Racing News

American Lion stretches out in Lewis

  • American Lion made his stakes debut a winning one in the Hollywood Prevue -- photo by Benoit Photos

AMERICAN LION (Tiznow) will make his two-turn debut Saturday while taking on four rivals in the $150,000 Robert B. Lewis S. (G2) at Santa Anita. The 1 1/16-mile event, rescheduled from last Saturday's card that was lost when the Pro-Ride failed to drain properly after heavy rain, is a major prep for the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby (G1) on April 3.

American Lion ran second in his debut for trainer Richard Budge before being transferred to Eoin Harty for his past two races under Julien Leparoux, who stays aboard in the Lewis. The bay colt followed a 6 3/4-length maiden win with a half-length victory in the Hollywood Prevue S. (G3) last time out, both going seven furlongs.

Among those American Lion will face in the Lewis is CARACORTADO (Cat Dreams), who faces his stiffest test yet while putting his unbeaten record on the line.

"He has been a surprise," trainer Mike Machowsky admitted of the chestnut, who began his career winning a $40,000 maiden claiming race going a half-mile at Fairplex Park.

Since that dirt race, Caracortado has raced exclusively on synthetics, taking a pair of allowances on the Cushion Track at Hollywood Park and posting a 1 3/4-length score in in the California Breeders' Champion S. while stretching out to 8 1/2 furlongs for the first time over Santa Anita's Pro-Ride. Paul Atkinson has been aboard for each start and retains the mount here.

"When you start off running a horse a half-mile, you're not sure what to expect down the line," Machowsky continued. "But every time I've asked the horse to do something, he's done it."

What Caracortado will have to do Saturday is hold off the likes of TIZ CHROME (Tiznow) and DAVE IN DIXIE (Dixie Union). The former exits a four-length score in the December 19 Stuka S., his first start for Bob Baffert, and the unbeaten colt will retain the services of Garrett Gomez in his graded debut. Joel Rosario shows up aboard close Norfolk S. (G1) sixth Dave in Dixie.

Golden Gate invader TANGO TANGO (Orientate) rounds out the Lewis field.

California Chrome Cruises to Victory in 140th Kentucky Derby before Crowd of 164,906

Steven Coburn and Perry Martin's favored California Chrome, ridden by Victor Espinoza, took command at the head of the stretch en route to a 1 3/4-length victory over Commanding Curve to win the 140th running of the $2,202,800 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I). A sun-splashed crowd of 164,906, the second-largest attendance in Kentucky Derby history, watched California Chrome give jockey Victor Espinoza a second Derby victory to go with his triumph on War Emblem in 2002.

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Coffee Clique Catches Dame Marie Late to Win 29th Running of Grade II Churchill Distaff Turf Mile

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Derby Week Concludes with Memorable Kentucky Derby 140 as California Chrome Wins America’s Greatest Race

164,906 fans pack historic Churchill Downs

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Lindsay & Els Chicago, IL

First time at the Oaks so that's why we have these crazy hats on, shaped like cheese hats and painted pink in honor of Bright Pink, which is a great charity.
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Kentucky Derby 140 presented by Yum! - The Race

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California Chrome is attempting to become only the fourth California-bred, Kentucky Derby winner in history and the first since Decidedly in 1962.