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MIDWEST (Illinois, Kentucky) / GRADE I WINNERS TURBULENT DESCENT, TELL A KELLY RETURN SUNDAY IN KEENELAND’S BEAUMONT – Sunday’s $150,000 Beaumont Stakes (Grade II) at Keeneland attracted a power-packed field of six 3-year-old fillies headed by Grade I winners Turbulent Descent and Tell a Kelly, but the race is not expected to generate any starters for the $1 million Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) at Churchill Downs.
George Bolton and Fog City Stable’s The Factor, an easy winner of the Rebel (Grade III) in first visit to Arkansas, has returned to “The Natural State” as a strong 7-5 favorite in a field of 13 3-year-olds entered in Saturday’s $1 million Arkansas Derby (GI) at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark.
UNCLE MO (Indian Charlie) went down to defeat in Saturday's Wood Memorial (G1), crushing the sprits of both admirers and detractors with his third-place finish.
Champion UNCLE MO (Indian Charlie), who suffered his first career loss when third in last Saturday's Wood Memorial (G1), has been diagnosed with an infection in his gastrointestinal tract, according to a statement released Thursday by his connections.
A smashing 6 1/4-length winner of the March 19 Rebel S. (G2), THE FACTOR (War Front) will be after another front-running victory at Oaklawn Park when he lines against 12 opponents in Saturday's $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1). The Bob Baffert-trained colt is one of the top-ranked contenders for the Kentucky Derby (G1), especially in the wake of Uncle Mo's (Indian Charlie) stunning loss last Saturday, and will likely secure the favorite's role at Churchill Downs with a repeat performance.
Adapting to the surface for Saturday's $750,000 Blue Grass S. (G1) at Keeneland, or the upcoming Kentucky Derby (G1) at Churchill Downs, is not a concern for SANTIVA (Giant's Causeway), who drew post 3 in a field of 12 for the Blue Grass, for which he was installed the 3-1 morning line favorite. However, a strong effort in the Blue Grass is still imperative for the Eddie Kenneally trainee as his graded earnings of slightly more than $240,000 is very close to the cut-off point to make the May 7 Run for the Roses.
Rushaway S. winner SWIFT WARRIOR (First Samurai) sustained a lateral, non-displaced condylar fracture of the right front Wednesday morning after a breeze in preparation for Saturday's $750,000 Blue Grass S. (G1) at Keeneland.
Tests conducted on champion UNCLE MO (Indian Charlie) in the wake of his upset loss in last Saturday's Wood Memorial S. (G1) indicate he is "completely sound," according to trainer Todd Pletcher.
Wednesday, April 13 is the deadline for the first late nominations to Churchill Downs’ 137th running of the $1 million guaranteed Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) and the 25th running of the $500,000-added Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (GI).
Moments after champion Uncle Mo suffered a shocking first defeat in Saturday’s Resorts World New York Casino Wood Memorial (Grade I) at Aqueduct, track announcer Tom Durkin boldly declared, “The Kentucky Derby is up for grabs!”
Churchill Downs morning line oddsmaker Mike Battaglia concurs and, in turn, has taken a crack at a preliminary morning line for the 137th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands, which is scheduled for Saturday, May 7, at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.