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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.





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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.





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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.”





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Kentucky Oaks 135 Update (4.3.09)


MIDWEST/CHAMPION STARDOM BOUND BIDS TO EXTEND GRADE I WIN STREAK IN KEENELAND’S ASHLAND

Champion Stardom Bound bids for a sixth consecutive Grade I stakes victory as she preps for the $500,000 Kentucky Oaks (GI) by facing eight rivals over the synthetic Polytrack surface in the $400,000 Ashland Stakes (GI) at 1 1/16-miles on Saturday at Keeneland.

The gray daughter of Tapit, who is coming off a nose victory in the Santa Anita Oaks, is American racing’s reigning 2-year-old filly champion. She is the favorite in the Ashland and will be saddled by trainer Rick Dutrow Jr. after Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel had overseen her training over the winter in Southern California. Regular jockey Mike Smith will ride Stardom Bound.





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Quality Road Is Fan’s Choice On Opening Day Of Kentucky Derby Future Pool 3


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (April 2, 2009) – Florida Derby (Grade I) winner Quality Road justified his status as the morning line choice for the third and final pool of Churchill Downs’ 2009 Kentucky Derby Future Wager (“KDFW”) when racing fans across North America made the Jimmy Jerkens-trained colt a tepid 5-1 favorite on Thursday’s opening day of betting in the four-day pool.

Edward P. Evans’ homebred son of Elusive Quality, a winner of three of four career races, was the narrow people’s choice on the Pool 3 betting roster that includes 23 individual horses and a mutuel field that consists of all other 3-year-old Thoroughbreds. Close behind in Thursday’s wagering at odds of 8-1 were Vinery LLC and Fox Hill Farm’s Louisiana Derby (GII) winner Friesan Fire and Sham Stakes (GIII) winner The Pamplemousse, one of the favorites for Saturday’s Santa Anita Derby (GI).





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Thursday, April 02 2009


Churchill Downs and Mattel Team Up to Create Kentucky Derby® Barbie® Doll


LOUISVILLE, KY (April 2, 2009) – With Kentucky Derby® 135 on May 2, 2009, quickly approaching, Churchill Downs, the legendary racetrack that hosts the annual “Run for the Roses®,” and Mattel are pleased to announce that they have teamed up to create the Kentucky Derby® Barbie® doll.

From the celebrities and socialites who attend to the awe-inspiring hats, the Kentucky Derby is more than just a horse race – it is a famed fashion event. This year, Barbie®, the ultimate fashion icon, showcases legendary Derby fashion with the launch of the Kentucky Derby® Barbie® doll, dressed in a playful floral sun dress, faux pearl necklace and sassy spring sandals. True to Kentucky Derby fashion, Barbie doll’s look is topped off with a stylish, oversized white hat with blossoming flower accents.





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Wednesday, April 01 2009


11 LATE TRIPLE CROWN NOMINATIONS SWELL FINAL NUMBER TO 412


Florida Derby winner QUALITY ROAD headlines a list of 11 late nominees to Thoroughbred racing’s 2009 Triple Crown. The deadline for late nominees, at a fee of $6,000, passed Saturday at midnight.

Four hundred one prospects were nominated during the early sign-up period that closed Jan. 24. The fee then was $600 per nominee.

Those joining QUALITY ROAD, who preceded his Florida Derby victory by winning the Fountain of Youth, include the other graded event winners: Rebel Stakes victor WIN WILLY, Tampa Bay Derby winner MUSKET MAN, Swale Stakes winner THIS ONES FOR PHIL and the multiple graded stakes winning filly JUSTWHISTLEDIXIE, who is on a five-race win streak.





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Florida Derby Winner Quality Road Favored In Final Pool of 2009 Kentucky Derby Future Wager


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (March 31, 2009) – Edward P. Evans’ homebred Quality Road, a sparkling winner of the Florida Derby (Grade I) and Fountain of Youth (GII), wears the mantle of morning line favorite among 24 betting interests for the third and final pool of Churchill Downs’ 2009 Kentucky Derby Future Wager (“KDWF”), which opens four days of betting at racetracks and satellite wagering outlets on Thursday, April 2.

Pool 3 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager will be the second in the 11-year history of the wager to offer exacta wagering along with its traditional $2 minimum “win” wager. The first exacta pool offered during the Feb. 12-15 second pool of the 2009 Derby Future bet attracted $104,017 of a total of $380,420 wagered during the four-day betting. The Kentucky Derby Future Exacta also requires a minimum bet of $2.





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Monday, March 30 2009


Kentucky Derby 135 Update (3.30.09)


SOUTHEAST/QUALITY ROAD TURNS BACK DUNKIRK, SETS RECORD IN FLORIDA DERBY

The showdown everyone expected in Saturday’s Florida Derby (Grade I) materialized, but Quality Road ended the suspense in a flash as he turned back previously unbeaten Dunkirk in track record time at Gulfstream Park to take South Florida’s major prep for the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI).

Edward P. Evans’ son of Elusive Quality turned back a strong rally by $3.7-million yearling purchase Dunkirk to win by 1 3/4 lengths in a track record 1:47.72 for 1 1/8-miles. Jockey John Velazquez was aboard the winner, who had to survive a claim of foul by three-time Kentucky Derby-winning jockey Kent Desormeaux aboard third-place finisher Theregoesjojo.





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Kentucky Oaks 135 Update (3.30.09)


SOUTHEAST/JUSTWHISTLEDIXIE EXTENDS WINNING STREAK TO FIVE IN BONNIE MISS

Sizzling Justwhistledixie rolled to her fifth consecutive victory and enhanced her status as a major contender for the $500,000-added Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) on May 1 at Churchill Downs when she rallied to win Friday’s $200,000 Bonnie Miss Stakes (GII) at Gulfstream Park.

The surprising favorite over reigning 2-year-old filly champion Stardom Bound and Fair Grounds Oaks (G(() winner Rachel Alexandra in the Kentucky Oaks Future Wager, Justwhistledixie rallied four-wide under jockey Julien Leparoux to defeat Casanova Move by 1 ¾ lengths. The Kiaran McLaughlin-trained daughter of Dixie Union covered the 1 1/8-mile distance in 1:49.25 over a “fast” track.





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Friday, March 27 2009


Kentucky Derby 135 Update (3.27.09)


SOUTHEAST/UNBEATEN DUNKIRK, QUALITY ROAD HEAD FLORIDA DERBY

Last year’s running of the $750,000 Florida Derby (Grade I) at Gulfstream Park saw the emergence of a major star when unbeaten Big Brown romped to an easy victory and became the favorite for the $2 million-guaranteed Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI). Big Brown would later score an emphatic Kentucky Derby win.

The favorite for this year’s “Run for the Roses” on May 2 could again be determined by the results of the Florida Derby, which will be run Saturday at the Hallandale, Fla. track. The morning line choices for this year’s renewal are the unbeaten Dunkirk, a $3.7 million yearling purchase, and Quality Road, the impressive winner of in Gulfstream Park’s Fountain of Youth (GII).





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Kentucky Oaks 135 Update (3.27.09)


SOUTHEAST/JUSTWHISTLEDIXIE FAVORED TO EXTEND WINNING STREAK IN BONNIE MISS

Streaking Justwhistledixie, the surprising favorite over reigning 2-year-old filly champion Stardom Bound and Silverbulletday (GII) and Golden Rod (GII) winner Rachel Alexandra in Churchill Downs’ 2009 Kentucky Oaks Future Wager, will look to strengthen her credentials for the $500,000 Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) when she takes on five rivals in Friday’s $200,000 Bonnie Miss (GII) at Gulfstream Park.

The Kiaran McLaughlin-trained Justwhistledixie has a four-race winning streak, with her latest victory being an impressive 3 ¾-length romp in the one-mile Davona Dale (GII) at Gulfstream. Her previous wins came in New York. She will attempt a two-turn distance for the first time in the Bonnie Miss, which is run at 1 1/8-miles – the same distance as the Kentucky Oaks.





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