- Road to the Kentucky Derby
- Racing & Wagering
It was a busy Saturday morning at the Todd Pletcher barn at Churchill Downs as Dreaming of Julia (ranked No. 4 on the “Road to the Kentucky Oaks” Leaderboard), Unlimited Budget (No. 3), Silsita (No. 10) and Princess of Sylmar (No. 7) all worked for the two-time Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) winning trainer.
Soon after Mike Smith rode War Academy in last Saturday's Arkansas Derby, in which the three-year-old son of Giant's Causeway broke stride and was pulled up, the Hall of Fame jockey was able to land a Kentucky Derby mount on Palace Malice, who finished second by a neck in the Blue Grass at Keeneland moments after the Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park.
Garrett Gomez was aboard Palace Malice, but had a previous commitment on Vyjack for the Derby, so a door was opened for Smith, who is optimistic that fate might be in his corner for the Run for the Roses on May 4.
Kentucky Derby hopeful Golden Soul, ranked No. 23 on the “Road to the Kentucky Derby Presented by TwinSpires.com” Leaderboard, continued his preparations for a potential start in the “Run for the Roses” with a six-furlong breeze Thursday morning at Churchill Downs in 1:12.40.
Working under exercise rider Emerson Chavez, Golden Soul worked to the seven-eighths pole and recorded fractions of :12, :23.40, :35, :46.80, :59 and galloped out seven furlongs in 1:27.40.
Churchill Downs Strengthens Security Policies, Expands Screenings for 2013 Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks
Churchill Downs Racetrack (“CDRT”) will strengthen security and hospitality policies and expand screenings for patrons, employees and vendors who will enter the track for the 139th runnings of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) on Saturday, May 4, and the Kentucky Oaks (GI) on Friday, May 3.
Kentucky Derby hopeful Itsmyluckyday put forth what is likely his penultimate workout before shipping to Louisville, Kentucky, covering one mile in 1:43 1/5 over a fast main track at Calder on Thursday.
Itsmyluckyday, who set a track record in the Grade 3 Holy Bull two starts back at Gulfstream, was most recently runner-up in the Grade 1 Florida Derby.
The Eddie Plesa Jr.-trained colt is tentatively scheduled to breeze one more time before departing next week.
Thanks for entering, Laurie!
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.
Java's War got up to win by a neck and Overanalyze rolled to a convincing 4 1/4-length victory as the Blue Grass and Arkansas Derby wrapped up the final round of major preps. A total of six probable Kentucky Derby contestants were in action last Saturday.
Frac Daddy Arrives, Brown Makes Training Plans for Normandy Invasion, Seaneen Girl Works Toward Oaks
Arkansas Derby (Grade I) runner-up Frac Daddy, ranked No. 15 on the “Road to the Kentucky Derby Presented by TwinSpires.com,” arrived at Churchill Downs on Wednesday morning at 4 a.m. (all times Eastern) and will be prepped for Kentucky Derby 139 beneath the Twin Spires.
Jockey Rosie Napravnik has accepted the Kentucky Derby mount on Louisiana Derby runner-up Mylute.
Napravnik, the leading rider at Fair Grounds the past three meetings, rode Mylute to his last win, a 10 3/4-length romp over optional claiming rivals at Fair Grounds on December 26. The gray son of Midnight Lute had been ridden by Shaun Bridgmohan in his previous two outings, a seventh in the February 23 Risen Star and his fast-finishing second, beaten less than a length by Revolutionary, in the March 30 Louisiana Derby.