• Final Odds & Will Pays for Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 3

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  • Cairo Prince turns in five-furlong breeze

    Cairo Prince continued his preparations for the $1 million Florida Derby on March 29 by breezing a sharp five furlongs Saturday morning at Palm Meadows, Gulfstream Park's satellite training facility.

  • Unbeaten Onlyforyou Leads Pletcher Battalion of 17 Among 121 Fillies Nominated to 140th Longines Kentucky Oaks

    The names of 121 3-year-old fillies – including 17 from the sprawling stable of six-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Todd Pletcher – are included on the roster of nominees to compete in the $1 million-guaranteed Longines Kentucky Oaks (Grade I), America’s premier race for 3-year-old fillies scheduled to be run for the 140th consecutive year at Churchill Downs on Friday, May 2.

    The 1 1/8-mile sister race to the $2 million-guaranteed Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum Brands! (GI) has, like the Derby, been run annually without interruption since those events made their respective debuts at the track then known as the Louisville Jockey Club in 1875. The Longines Kentucky Oaks is traditionally run on the eve of the Kentucky Derby and its 2014 renewal will be televised live on the NBC Sports Network.

    Pletcher has saddled three winners of the Kentucky Oaks, a group that includes champions Ashado and Rags to Riches and King of Prussia Stable’s 2013 winner Princess of Sylmar. The Pletcher-trained array of 2014 early Oaks nominees is headed by Glencrest Farm LLC’s unbeaten Onlyforyou, a daughter of Malibu Moon who counts Gulfstream Park’s Davona Dale (GII) and Forward Gal (GII) among her four career triumphs.

    Other Pletcher trainees on the roster of Kentucky Oaks nominees include Alto Racing’s Sweet Whiskey, winner of Gulfstream Park’s Old Hat; unbeaten Dame Dorothy and Busanda winner Fierce Boots, both owned by celebrity chef Bobby Flay; Repole Stable’s Stopcharginmaria and Hill ‘n’ Dale Equine Holdings and Philip Steinberg’s Got Lucky, the 1-2 finishers in Aqueduct’s Demoiselle (GII); and Repole’s Our Amazing Rose, a romping winner in her lone start last fall at Saratoga.

    Outside of Pletcher’s universe, the roster of Oaks nominees features the most accomplished members of this year’s crop of 3-year-old fillies. Heading that list is Mark Dedomenico, Allen Aldrich, Lisa Hernandez, Stuart Downey and Philip Lebherz’s She’s a Tiger. The Jeff Bonde trainee was the champion 2-year-old filly of 2013, winner of the Del Mar Debutante (GI) and runner-up in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (GI) at Santa Anita. In the latter, She’s a Tiger finished first, but was demoted to runner-up when stewards disqualified her for interference in the homestretch.

    Other marquee names among the nominees include Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC’s Untapable, the Steve Asmussen-trained winner of the Rachel Alexandra (GIII) at Fair Grounds and the Pocahontas (GII) at Churchill Downs; Christopher Dunn and Loooch Racing Stable’s Ria Antonia, the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies winner now trained by two-time Kentucky Oaks winner Bob Baffert; Arnold Zetcher and Michael Tabor’s Fashion Plate, the front-running winner of Santa Anita’s Las Virgenes (GI) for trainer Simon Callaghan; and Charles Fipke’s homebred Unbridled Forever, winner of the Silverbulletday at Fair Grounds and the daughter of Lemons Forever, who won the 2006 Kentucky Oaks at odds of 47-1 in the biggest upset in the history of the race. Dallas Stewart trains Unbridled Forever and was the trainer and co-owner of her dam.

    Other accomplished early nominees include Spinaway (GI) winner Sweet Reason, who finished fourth for trainer Leah Gyarmati as the favorite in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies; Rosalind, runner-up in Keeneland’s Alcibiades (GI) and third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies; Please Explain, winner of the Suncoast at Tampa Bay Downs; Bird Maker, runner-up in Churchill Downs’ Golden Rod (GII); Alcibiades winner My Conquestadory; Santa Ynez (GII) winner Awesome Baby; Davona Dale runner-up House Rules; Aragorn Ami, winner of Oaklawn Park’s Martha Washington; Delta Princess (GIII) winner Tepin; and Fiftyshadesofgold, winner of the Two Altazano at Sam Houston.

    The 2013 running of the Longines Kentucky Oaks attracted 120 early nominations.

    The Oaks field is limited to 14 starters and up to four fillies designated as “also-eligible” to start. Eligibility to compete in the Oaks is determined by points amassed during the “Road to the Kentucky Oaks” system, which determines the eligibility of nominees to compete in the race. If one of more horses should scratch from the Longines Kentucky Oaks by 9 a.m. (Eastern) on the morning of the race, fillies from the “also-eligible” list with the highest respective point totals would be allowed to compete.

    Although Princess of Sylmar won the 2013 Longines Kentucky Oaks, it was runner-up Beholder who earned the Eclipse Award presented to the nation’s champion 3-year-old filly at year’s end. Beholder was the 17th Kentucky Oaks winner or participant since 1972 to be named champion of her division. Blind Luck won the 2010 Kentucky Oaks to conclude a string of four consecutive Kentucky Oaks winner to earn championship honors. The others were Rachel Alexandra (2009), Proud Spell (2008) and Rags to Riches (2007). Rachel Alexandra and Rags to Riches defeated males in Triple Crown races in their subsequent starts, with the former defeating Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird in the Preakness (GI) on her way to Horse of the Year honors, and Rags to Riches edged eventual two-time Horse of the Year Curlin in a dramatic renewal of the Belmont Stakes (GI).

    Other Kentucky Oaks winners named as 3-year-old filly champions include Ashado (2004), Bird Town (’03), Farda Amiga (’02), Silverbulletday (’99), Open Mind (’89), Tiffany Lass (’86), Davona Dale (’79) and Susan’s Girl (’72). Fillies that failed to win the Oaks but were named divisional champions include Wait a While (3rd in ’06), Banshee Breeze (2nd in ’98), Go for Wand (2nd in ’90) and Wayward Lass (3rd in ’81). Believe You Can, winner of the 2012 Oaks, and 2011 winner Plum Pretty were among three Eclipse Award finalists in their respective 3-year-old seasons.

    A late nomination period for Longines Kentucky Oaks 140 is underway through Wednesday, April 9. A nomination of any 3-year-old filly to the Oaks during the late nomination phase will require payment of a $1,500 fee. A final opportunity to make a filly eligible for the Kentucky Oaks is available through the race’s supplemental nomination process. That process requires payment of $30,000 fee at the time of entry to the 2014 Longines Kentucky Oaks on Tuesday, April 29.  

    Click here for the complete roster of early nominees to the 2014 Longines Kentucky Oaks.

  • McGaughey discusses sophomore squad

    Mr Speaker will get back on turf for the Grade 3, $150,000 Palm Beach Stakes at Gulfstream Park Saturday. The dark bay colt made a dashing rally up the fence to win the Dania Beach Stakes on the sod in December, but trainer Shug McGaughey opted to experiment with the main track for the Holy Bull Stakes on January 25. Though forwardly placed early in that competitive test, the three-year-old son of Pulpit didn't find another gear and tired to finish seventh, 10 3/4 lengths behind the romping winner Cairo Prince.

  • Darley buys majority interest in Cairo Prince

    Darley has announced that it has purchased a majority interest in the three-year-old colt, Cairo Prince, a runaway winner of the Holy Bull at Gulfstream Park on January 25. The colt will stay in the barn of current trainer Kiaran McLaughlin and race in the colors of Sheikh Mohammed's Godolphin Stable, along with owners Terry Murray, Paul Braverman, Harvey A. Clarke and Craig W. Robertson III.

  • Ihtimal romps by record margin in UAE Oaks

    Godolphin's Ihtimal, a dominant winner of the February 6 U.A.E. One Thousand Guineas, turned the classic double by an even more emphatic margin in Thursday's Group 3, $250,000 U.A.E. Oaks at Meydan. Asserting her superiority at the top of the stretch, the Saeed bin Suroor pupil widened her advantage to a record 10 lengths at the wire.

  • Smart Cover returns on turf but Derby remains goal for Romans

    Smart Cover, injured running second to stablemate Cleburne in the Grade 3 Iroquois at Churchill Downs last fall, returns to the races in Saturday's Grade 3 Palm Beach on the Gulfstream Park turf.

    Trained by Dale Romans for Donegal Racing, Smart Cover drew post seven of  13 in the nine-furlong Palm Beach, and will be ridden for the first time by Corey Lanerie. On Wednesday, Lanerie was named winner of the George Woolf Memorial Award in a nationwide vote of his peers.

  • Awesome Baby heads eight-filly field in Santa Ysabel

    Awesome Baby, a gate-to-wire winner of the Grade 2 Santa Ynez going 6 1/2 furlongs on January 4, heads a field of eight three-year-old fillies entered in Saturday's Grade 3, $100,000 Santa Ysabel at 1 1/16 miles Saturday at Santa Anita.

  • Kentucky Derby Report -- Feb. 27

    Wildcat Red and Intense Holiday guaranteed themselves a spot in the Kentucky Derby, earning 50 points for their respective wins in the Fountain of Youth and Risen Star, and the contrast between races was extreme.

  • NBC Sports Group and Churchill Downs Reach Landmark 10-Year Kentucky Derby Extension

    NBC Sports Group and Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI) have reached a 10-year agreement extending NBCSG’s exclusive rights to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands and Longines Kentucky Oaks through 2025, it was announced today.

  • Gary West's Kentucky Derby Championship Series Review: Risen Star & Fountain of Youth


    By Gary West, Special to KentuckyDerby.com

    NEW ORLEANS, La. – Sometimes this venerable sport can be the simplest of games, reduced to a formula that’s no more complicated than the fastest horse wins, even if he only has to be the fastest horse for a half-mile, which seemed to be the case Saturday at Gulfstream Park in Florida, where Wildcat Red won the Fountain of Youth Stakes. Meanwhile, a more complicated formula emerged in New Orleans, where circumstances finally yielded to perseverance, as Intense Holiday won the Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds.

  • Romp by Untapable Earns Status of Co-Favorite With 'All Others' in Kentucky Oaks Future Wager

    Winchell ThoroughbredsUntapable (#23) has turned a dazzling romp in last Saturday’s Grade III Rachel Alexandra at Fair Grounds into status as the co-favorite with the always popular Mutuel Field (#24), or “All Others”, for Churchill Downs Racetrack’s only 2014 pool of the Kentucky Oaks Future Wager (“KOFW”), which opens its three-day run on Thursday, Feb. 27.

  • Cairo Prince, Top Billing Strong - but 'All Others' is Early Favorite for Kentucky Derby Futures Pool 3

    The third of four pools of Churchill Downs Racetrack’s 2014 Kentucky Derby Future Wager (“KDFW”) opens its run on Thursday with Cairo Prince (#3) and Top Billing (#20) sharing the role of favored individual horses, but the ever-popular ‘All Others’ (#24) figures to be the overall betting choice when three days of Derby Future betting concludes early Saturday evening.

  • Samraat, Uncle Sigh rematch featured in Gotham

    Samraat and Uncle Sigh, the New York-bred duo who finished one-two by some distance in the February 1 Withers, will have a rematch over Aqueduct's inner dirt on Saturday in the Grade 3, $500,000 Gotham, a 1 1/16-mile test which serves as a final local prelude for the $1 million Wood Memorial on April 5.

  • McGaughey keeps faith in Top Billing

    Top Billing exited his third-place finish in Saturday's Grade 2 Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park in good order, according to Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey.

  • Bond Holder to Tampa Bay Derby

    Bond Holder will now point for the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby on March 8, connections reported via social media Sunday.

    The California-based sophomore was scratched from Saturday's Grade 2 Risen Star at Fair Grounds after experiencing a rough plane ride to New Orleans, and additional flight woes were cited as the reason for his unexpected redirection to Tampa.

  • Pletcher's Gotham Day runners out in force

    Members of Todd Pletcher's New York contingent took to the fast Belmont training track on Sunday to turn in final breezes in the lead up to Gotham Day, March 1, at Aqueduct.

    Master Lightning, one of Pletcher's three sophomore colts under consideration for the Grade 3, $500,000 Gotham, breezed four furlongs in :49 2/5. Teen Pauline and Royal Lahaina, both probable for the Grade 2, $200,000 Top Flight Handicap, breezed in company and covered four furlongs in :48 3/5.

  • Intense Holiday, Albano to renew rivalry in Louisiana Derby

    Starlight Racing and Jack Wolf's Intense Holiday got up by a nose to win Saturday's Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds, and on Sunday morning on his way out of town Wolf was looking forward to coming back with wife Laurie for the Grade 2, $1 million Louisiana Derby March 29, especially after dining once at La Petite Grocery and once at Arnaud's during their brief but highly successful Crescent City sojourn.

  • Untapable could give Winchell birthday present in FG Oaks

    Winchell Thoroughbreds' Untapable looked like a winner as soon as the field of sophomore fillies entered the stretch in Saturday's Grade 3 Rachel Alexandra, and all the Steve Asmussen pupil did the rest of the way was increase her advantage.

  • Cairo Prince readies for Florida Derby on a hot, muggy morning

    Holy Bull hero Cairo Prince breezed over the fast dirt at Palm Meadows Saturday morning in preparation for the Grade 1, $1 million Florida Derby on March 29. The son of Pioneerof the Nile covered a half-mile in :49 4/5 under the watchful eye of trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, who offered his thoughts on the Fountain of Youth later in the day at Gulfstream Park.