Thursday, April 09 2009
Godolphin’s Desert Party, Regal Ransom Arrive for Derby 135
LOUISVILLE, KY. (April 9, 2009) – The two horses that represent the Kentucky Derby (Grade I) hopes of Dubai-based Godolphin are settling into new surroundings at Churchill Downs after a late afternoon arrival on Thursday at the historic home of the “Run for the Roses.” Earlier in the day, likely Kentucky Oaks (GI) favorite Rachel Alexandra returned to her home track following an overnight van ride from Oaklawn Park, where she romped in the Fantasy Stakes (GII) on Sunday.
Desert Party, winner of the UAE 2000 Guineas and last year’s Sanford (GII) at Saratoga, and Regal Ransom, who upset his stablemate in the $2 million UAE Derby (GII) on March 28 at Nad Al Sheba, arrived by van at the quarantine facility in Barn 45 at Churchill Downs shortly after 5 p.m. (EDT).
Wednesday, April 08 2009
Kentucky Horse Racing Commission Approves Churchill Requests for Night Racing
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (April 7, 2009) – Churchill Downs has been granted permission by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (“KHRC”) to conduct three historic sessions of night racing during its April 25-July 5 Spring Meet. The regulatory panel has also granted approval to the track’s request to offer two new wagers during the meet.
The approval for the first night racing sessions in the 135-year history of Churchill Downs was granted by the KHRC during its regular meeting in Lexington, Ky. on Tuesday, April 7. The regulatory panel also approved a new 50-cent Pick 4 wager that will be offered at the track each day – including Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks Days – along with a new multi-day $1 Pick 3 wager that links three Grade I races conducted on Derby Weekend: the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands, the Kentucky Oaks and the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic.
Tuesday, April 07 2009
I Want Revenge Arrives at Churchill Downs For Kentucky Derby 135
LOUISVILLE, KY. (April 7, 2009) – David Lanzman and IEAH Stable’s I Want Revenge, winner of the Wood Memorial (Grade I) and one of the early favorites for the 135th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI), arrived at Churchill Downs early Tuesday, April 7 to continue his preparation for the May 2 “Run for the Roses.”
The Jeff Mullins-trained son of Stephen Got Even arrived at Churchill Downs around 5:45 a.m. following a van ride from New York. I Want Revenge is stabled in Barn 24.
Monday, April 06 2009
KENTUCKY DERBY HOPEFULS RUNNING OUT OF GROUND
“Show me the money” is pretty much the cry as a slew of Kentucky Derby hopefuls get set to make their final assaults on purse earnings Saturday when Keeneland presents its Grade I, $750,000 Blue Grass Stakes and Oaklawn Park trots out its Grade II, $1-million Arkansas Derby.
The two make up two-thirds of the final push for money that can make or break the dreams of running in Churchill Downs’ $2 million-guaranteed Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands on Saturday, May 2. As the prospective field of 20 3-year-olds is taking shape, it appears that it could take $200,000 in graded stakes earnings to put a horse in the gate on Derby Day.
Kentucky Derby 135 Update (4.6.09)
EAST/I WANT REVENGE OVERCOMES TROUBLE, WINS WOOD
After a successful debut in New York in the Gotham Stakes (Grade III) that bordered on effortless, David Lanzman and IEAH Stables’ California invader I Want Revenge encountered nothing but trouble in last Saturday’s Wood Memorial (GI). But the result in each was the same: a victory that enhanced his status as one of the major contenders for the $2 million guaranteed Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) at Churchill Downs on May 2.
Kentucky Oaks 135 update (4.6.09)
SOUTH/RACHEL ALEXANDRA ROMPS IN FANTASY
L & M Racing’s Rachel Alexandra may have earned the role of favorite in the 135th Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) on May 1 at Churchill Downjs when she romped to an effortless 8 ½-length romp in the $250,000 Fantasy Stakes (GII) at Oaklawn Park.
The Hal Wiggins-trained daughter of Medaglia d’Oro, the 1-9 favorite in a field of five 3-year-old fillies, never had an anxious moment as she galloped to victory under jockey Calvin Borel. She covered the 1 1/16-mile distance in 1:43.36. It was the fourth consecutive victory for Rachel Alexandra, a streak that began with a victory in the Golden Rod (GII) at Churchill Downs last fall.
INJURY KNOCKS THE PAMPLEMOUSSE OFF THE DERBY TRAIL
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (April 5, 2009) – A leg injury has knocked Sham Stakes (GIII) winner The Pamplemousse out of consideration for the Kentucky Derby and wagering on the colt in Pool 3 of Churchill Downs’ Kentucky Derby Future Wager was suspended Sunday afternoon.
The Pamplemousse was scratched from the Santa Anita Derby shortly before Saturday’s race because of concern over the condition of a tendon, but his connections said the Kentucky Derby remained an option. But co-owner Alex Solis II announced on Sunday that The Pamplemousse was definitely out of the Kentucky Derby picture and would undergo tests to determine what treatment would be required for the injury.
WOOD MEMORIAL WINNER I WANT REVENGE FAVORED IN FINAL 2009 KENTUCKY DERBY FUTURE POOL
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (April 5, 2009) – David Lanzman and IEAH Stable’s I Want Revenge, who overcame a poor start and significant traffic concerns to win Saturday’s Wood Memorial (GI) at Aqueduct, emerged a solid favorite to win the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) as the third and final pool of Churchill Downs’ Kentucky Derby Future Wager (“KDFW”) completed its four-day run on Sunday, April 5.
The Jeff Mullins-trained son of Stephen Got Even, now unbeaten in two races over traditional dirt, left a strong impression on bettors after clearing several obstacles to win the 1 1/8-mile Wood, was the 9-2 fans’ choice when KDFW Pool 3 betting concluded at 6 p.m. (EDT) at racetracks and satellite wagering centers across North America. Edward P. Evans’ Quality Road, winner of the Florida Derby (GI) and the favorite through the first two days of Pool 3 betting, closed as the 6-1 second choice. Vinery LLC and Fox Hill Farm’s Friesan Fire, the Louisiana Derby (GII) winner, was the 8-1 third choice, and Santa Anita Derby (GI) winner Pioneerof the Nile was next at 9-1. Florida Derby runner-up Dunkirk was next at 11-1 and Old Fashioned, who figures to be among the favorites for next week’s Arkansas Derby (GII) closed at 12-1.
Sunday, April 05 2009
Wood Memoiral Winner I Want Revenge Is New Choice Heading Into Final Day of Derby Future Bet
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (April 4, 2009) – A Saturday that featured three major prep races for the $2 million-guaranteed Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) ended with a new favorite in the third and final pool of Churchill Downs’ 2009 Kentucky Derby Future Wager (“KDFW”) as a dazzling win in Aqueduct’s Wood Memorial propelled I Want Revenge into the pool’s top spot.
David Lanzman and IEAH Stables’ 3-year-old son of Stephen Got Even overcame a slow start and major traffic problems to score a dramatic victory under Joe Talamo in the 1 1/8-mile Wood and saw his KDFW Pool 3 odds drop to 9-2 by the end of the day’s betting. He had opened the day at 10-1. Florida Derby (GI) winner Quality Road, the favorite through the first two days of the four-day pool, was the second choice at 6-1 and Louisiana Derby (GII) winner Friesan Fire was a close third choice at 7-1.
Saturday, April 04 2009
General Quarters Zips Five Furlongs at Churchill Downs in Prep for Toyota Blue Grass
LOUISVILLE, KY. (April 4, 2009) – Owner-trainer Thomas McCarthy’s General Quarters, winner of the Sam F. Davis (Grade III) at Tampa Bay Downs, turned in a sizzling five-furlong workout on Saturday at Churchill Downs in preparation for a run in next week’s Toyota Blue Grass (GI) at Keeneland.
Exercise rider Julie Sheets was in the saddle as the gray son of Sky Mesa zipped five furlongs in :58.20 and galloped out six furlongs in 1:13 over a “fast” track. The work by General Quarters was easily the fastest of 17 moves at the distance.
QUALITY ROAD FAVORED AT MIDPOINT OF FINAL KENTUCKY DERBY FUTURE POOL
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (April 3, 2009) – Edward P. Evans’ Quality Road, winner of the Florida Derby (Grade I) for his third victory in four career races, remained a solid favorite to win the 135th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) on May 2 as the third and final pool of Churchill Downs’ 2009 Kentucky Derby Future Wager (“KDFW”) reached its midway point on Friday evening.
Trainer Jimmy Jerkens’ homebred son of Elusive Quality remained the 5-1 choice among 24 wagering interests in KDFW Pool 2. Vinery LLC and Fox Hill Farm’s Friesan Fire, whose three-race winning streak includes a victory in the Louisiana Derby (GII) at Fair Grounds, was the 9-1 second choice at the end of Friday’s betting. The mutuel field, which respresents all 3-year-old Thoroughbreds other than the pool’s 23 individual horses, also stood at 9-1, but slightly more money had been wagered on Friesan Fire. “All others” was favored in both of this year’s previous KDFW pools.
Friday, April 03 2009
Kentucky Derby 135 Update (4.3.09)
WEST/SHOWDOWN AT SANTA ANITA BETWEEN PIONEEROF THE NILE, THE PAMPLEMOUSSE
Saturday’s Santa Anita Derby (Grade) figures to confirm which 3-year-old is California’s leading hope for the $2 million-guaranteed Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) at Churchill Downs on Saturday, May 1.
The 1 1/8-mile race over Santa Anita’s synthetic Pro-Ride surface attracted a field of 10 3-year-olds, but three of those horses figure to contend for the unofficial title of “Best of the West.” That group includes Sham Stakes (GIII) winner The Pamplemousse, the 9-5 morning line favorite for veteran trainer Julio Canani; CashCall Futurity (GI) winner Pioneer of the Nile, victorious in three consecutive stakes races for three-time Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Bob Baffert; and Chocolate Candy, the top 3-year-old in Northern California who bids to build his credentials for the famed “Run for the Roses.”