Following a strong five-furlong work March 28 at Winding Oaks Farm near Ocala, Fla., the connections of Classic Empire set the Arksansas Derby (G1) as the next target for last year's champion juvenile male.
Peacock Racing Stables' multiple graded stakes winner Gunnevera put in his final breeze March 25 for the $1 million Xpressbet.com Florida Derby (G1) April 1 at Gulfstream Park, leading a coast-to-coast slate of sophomore works.
John Oxley's reigning juvenile champion Classic Empire did not break off in a scheduled workout March 19 at Palm Meadows Training Center, according to trainer Mark Casse.
Trainer Ian Wilkes breathed a sigh of relief March 11 when he sent unbeaten McCraken out for an easy half-mile move at Palm Meadows Training Center, the first work for the colt since a mild ankle strain was discovered in his left front Feb. 28.
Janis Whitham's unbeaten homebred McCraken has resumed galloping at Palm Meadows Training Center the past few days and remains on track to start in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G2) at Keeneland April 8.
John Oxley's reigning juvenile male champion Classic Empire is still targeting the April 8 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G2) at Keeneland trainer Mark Casse confirmed, despite having a workout aborted March 3.
Add the $1 million Florida Derby (G1) April 1 at Gulfstream Park to the list of Triple Crown preps being considered for M M G Stables' impressive 3-year-old El Areeb, a winner of his last four races including back-to-back graded stakes.
Keeneland announced Jan. 19 a $4.325 million stakes schedule for its 2017 Spring Meet that offers 16 stakes, featuring the $1 million Toyota Blue Grass (G2) and $500,000 Central Bank Ashland (G1).
- By Steve Haskin
There have been many, myself included, who were shocked by the Graded Stakes committee's decision to downgrade two of the most historic Kentucky Derby preps, the Wood Memorial and Blue Grass Stakes, from grade I to grade II.
A start in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. II) at Keeneland is the first choice for Classic Empire's final Derby prep, but the race's downgraded status has prompted his connections to put other options back into the discussion.
In a dramatic reshaping of graded status of 2017 Triple Crown prep races, the American Graded Stakes Committee of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders' Association has downgraded the Toyota Blue Grass and the Wood Memorial from grade I to grade II.
Sticksstatelydude has raced at seven different racetracks and in four different states, but does his best in one--the Empire State.
Maybe it was the extra distance or maybe it was the sloppy going, but in his third start Hotfoot became freshman sire Aikenite's first winner with a 9 1/2-length gate-to-wire romp in a $62,500 maiden claiming race Oct. 21 at Belmont Park.
Three Rules won the $500,000 In Reality division of the Florida Sire Stakes Oct. 1 at Gulfstream Park to complete a three-race sweep of the series' open division for 2-year-olds.
The penultimate under tack session June 9 for next week’s Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co.’s 2-year-olds in training sale once again resulted in a handful of juveniles sharing the day’s fastest times for both the eighth-mile and quarter-mile breezes.
Graded stakes-placed Cherry Wine turned in a typically steadfast move in preparation for his expected start in the May 21 Preakness Stakes (gr. I), working five furlongs May 14 in a handy 1:01 3/5 at Churchill Downs.
The Blood-Horse has always played the Blue Grass Stakes close to the vest
Dan Tordjman and friends bet a Pick Four that included the Wood Memorial (gr. I) and Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I). Learn how to organize your notes, when you should pick favorites, and how to put together a ticket with a group. Watch Video
Brody's Cause found himself back at home at Keeneland April 9, and the son of Giant's Causeway proved his affinity for the Lexington oval with a strong score in the $1 million Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I).
In addition, it will also air the Equine Forum, its weekly talk show, on Saturday and provide live coverage of the Commonwealth, Shakertown, and Madison from Keeneland in its three-hour broadcast.
With a hefty purse and 170 Kentucky Derby Leaderboard points on the line, the $1 million Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) April 9 drew a lineup of youngsters whose connections hope a stop at Keeneland paves the way to Churchill.
Claire Novak, Ellis Starr, and Tom LaMarra come to you from Keeneland to preview the Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) featuring My Man Sam, Zulu, Star Hill, Cherry Wine, Brody's Cause, and Laoban. Watch Video
Claire Novak, Ellis Starr, and Tom LaMarra come to you from Keeneland to preview the Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) featuring My Man Sam, Zulu, Star Hill, Cherry Wine, Brody's Cause, and Laoban. Download Equibase Past Performances for the Blue Grass.
American Dubai put in his final major work April 2 in preparation for the April 9 running of the $1 million Toyota Blue Grass (gr. I) by working five furlongs in 1:01 2/5 after the renovation break at Keeneland.
Harold Queen's homebred Sheer Drama was named Florida-bred Horse of the Year during the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' and Owners' Association annual awards banquet and gala in Ocala, Fla., the evening March 14.
|Horse||Trainer||Breeder / Owner|
|Aikenite||Todd A. Pletcher||
|First Dude||Bob Baffert||
|Interactif||Todd A. Pletcher||
|Make Music for Me||Alexis Barba||
|Paddy O'Prado||Dale L. Romans||
|Pleasant Prince||Bruce R. Brown||
|Stately Victor||Michael J. Maker||
Upcoming Stakes Entries
|New Orleans Ladies Overnight S.||FG|
|Crescent City Oaks||FG|
|Crescent City Derby||FG|
|New Orleans H. (G2)||FG|