Wednesday, March 18 2009
GOSDEN-TRAINED MAFAAZ WINS KENTUCKY DERBY CHALLENGE STAKES
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The John Gosden-trained Mafaaz-GB ran down pacesetter Sochcahtoa-IRE in deep stretch and held off a late charge by Spring of Fame to win Wednesday’s inaugural running of the $115,000 Kentucky Derby Challenge Stakes by a neck at Kempton Park near London.
In addition to the winner’s share of the purse, the 3-year-old colt earned an automatic spot in the starting gate for the 135th running of the $2 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) on Saturday, May 2 and a $100,000 bonus should the horse compete in America’s greatest race.
Tuesday, March 17 2009
14 ENTERED FOR WEDNESDAY’S KENTUCKY DERBY CHALLENGE STAKES
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A full field of 14 three-year-olds has been entered for Wednesday’s inaugural running of the $115,000 Kentucky Derby Challenge Stakes at Kempton Park near London. In an unprecedented reward, the winner of Europe’s clockwise 1 1/8-mile race over Polytrack will earn an automatic spot in the starting gate for the 135th running of the $2 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) on Saturday, May 2 and a $100,000 bonus should the horse compete in America’s greatest race.
“I am thrilled by the quantity and quality of the horses that have been declared for the race, which has taken two years of planning,” said Brian “Barney” Clifford, director of racing at Kempton Park. “The race is unique and is the first step between establishing a long term link between Europe and American racing and I am very much looking forward to Wednesday.”
Monday, March 16 2009
Kentucky Derby 135 Update (3.16.09)
SOUTH/FRIESAN FIRE SIZZLES IN LOUISIANA SLOP
Kentucky-born trainer Larry Jones has been in an enviable spot throughout the winter while caring for a pair of stars in early Kentucky Derby (Grade I) favorite Old Fashioned and up-and-coming Friesan Fire in his barn, but the pecking order in the Jones stable could have changed in the space of just over an hour on Saturday afternoon
Shortly before Old Fashioned suffered his first loss in the Rebel Stakes (GIII) at Oaklawn Park, Friesen Fire turned in the strongest effort of his career with a 7 ¼-length victory in the 96th running of the $600,000 Louisiana Derby (GII) over a “sloppy” track at Fair Grounds.
Kentucky Oaks 135 Update (3.16.09)
SOUTH/RACHEL ALEXANDRA ROMPS FAIR GROUNDS OAKS, BUT CONNECTIONS CONTINUE FOCUS ON KENTUCKY OAKS
L & M Racing’s Rachel Alexandra scored another dazzling win in Saturday’s $400,000 Fair Grounds Oaks (GII), but her connections said the focus of the daughter of Medaglia d’Oro would remain on the $500,000 Kentucky Oaks (GI) on May 1 at Churchill Downs – not on a meeting with males one day later in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI).
Rachel Alexandra’s victory margin over runner-up Flying Spur was only 1 ¼ lengths, but jockey Calvin Borel had trainer Hal Wiggins filly geared down to a gallop in the final furlong.
Hectic Weekend of Preps Ends With ‘All Others’ Favored, Friesan Fire Moving in Derby Future Pool 2
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (March 15, 2009) – A weekend of upsets in important prep races for the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) convinced many racing fans to turn to the “all others” option as the mutuel field ended up as the lukewarm 9-2 favorite in the second of three pools in Churchill Downs’ 2009 Kentucky Derby Future Wager (“KDFW”).
The mutuel field, which included all 3-year-olds other than the 22 individual horses listed on KDFW Pool 2’s roster of betting interests, stood as the 9-2 fan’s choice when betting on the four-day pool closed on Sunday at 6 p.m. (all times Eastern). “All others” had been a strong 9-5 favorite in Pool 1, which ran from Feb. 12-15.
Justwhistledixie Edges Rachel Alexandra, Stardom Bound for Top Spot in Kentucky Oaks Futures
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (March 15, 2009) – The powerhouse duo of champion Stardom Bound and Rachel Alexandra figured to be the top stories in the only pool of Churchill Downs’ Kentucky Oaks Future Wager (“KOFW”) of 2009, but it was rising star Justwhistledixie who stole the show and ended up as the favorite over that powerhouse duo as four days of Oaks Future betting drew to a close Sunday evening.
Justwhistledixie held on to the favorite’s spot in Pool 2 of the Kentucky Oaks Future Wager despite an impressive victory by Rachel Alexandra in Saturday’s $400,000 Fair Grounds Oaks and last week’s win by reigning 2-year-old filly champion Stardom Bound in the Santa Anita Oaks (GI). But neither of that star duo could overhaul Justwhistedixie for the favorite’s spot in the Kentucky Oaks Future Wager pool.
Sunday, March 15 2009
JUSTWHISTEDIXIE, STARDOM BOUND, RACHEL ALEXANDRA REMAIN TOP CHOICES HEADING INTO OAKS FUTURE FINALE
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (March 14, 2009) – The streaking Justwhistledixie, an impressive winner in the Davona Dale (Grade II) at Gulfstream Park in her most recent race, continued to be a surprising favorite over the high-powered duo of reigning 2-year-old filly champion Stardom Bound and Fair Grounds Oaks (GII) winner Rachel Alexandra as Churchill Downs’ 2009 Kentucky Oaks Future Wager (“KOFW”) headed into the last day of its four-day run.
West Point Thoroughbreds, Lakland Farm and Dee Hubbard’s Justwhistledixie, a daughter of Dixie Union who has won four consecutive races, remained a solid 2-1 favorite after Saturday’s betting and has been the fan’s choice throughout Pool 2. She remained atop the KOFW betting roster over Stardom Bound, winner of five straight Grade I races, and Rachel Alexandra, who rolled to an impressive victory on Saturday in the $400,000 Fair Grounds Oaks (GII). Both of those fillies were 7-2 shots at the end of Saturday’s betting, with Stardom Bound ending up as the actual second betting choice.
‘ALL OTHERS’ REMAINS NARROW CHOICE HEADING INTO FINAL DAY OF POOL 2 OF KENTUCKY DERBY FUTURES
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (March 14, 2009) – On a day marked by a pair of strong efforts by major Kentucky Derby contenders alongside two major upset, fans of Churchill Downs’ Kentucky Derby Future Wager (“KDFW”) continued to turn to the “all others” option in their search for a betting option and that wagering interest is a narrow favorite as Pool 2 of the Kentucky Derby Future bet headed into its final day.
The mutuel field, which represents all 3-year-olds other than the 22 individual horses on the Pool 2 betting roster, remained the narrow bettor’s choice at 5-1 after an exciting day of four significant Kentucky Derby preps headlined by the upset by 56-1 shot Win Willy over previously unbeaten Old Fashioned the Rebel (GIII) at Oaklawn Park and the Louisiana Derby (GII) at Fair Grounds, which was the scene of an overwhelming 7 ¼-length victory by favored Friesan Fire. The day’s other preps saw highly regarded Pioneerof the Nile win the San Felipe (GII) over the Cushion Track surface at Santa Anita and Musket Man score a last-gasp victory in the Tampa Bay Derby (GIII). Neither Win Willy nor Musket Man is among the individual horses in KDFW Pool 2, and therefore are members of the “all others” betting interest.
Saturday, March 14 2009
JUSTWHISTEDIXIE REMAINS SURPRISING SOLID FAVORITE AT MIDPOINT OF 2009 KENTUCKY OAKS FUTURE WAGER
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (March 13, 2009) – Justwhistledixie, a romping winner in the Davona Dale (Grade II) at Gulfstream Park last time out, remained the surprising favorite over the high-powered duo of champion Stardom Bound and streaking Rachel Alexandra on Friday as Churchill Downs’ 2009 Kentucky Oaks Future Wager (“KOFW”) reached the midway point of its four-day run.
West Point Thoroughbreds, Lakland Farm and Dee Hubbard’s daughter of Dixie Union remained the 9-5 favorite after two days of betting in the four-day pool. The Kiaran McLaughlin-trained filly notched her fourth consecutive victory with her 3 ¾- length victory in the Davona Dale and had entered the Kentucky Oaks Future Wager as a 12-1 risk in Churchill Downs oddsmaker Mike Battaglia’s morning line odds.
‘All Others’, Unbeaten Dunkirk Narrowly Favored at Midpoint of Kentucky Derby Futures Pool 2
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (March 13, 2009) – Racing fans continue to have a difficult time deciding who should be the favorite in Pool 2 of Churchill Downs’ 2009 Kentucky Derby Future Wager (“KDFW”) as “all others” edged unbeaten and untested Dunkirk as the narrow choice among 23 betting interests as the pool reached the midpoint of four days of betting on Friday.
The mutuel field, which represents all 3-year-olds other than the 22 individual horses on the Pool 2 betting roster, and Dunkirk, who is unbeaten in two career starts, each stood at 5-1 at the end of Friday’s betting. But slightly more money had been wagered on the mutuel field ($7,866) than Dunkirk ($7,222) to give “all others” the status of actual betting favorite. The “all others” wagering interest was the 9-5 favorite in February’s first of three pools of the 2009 Derby Future Bet.
Friday, March 13 2009
Kentucky Derby 135 Update (3.13.98)
SOUTH/FRIESAN FIRE GOES FOR FAIR GROUNDS ‘HAT TRICK’ IN LOUISIANA DERBY
Trainer Larry Jones will be a busy man on Saturday as he send his pair of major contenders for the 135th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) into important prep races in two states.
Jones’ representative in the 96th running of the $600,000 Louisiana Derby (GII) at Fair Grounds is Friesan Fire, a chestnut son of A.P. Indy who is going for a sweep of the New Orleans’ track’s three major races for 3-year-olds. Friesan Fire notched earlier wins in the Lecomte (GIII) and the Risen Star (GIII) and is the 5-2 morning line favorite to add the Louisiana Derby to his collection of Fair Grounds triumphs.
Kentucky Oaks 135 Update (3.13.09)
SOUTH/RACHEL ALEXANDRA PREPS FOR FAIR GROUNDS OAKS
L & M Racing’s Rachel Alexandra, a dominant winner of Churchill Downs’ Golden Rod (GII) and Oaklawn Park’s Martha Washington in her last two starts, will be the odds-on choice when she faces five rivals in Saturday’s $400,000 Fair Grounds Oaks (Grade II) at Fair Grounds.
If the Hal Wiggins-trained daughter of Medaglia d’Oro wins the 1 1/16-mile race, she will to emulate 2008 Fair Grounds Oaks winner Proud Spell, who went on to win the $500,000 Kentucky Oaks (GI), America’s premier race for 3-year-old fillies, and earn the Eclipse Award that honored her as America’s finest 3-year-old filly.