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STAY THIRSTY (Bernardini) wasn't spectacular in Saturday's Gotham S. (G3), but he won going away and looked good doing it. Trainer Todd Pletcher got what he wanted with a positive performance to build upon for the Kentucky Derby (G1).
DIALED IN (Mineshaft) faltered Sunday in an allowance at Gulfstream Park, sustaining his first loss with a non-threatening second, but trainer Nick Zito was able to find a silver lining: the 1 1/8-mile event had no pace and the lightly-raced Dialed In needed a two-turn race for foundation. The late runner is eligible to improve off the setback.
John Asher, Churchill Downs' vice president of racing communications and noted Kentucky Derby (G1) historian, will be the featured guest on Friday night's "Kentucky Derby Trail" live chat between 7-9 p.m. (ET). Moderated by five-time National Handicapping Championship qualifier Tim Holland, the question-and-answer chat will discuss this weekend's Kentucky Derby and Oaks future wagers, and much more.
Catesby W. Clay's Bourbon S. (G3) hero ROGUE ROMANCE (Smarty Jones) has sustained a slight heel bruise and will miss his scheduled workout this weekend as well as his intended start in the $1 million Louisiana Derby (G2) on March 26, his connections announced on Thursday.
Trainer Ken McPeek reported that the colt, bred by Clay in partnership with the Clay family's Runnymede Farm, is walking sound but is somewhat sensitive on the problem foot.
Undefeated champion UNCLE MO (Indian Charlie) will make his highly anticipated three-year-old debut on Saturday against only five rivals in the $100,000 Timely Writer S., a one-turn mile at Gulfstream Park. Originally scheduled to return in the Tampa Bay Derby (G2), the colt's connections -- owner Mike Repole and trainer Todd Pletcher -- changed course in February and began building up a Timely Writer bid instead.
A visually impressive winner of the Norfolk S. (G1) last October when overcoming a wide trip, Zayat Stables' JAYCITO (Victory Gallop) took a step backward in the November 6 Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) at Churchill Downs, finishing a distant seventh after losing considerable ground early and bolting. Moved from trainer Mike Mitchell to Bob Baffert over the winter, the big colt will make his belated seasonal debut for that outfit in Saturday's $250,000 San Felipe S. (G2) at Santa Anita.
Churchill Downs, in conjunction with New England Sterling, the official manufacturer of the Kentucky Derby Trophy, introduced the Kentucky Derby Trophy Collection in November 2010. This exciting new program was launched just before the end of the 2010 racing season and was showcased in the Turf Club foyer.
Juvenile colt champion Uncle Mo (Indian Charlie) was entered in Saturday's $350,000 Tampa Bay Derby (G2) as a precaution in case the Timely Writer S. at Gulfstream Park failed to draw sufficient entries, but it now appears Uncle Mo will be staying closer to his South Florida base while stablemate BRETHREN (Distorted Humor) will fly the flag for the Todd Pletcher barn in the 1 1/16-mile test at Tampa Bay Downs.
Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 2 Looks Like a 'Pick 'Em': 'All Others' Narrow Choice Over Uncle Mo
With the 2011 debut of Repole Stable’s Uncle Mo, the unbeaten 2010 2-year-old champion, set for this weekend, a strong effort by the champion could push the Todd Pletcher-trained son of Indian Charlie into the position of overall favorite in the second betting of three betting pools in Churchill Downs’ 2011 Kentucky Derby Future Wager (“KDFW”), which opens its three-day run at noon (all times Eastern) on Friday, March 11.