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  • Baffert Duo of Chitu, Bayern; Zito's Spot Top "Opening Night" Derby Trial

    Curtis Green’s Spot, winner of the Swale Stakes (Grade II) and the Bob Baffert-trained duo of Tanma Corporation’s Chitu and Kaleem Shah’s Bayern headline a field of 10 horses entered Wednesday for the 90th running of the $150,000-added Derby Trial (GIII) on Saturday’s Opening Night Presented by Stella Artois and Finlandia Vodka at Churchill Downs.

    The one-mile Derby Trial highlights the opening night of the 38-day Spring Meet, the centerpiece of which comes the following weekend with the 140th running of the $2 million guaranteed Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) on Saturday, May 3 and the 140th running of the $1 million guaranteed Longines Kentucky Oaks (GI) the day before.

    Scheduled as the eighth race on Saturday’s 10-race program, post time for the Derby Trial is 10:01 p.m. (EDT) with first post being 6 o’clock.

    Conditioned by two-time Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Nick Zito, Spot finished seventh in the Florida Derby (GI) in his most recent start. John Velazquez has the mount on Spot, who will break from post position nine.

    Chitu, winner of the Sunland Derby (GIII) in his most recent start, has won three of four starts with his lone setback coming in a runner-up finish in the Robert B. Lewis (GII). Joel Rosario will ride Chitu, who will break from post position two.

    Bayern won his first two starts at Santa Anita before finishing third as the favorite in the Arkansas Derby (GI) in his stakes debut. Rosie Napravnik will ride Bayern and break from post position one.

    The field for the Derby Trial, from the rail out, is as follows: Bayern (Napravnik, 118 pounds), Chitu (Rosario, 123), Big Sugar Soda (Ricardo Santana Jr., 118), Friendswith K Mill (Kent Desormeaux, 118), Matador (Julien Leparoux, 118),Embellishing Bob (Brian Hernandez Jr., 118), Laddie Boy (Stewart Elliott, 118), Bitters ‘n Bourbon (Corey Lanerie, 118), Spot (Velazquez, 120) and Myositis Dan (Joe Rocco Jr., 118).

  • Gary West's Top 10 Kentucky Derby Championship Series Performances

    By Gary West, special to KentuckyDerby.com

    Over the next 10 days or so, much will be written extolling the virtues of California Chrome. His virtues are as conspicuous as they are numerous. He’s professional and smart; most of all, he’s fast. And he just keeps running. He deserves the praise, the plaudits and the acclaim. In this run-up to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands, he has given not only the best performance of any 3-year-old but arguably the best two performances.

  • Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands Update for Tuesday, April 22

    VICAR’S IN TROUBLE (No. 2)/GENERAL A ROD (No. 15)/HARRY’S HOLIDAY (No. 20) – Trainer Mike Maker vanned his trio of Kentucky Derby possibilities to the Churchill Downs backside late Tuesday morning.

    Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s  Vicar’s in Trouble galloped at the Trackside Training Center Tuesday morning and is scheduled to breeze at Churchill Downs on Saturday along  with  Harry’s  Holiday,  who  is  owned by  Skychai  Racing, Terry Raymond and Jana Wagner. Harry’s Holiday galloped Tuesday at Trackside. Joel Barrientos was aboard both colts.