Kentucky Derby 131 Headlines: Wilko works 5/8 in :59.80 at Hollywood; Blanc named to ride Sort It Out; Five horses to work Sunday.
With the Churchill Downs track soaked from overnight rains, trainer Nick Zito called off the works for three of his five Kentucky Derby (gr. I) candidates Saturday morning and moved them to Sunday – weather permitting. Scheduled to breeze tomorrow are Wood Memorial Stakes (gr. I) winner Bellamy Road and the one-two finishers in the Florida Derby (gr. I): High Fly and Noble Causeway.
Pletcher says Bandini doesn't need a rabbit to do well in Run for the Roses.
Sort It Out hasn't won since February's Whirlaway Stakes, but don't count him out of the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) just yet.
In the days leading up to the Kentucky Derby two years ago, all the action swirled around Barn 43, where trainer Bobby Frankel gave daily press conferences that were only a chorus or two of "Hail to the Chief" short of presidential.
Kids to the Cup, the national non-profit charitable organization that educates young racing fans, with the support of John E's Restaurant in Louisville, will auction off halters worn by participants in this year's 131st Kentucky Derby (gr. I) on eBay. Proceeds from the auction will benefit Kids to the Cup.
An ugly, rainy morning, and no Kentucky Derby (gr. I) works made for a funky Friday. The Derby lost one prospective starter when it was announced General John B will not run due to a tendon injury to his left front leg. On the jockey front was the announcement that Pat Valenzuela will ride Coolmore Lexington (gr. II) winner Coin Silver.
Friday's Top Stories: Injury Takes General John B Out of Derby 131; Works by Zito Trio Depend on Weather; Don't Get Mad Prepares for Derby Trial.
When horses from the Todd Pletcher barn go to the track at Churchill Downs for morning workouts, one exercise rider attracts more attention than the others. Observers know his face but often ask themselves, "Is that Angel?" The answer is yes, Hall of Fame jockey Angel Cordero Jr. is exercising horses for Pletcher,
Most Kentucky Derby (gr. I) works are pretty uneventful, but that certainly wasn't the case Thursday morning. You had Bobby Frankel calling a last-minute audible and working High Limit in company with Ghostzapper, and you had Greater Good and Greeley's Galaxy turn in two of the strangest Derby works in memory.
Thursday's Top Stories: High Limit Works with Champion Ghostzapper; Zito Breezes Two of Five Derby Contenders; Greater Good, Greeley's Galaxy Work.
Churchill Downs Inc. president and CEO Tom Meeker will ring the NASDAQ stock market opening bell Friday to celebrate the 131st running of the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) May 7.
Woodford Reserve Bourbon has become a sponsor of TVG's entire schedule of 2005 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) related programming, both parties announced Thursday morning.
Two of the five horses trainer Nick Zito is pointing toward the May 7 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) worked Thursday morning and the conditioner was pleased with how both 3-year-olds did.
Working in company with Horse of the Year Ghostzapper, Louisiana Derby (gr. II) winner High Limit zipped six furlongs in 1:13 4/5 at Churchill Downs Thursday morning.
B. Wayne Hughes' Greeley's Galaxy worked a mile at Churchill Downs Thursday, displaying his readiness for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), according to 83-year-old veteran California trainer Warren Stute.
Taking advantage of the sunny, dry conditions at Churchill Downs, Thursday's work tab was busy, with five contenders for the May 7 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) breezing over the fast track.
Wednesday's top stories: Consolidator breezes five furlongs for Lukas; works for Zito duo hinge on weather conditions; Baffert saus Sort It Out now possible for Derby.
It's that time of the week when things briefly quiet down before the second wave of workouts. With only Consolidator working under the cover of darkness, this is a good time to reflect on how the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) is shaping up so far.
The workout tab at Churchill Downs for horses pointing toward the May 7 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) continued to be light Wednesday, with only classic contender Consolidator going through the paces.
After a one-year hiatus from the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey is back, seeking his third win in the classic. Bailey, 47, who also just released his autobiography "Against the Odds: Riding for My Life," is booked to ride Florida Derby (gr. I) winner High Fly for trainer Nick Zito.
Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) winner Wilko worked seven furlongs in 1:26 4/5 at Hollywood Park Monday. With jockey Corey Nakatani aboard, the colt finished the final three-eighths of a mile in :34 and change, according to trainer Craig Dollase.
Tuesday's Top Stories: Afleet Alex Sizzles in Churchill Downs Work; Flower Alley Dons Blinkers for Gallop; Andromeda's Hero to Travel to Churchill for Work.
Tuesday's activity can be pretty much summed up in two words: Afleet Alex -- with the emphasis on Afleet. Working over a loose track that was playing on the slow side, Alex blazed his five furlongs in :59, with several others getting him in :58 3/5.
Arkansas Derby (gr. II) winner Afleet Alex displayed his affinity for the track at Churchill Downs when he zipped five furlongs in :59 Tuesday morning in preparation for the May 7 Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
As a budding athlete in grade school, Tim Ritchey recalls, he did "two-a-day" drills as a member of the football team. Now, Ritchey is applying those lessons learned at a young age, along with lessons learned as a trainer of show horses and a healthy dose of what he calls "common sense," in his training of Afleet Alex, one of the favorites for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
Mr. and Mrs. Jerome Moss' Giacomo breezed seven-furlongs in 1:23.80 over a "fast" track at Hollywood Park.
Monday's Top Stories: Survivalist Out of the Derby Picture; Closing Argument, California Trio Breeze; Afleet Alex Set for Tuesday Work at Churchill...
Fog City Stables' Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) winner Buzzards Bay worked six furlongs in 1:12 over Santa Anita's fast main track Monday morning under regular jockey Mark Guidry.
Philip and Marcia's Cohen's Closing Argument breezed four furlongs in :49.20 Monday over the training track at Keeneland.
- By Ron Mitchell
With only a few differences, Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. will be utilizing the same testing procedures for "milkshakes" that are in effect at Keeneland Racecourse and similar to those at many other North American tracks during the spring meet that begins April 30.
As a road trip to Louisville, Ky. for the Kentucky Derby rekindles memories of Smarty Jones' 2004 journey, there are also omens pointing to Afleet Alex as another Triple Crown Trail success story out of Philadelphia Park.
Rockport Harbor, who finished sixth in Saturday's Lexington Stakes (gr. II) as the 3-5 favorite, emerged from the race in "great physical condition" but will no longer be pointed toward the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) or other two legs of the Triple Crown, according to owner Rick Porter.
Ogden Mills Phipps' Gotham (gr. III) winner Survivalist breezed five furlongs in :59 3/5 at Belmont Park Monday morning, but trainer Shug McGaughey said he has decided not to run the colt in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and will point instead to the Withers Stakes (gr. II).
Cash is King Stable's Afleet Alex, the winner of the $1 million Arkansas Derby (gr. II) April 16, tops the graded stakes earnings list for the Kentucky Derby May 7. Saturday's Lexington Stakes (gr. II) winner Coin Silver lands in the 15th spot.
The Nick Zito-trained pair of High Fly and Noble Causeway, the one-two finishers in the Florida Derby (gr. I), breezed five furlongs at Churchill Downs Friday, although Zito said both colts actually worked six furlongs after breaking off between poles. Also on the work tab Friday was Illinois Derby (gr. II) winner Greeley's Galaxy.
A field of eight 3-year-olds will go to the post Saturday in the Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II), the last chance to pick up significant graded earnings before the May 7 Kentucky Derby (gr. I). The standout in the field, 6-5 morning-line favorite Rockport Harbor, doesn't need the earnings, but definitely needs the race to make it to Churchill Downs for the first Saturday in May.
Kinsman Stable's Bellamy Road, the early favorite for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), breezed an easy five furlongs in 1:02 4/5 at Churchill Downs Thursday morning. It was the colt's first work since his 17 1/2-length romp in the Wood Memorial (gr. I) April 9.
Ogden Mills Phipps' Survivalist, winner of the Gotham (gr. III) and runner-up in the Wood Memorial (gr. I), breezed a half-mile in :51 3/5 at Belmont Park Wednesday, after which trainer Shug McGaughey said the colt wasn't likely to run in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick - The road to the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) changes from time to time, and so do the roadmaps printed by the racetracks and used by owners and trainers to get their horses to Churchill Downs in optimum condition on the first Saturday in May.
- By Dan Liebman
By Dan Liebman - On May 7 in Louisville, Ky., when the most famous race in the land is run at the most famous track in the land, the race will look the same as it did a year ago. The Kentucky Derby (gr. I) is still for 3-year-olds, still at a mile and a quarter, still the first Saturday in May, and the winner still gets a garland of roses.
An equine flight from California on Tuesday brought B. Wayne Hughes' Don't Get Mad back to Churchill Downs, the track at which he launched his career last fall.
Two-time Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Nick Zito now has jockeys set for all five of his contenders for the 131st running of the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) on Saturday, May 7.
Boy, has this Kentucky Derby (gr. I) picture changed. Suddenly, it's the year of the routs. So, what do you do when you have final Derby preps won by 17 1/2, 9 1/2, 8, and 6 lengths?
Trainer Tim Ritchey announced Tuesday that Jeremy Rose will ride Arkansas Derby (gr. II) winner Afleet Alex in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) May 7. Rose has ridden Afleet Alex in every race but one, winning six of his eight starts aboard the colt.
Trainer Nick Zito said Robert V. LaPenta's Andromeda's Hero, third in the Arkansas Derby (gr. II), will stay away from the Kentucky Derby excitement (gr. I) at Churchill Downs until just before the race.
Blues and Royals, whose impressive victory in the UAE Derby (gr. II) at Nad al Sheba bought him a ticket to Lousville, will miss the May 7 Kentucky Derby (gr. I), according to the Godolphin Racing Web site.
Victory by Cash is King Stable's Afleet Alex in the Arkansas Derby (gr. II) pushed the Northern Afleet colt to the top of the list of Kentucky Derby contenders by graded stakes earnings.
Afleet Alex gave Oaklawn Park its second major contender for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) in as many years with his smashing win Saturday in the Arkansas Derby (gr. II).
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