- Road to the Kentucky Derby
- Racing & Wagering
- Derby Experience
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Repole Stable's UNCLE MO (Indian Charlie) entered Saturday's $1,818,000 Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) riding a two-race win streak and exited the 1 1/16-mile event with a perfect three-for-three career mark following a dominating 4 1/4-length victory under jockey John Velazquez. The bay colt took command in the stretch and pulled off to stop the clock in 1:42 3/5 over the fast track to give trainer Todd Pletcher his second win on the day.
Tom R. Walters' SANTIVA (Giant's Causeway), who had finished second as a maiden in the Breeders' Futurity (G1) at Keeneland, opened his account in tenacious fashion in Saturday's $165,000 Kentucky Jockey Club S. (G2) at Churchill Downs. Making his first start for trainer Eddie Kenneally, the bay juvenile turned back challenges from 3-5 favorite Astrology (A.P. Indy) on the outside and 7-2 second choice Major Gain (More Than Ready) to his inside to grind out a workmanlike half-length decision.
Live Oak Plantation's TO HONOR AND SERVE (Bernardini) will now head to Florida as one of next year's leading classic prospects following a comfortable score in Saturday's $196,000 Remsen S. (G2) at Aqueduct. Already highly thought of before entering the starting gate as the 3-5 favorite in the Remsen, the Bill Mott trainee enhanced his burgeoning reputation while showcasing his talents at nine furlongs.
Our Sugar Bear Stable's GOURMET DINNER (Trippi) suffered the first loss of his career when second in the In Reality division of the Florida Stallion S. series on October 16, but more than made up for that disappointment when capturing Saturday's $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot S. (G3) under regular rider Sebastian Madrid.
Live Oak Plantation's TO HONOR AND SERVE (Bernardini) demonstrated his potential star power in taking the $147,000 Nashua S. (G2) for two-year-olds by four easy lengths under Jose Lezcano. Trained by Bill Mott, who chose to bypass Saturday's Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) with the lightly-raced colt, appeared to make the right call as the Kentucky-bred strolled through splits of :24, :48 1/5 and 1:12 before finishing up a mile in 1:35 4/5 over a fast track.
An unusually dense fog enveloped Hot Springs, Arkansas, on Monday, probably leaving some fans wondering whether they were watching racing from Oaklawn Park or Aqueduct. The victory by McNeill Stables' CALEB'S POSSE (Posse) in the $100,000 Smarty Jones S. was clear as can be, however, as the homebred rebounded from a lethargic performance in last month's Springboard Mile at Remington Park to post a decisive 2 3/4-length win in the one-mile contest for three-year-olds.
When trainer Steve Asmussen brought a select squad to Santa Anita for the first time this winter, a couple of well-regarded Kentucky Derby (G1) prospects were among them. Iroquois S. (G3) winner Astrology (A.P. Indy) was already a proven graded commodity, and now Winchell Thoroughbreds' homebred TAPIZAR (Tapit) has joined him after a 4 1/4-length triumph in his stakes debut in Saturday's $100,000 Sham S. (G3).
Gem Stable's J P'S GUSTO (Successful Appeal) had never been on the lead in his three starts prior to Sunday's $150,000 Best Pal S. (G2). But having broken sharply from the rail, and with the scratch of the speedy River's Chapel (Chapel Royal), the savvy Patrick Valenzuela knew what to do with his pick-up mount.
Stonestreet Stables and George Bolton's ASTROLOGY (A.P. Indy) was hammered into 6-5 favoritism in Sunday's $122,300 Iroquois S. (G3) at Churchill Downs, but his odds reflected much more than hunch players taking a flyer on the opening "Stars of Tomorrow" program. Rather, the well-bred colt from the Steve Asmussen barn had strong credentials to recommend him.
Stuart Janney III's homebred AIR SUPPORT (Smart Strike), a troubled fourth behind Soldat (War Front) in the September 3 With Anticipation S. (G3) at Saratoga, gained revenge by upsetting that 3-5 favorite in Sunday's $147,500 Pilgrim S. (G3) at Belmont Park. With Rajiv Maragh aboard, the Shug McGaughey juvenile negotiated 1 1/16 miles on the yielding turf in 1:47 4/5 to enter calculations for the November 5 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (G2).