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.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association, Churchill Downs, Magna Entertainment, and the New York Racing Association announced March 20 that Kentucky Derby day, Preakness Stakes day, and Belmont Stakes day have been established as national fundraising dates for the NTRA Charities Ã¢â‚¬" Barbaro Memorial Fund.
The Derby trail hits four fronts this weekend, with all eyes on Tampa Bay Downs, Oaklawn Park, Santa Anita, and Sunland Park. Although the races in general are more about potential stars than proven stars, that certainly doesn't apply to the Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III) which features the match-up of the year, so far.
Racing fans can experience all of the action from the 2007 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr.I) and Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) prep seasons in a new way this year, through the official Web site of the Kentucky Derby, www.kentuckyderby.com. Churchill Downs will offer free video podcasts for the two prep seasons featuring updates on the contenders, replays of prep races and interviews with top handicappers. The racetrack will host the 133rd running of the Kentucky Oaks May 4 and the 133rd Kentucky Derby May 5.
Champion Street Sense and Nobiz Like Shobiz each closed at odds of 9-2 during the first of four days of betting in the Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 2. The mutuel field, the betting interest that includes all 3-year-olds other than the 23 individual horses in Pool 2 and the 4-1 morning line favorite for the pool, stood as the 10-1 third choice at the end of the first day of betting.
Foreign horsemen who wish to ship their Thoroughbreds to compete in the Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Oaks and other races at Churchill Downs will benefit from an on-track quarantine and isolation facility now located on the grounds.
Racing fans will be able to get the latest information on the road to the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) when HorseRacing TV's "Target Louisville, presented by Coolmore America" returns for its third consecutive year March 8 at 9 p.m. EST.
Critically acclaimed author and former champion steeplechase jockey Sean Clancy brought a new and engaging aspect to Bloodhorse.com's Triple Crown Mania coverage when he began his new Blog "The Inside Rail."
The "all others" bet remains the morning line favorite for the second of three pools of Churchill Downs' 2007 Kentucky Derby Future Wager ("KDFW"), which launches its four-day run March 8.
With three major Triple Crown prep races run over the March 3-4 weekend, the respective winners were elevated in the rankings of TC nominees based on earnings in graded stakes races.
HBO Sports, in an effort to increase its stature within and outside the company, is planning to announce soon the production of a documentary about Barbaro, the deceased winner of the 2006 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Breyer Animal Creations announced Friday, March 2, that due to demand, it will produce more portrait models of Barbaro, the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner who died earlier this year.
In one of the best weekend's for 3-year-olds seen in quite a while, racing fans in Florida and Southern California will be treated to an array of top-class 3-year-olds and a number of budding stars in allowance and maiden races.
Connections of one horse hope to celebrate his third birthday in the winner's circle after the Robert B. Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita. That horse is Saint Paul.
Barbaro, the 2006 Kentucky Derby winner who died earlier this year, will be honored with a stakes race in his name at Delaware Park.
With several major prep races for the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) rapidly approaching this weekend, three prominent trainers discussed Tuesday how their contenders are progressing toward their next start and the first Saturday in May.
If four or five contenders start in the 2007 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) off only two prior 3-year-old starts, history shows us it's been tried before--but not much, and with mixed success. Here are some hard statistics.
When outnumbered, retreat. Times are no doubt changing, and with so many leading contenders looking at only two preps before the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), perhaps it is time to loosen our tight grip on the history books and accept the fact that one of these years some horse is going to write its own chapter.
Barbaro, who thrilled racing fans with his sublime victory in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and captivated many millions more worldwide with his gut-wrenching fight for life after suffering a catastrophic breakdown in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I), was euthanized Jan. 29.
Gateway Community and Technical College and Turfway Park announced the release of their first annual commemorative poster specially designed for the March 24 Lane's End Stakes (gr. II). The winning design, to be unveiled at a Feb. 23 reception, was produced by 58-year-old Bill Fox, a freelance illustrator.
Churchill Downs launched the official Web site for the 2007 Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and the official 2007 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) Web site.
An authentic replication of Dust Commander's 1970 Kentucky Derby (gr.I) trophy didn't receive any bids on eBay, so the owner has re-listed it. The trophy has a starting bid of $100,000, and the auction ends Feb. 12.
The betting interest that includes "all others" is expected to be the fan favorite in Pool 1 of Churchill Downs' Kentucky Derby Future Wager, which opens its four-day run at noon (all times EST) Feb. 8.
Now that we've got the first major coast-to-coast weekend out of the way, this is as good a time as any to look at the top contenders and see just how the Derby trail is shaping up.
Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby Museum will offer condolence cards for race fans to send personal messages to the connections of Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Barbaro following his death Jan. 29. The cards will be available Jan. 31.
Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro was alert and ate grass on the last morning of his life at the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center, according to Dr. Dean Richardson.
- By Steve Haskin
On the morning of Jan. 29, Dr. Dean W. Richardson, head of surgery at New Bolton Medical Center, made the somber announcement most everyone had been prepared to hear more than eight months earlier. Barbaro had been euthanized. The wave of grief that was anticipated back then now came swiftly and unexpectedly.
Fox Hill Farms' undefeated Hard Spun will be pointed for the Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn instead of the Risen Star at Fair Grounds after coming down with a minor illness.
Barbaro, winner of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), is doing well after undergoing a planned procedure Jan. 24 at the New Bolton Center.
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