Wednesday, May 02 2012


MARK VALESKI DECLARES FROM DERBY 138


LOUISVILLE, KY (Tuesday, May 1, 2012) – Brereton C. Jones’ homebred Mark Valeski has been withdrawn from consideration for Saturday’s Kentucky Derby, opening the door for Bluegrass Hall LLC’s Optimizer to make the field, which is limited to 20 starters.

Trainer Larry Jones said that while Mark Valeski is in fine health, Monday’s five-furlong workout in 1:00.20 did not convince him the Louisiana Derby (Grade II) and Risen Star (Gr. II) runner-up was ready to face this year’s especially talented Kentucky Derby field.





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Monday, May 09 2011


KENTUCKY DERBY 137 BARN NOTES Sunday, May 8, 2011


ANIMAL KINGDOM – Team Valor International’s Animal Kingdom, winner of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) was reported by trainer H. Graham Motion to be doing well on the morning after his 2 3/4-length triumph.

Barry Irwin, Team Valor’s founder and CEO, said a bid for the $1 million Preakness (GI), the second jewel of the Triple Crown, was likely – but not yet definite.





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Sunday, May 08 2011


RECORD CROWD OF 164,858 LOOKS ON AS ANIMAL KINGDOM RALLIES TO WIN 137th KENTUCKY DERBY


LOUISVILLE, KY (Saturday, May 7, 2011) – Team Valor International’s Animal Kingdom, ridden by John Velazquez, ran past Nehro in mid-stretch and pulled away to a 2 ¾-length victory to win the 137th running of the $2,171,800 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) before a record crowd of 164,858 on Saturday afternoon at Churchill Downs.

The previous attendance record for a Kentucky Derby was established in 1974 when 163,628 were on hand for Cannonade’s victory in the 100th Run for the Roses.





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Derby 137 Winner’s Press Conference Transcript


THE MODERATOR: Thank you for joining us. We have the connections of the Kentucky Derby winner, Team Valor International's Animal Kingdom. We have the winning connections including the chief executive officer of Team Valor International and the founder of that organization, that's Barry Irwin. Just to his right is Graham Motion, now a Kentucky Derby winning trainer, and after a incredible turn of events in the last 24 hours, John Velazquez is a Kentucky Derby winning jockey and our connections are here to celebrate with us.
You truly have an international organization. You came excruciatingly close to winning this race in 1997, and just give us what's running through your mind right now accomplishing this goal.



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KENTUCKY DERBY 137 LOSING JOCKEY QUOTES


COREY NAKATANI (Nehro, second) – “Overall the trip was pretty darn good. We were in a predicament where I didn't think the pace scenario was as fast as what I needed to be able to get him into a high cruising speed.
“I've got to thank (trainer) Steve (Asmussen) and (assistant) Scott Blasi. They got this horse here and it's a pretty tough campaign just getting here, to have enough graded earnings. For him to run this big in this race is impressive."





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REGALLY READY NIPS BRIDGETOWN TO WIN TWIN SPIRES TURF SPRINT


LOUISVILLE, KY (Saturday, May 7, 2011) – Vinery Stables’ Regally Ready caught Bridgetown in deep stretch and then pulled away to a 1 ¼-length victory in the 17th running of the $111,200 Twin Spires Turf Sprint Presented by GE Appliances & Lighting (GIII) on Saturday afternoon at Churchill Downs.

Given a ground-saving ride by Corey Nakatani, Regally Ready covered the five furlongs on a firm Matt Winn Turf Course in :56.57.





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KENTUCKY OAKS 137 BARN NOTES Saturday, May 7, 2011


PLUM PRETTY – Assistant trainer Jim Barnes reported that Kentucky Oaks winner Plum Pretty came back “super good” from her impressive score in Friday’s $1 million Kentucky Oaks. The Medaglia d’Oro filly got a perfect trip for rider Martin Garcia, fired well clear at the head of the lane, then had enough in the tank to hold off the fast-closing St. John’s River by a neck.

Future plans for Plum Pretty – who picked up a first prize of $570,400 after covering nine furlongs in 1:49.50 – had yet to be made.





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Saturday, May 07 2011


PLUM PRETTY HOLDS OFF ST. JOHN’S RIVER TO WIN 137th AND RICHEST RUNNING OF THE $1 MILLION KENTUCKY


LOUISVILLE, KY (Friday, May 6, 2011) – Peachtree Stable’s Plum Pretty, ridden by Martin Garcia, took command in the middle of the far turn and then held off a late charge along the rail from St. John’s River to win the 137th running of the $1 million Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) by a neck before the third-largest Oaks Day crowd of 110,122 on Friday afternoon at Churchill Downs.

Plum Pretty, who entered the Oaks off a 25-length victory in the $200,000 Sunland Park Oaks on March 27, is trained by Bob Baffert, who also won the Oaks in 1999 with Silverbulletday.





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BANNED ROMPS TO AMERICAN TURF VICTORY


LOUISVILLE, KY (Friday, May 6, 2011) – Glen Hill Farm’s Banned exploded from far off the pace to win the 20th running of the $237,400 American Turf Presented by Ram (GII) for 3-year-olds by 4 1/2 lengths over Close Ally on Friday afternoon at Churchill Downs.

Trained by Tom Proctor and ridden by Garrett Gomez, Banned was making his return to Churchill Downs after running fifth in last fall’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (GII).





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VICTORIA’S WILDCAT RALLIES TO WIN EIGHT BELLES


LOUISVILLE, KY (Friday, May 6, 2011) – Bob and Victoria Bayer and Jonathan Metcalf’s Victoria’s Wildcat ran down dueling leaders Home Sweet Aspen and Honey Chile in the final 100 yards to win the 56th running of the $118,800 Eight Belles Presented by ACS, a Xerox Company (GIII) for 3-year-old fillies by 2 ¼ lengths on Friday afternoon at Churchill Downs.

The Eight Belles was the debut in stakes competition for Victoria’s Wildcat, who won for the second time in three races at Churchill Downs.





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FIRST DUDE NAILS REGAL RANSOM AT THE WIRE TO WIN ALYSHEBA


LOUISVILLE, KY (Friday, May 6, 2011) – Donald Dizney’s First Dude caught Regal Ransom in the final jump to win the eighth running of the $358,500 Alysheba Presented by Besilu Stables (GIII) for 3-year-olds and up by a nose on Friday afternoon at Churchill Downs.

Trained by Bob Baffert and ridden by Martin Garcia, First Dude is a 4-year-old homebred son of Stephen Got Even out of the Smart Strike mare Run Sarah Run. First Dude ran the mile and a sixteenth on a fast main track in 1:42.56.





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DIVA ASH GRABS EARLY LEAD AND CRUISES TO WIN EDGEWOOD


LOUISVILLE, KY (Friday, May 6, 2011) – Zayat Stables’ Diva Ash took the lead going into the first turn and never trailed again to win the 26th running of the $113,800 Edgewood Presented by Kentucky National Insurance for 3-year-old fillies by 1 ½ lengths over Sassy’s Dream on Friday, Kentucky Oaks Day, at Churchill Downs.

Diva Ash gave jockey Kent Desormeaux his second Edgewood victory and the first for Louisville-born trainer Dale Romans.





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