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KENTUCKY OAKS FUTURE WAGER / POOL ENDS WITH KATHMANBLU AS SOLID FAVORITE – The single pool of Churchill Downs’ 2011 Kentucky Oaks Future Wager (“KOFW”) looked very much like a wide open affair heading into the three-day betting pool, but Five D Thoroughbreds and Wind River Stable’s Kathmanblu (#11) turned the race for the role of favorite in the pool into a runaway.
Repole Stable’s unbeaten champion Uncle Mo (#23), an easy winner in his 2011 debut in Saturday’s $100,000 Timely Writer Stakes at Gulfstream Park, emerged as the favorite in the second of three pools of Churchill Downs’ 2011 Kentucky Derby Future Wager (“KDFW”) – but not by much. The results of the pool validated the acknowledged status of America’s reigning 2-year-old champion as winner of last fall’s $2 million Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (Grade I) as the favorite for this year’s 137th running
Trainer Joe Petalino says Grade 1 winner J P'S GUSTO (Successful Appeal) had been doing things too easily in his training leading up to next Saturday's $300,000 Rebel S. (G2) at Oaklawn Park, so the coach was more demanding Sunday morning of Gem Stables' three-year-old ridgling.
Champion and early Kentucky Derby (G1) favorite UNCLE MO (Indian Charlie), an easy and impressive winner of his 2011 debut in Saturday's Timely Writer S. at Gulfstream Park, will most likely prepare for the 137th Run for the Roses in the $750,000 Wood Memorial (G1) at Aqueduct on April 9, trainer Todd Pletcher said Sunday morning.
Bouncing back with a vengeance from his first career loss in the February 20 San Vicente S. (G2), PREMIER PEGASUS (Fusaichi Pegasus) spread-eagled what looked like a competitive field in Saturday's $250,000 San Felipe S. (G2) at Santa Anita. A homebred owned and trained by Myung Kwon Cho, Premier Pegasus unleashed a monstrous closing kick to romp by a stakes-record 7 3/4 lengths over 2-1 favorite Jaycito (Victory Gallop), stating his case as the leading Kentucky Derby (G1) contender on the West Coast.
Saturday's $350,000Tampa Bay Derby (G2) produced a shocking conclusion, with 43-1 outsider WATCH ME GO (West Acre) edging the biggest longshot in the nine-horse field, 86-1 Crimson Knight (Leroidesanimaux [Brz]), by a neck in the final strides.
Fox Hill Farms' JOYFUL VICTORY (Tapit) was content to track behind the early pace in Saturday's $125,000 Honeybee S. (G3) at Oaklawn Park, but asserted her superiority in the stretch of the 1 1/16-mile test. Coming wide around the turn, the gray lass quickly took command and easily drew off to be 8 3/4 lengths clear on the wire while stopping the clock in 1:44 4/5 in her three-year-old bow.