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  • Pletcher Works Quartet Toward Oaks, Rose to Gold Breezes and Black Onyx Has Strong Gallop

    It was a busy Saturday morning at the Todd Pletcher barn at Churchill Downs as Dreaming of Julia (ranked No. 4 on the “Road to the Kentucky Oaks” Leaderboard), Unlimited Budget (No. 3), Silsita (No. 10) and Princess of Sylmar (No. 7) all worked for the two-time Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) winning trainer.

  • Smith talks Derby

    Soon after Mike Smith rode War Academy in last Saturday's Arkansas Derby, in which the three-year-old son of Giant's Causeway broke stride and was pulled up, the Hall of Fame jockey was able to land a Kentucky Derby mount on Palace Malice, who finished second by a neck in the Blue Grass at Keeneland moments after the Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park.

    Garrett Gomez was aboard Palace Malice, but had a previous commitment on Vyjack for the Derby, so a door was opened for Smith, who is optimistic that fate might be in his corner for the Run for the Roses on May 4.

  • Derby Hopeful Golden Soul Breezes Six Furlongs Beneath the Twin Spires

    Kentucky Derby hopeful Golden Soul, ranked No. 23 on the “Road to the Kentucky Derby Presented by” Leaderboard, continued his preparations for a potential start in the “Run for the Roses” with a six-furlong breeze Thursday morning at Churchill Downs in 1:12.40.

    Working under exercise rider Emerson Chavez, Golden Soul worked to the seven-eighths pole and recorded fractions of :12, :23.40, :35, :46.80, :59 and galloped out seven furlongs in 1:27.40.

  • Churchill Downs Strengthens Security Policies, Expands Screenings for 2013 Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks

    Churchill Downs Racetrack (“CDRT”) will strengthen security and hospitality policies and expand screenings for patrons, employees and vendors who will enter the track for the 139th runnings of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) on Saturday, May 4, and the Kentucky Oaks (GI) on Friday, May 3. 

  • Itsmyluckyday works a mile at Calder

    Kentucky Derby hopeful Itsmyluckyday put forth what is likely his penultimate workout before shipping to Louisville, Kentucky, covering one mile in 1:43 1/5 over a fast main track at Calder on Thursday.

    Itsmyluckyday, who set a track record in the Grade 3 Holy Bull two starts back at Gulfstream, was most recently runner-up in the Grade 1 Florida Derby.

    The Eddie Plesa Jr.-trained colt is tentatively scheduled to breeze one more time before departing next week.

  • A test of resolve: Can Itsmyluckyday go the distance?

    For those trainers still chasing a garland of roses, the Kentucky Derby presents this great paradox: The horses who make their way into the starting gate on May 4 will be the best in their class, the fastest 3-year-olds in the land, and yet, until their resolve is tested over the Derby’s one-and-one-quarter miles, no one really knows how good they are. None of these horses has ever raced this far.

  • Pure Fun meets 10 male rivals in Lexington

    Pure Fun will take an unorthodox route toward her ultimate goal, the May 3 Kentucky Oaks, when she lines up against 10 males in Saturday's Grade 3, $200,000 Lexington at Keeneland. The 1 1/16-mile race on Polytrack offers a total of 34 points (20-8-4-2) for both the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks, and Pure Fun needs points to qualify with only 20 in the bank.

  • Kentucky Derby Report

    Java's War got up to win by a neck and Overanalyze rolled to a convincing 4 1/4-length victory as the Blue Grass and Arkansas Derby wrapped up the final round of major preps. A total of six probable Kentucky Derby contestants were in action last Saturday.

  • Frac Daddy Arrives, Brown Makes Training Plans for Normandy Invasion, Seaneen Girl Works Toward Oaks

    Arkansas Derby (Grade I) runner-up Frac Daddy, ranked No. 15 on the “Road to the Kentucky Derby Presented by,” arrived at Churchill Downs on Wednesday morning at 4 a.m. (all times Eastern) and will be prepped for Kentucky Derby 139 beneath the Twin Spires.

  • Napravnik to ride Mylute in Kentucky Derby

    Jockey Rosie Napravnik has accepted the Kentucky Derby mount on Louisiana Derby runner-up Mylute.

    Napravnik, the leading rider at Fair Grounds the past three meetings, rode Mylute to his last win, a 10 3/4-length romp over optional claiming rivals at Fair Grounds on December 26. The gray son of Midnight Lute had been ridden by Shaun Bridgmohan in his previous two outings, a seventh in the February 23 Risen Star and his fast-finishing second, beaten less than a length by Revolutionary, in the March 30 Louisiana Derby.

  • Borel picks up mount on Revolutionary; Smith on Palace Malice

    Three-time Kentucky Derby winner Calvin Borel has picked up the mount on Louisiana Derby hero Revolutionary for the 139th Run for the Roses, it was announced Monday.

    Revolutionary represents the same connections -- WinStar Farm and trainer Todd Pletcher -- as Borel's most recent Derby winner, Super Saver, in 2010. The veteran rider first guided Street Sense to Derby glory in 2007 before springing the 50-1 upset aboard Mine That Bird in 2009.

  • Verrazano Gallops on First Morning Beneath the Twin Spires; Lukas Arrivals Get Settled

    Wood Memorial (Grade I) winner Verrazano, the individual favorite in all three pools of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager, arrived at Churchill Downs on Sunday evening and galloped beneath the Twin Spires on Monday on his first morning in Louisville.

    “Everything went perfectly,” trainer Todd Pletcher said. “He seemed to settle in really well overnight and I thought he galloped very nicely over the track today.”

  • Ciao Bella Luna shines bright in Beaumont

    Ciao Bella Luna bid her rivals "hello and goodbye" in Sunday's Grade 2, $150,000 Beaumont over Keeneland's Polytrack with jockey Joel Rosario aboard. The Jerry Hollendorfer pupil came running on the outside to sail past pacesetter Magical Moon for the 2 1/2-length victory.

  • Govenor Charlie could be Baffert's lone Derby runner

    "Then there was one."

    That's how Bob Baffert summed up his prospects for the Kentucky Derby on May 4 after War Academy was pulled up in Saturday's Arkansas Derby under Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, who at press time Sunday, was still in search of a mount in the Run for the Roses.

    "The one" would be Sunland Derby winner Govenor Charlie, who has 50 points on the Derby's new qualifying system that limits the field to 20 starters with the highest point totals, earned by the top four finishers in designated Derby prep races.

  • Java's War fine, but trainer 'exhausted,' following Blue Grass

    "Java's War came out of Blue Grass fine. Trainer is exhausted. Thank You for opportunity Mr Fipke. Special winning in my home town Lexington"

    So tweeted trainer Ken McPeek on Sunday morning about the victory by Charles Fipke's homebred Java's War in Saturday's Blue Grass before 37,161 fans, the second-largest crowd in Keeneland history. With Julien Leparoux aboard, the War Pass colt charged from last place to catch Palace Malice near the finish of the 1 1/8-mile race and win by a neck.

  • Mylute Tunes Up for Derby With Six-Furlong Work; Arkansas Derby Winner Overanalyze Arrives at Churchill Downs

    Mylute, runner-up to Revolutionary in the $1 million Louisiana Derby (Grade II), continued his preparations for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) with a six-furlong breeze in 1:12.20 on Sunday morning at Churchill Downs.

  • Overanalyze back in business in Arkansas Derby

    Repole Stable's Overanalyze, a dull fifth in the March 2 Gotham Stakes in his reappearance, roared back with a commanding, 4 1/4-length victory in Saturday's Grade 1, $1 million Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park. Trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by Rafael Bejarano, the 7-2 third choice rallied boldly down the stretch to win 100 points toward the Kentucky Derby, and confirm his spot in the starting gate on May 4.