Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III) winner Musket Man and Illinois-bred Giant Oak lead a wide-open field of 11 in the 52nd edition of the $500,000 Illinois Derby (gr. II) April 4 at Hawthorne Race Course
There are three ways of looking at the Florida Derby (gr. I): the best horse won, the best horse finished second, and both horses ran sensational races and established themselves as major Kentucky Derby contenders. The consensus would have to be number three.
With big performances in the Florida Derby, both Quality Road and Dunkirk move up several spots, while Desert Party holds steady at number six.
IEAH Stables announced March 30 the completion of its purchase of a half-interest in Gotham Stakes (gr. III) winner I Want Revenge from David Lanzman. Mike Iavarone, president of IEAH, said Jeff Mullins will continue to train the colt.
Quality Road turned back a bid from even-money favorite Dunkirk in upper stretch and drew away for a sensational 1 3/4-length victory in the $750,000 Florida Derby (gr. I) March 28 at Gulfstream Park. The son of Elusive Quality set a new 1 1/8-mile course record in 1:47.72.
Gallant Son is "99 percent sure" to run in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) on April 4, trainer Frank Lucarelli said on the morning of March 28.
Featuring previews of the Florida Derby (including an interview with Todd Pletcher, trainer of Dunkirk) and UAE Derby, a recap of the Lane's End, and works for Chocolate Candy and Pioneerof the Nile.
Desert Party, who leads the three-strong Godolphin challenge in the $2-million UAE Derby (UAE-II), will go for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) as long as he runs well March 28 at Nad Al Sheba.
Jason, Tom, Evan, and the Wizard take on the Florida Derby (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park on March 28. Watch Video
The top three finishers from the Gotham Stakes (gr. III), headed by runaway winner I Want Revenge, are among the probable starters for the 85th running of the $750,000 Wood Memorial (gr. I) for 3-year-olds going 1 1/8 miles at Aqueduct on April 4.
On several occasions over the past few years, Todd Pletcher has reached into his hat to pull out a rabbit, and in most cases the trick didn't go quite as planned. Despite some bad hare days, Pletcher has decided to try his luck at prestidigitation once again in Saturday's Florida Derby (gr. I).
In this episode, Lenny and Steve discuss the Florida Derby, the results and implications of the Kentucky Derby Challenge, the Oaks move to Bravo, and checking in with the Derby Party Animal runner-up. Plus, win a Backside Tour Derby Week in the Derby Contest!
Mayor Marv, one of two colts entered by trainer Bob Baffert, is the morning-line favorite for the $800,000 Sunland Park Derby March 29. It's the New Mexico racetrack's richest race.
Big Drama, a five-time winner as a juvenile whose Triple Crown aspirations were interrupted by a bone bruise that required surgery, returns to action as the one to beat in the $150,000 Swale Stakes (gr. II) March 28 on the Florida Derby undercard at Gulfstream Park.
The Pamplemousse, Pioneerof the Nile and Chocolate Candy, the three top choices for the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) on April 4, each worked on the track's Pro-Ride racing surface March 25.
The Saturday, March 28, Florida Derby (gr. I) will be shown live on ESPN as part of the "NTRA Racing to the Kentucky Derby" series. The coverage, with Joe Tessitore joined by analysts Jerry Bailey and Randy Moss, reporters Jeannine Edwards and Jay Privman, and handicapper Hank Goldberg, will be from 5-6 p.m. (ET).
The solid gold trophy that will be presented to the owner of the Thoroughbred that wins the $2 million-guaranteed Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) May 2 is scheduled to arrive at Churchill Downs March 25 at 2 p.m. ET.
Trainer John Ward said Wednesday, March 25, that Beethoven had sustained a slight injury to his left front leg and will "be on sidelines for short period."
As intriguing as the Florida Derby (gr.I) already looks to be, it became even more intriguing when Todd Pletcher, trainer of Dunkirk, said Tuesday he is "strongly considering" running the maiden Europe as a rabbit, in order to prevent Quality Road from getting loose on an easy lead.
Steve Haskin's latest Derby Dozen includes future plans for several contenders.
Lost in the overwhelming spectacle of the Kentucky Derby and the arduous road leading to Churchill Downs are the little-known ironies and twists of fate that get played out behind the scenes.
I Want Revenge, a leading Triple Crown candidate by virtue of his 8 1/2-length victory in the Gotham Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct on March 7, worked a bullet five furlongs on March 22 on the Cushion Track at Hollywood Park in :58.20.
Trainer Ken McPeek had scheduled a final major workout March 21 for Samotowka Stables and partners' 3-year-old Theregoesjojo for next Saturday's $750,000 Florida Derby (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park, but postponed it because of sloppy track conditions.
WinStar Farm's homebred Hold Me Back overcame a poor break to win the $500,000 Lane's End Stakes (gr. II) at Turfway Park in his first start of 2009 for trainer Bill Mott March 21.
El Camino Real Derby (gr. III) winner Chocolate Candy was expected to arrive at Santa Anita on the afternoon of March 21 from the Bay Area to begin final preparations for the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) on April 4.
BloodHorse.com has announced the launch of the second annual voting contest "March into May," sponsored by Bet America. Beginning March 20, and throughout the six weeks leading to the May 2 Kentucky Derby, Thoroughbred racing fans should regularly visit BloodHorse.com and cast their votes to determine "the greatest" Kentucky Derby champion of all time.
Triple Crown Talk blog, with host Jason Shandler, looks at the Lane's End Stakes. Join Jason and professional handicapper Double Deuce from TheWinnersForum.com for a live chat at noon Eastern on March 21.
Jason, Evan, and the Wizard discuss the Lane's End Stakes. Plus, a look back at the Derby prep action from the weekend of March 14. Watch Video
Sheikh Hamdan's Mafaaz held off a trio of horses at the wire to win the Kentucky Derby Challenge Stakes at England's Kempton Park March 18 and earned an automatic berth in the $2 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) on May 2.
Because of successful juvenile campaigns, West Side Bernie and Bittel Road both already have enough graded earnings to ensure themselves a spot in the starting gate for the $2 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) May 2. But the connections of each colt will now get to see if they have legitimate contenders in their barns when they go to post in the $500,000 Lane's End Stakes (gr. II) March 21 at Turfway Park.
Other than creating an uproar when the 20th horse on the Kentucky Derby earnings list gets left out of the Derby field, Wednesday's Kentucky Derby Challenge Stakes at Kempton looks unlikely to offer much to the Run for the Roses, unless one of four or five horses can come away with an impressive win.
I Want Revenge retains the top spot, but a big win in the Louisiana Derby moved Friesan Fire up to number 3 in this week's Derby Dozen.
As often happens on the Kentucky Derby trail, they fell like proverbial bowling pins last weekend, although two of the bigger names reinforced their strong position. Not all the vanquished will be taken off the trail, as some deserve another chance after racing on less than desirable surfaces, but they have put themselves in a desperate situation.
A field of at least 10, headed by Lori and George Hall's West Side Bernie, appears likely for the $500,000 Lane's End Stakes for 3-year-olds at Turfway Park March 21.
Adele Dilschneider's Terrain, third in the March 14 grade II Louisiana Derby, remains on course for a run in the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Cindy Jones, wife and assistant to trainer Larry Jones, said all three of the stable's horses who who ran at Fair Grounds March 14, including Louisiana Derby (gr. II) winner Friesan Fire, came out of their races well.
Vinery Stables and Fox Hill Farm's Friesan Fire swept the Louisiana 3-year-old series and made a bold statement for the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) when overwhelming eight rivals to win the $600,000 Louisiana Derby (gr. II) by 7 1/4 lengths March 14 at Fair Grounds.
Eric Fein and Vic Carlson's Musket Man found his best stride inside the sixteenth-pole and edged out longshot Join in the Dance by a neck to win the $300,000 Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III) March 14.
Triple Crown Talk blog, with host Jason Shandler, looks at the Rebel, the Tampa Bay Derby, and the San Felipe. Don't forget to join Jason and professional handicapper "TopTurfTeddy", for a live blog from noon-1 p.m. EDT on Saturday, March 14.
This week's episode includes a recap of the Gotham, previews of the Rebel, San Felipe, and Louisiana Derby, Rachel Alexandra, Nicanor, and an international report - Deposer.
Perhaps no horse on the Derby trail is more aptly named than Giant Oak, who makes many of his opponents look like saplings next to him. A big, long-striding son of Giant's Causeway, his size, stride, and style of running can also be a detriment, as he demonstrated in the Risen Star Stakes.
It is the second week in March, the second Future Wager is upon us, and that means the Kentucky Derby contenders are pretty well established...or are they? That's what we'll find out this weekend.
This week, Jason, Evan, and the Wizard look at both the Louisiana Derby (gr. II) at Fair Grounds, and the San Felipe (gr. II) at Santa Anita. Both races are Saturday, March 14. Watch Video
Tom McCarthy's General Quarters, impressive winner of last month's Sam F. Davis Stakes (gr. III), will try to prove that his runaway victory was no fluke when he returns for $300,000 Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III) on March 14.
Already regarded by many as the best 3-year-olds in the land, Fox Hills Farms' Old Fashioned will look to solidify himself as the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) favorite when he takes on eight rivals in the $300,000 Rebel Stakes (gr. II) March 14 at Oaklawn Park.
Triple Crown Talk blog, with host Jason Shandler, analyzes the Louisiana Derby.
In this episode, Lenny and Steve discuss the upcoming Derby preps, including the Louisiana Derby, the San Felipe, and the Rebel, Bob Baffert's Hall of Fame quest, and Helen Pitts and Einstein. Plus, win a Backside Tour Derby Week, with the Derby Contest!
Pioneerof the Nile, heading into the $200,000 San Felipe Stakes (gr. II) March 14 as the West Coast's top Triple Crown contender, takes on an ambitious group of six up-and-coming colts at Santa Anita.
Harold Queen's Big Drama, who won the Delta Jackpot (gr. III) and swept the Florida Stallion Stakes series last year at Calder Race Course, is no longer being pointed toward the $2 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and wagering on the colt has been suspended for Pool 2 of Churchill Downs' Kentucky Derby Future Wager, which opens its four-day run March 12.
Pool 2 of the 2009 Kentucky Derby Future Wager opens its four-day run on Thursday, March 12 and bettors will be able to wager on an exacta for the first time in the pool's 11-year history.
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