During the crisp, clear early morning of Sunday, April 29, less than a week before the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), trainer Todd Pletcher watched the final workouts of three of his contenders, Any Given Saturday, Circular Quay, and Scat Daddy over Keeneland's Polytrack surface.
Look past unknown jockeys, unbeaten starters, unfamiliar owners, and other contributors to this year's intriguing Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). More noticeable than the presence of uniqueness is the absence of three trainers who held the Triple Crown spotlight for several decades.
Southwest Stakes winner Teuflesberg showed Sunday why trainer Jamie Sanders is optimistic about the colt's chances in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) when he worked five furlongs in 1:00 4/5 over a fast track.
Dominican, surprise winner of the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) two weeks ago, worked five furlongs Sunday morning at Churchill Downs in :59 3/5.
Most people feel Sam P. has a high mountain to climb in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). But it's not nearly as high as the human Sam P. climbed during World War II. So if you want a good story to root for, Sam P. could be your horse.
Calling the :58.91 move "as good as a horse could work," trainer Todd Pletcher expressed great pleasure with the five-furlong performance of Cowtown Cat over the Keeneland Polytrack Saturday morning.
As Churchill Downs prepared for Saturday's opening-day card, a case of Derby fever was making its way around the stable area as trainers of Bwana Bull and Teuflesberg said their horses would be pointed toward the May 5 classic.
Trainer Michael Matz was enthused with a strong gallop by Centennial Farm's Chelokee on Friday at Keeneland, but said a bid for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) had been ruled out for the third-place finisher in the Florida Derby (gr. I).
To aid in unscientific handicapping (and for the entertainment of trivia aficionados), here are the stories behind the titles of this year's contenders for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Doug O'Neill ruled the Derby roost Friday morning, sending out seven workers at Keeneland, including his three starters for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). When it was over, O'Neill and exercise rider Tony Romero were all smiles.
Great Hunter, Liquidity, and Cobalt Blue all worked sharply at Keeneland Friday in their last major preps for the May 5 Run for the Roses.
Many of this year's candidates for the Kentucky Derby Presented By Yum! Brands (gr. I), were offered at public auction before they began their racing careers. Two sold for more than $1 million apiece, but you could have purchased some of them for less than $100,000.
At TheDowneyProfile.com, we utilize thirteen factors more common to Kentucky Derby winners than non-winners, based on our 34-year study, in order to create an objective, weighted-factor predictor of Kentucky Derby success. One factor that we do not use is the "horse for the course" handicapping angle, the one that looks to horses that have run well at Churchill Downs.
Eclipse Award-winning trainer Todd Pletcher will saddle five contenders to this year's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) on May 5. Here, he reviews his horses' running styles and talks strategy before the big race.
Slew's Tizzy, 40-1 winner of the Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II), will not run in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) May 5, trainer Greg Fox said April 26.
With speed the primary ingredient in the Thoroughbred, and true stamina being pushed deeper and deeper into a horse's pedigree, we have to try to find staying power wherever we can. Although old-fashioned stamina on the sire's side no longer is necessary to win the Derby, it still has been a main factor on the dam's side.
One Kentucky Oaks and four Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (both gr. I) contenders will be helping young people to obtain a college degree. As part of the Race For Education's Racehorse Nomination Program, a portion of any earnings by Street Sense, Cowtown Cat, Any Given Saturday, Sam P., and Appealing Zophie will go to the non-profit organization, which funds scholarships and educational grants for young people in the equine industry.
The racing industry's equine stars have one shot at winning the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr.I). Their riders, on the other hand, keep coming back for more. Here are the Derby records of several jockeys with prospective mounts in this year's Run for the Roses.
HorseRacing Television's popular weekly show "Target Louisville" will be broadcast daily as "Target Louisville Live," offering racing fans up-to-date information developments directly from Churchill Downs leading up to the 133rd edition of the Kentucky Derby.
NBC's one-hour documentary, "Barbaro: A Nation's Horse," will premiere Sunday, April 29, on what would have been the 2006 Kentucky Derby winner's fourth birthday.
Representatives from Churchill Downs will honor the late 2006 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Barbaro and his owners, Roy and Gretchen Jackson, during a winner's circle ceremony at this year's Derby May 5. The ceremony will take place between races six and seven at approximately 2:30 p.m. EDT.
When Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip attend the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) May 5, they will enjoy a meal fit for a queen. Executive chef Gil Logan of Levy Restaurants, the official caterer for Churchill Downs, will showcase authentic Derby cuisine made with the finest, freshest ingredients, many from Kentucky Proud producers in the Bluegrass State.
The Klein Family Learning Center will open a special gift shop on the backside of Churchill Downs for Kentucky Derby Week to benefit track workers.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick - This year brings us to a couple of tried and tested chapters from the unwritten trainers' manual regarding the Kentucky Derby: the "two-prep" and "unraced juvenile" rules.
James Tafel's champion colt Street Sense turned in his final serious Kentucky Derby workout Tuesday, April 24, going five furlongs in an impressive :59 over a fast track at Churchill Downs.
Youbet.com announced Monday that it is at an impasse in negotiations with TrackNet Media that could result in the online wagering company being unable to take bets on this year's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Starlight Stable and Paul Lucarelli's Sam P. tuned up for an expected run in the $2 million Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) with a sharp five-furlong workout at Churchill Downs on Monday.
Elizabeth Valando's Nobiz Like Shobiz got down to some serious business Monday morning, working five furlongs in :59.60 on the Belmont Park training track with jockey Cornelio Velasquez up.
When the final weekend of prep races for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) was over, some new players had joined the list of contenders based on earnings in graded stakes.
Greetings from...Keeneland? That's right, Keeneland, home of the Kentucky Derby horses. Well, at least for many of them, and at least for a while. Although several trainers will begin shipping their horses to Churchill Downs this week, Todd Pletcher and Doug O'Neill will complete their works at Keeneland, with Pletcher staying put until next Tuesday.
Trainer Steve Asmussen sent Arkansas Derby (gr. II) winner Curlin and stablemates Zanjero and Reporting for Duty for a final Kentucky Derby prep over the Polytrack surface at Lexington's Keeneland Racecourse on Monday, April 23.
Trainer Larry Jones sent Kentucky Derby contender Hard Spun for a mile work over the Polytrack surface at Lexington's Keeneland Racecourse Monday, April 23.
Trainer Todd Pletcher continued the classic preparations for three of his five probable Kentucky Derby starters when Scat Daddy, Any Given Saturday, and Circular Quay worked over the Polytrack surface at Lexington's Keeneland Racecourse Sunday, April 22.
A special dinner and art exhibition at Avalon restaurant in Louisville will pay homage to the legendary Secretariat May 1 at 7 p.m.
Liquidity and Cobalt Blue, two Doug O'Neill horses that are being pointed toward the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), breezed Friday over the Polytrack surface at Keeneland.
In an NTRA Road to the Triple Crown teleconference April 17, equine orthopedic surgeon Dr. Larry Bramlage discussed equine health and safety issues while trainers Phil Sims, Dick Small, and Mark Shuman talked about their plans for the upcoming Coolmore Lexington (gr. II) and Federico Tesio (gr. III) Stakes on Saturday.
The death of Buddy Holly on Feb. 3, 1959 was "the day the music died." April 14, 2007 was the day dirt racing in America died. That may sound harsh and premature, but if races like the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) are what we have to look forward to in the future, then we have indeed seen the beginning of the end of dirt racing as we know it.
A dispute over the ownership of Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands contender Great Hunter has been settled by J. Paul Reddam and Fifth Third Bank.
Florida Derby (gr. I) runner-up Notional suffered non-displaced condylar fracture of his left ankle Saturday morning at Keeneland and will not run in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), owner J. Paul Reddam said.
For the first time in the history of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), Churchill Downs will host a public drawing for Derby fans to purchase two seats to the upcoming race. Churchill Downs will offer a total of 1,000 reserved seats, which will be sold in pairs of two beginning at 8 a.m. EDT April 14.
Fox Hill Farm's Hard Spun stamped his ticket to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) Thursday by breezing five furlongs in a bullet 1:00 1/5 at Churchill Downs and showing trainer Larry Jones that he handles the surface.
NBC will recount the heroic story of Barbaro in a one-hour documentary that will air on the network April 29, which would have been the horse's fourth birthday.
James Tafel's Street Sense, a major contender for the $2 million-guaranteed Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) on May 5, tuned up for a run in Saturday's $750,000-added Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland with a five-furlong workout on Tuesday at Churchill Downs.
Juvenile champion Street Sense and grade I winner Nobiz Like Shobiz loom as the strong morning-line favorites heading into third and final Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool.
After the defection of Hard Spun, five horses remain as "probable" contenders for Saturday's $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass (gr. I), including Street Sense, Great Hunter, Zanjero, Dominican, and Teuflesberg. Starbase, from the stable of trainer D. Wayne Lukas, is also possible for the field.
Following the defection from the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) of Any Given Saturday, it now looks as if the 1 1/8-mile test at Keeneland also will lose Lane's End (gr. II) winner Hard Spun, who will either go straight to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. II) or point for the Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II) and Preakness (gr. I).
- By Claire Novak
During a press conference held at Churchill Downs Tuesday morning, Jockeys' Guild manager Dwight Manley called for support of the Disabled Jockeys' Fund as Edgar Prado formally donated the saddle worn by Barbaro, winner of the 2006 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), to the fund.
Ten new horses have joined Thoroughbred racing's 2007 Triple Crown trail as late nominees to the three classics, setting an overall record of 460 nominees.
- By Ryan Conley
Attorneys for J. Paul Reddam have filed a lawsuit in California that seeks protection for star colt Great Hunter, who is the subject of a lien by a Kentucky bank.
NBCSports.com will stream live coverage of the Florida Derby this Saturday, March 31, from Gulfstream Park.
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