Fox Hill Farm's Rockport Harbor, who is still on target for the May 7 Kentucky Derby (gr. I), worked seven furlongs in 1:25 3/5 at Oaklawn Park Sunday, after which, trainer John Servis said the colt would pass the Arkansas Derby (gr. II) and point instead to the Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II) a week later.
George Steinbrenner's Bellamy Road became a serious contender for next month's Kentucky Derby (Gr. I) with a stunning 17 1/2-length victory over a half dozen overmatched rivals in Saturday's $750,000 Wood Memorial (gr. I) at Aqueduct.
After the inexperienced Greeley's Galaxy made a laugher out of Saturday's $500,000 Illinois Derby (gr. II), it didn' take owner B. Wayne Hughes long to make a decision on whether he would spend $200,000 to supplement his chestnut colt to the Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
Live Oak Plantation's High Fly, whose recent victory in the Florida Derby (gr. I) was his fifth in six career races, emerged as the betting favorite on Friday as Pool 3 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager ("KDFW") reached the midpoint.
Churchill Downs plans to make no changes to the security policies and procedures used in the past three years for the 2005 Kentucky Derby and Oaks (both gr. I), the first renewals of those events since the completion of the track's $121 million renovation.
Acclaimed Thoroughbred racing cartoonist Pierre Bellocq, better known to generations of racing fans as "Peb," is scheduled Saturday to complete a mural at the Churchill Downs new clubhouse that depicts every jockey that has won the 130 renewals of the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) .
The Galt House Hotel and Suites, one of Louisville's legendary landmarks, will unveil "Gallop to Glory," a one-of-a-kind tribute to the living Derby winning jockeys on May 5 during a special ceremony in front of the hotel.
Officials with Dubai-based Godolphin have notified Churchill Downs that Blues and Royals, winner of the $2 million UAE Derby (UAE-II), would arrive in Kentucky on April 25 for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
This is a bad week for the Future Wager if you like anyone in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), Wood Memorial (gr. I), or Illinois Derby (gr. II). The only way you can get a decent price in those races is if you happen to like a horse who gets beat and feel he might move forward off it.
NBC Sports will kick off coverage of the 2005 Visa Triple Crown season Saturday with a two-hour telecast of "NTRA Road to the Kentucky Derby." The broadcast begins 4 p.m. ET and will feature live coverage of the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) from Santa Anita Park; Wood Memorial (gr. I) from Aqueduct.; and the Illinois Derby (gr. II) from Hawthorne Race Course.
By Joe Hickey - Silky catkins on the willows; daffodils grinning 'neath the windbreak: Derby day is a-coming.
Marty Wygod, owner of Sweet Catomine, said Tuesday on a national teleconference that if his filly does not run in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), she most likely will not ship to Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I). Sweet Catomine is scheduled to face colts this weekend in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I).
High Fly and Sun King, trained by two-time Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winning trainer Nick Zito, and juvenile filly champion Sweet Catomine are listed among the favorites in a wide open third and final pool of Churchill Downs' 2005 Kentucky Derby Future Wager, which opens its April 7-10 run Thursday.
Tracy Farmer's Sun King, winner of both his starts this year including the Tampa Bay Derby, breezed an easy five furlongs in 1:02 4/5 at Churchill Downs Monday in preparation for the April 16 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I).
The Blues are returning to Kentucky this year after a two-year hiatus. Godolphin's royal blue silks will be worn in this year's May 7 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) by the appropriately named Blues and Royals.
Consolidator, Going Wild and Bellamy Road – all considered to be major contenders for the $2 million Kentucky Derby (gr. I) – turned in sharp workouts on Sunday at Churchill Downs in preparation for their final preps for the 131st renewal of the "Run for the Roses" on May 7.
Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel said that Mary and Gary West's High Limit, winner of the Louisiana Derby (grade II), was doing well on the day after his first work at Churchill Downs and would make his next start in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland on April 16.
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.
Godolphin Racing's Blues and Royals, who won the March 26 UAE Derby (UAE-III) by 12 lengths, is among 14 late nominees to the Visa Triple Crown.
A March 28 teleconference sponsored by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association was designed to profile entrants in the April 2 Florida Derby (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park, but it looks as though the prospective field will undergo some changes. Instead, the media event focused largely on equine health.
Though cases of strangles at Palm Meadows Training Center in South Florida appear to have been confined, the five positive tests for the equine bacterial infection set in motion a chain of events up and down the East Coast.
El Camino Real Derby (gr. III) runner-up Wannawinemall, set to make his next start in the April 9 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), worked six furlongs in 1:12 4/5 under trainer Kristin Mulhall at Santa Anita Sunday morning.
Virginia Kraft Payson's homebred Scipion is the latest casualty on the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) trail after X-rays revealed a condylar fracture of his right hind cannon bone.
So, where are the best 3-year-olds based? Florida, Arkansas, California, and New York can all make a case for being the hot spot right now following Saturday's stirring and strange turn of events. With Declan's Moon and now Roman Ruler out of the picture, and Afleet Alex and Wilko facing uphill battles, last year's top 2-year-olds are fading fast.
Roman Ruler, who finished last as the 3-1 favorite in Saturday's San Felipe Stakes (gr. II), has been taken off the Kentucky Derby (gr. II) by trainer Bob Baffert and owner Fog City Stable to allow the colt's quarter crack to heal.
With champion Declan's Moon on the sidelines, the 3-year-old throne in California is up for grabs in Saturday's San Felipe Stakes (gr. II), which has attracted a field of eight, headed by Wilko, Roman Ruler, and Consolidator. But there are at least three others with credentials who will attempt to seize the crown.
The March 19 Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III) drew a field of eight, but the race for all intents and purposes comes down to Sun King vs. Sun King. The Nick Zito-trained colt is the class of the field, and the race his to lose. Only two others in the field have even been nominated to the Triple Crown.
Saturday's $150,000 Gotham Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct drew three strong Kentucky Derby (gr. I) contenders in Galloping Grocer, Naughty New Yorker, and Survivalist in the field of nine. While all three would prefer two turns, Galloping Grocer has the brilliance to bounce back off his fourth in the Whirlaway with a big performance.
Bettors across North America settled on "all others" as the lukewarm favorite when Pool 2 of Churchill Downs' 2005 Kentucky Derby Future Wager ended its four-day run on Sunday evening.
Just when it looked as if Rockport Harbor's luck had run out and he'd be unable to make the March 19 Rebel Stakes (gr. III), trainer John Servis, while still cautious, said the foot looked much better Sunday.
Cash Is King Stable's Afleet Alex and Harry Aleo's unbeaten Lost In The Fog emerged as the favorites at the midway point of Pool 2 of Churchill Downs' Kentucky Derby Future Wager following the defection of the injured Declan's Moon.
With wagering beginning today on the second of three pools in the 2005 Kentucky Derby Future Wager, Steve Haskin, senior correspondent for The Blood-Horse, analyzes the 23 individual horses and mutuel field and their respective morning-line odds.
Declan's Moon, champion 2-year-old and early favorite for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), has been taken off the Derby trail after X-rays disclosed a small chip fracture in his left knee, trainer Ron Ellis said Friday morning.
Nick Zito, who already has four solid Kentucky Derby (gr. I) contenders, will try to add to his roster when he sends out the newly acquired Bellamy Road, winner of the Miller Genuine Draft Cradle Stakes (gr. III), in a one-mile allowance race at Gulfstream Saturday.
The Kentucky Derby Museum has announced the receipt of Smarty Jones' "Garland of Roses", which has been donated to the museum by Roy and Patricia Chapman, the owners of the 130th Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner.
The Kentucky Derby (gr. I) picture finally cleared up a bit last Saturday as Declan's Moon and Afleet Alex returned in grand style and Nick Zito put the finishing touches on his powerful four-horse Derby package, all of whom are coming off impressive victories. But the weekend's events still left us with several questions.
The second of three pools in the 2005 Kentucky Derby Future Wager will open four days of betting with co-favorites in unbeaten juvenile champion Declan's Moon and the mutuel field, the wagering interest that includes all 3-year-olds other than the 23 individual horses in the March 10-13 pool.
Thanks to High Fly's victory in the $300,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) and Noble Causeway's stylish win in a $33,000 allowance, trainer Nick Zito is building a stockpile of Kentucky Derby contenders and crystallized his hold on favorite status for the $1 million Florida Derby (gr. I) April 2.
Undefeated Declan's Moon, the early favorite for this year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I), pulled away from challengers Going Wild and Spanish Chestnut in the final furlong to register an impressive victory in the $200,000 Santa Catalina (gr. II) Saturday at Santa Anita.
Nick Zito is licking his chops after last weekend's impressive victories by Sun King and Andromeda's Hero. Now, he tries to put the finishing touches on his four-horse feast when he saddles High Fly in the Fountain of Youth (gr. II) and Noble Causeway in an allowance race. All indications are that Zito will be flying high once again.
Trainer Nick Zito, always a threat along the Triple Crown trail, was sitting comfortably Sunday after two of his 3-year-olds posted wins Saturday and a third, High Fly, cruised through his workout and into the picture for the $300,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) on March 5.
Although there are only two minor stakes this weekend, Nick Zito and Shug McGaughey will have important tests for two of their big horses. This also is a good time to see if there are still any live longshots in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) future book lurking out there who might be worth taking a hard look at.
Tracy Farmer's Sun King, third in the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) and Champagne Stakes (gr. I), will make his 3-year-old debut in a one-mile allowance race at Gulfstream Park Feb. 26.
Total wagering on the TV Games Network increased 42% in 2004, and grew 29% in the fourth-quarter of 2004, the network said in a Feb. 24 release. The increase in business was punctuated by record single-day total wagering of $5,148,375 on May 1, Kentucky Derby (gr. I) day.
You could say that So Long Birdie has some awfully big wings to fill. Last year, his half-brother, Birdstone, won the grade I Belmont and Travers, and the year before, his half-sister, Bird Town, captured the grade I Kentucky Oaks and Acorn on her way to an Eclipse Award.
Rockport Harbor, unbeaten in four starts and the future book favorite for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), is being treated for a bruised left front foot, leaving his planned start in the $250,000 Rebel Stakes (gr. III) March 19 on hold.
B.B. Best, most recently fourth in Gulfstream Park's $250,000 Sunshine Millions Ocala Stud Dash Jan. 29, worked one mile handily in 1:44 4/5 at Calder Race Course Friday and is being pointed for the Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream March 5.
The second annual AmericaTab "Road to the Derby" handicapping contest is set to begin Saturday with the running of the $100,000 Southwest Stakes from Oaklawn Park.
Cash Is King Stable's Afleet Alex, winner of the Hopeful Stakes (gr. I) and runner-up in the voting for 2-year-old champion, had his first work of the year at Oaklawn Park Wednesday, drilling a sharp half in :47 flat with jockey Jeremy Rose aboard. It was the second fastest of 40 works at the distance.
NBC will kick off coverage of the 2005 Visa Triple Crown season April 9, with the two-hour telecast of "NTRA Road to the Kentucky Derby." The show will air from 4-6 p.m. (ET) and will feature live coverage of the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), Wood Memorial (gr. I), and the Illinois Derby (gr. II).
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