Tapwrit, winner of the Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby (G2) and sixth in the May 6 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1), worked five furlongs in 1:02.25 under his regular jockey Jose Ortiz in preparation for the Belmont Stakes (G1).
Multiple graded stakes winner Destin, runner-up in last year's Belmont Stakes Presented by NYRA Bets (G1), is set to make his first start in nearly nine months when he goes to post May 28 in an allowance optional claiming race at Belmont Park.
Always Dreaming, winner of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1), will bypass the June 10 Belmont Stakes (G1) as expected and be freshened for a summer campaign, Terry Finley of West Point Thoroughbreds confirmed May 26.
With the glow of the sun pink on the horizon and most of the Pimlico Race Course stakes barn just beginning to rustle with activity, Preakness Stakes (G1) winner Cloud Computing departed from Baltimore to return to his Belmont Park home base May 21.
Since Always Dreaming's Kentucky Derby triumph, there has been ample reason for both his camp and Classic Empire's to feel emboldened about the prospect of their horses throwing down something exceptional 14 days later.
The half-moon was still high in the sky when Always Dreaming went to the track at Pimlico Race Course at 5:30 a.m. the morning of May 19, putting in his final exercise in preparation for the following day’s Preakness Stakes (G1).
Thanks in part to the lessons instilled by his former boss, trainer Todd Pletcher is nothing if not his own man now, with the enviable problem of constantly trying to kick his own bar of success to ever higher levels.
Todd Pletcher is taking a cue from Always Dreaming in that he, like his high-energy charge, have about had it with the minutiae leading into the May 20 Preakness Stakes (G1) and are ready to just run the race.
Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) winner Always Dreaming was assigned post 4 and installed as the 4-5 morning-line favorite May 17 at the post position draw for the May 20 Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico Race Course.
While the short rest between the first two legs of the Triple Crown has been a popular lament over the years, the modern history of the Preakness Stakes reflects a trend that is actually most unkind to the oft-proclaimed "new shooters."
Always Dreaming turned in another strong 1 1/2-mile gallop over the Pimlico Race Course main track May 17 as he readies for his start in the May 20 Preakness Stakes (G1).,
An hour after Always Dreaming crossed the finish line first in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1), the colt's trainer made an announcement about his Derby prize, a new Ram truck.
As activity picked up at the Pimlico Race Course stakes barn May 16, Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) winner Always Dreaming went out earlier than normal for his daily exercise.
After some calm, controlled training through his first week or so at Pimlico Race Course, Always Dreaming was back to his energetic, hard-to-handle self May 15 in Baltimore.
Gary Barber's Summer Luck didn't get the scratch she needed to run in the overflow Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1), but her team is looking forward to a start in the $250,000 Black-Eyed Susan (G2) at Pimlico Race Course.
- By Steve Haskin
Todd Pletcher and old-school training have never exactly been synonymous. Pletcher is known for being a conservative trainer, preferring long periods of time between races.
Always Dreaming's gallop one time around the Pimlico main track May 14 was another spin within himself, unlike his unruly gallops at Churchill Downs, but exercise rider Nick Bush still felt his strength and eagerness to run.
Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) winner Always Dreaming resumed his regular training schedule for the May 20 Preakness Stakes (G1), galloping 1 1/4 miles over the sloppy sealed track at Pimlico Race Course May 13.
A sloppy track forced trainer Todd Pletcher to cancel his plan to gallop Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) winner Always Dreaming May 12 at Pimlico Race Course.
Trainer Todd Pletcher gave a very positive review of Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) winner Always Dreaming after the colt galloped once around Pimlico Race Course May 11, in preparation for the May 20 Preakness Stakes (G1).
Master Plan, an also-eligible Derby horse who didn't make the field, put in a half-mile breeze the day after in preparation for the Peter Pan Stakes.
Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) winner Always Dreaming got acquainted with the racing surface at Pimlico Race Course May 10 during a light jog in preparation for a scheduled start in the May 20 Preakness Stakes (G1).
To "peak in the Derby" was a main part of the strategy Pletcher and owners Anthony Bonomo and Vinnie Viola laid out for Always Dreaming this winter.
Steve shares stories about the connections of Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming.
Trainer Todd Pletcher stated all was well with newly minted Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) winner Always Dreaming the morning after the colt's stirring triumph in the first leg of the Triple Crown.
Relive Always Dreaming's victory in the 2017 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). See where your favorite horse was at several crucial points of the race with our interactive slideshow.
Following a tracking trip under John Velazquez, Always Dreaming took command in the stretch to score a 2 3/4-length victory in the $2 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) May 6 at Churchill Downs.
The term "wide-open" has been tossed about the Churchill Downs backstretch like a baseball of late whenever the connections of Kentucky Derby aspirants are asked about the complexion of this year's Run for the Roses.
Siena Farm homebred Admiral Jimmy became the first winner for Spendthrift Farm's freshman sire Jimmy Creed when he took a Gulfstream Park maiden special weight May 3 by 3 1/2 lengths for trainer Todd Pletcher as the even-money favorite.
The only experience Tyler Gaffalione has had with the first leg of the Triple Crown has been watching the Louisville classic on television. But come May 6, the jockey will be aboard Patch in this year's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1).
The annual Kentucky Derby Trainer's Dinner gives trainers a chance to laugh a little and blow off some steam. Trainer Mike Maker was first up May 2 at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Louisville, and he stole the show.
While Todd Pletcher acknowledges three starts going into this year's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) is not ideal for Patch, the Calumet Farm homebred has enough working in his favor that Pletcher believes he has earned his shot.
After being exceptionally headstrong in his training for the first leg of the Triple Crown since arriving at Churchill Downs, the Xpressbet Florida Derby (G1) winner was on his best behavior yet May 2 as he headed out under exercise rider Nick Bush.
Were it not for the cavity that resides where his left eye once did, there indeed would be no indicator Calumet Farm's homebred Patch is coping with a limited view of his world.
Trainer Todd Pletcher said May 1 he plans to keep Xpressbet Florida Derby (G1) winner Always Dreaming training in draw reins the remainder of the week after getting satisfactory results from the equipment addition Monday morning.
Rebel Stakes (G2) winner Malagacy and Wood Memorial Stakes presented by NYRA Bets (G2) runner-up Battalion Runner will both bypass the May 6 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1), trainer Todd Pletcher confirmed via text message April 29.
Multiple Eclipse Award winner Todd Pletcher thought Always Dreaming and Tapwrit were most impressive, Patch was better than usual, and Battalion Runner struggled with the track.
Todd Pletcher told officials at Ascot Racecourse that he is seriously considering the Queen Anne Stakes (G1) at Royal Ascot for American Patriot. The straight mile contest on turf is scheduled for June 20.
Eric Fein, Christopher McKenna, Harris Fein, Guri Singh, and Jerry Walia's Syndergaard headlines a field of seven 3-year-olds entered for the $100,000 William Walker Stakes April 29, opening night at Churchill Downs.
For the first time in nearly a month, trainer Todd Pletcher had all of his Kentucky Derby hopefuls in one shedrow.
After making her connections sweat, Unbridled Mo allowed them to celebrate as the 4-year-old bay filly turned back Power of Snunner in the lane en route to taking the $100,000 Hilliard Lyons Doubledogdare Stakes (G3) by three-quarters of a length.
Always Dreaming, an impressive winner of the April 1 Xpressbet Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream Park, breezed five furlongs April 21 at Palm Beach Downs in 1:01.40, a move that pleased trainer Todd Pletcher.
Analyze the Odds wins by 4 1/2 lengths at Aqueduct for owner Mike Repole and trainer Todd Pletcher, the same team that raced freshman sire and grade 1 millionaire Overanalyze.
Pletcher currently has five horses ranked in the top 20 on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard used to determine the field: Always Dreaming (7), Tapwrit (12), Malagacy (13), Patch (18), and Battalion Runner (19).
Stanford is back for a repeat bid in the $1.25 million Charles Town Classic (G2).
Red Oak Stable's homebred Unbridled Mo, winner of five of seven starts and two grade 3 events, heads a field of five fillies and mares entered for the $100,000 Hilliard Lyons Doubledogdare Stakes (G3) at Keeneland April 21.
They were there to roast their mentor, but by the end of the night April 17 at the Keeneland sales pavilion, the seven prominent trainers who cut their teeth under legendary D. Wayne Lukas ended up toasting their former boss.
Reserved at the start but flying at the end, WinStar Farm's American Patriot nipped hard-trying Heart to Heart in the final strides of the $300,000 Maker's 46 Mile (G1T) April 14 at Keeneland.
Always Dreaming, impressive winner of the Xpressbet Florida Derby (G1) April 1 at Gulfstream Park, breezed April 14 for the first time since his five-length victory in the $1 million event.
Thanks to lack of the clarity on the Road to the Kentucky Derby, Classic Empire could bring the hype full circle back to him should the 8-5 morning-line favorite prevail in the Arkansas Derby against 11 others.
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