Friday, April 24 2009
FULL FIELD APPEARS LIKELY FOR WIDE–OPEN KENTUCKY DERBY
In a remarkable seven-year span, newly minted Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert won three Kentucky Derbys and missed by the tiniest nose in another. And now it’s been seven years since he’s been to the winner’s circle on the first Saturday in May.
That could change this year for the silver-haired quipster as he heads into the 135th “Run for the Roses.” His Pioneerof the Nile will be one of the favorites for the Grade I, $2-million classic at Churchill Downs on May 2. A fourth victory in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands would tie Baffert with H.J. “Dick” Thompson and Baffert contemporary D. Wayne Lukas for second-place among Derby-winning trainers.
Thursday, April 23 2009
Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks 135 Notes (4.23.09)
ADVICE/DUNKIRK/JOIN IN THE DANCE
– WinStar Farm’s Advice, winner of the Coolmore Lexington Stakes (Grade II) last Saturday, had his first trip over the Churchill Downs track Thursday morning, galloping under exercise rider Kevin Willey.
Advice had arrived at Churchill Downs from Keeneland on Wednesday, along with Join in the Dance, owned by Jake Ballis, Rashard Lewis, et al. Join in the Dance, fifth in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (Grade I), galloped with Willey up.
Wednesday, April 22 2009
Silver City Heads Field of Eight for Churchill Downs’ Openint Day Grade III Derby Trial
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (April 22, 2009) – Saturday’s 85th running of the Grade III $100,000-added Derby Trial, the featured race on the opening day of the April 25-July 5 Spring Meet at Churchill Downs, will have a distinct Kentucky Derby flavor as several of the eight 3-year-olds entered in the race hail from barns that will seek success in 135th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) a week later.
The Derby Trial will go as the 10th race with a 5:17 p.m. post time (all times EDT). First post time for the 11-race program is 12:45 p.m. and admission gates open at 11 a..m.
Kentucky Derb and Oaks 135 Notes (4.22.09)
ADVICE/JOIN IN THE DANCE/DUNKIRK – Mike McCarthy, assistant to trainer Todd Pletcher, said that Advice, winner of last Saturday’s Coolmore Lexington Stakes (Grade II) and Join in the Dance, fifth-place finisher in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (Grade I), would ship to Churchill Downs from Keeneland on Wednesday and would be on the track to train Thursday morning.
Advice is owned by WinStar Farm and tentatively scheduled to work on April 27. Join in the Dance, stands 21st on the list of graded-stakes money won and would need a defection from the prospective field to secure a spot in the Kentucky Derby starting gate.
Tuesday, April 21 2009
Kentucky Derby 135 Notes (4.21.09)
CHOCOLATE CANDY – The Sid and Jenny Craig Trust’s Chocolate Candy tuned up for his engagement in Kentucky Derby 135 by working a mile over a track rated as “fast” in 1:42 with jockey Mike Smith up.
Churchill Downs clockers caught the Candy Ride colt in fractions of :12.60, :24.80, :37.20, :49.80, 1:02.20, seven-eighths in 1:28.60 and galloping out the mile and one-eighth in 1:57.
Churchill Downs Offers Purse Incentives Designed to Boost Derby Week, Spring Meet Field Size
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (April 20, 2009) – Churchill Downs has reconfigured its purse distribution for stakes events and overnight races during Kentucky Derby Week and the track’s April 25-July 5 Spring Meet to encourage participation by as many horses as possible during the meet’s races.
In addition, horsemen whose stables are located at training centers or other tracks that bring their horses to Churchill Downs to compete will find significant capital improvements and refurbishments in the track’s two receiving barns, along with the availability of concierge services during their day at the historic track.
Monday, April 20 2009
Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks 135 Notes
– The Sid and Jenny Craig Trust’s Chocolate Candy visited the paddock and then galloped a mile and a half over a muddy Churchill Downs track Monday morning with exercise rider Lindsey Molina up.
Galen May, assistant to trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, said Chocolate Candy would work Tuesday morning, most likely after the break.
Churchill Downs and Susan G. Komen for the Cure ‘Pink Out’ Kentucky Oaks 135
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (April 20, 2009) – Churchill Downs Racetrack, host of the Kentucky Derby® and the Kentucky Oaks®, wants you to help support the fight against breast cancer by purchasing tickets to Kentucky Oaks 135 at http://www.KentuckyOaks.com/Komen!
The Kentucky Oaks is scheduled for Friday, May 1, 2009, one day before the famed “Run for the Roses.”
To help raise money and awareness for Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, Churchill Downs has planned an exciting day of events for race-goers. There will be a “First Lady of Fashion” contest, Survivors Parade and even the first-ever Kentucky Oaks winner’s circle formed by breast cancer survivors. Churchill Downs will also create special areas in the infield where Komen for the Cure supporters can gather and enjoy Oaks Day. Komen survivors and supporters will also have a chance to meet Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker, founder of Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, who will be honored as the inaugural First Lady of Oaks.
Kentucky Derby 135 and Kentucky Oaks 135 Notes (4.19.09)
ARKANSAS DERBY WINNER PAPA CLEM HAS EASY WORK
LOUISVILLE, KY. (April 19, 2009) – Bo Hirsch’s homebred Papa Clem, winner of the Arkansas Derby (Grade II), breezed an easy five furlongs in the rain on Sunday in the Kentucky Derby (GI) contender’s first serious training move over the track at Churchill Downs.
Jockey Miguel Mena was in the saddle for the move, which was planned for seven furlongs, but received an official five-furlong clocking of 1:04.60. A steady rain was falling as the colt work over a “good” track and was timed in fractions of :12.40 and :38.60. He galloped out six furlongs in 1:19.
Sunday, April 19 2009
Dubai-based Regal Ransom, Desert Party and Illinois Derby Winner Musket Man Sharp In Saturday Works
LOUISVILLE, KY. (April 18, 2009) – Godolphin’s pair of contenders for the $2 million-guaranteed Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) – Desert Party and Regal Ransom – turned in sharp works Saturday in their first serious training at Churchill Downs, while Illinois Derby (GII) winner Musket Man worked a strong six furlongs under Derby jockey Eibar Coa.
UAE Derby (GII) winner Regal Ransom turned in one of the best works of the day as he zipped five furlongs over a “fast” track in :59.80 under exercise rider Bob Chapman. The son of Distorted Humor worked shortly after the track opened for training on the perfect spring morning and carved out fractions of :12/60, :24.20, :35.80 and :48 and galloped out six furlongs in 1:13.
Friday, April 17 2009
‘TwinSpires.Com Day at Keeneland’ Draws Estimated 750 Players, Guests to Historic Lexington Track
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Ca. (April 17, 2009) – An estimated 750 people – including 450 account players who are account holders of TwinSpires.com – enjoyed a spectacular day of live racing at Keeneland on Thursday, April 16 at the invitation of TwinSpires.com, the official advance deposit wagering service for Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ: CHDN), and the historic Lexington, Ky. track.
“TwinSpires.com Day at Keeneland” offered TwinSpires.com advance deposit wagering fans throughout the Blue Grass region an invitation to enjoy the day of live racing as guests of Keeneland and TwinSpires.com. Invitations were extended to TwinSpires.com online players who lived within 75 miles of Keeneland and had made a wager during the past year.
Register With Churchill Downs for a Chance to Win the Ultimate Kentucky Derby Party Pack
LOUISVILLE, KY. (April 20, 2009) – The Kentucky Derby is often referred to as an event you “gotta see to believe,” but not everyone can attend the Greatest Two Minutes in Sports every year. That doesn’t mean you can’t bring the Derby home! This year, Churchill Downs, the legendary racetrack that hosts the annual “Run for the Roses,” is hosting the “Bring the Derby Home” sweepstakes, where one lucky fan will win the ultimate Kentucky Derby Party.
By registering on KentuckyDerbyParty.com or through the Facebook fan site, Derby fans can be entered for a chance to win a fully catered Kentucky Derby party for 20 guests, including a Toshiba flat screen TV and other prizes worth more than $3500 (no purchase necessary; see http://www.kentuckyderbyparty.com
for a complete list of prizes and rules). Sweepstakes ends Friday, April 24th.