase by Al Shaqab Racing impressed again with a 12 3/4-length win.
Upstart was disqualified after crossing the wire first in the $400,000 Besilu Stables Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) Feb. 21 at Gulfstream Park, with 5-1 Itsaknockout elevated from second to his first graded win.
Ken and Sarah Ramsey's International Star came back for more Feb. 21, punching through on the rail to win the $400,000 Risen Star Stakes (gr. II) after taking the Jan. 17 Lecomte Stakes (gr. III) at Fair Grounds.
Texas Red remains on course for the April 4 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) as he swims his way back from an abscess on his right front foot following a sharp second in his 3-year-old debut in the San Vicente Stakes Feb. 1.
An argument could be made that California's second-best Triple Crown hopeful at this point in the year might only have a maiden special weight win.
Donald Sucher, who twice bred once-in-a-lifetime fillies in Racing Hall of Fame members Winning Colors and Chris Evert, died Feb. 15 in Georgetown, Ky. He was 89.
Kiaran McLaughlin, a former D. Wayne Lukas assistant who grew up near Lexington, has started five horses in the Derby, all longshots. He came tantalizingly close to winning with his initial starter, the 71-1 Closing Argument.
Major steppingstones, such as the Florida Derby, Santa Anita Derby, Wood Memorial, and Arkansas Derby are now just one of many ways of getting to the winner's circle on the first Saturday in May. read blog
Tom LaMarra and Frank Angst preview the Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park. Download Brisnet Past Performances for the Fountain of Youth Stakes.
A Thoroughbred owner for nearly 50 years, Ralph Evans has attended just one edition of the Kentucky Derby (gr. I)--the 1979 renewal. Upstart could take him back with a runner and is looking to continue on the path Feb. 21.
- By Frank Angst
Just three Road to the Kentucky Derby races will be contested on synthetic surfaces this year. read blog
Undefeated 3-year-old Itsaknockout turned in his final breeze the morning of Feb. 15 in preparation for his stakes debut in the upcoming $400,000 Besilu Stables Fountain of Youth (gr. II) for trainer Todd Pletcher.
Metaboss, coming from well off the pace with a powerful wide move, overtook favored Conquest Typhoon in deep stretch for a 6-1 surprise in the El Camino Real Derby (gr. III) under Hall of Fame jockey Alex Solis.
Power Jam joined the crowded Bob Baffert barn of 3-year-old prospects with an easy 4 1/4-length victory in a six furlong maiden special weight event Feb. 14 at Santa Anita Park.
Trainer Keith Desormeaux said Feb. 13 he would not race Breeders' Cup Juvenile champion Texas Red again in preparation for the Kentucky Derby if not for the current points system aligned with the Run for the Roses in May.
Convincing Smarty Jones winner Far Right is one of 11 3-year-olds seeking to advance on the road to the Triple Crown in the $300,000 Southwest Stakes (gr. III), the Presidents' Day feature from Oaklawn Park Feb. 16.
The El Camino Real Derby (gr. III), one of only three North American stakes on this year's "Road to the Kentucky Derby" contested on a synthetic track, drew a good field of 10 led by Conquest Typhoon.
Steve Haskin and Ron Mitchell talk about the weekend of racing. Steve expands on the performances of Shared Belief, California Chrome, Dortmund, Firing Line, Danzig Moon, Cyrus Alexander, Far From Over, and Constitution.
Texas Red, winner of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I), has suffered a foot abscess that will prevent him from running in the Feb. 21 Risen Star Stakes (gr. II), said co-owner Erich Brehm.
- By Frank Angst
Considering it's only February, Kaleem Shah's Dortmund has displayed about as many qualities as one could hope to see in a potential Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) horse. read blog
Willis Horton's champion 2-year-old filly Take Charge Brandi breezed a half mile at Oaklawn Park Feb. 9.
Zayat Stables' 2-year-old champion American Pharoah Feb. 9 turned in his second work as he prepares for his 3-year-old debut. The son of Pioneerof the Nile worked three furlongs in :36 2/5.
Odds-on choice Dortmund, passed in upper stretch by rival Firing Line, fought back along the inside to score a head victory in the $150,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes (gr. III) Feb. 7 at Santa Anita Park.
Far From Over recovered from a bad start to upset 1-2 favorite El Kabeir Feb. 7 in the $250,000 Withers Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct Racetrack, closing much ground en route to his first graded score.
American Pharoah could be looking at a return to racing in March, according to trainer Bob Baffert.
The former Derby Trial (gr. III), a one-mile race for 3-year-olds generally run on opening day of the spring meet at Churchill Downs, has been moved to the first Saturday in May and renamed the Pat Day Mile.
- By Steve Haskin
Keeneland is now back on dirt and that means the Blue Grass Stakes is back to being a major prep for the Kentucky Derby and no longer a haven for grass and synthetic horses looking to back door it into the Run for the Roses. read blog
El Kabeir, the current leader on the road to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), will look to take the next step toward the starting gate on the first Saturday in May when he tackles the $250,000 Withers.
With several horses on the sidelines, see who Steve picks to fill in the ranks! read blog
- By Frank Angst
Texas Red ran second in his 3-year-old debut, finishing a neck behind Peachtree Stable's Lord Nelson in the $200,250 San Vicente Stakes read blog
Comparing the up-and-coming Kentucky Derby contenders Khozan and Prospect Park. read blog
Champion 2-year-old male works at Santa Anita Park for the first time since injury.
Richard C. Pell's Calculator, fifth on the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) points list, will miss the Triple Crown due to an undisclosed injury.
Lord Nelson spoiled the 3-year-old coming-out party for Texas Red in the $200,000 San Vicente Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita Park Feb. 1, edging the Sentient Jet Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) winner in a terrific finish.
Stonestreet Stables' Ocean Knight remained undefeated in two starts and aced both his 3-year-old and stakes debuts Jan. 31, taking the $250,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes (gr. III) at Tampa Bay Downs.
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