Racing News

Pure Fun meets 10 male rivals in Lexington

  • Pure Fun displayed an affinity for synthetic tracks when capturing the Starlet on Cushion Track (Benoit Photos)

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.

Trained by Kenny McPeek, Pure Fun completed 2012 with an excellent one-length victory in the Grade 1 Hollywood Starlet. The chestnut daughter of Pure Prize made a belated three-year-old debut, finishing third in the March 23 Bourbonette Oaks, and missed some training time afterward, which her forced her connections to bypass filly events like the Ashland at Keeneland and the Fantasy at Oaklawn Park earlier this month. She will break from the far outside post position with new rider Rosie Napravnik.

Her main rivals include Cerro, Pick of the Litter and Sunbean.

Cerro stamped himself as a promising prospect when capturing a 1 1/8-mile optional claimer at Gulfstream Park on January 26, but he's been sidelined since a sixth in the February 23 Fountain of Youth. The Graham Motion trainee will receive plenty of class relief in the Lexington after competing against Orb and Violence last time, and the chestnut son of Mr. Greeley will be re-united with Joel Rosario, the leading rider at the current Keeneland meet.

Pick of the Litter recorded a sharp 7 1/2-length tally when breaking his maiden two starts back in only his second lifetime outing, but the Dale Romans-trained colt was thrown in deep waters last time, checking in eighth behind Orb and Itsmyluckyday in the March 30 Florida Derby. He figures to appreciate this company and the chestnut son of Kitten's Joy is bred to handle the Polytrack. Regular rider Jesus Castanon will be up.

Sunbean was supplemented to the Lexington and exits a nightmarish trip in the Louisiana Derby in which he finished eighth. A winner of three straight beforehand, the son of Brahms has been transferred to Mike Maker, Keeneland's leading trainer, and receives a positive rider switch to Gary Stevens. The Louisiana-bred colt is two for two at the 8 1/2-furlong distance.

Other runners include John Battaglia Memorial winner General Election, who will look to rebound from a disappointing 10th in the Spiral; Examen, who will make his stakes bow for Tom Proctor following maiden and optional claiming wins at Santa Anita; recent allowance winner Winning Cause, a Todd Pletcher runner who possesses a two for two mark on Keeneland's Polytrack; and Gulfstream allowance scorer River Rocks.

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.

Global View Nips Storming Inti at Wire to Win 23rd Running of Grade II American Turf

Glen Hill Farm's Global View caught Storming Inti in the closing strides

Midnight Lucky Romps in 28th Running of Grade I Humana Distaff

Midnight Lucky, making her first start in more than 11 months, took the lead out of the gate

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

Coffee Clique squeezed through an opening along the hedge

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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Derby Stories

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.
Paula's picking California Chrome

Kentucky Derby 140 presented by Yum! - The Race

Kentucky Derby 140 - Road to the Derby

Kentucky Derby 140 Intro

Around the Downs - The Stables

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.