Racing News

American Lion bound for Keeneland

| Brisnet Editorial | 04/04/2010 #

From Sunday's Keeneland notes:

WinStar Farm's AMERICAN LION (Tiznow), who captured Saturday's Illinois Derby (G3), was scheduled to return to Keeneland on Sunday afternoon.

American Lion's victory gave WinStar three horses with enough earnings to be guaranteed a spot in the Kentucky Derby starting gate, along with Sunland Derby (G3) hero ENDORSEMENT (Distorted Humor) and multiple Grade 3 winner RULE (Roman Ruler), who was third in the Florida Derby (G1) last out.

"We are evaluating all of them," Bill Casner, president of WinStar, said about the farm's Derby hopefuls. "I thought American Lion ran a much improved race yesterday, and (jockey) David Flores gets along with him well.

"He was more relaxed yesterday and it looks like he might like dirt better. Dirt tends to favor speed, and that was a thought in running there."

American Lion, successful in the Hollywood Prevue S. (G3) last November, was third in the Robert B. Lewis S. (G2) and fourth in the San Felipe S. (G2) in his last two starts.

"Endorsement is here (at Keeneland) and Rule is still in Florida," Casner added. "SUPER SAVER (Maria's Mon) is still in Florida, but will be shipping to Oaklawn for the Arkansas Derby (G1) on Saturday. DROSSELMEYER (Distorted Humor), we are going to bring him in here and see."

Super Saver, winner of the Kentucky Jockey Club S. (G2) at Churchill Downs in his juvenile finale, finished a close third in the Tampa Bay Derby (G3) in his seasonal reappearance. With $163,832 in graded earnings, Super Saver is outside of the top 20 on the graded earnings list at the moment, but can move up significantly with a strong effort in the $1 million Arkansas Derby.

Drosselmeyer's troubled trip in the Louisiana Derby (G2), where he wound up third, leaves him much lower on the list with only $87,000 in career graded earnings.

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