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The Factor Jogs for Baffert, Awaits Arrival of Stablemates Midnight Interlude, Kentucky Oaks Contender Plum Pretty
George Bolton and Fog City’s Stable’s The Factor, who loomed as a possible favorite for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) until his seventh-place finish in last week’s $1 million Arkansas Derby (GI), got a feel for the Churchill Downs racing surface on Wednesday when he jogged a mile on his first day at the historic Louisville track.
Saturday's $200,000 Lexington S. (G3) serves as a final opportunity for SILVER MEDALLION (Badge of Silver) to earn his way into the Kentucky Derby (G1) on May 7. Currently 24th on the graded earnings list at $184,334, Silver Medallion would easily vault into the top 20 with Saturday's $120,000 winner's share, but he will first have to get past five rivals in the 1 1/16-mile event on Keeneland's Polytrack.
While purists may find it odd that the $150,000 Jerome S. (G2), contested 140 times previously, will be run this coming Saturday at Aqueduct rather than occupying a traditional fall slot, the historic one-mile fixture will more than adequately fill the role of the race it has temporarily replaced as a potential prep for the May 21 Preakness S. (G1).
The one-time heavy favorite for the 137th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I), Repole Stable’s Uncle Mo, was out for a gallop at Churchill Downs on Tuesday as the reigning 2-year-old champion started his first full day at Churchill Downs since he returned to the track on Monday.
EAST (Maryland, New York) / POSSIBLE OAKS FAVORITE R HEAT LIGHTNING SHARP IN FINAL NEW YORK WORK, HEADS TO CHURCHILL DOWNS ON MONDAY – E. Paul Robsham Stables’ R Heat Lightning, the possible favorite for the 137th and richest running of the $1 million Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) on May 6 at Churchill Downs, turned heads with a “bullet” half-mile work on Saturday at Belmont Park.
Archarcharch and Nehro, who were separated by a neck in the Arkansas Derby, and narrow Toyota Blue Grass winner Brilliant Speed earned their way in the prospective Kentucky Derby 137 field Saturday.
Repole Stable’s Uncle Mo, the strong favorite for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) prior to his surprising loss in the $1 million Wood Memorial (GI), and Reeves Thoroughbred Racing and Dream Team Racing Stable’s Mucho Macho Man, winner of the Risen Star (GII) at Fair Grounds, are settling in at Churchill Downs following separate arrivals on the grounds of the historic track on Monday morning.
SOUTH (Arkansas, Louisiana) / HOME TEAM HOPE ARCHARCHARCH RALLIES TO WIN ARKANSAS DERBY AS THE FACTOR FIZZLES – Saturday’s $1 million Arkansas Derby (Grade I) turned out to be both a win for the home team and a family affair as 25-1 longshot Archarcharch closed from 10th to grab the lead in the stretch and then held off the late charging Nehro to win by a neck before 62,634 fans at Oaklawn Park.
Repole Stable’s Stay Thirsty and Just for Fun Stable’s Decisive Moment, 3-year-old colts being pointed toward the 137th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I), turned in strong efforts at Churchill Downs on Sunday in their first works of the spring on the track over which the famed Run for the Roses will be run on Saturday, May 7.
The 137th running of the Kentucky Derby (G1) looks increasingly likely to have international flavor, as the status of the Aidan O'Brien-trained MASTER OF HOUNDS (Kingmambo) was firmed up Monday.
A spokesman for the well-bred colt's Coolmore ownership told the Blood-Horse and Daily Racing Form that plans currently call for Master of Hounds to ship in from Ireland for the May 7 Run for the Roses. Pending his final workouts at Ballydoyle, O'Brien is expected to give the green light.