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Two scoring races were offered last weekend (March 21-22), both offering points on a 50-20-10-5 scale to the top four finishers, and Dubai Sky and Firing Line stamped their Kentucky Derby ticket with victories in the Spiral Stakes and Sunland Derby, respectively.
Baffert's American Pharoah, Dortmund Are Top Betting Choices Heading Into Final 2015 Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool
The powerful hand held by Hall of Fame Thoroughbred trainer Bob Baffert heading into this year’s 141st running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) is evident in the fact the two young stars from his stable – reigning 2014 2-year-old champion American Pharoah (#1) and unbeaten Dortmund (#7) – are the expected to be the top betting choices heading into this weekend’s fourth and final pool of Churchill Downs Racetrack’s (“CDRT”) 2015 Kentucky Derby Future Wager (“KDFW”).
Three Chimneys Farm and Besilu Stable’s Dubai Sky, who ran an ongoing winning streak to four races with an impressive triumph in the $535,750 Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati Spiral Stakes (Grade III) at Turfway Park, and I Spent It, winner of the Saratoga Special (GII) and runner-up in the Hopeful (GI) for the partnership of Alex and Joann Lieblong and Three Chimneys, head a roster of nine horse made eligible to compete in the races of the 2105 Triple Crown prior to conclusion of its late nomination phase on Monday, March 23 (pending late mail). The late nominations raised the overall nomination total of 3-year-old Thoroughbreds eligible to run in the $2 million-guaranteed Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I), the $1.5 million-guaranteed Preakness (GI) and the $1.5 million-guaranteed Belmont Stakes (GI) to 438.
Arnold Zetcher LLC's Firing Line romped by 14 1/5 lengths on Sunday in the $800,000 Sunland Derby (G3) to earn 50 points toward a starting berth in the May 2 Kentucky Derby (G1) at Churchill Downs.
Maybellene (Looking at Lucky) finished second by a neck to stablemate Callback (Street Sense) in the $200,240 Sunland Park Oaks, but ended up inheriting the victory on Sunday after her barnmate was disqualified for interfering with pacesetter Fancy and Flashy (Zensational).
The duo are both trained by Bob Baffert, and Maybellene earned 50 points toward a starting berth in the May 1 Kentucky Oaks (G1) with the win, which was also her first stakes score.
Pin Oak Stable's homebred Don't Leave Me (Lemon Drop Kid) captured Saturday's $147,675 Bourbonette Oaks (G3) at Turfway Park by three parts of a length under jockey Jose Lezcano.
The deadline for owners and trainers to make their promising 3-year-old Thoroughbreds eligible to compete in the coveted races of the 2015 Triple Crown during the series’ late nomination phase will arrive just before midnight (all times Eastern) on Monday, March 23. Horses nominated prior to that cutoff time will join 429 made eligible during its early nomination phase to run in the series of American classics that includes the $2 million-guaranteed Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I), the $1.5 million-guaranteed Preakness (GI) and the $1.5 million-guaranteed Belmont Stakes (GI).