• Verrazano, Vyjack top prospective Wood field

    Undefeated three-year-olds Verrazano and Vyjack are expected to head the field for the 89th running of the Grade 1, $1 million Wood Memorial on April 6, Aqueduct Racetrack's final major prep for the May 4 Kentucky Derby.

    Unraced as a two-year-old, Verrazano won his first two starts at Gulfstream Park by a combined margin of 24 lengths, and heads into the 1 1/8-mile Wood off a commanding three-length victory on March 9 in the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby. Trained by Todd Pletcher, the More Than Ready colt will again have the services of Hall of Famer John Velazquez in the Wood.

  • Florida Derby, Louisiana Derby, UAE Derby Kick Off Second Leg of Championship Series

    The First Leg of the Championship Series on the “Road to the Kentucky Derby Presented by TwinSpires.com” concluded last weekend and now it’s on to the Second Leg, which is composed of the seven most meaningful springboard events in advance of America’s greatest race, the Kentucky Derby.

  • Points and pride at stake as Road to the Kentucky Derby hits high gear

    After more than three decades in the Thoroughbred racing and breeding business, Evelyn Benoit isn’t shy about her convictions. Ask her about her star 3-year-old, Sunbean, who is scheduled to compete Saturday in the $1 million Louisiana Derby, and Benoit, a Louisianan through and through, offers that her horse is good enough to run in another, more prestigious Derby – the Kentucky Derby.

  • Video Road to the Kentucky Derby Louisiana Derby Preview 3.30.2013

    Jill Byrne takes a look at the strong field in the 100th running of the Louisiana Derby. Will the Road to the Kentucky Derby go through the Big Easy this year? Hopefuls look to earn valuable points on Saturday at the Fairgrounds Racecourse and Slots.

  • Flashy Gray tops Fair Grounds Oaks

    Flashy Gray gets a chance to make amends for her runner-up effort as the 2-5 favorite in Oaklawn's Grade 3 Honeybee on March 9 when she is pegged as the solid 6-5 morning-line choice in the Grade 2, $500,000 Fair Grounds Oaks on Saturday on the Louisiana Derby Day undercard.

  • Live Lively, 'Julia set for rematch in Gulfstream Oaks

    Saturday's Grade 2, $300,000 Gulfstream Park Oaks, at 1 1/8 miles, features a rematch of Live Lively and Dreaming of Julia, the top two finishers in the Grade 2 Davona Dale on February 23.

  • Itsmyluckyday, Orb square off in Florida Derby

    They've been able to avoid each other all winter while racking up wins at Gulfstream, and are conveniently stabled in different areas of South Florida, but the inevitable crossing of paths between Itsmyluckyday and Orb finally arrives Saturday as the two classic prospects head a field of 10 for the Grade 1, $1 million Florida Derby over 1 1/8 miles.

    The final Kentucky Derby prep for the two protagonists, this Florida Derby clash also has a blue collar vs. blue blood feel to it.

  • Revolutionary 3-1 favorite in full Louisiana Derby field

    Revolutionary, who overcame severe traffic problems to win Aqueduct's Grade 3 Withers in his last start on February 2, has been installed as the lukewarm 3-1 morning-line favorite in the 100th anniversary edition of the Grade 2, $1 million Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds on Saturday.

  • Spiral Champ Black Onyx is First Kentucky Derby Contender to Arrive at Churchill Downs

    Spiral Stakes winner Black Onyx arrived at Churchill Downs on Wednesday and became this year’s first major Kentucky Derby contender to be stabled at the historic Louisville racetrack.

  • Kentucky Derby Report -- Mar. 28

    A couple of horses staked their claim last weekend, with Black Onyx upsetting the Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park and Govenor Charlie posting an easy win as the Sunland Derby favorite. Black Onyx's connections made him a late Triple Crown nominee after the Spiral and Govenor Charlie continued to enhance his reputation in a deep Bob Baffert stable.

  • Kentucky Derby 139 Trophy Arrives Safely at Churchill Downs

    The priceless solid gold trophy that will be presented to the owner of the 3-year-old Thoroughbred that wins the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) has arrived safely at Churchill Downs exactly 40 days before the big race on the first Saturday in May.

  • Black Onyx Heads 13 Late Triple Crown Nominations

    The roster of 3-year-old Thoroughbreds eligible for the 2013 Triple Crown has grown to 382 with the addition of 13 late nominations (pending late mail) to the coveted series of American classic races that includes the $2 million-guaranteed Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I), the $1 million Preakness (GI) and the $1 million Belmont Stakes (GI).

  • Derby points up for grabs in Dubai

    The Kentucky Derby Championship Series kicks into high gear with Saturday's Group 2, $2 million U.A.E. Derby at Meydan, the first race in the new scoring system to offer a 100-point bonanza to the eligible winner. American rooting interests revolve around He's Had Enough and Dice Flavor, while Aidan O'Brien dispatches Lines of Battle from Ireland, and Godolphin's Secret Number tops the local squad.

    He's Had Enough and Lines of Battle are the only American Triple Crown nominees in the field, however, and therefore they are the only two eligible to pocket points on Saturday.

  • Conflicted Derby 139 Fans Favor 'All Others' in Tight Final Futures Pool

    For most of three days of betting in the third and final pool of Churchill Downs Racetrack’s (CDRT) 2013 Kentucky Derby Future Wager (“KDFW”), fans flirted with making unbeaten Verrazano (#20) the overall betting favorite.  But, in the end, those fans could not commit to an individual horse as their favorite to win the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) and settled on the always popular Mutuel Field (#24) to be the people’s choice.

  • Midnight Lucky conquers Sunland Oaks in record-setting performance

    Midnight Lucky didn't need any luck, or much encouragement from jockey Rafael Bejarano either, as she romped by eight lengths in Sunday's $200,000 Sunland Park Oaks.

    Trained by Bob Baffert, the gray miss was making her stakes and two-turn debut in the 1 1/16-mile contest and easily proved capable of handling such a task when setting a new Sunland Park track record of 1:41.06 over the fast going.

  • Govenor Charlie draws off in track-record time in Sunland Derby

    Not long after Midnight Lucky routed the Sunland Park Oaks, Govenor Charlie made it a track record-setting double for owner Mike Pegram, trainer Bob Baffert and young sire Midnight Lute when opening up in the Grade 3, $800,000 Sunland Derby. Govenor Charlie, sent off as the 6-5 favorite off a gutsy maiden score at Santa Anita last out, thrust himself into the Kentucky Derby picture by earning 50 points.

  • Shanghai Bobby readies for Florida Derby

    Champion Shanghai Bobby breezed five furlongs at Palm Meadows Sunday morning in preparation for a scheduled start in the Grade 1 Florida Derby at Gulfstream Saturday.

    Working in company with stablemate Palace Malice, the 2012 Eclipse Award-winning juvenile champion was timed in 1:00 4/5, and the pair tied for the sixth fastest of 34 works recorded at the distance on the fast main track.

  • Verrazano gallops out powerfully after half-mile breeze

    Leading Kentucky Derby hopeful Verrazano breezed a half-mile in :49 3/5 at Palm Meadows Sunday, recording his first work since his three-length conquest of the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby on March 9. The Grade 1 Wood Memorial on April 6 is next for the undefeated colt.

    "Huge work from Verrazano this morning," co-owner Let's Go Stable tweeted, citing his "huge gallop-out."

  • Louisiana Derby contenders turn in works

    Todd Pletcher sent his candidates for Saturday's Grade 2 Louisiana Derby, Revolutionary and Palace Malice, out for works at his Palm Meadows base on Sunday morning.

    Revolutionary, last seen landing the Grade 3 Withers in his stakes debut February 2, sped a half-mile in :48 1/5 on the fast main track. The War Pass colt worked in company with multiple Grade 2 scorer Overanalyze, who also clocked :48 1/5.

    "I thought he went super -- he was well in hand," Pletcher said of Revolutionary. "He's coming up to the race in good order."