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Assuming those already firmly positioned within the Top 20 Graded Stakes Earnings list perform well in prep races on April 3, 10 and 17 and exit those races in good order, it’s conceivable that it could take as much as $200,000 in graded stakes earnings to crack the Kentucky Derby 136 field on the first Saturday in May.
NBC Sports’ “Road to the Kentucky Derby” continues this Saturday with two graded stakes races featuring Thoroughbred horses vying for a spot in the Kentucky Derby (Saturday, May 1, 4 p.m. ET on NBC Sports). Live action from the Santa Anita Derby in Arcadia, Calif., and the Wood Memorial in Jamaica, NY, begins Saturday at 5 p.m. ET on NBC Sports.
Six horses have been added to the list of 3-year-old Thoroughbreds eligible to compete in the three American classic races that make up the 2010 Triple Crown after their owners paid a required $6,000 fee during its late nomination phase that concluded Saturday, March 27.
Straight from 'Nawlins, Commander's Palace Executive Chef Tory McPhail will be at this year's Taste of Derby™ presented by Yum! Brands
Saturday's $750,000 Santa Anita Derby (G1) has drawn a contentious group of 10 three-year-olds trying to stamp their tickets to the May 1 Kentucky Derby (G1) at Churchill Downs, but the reappearance of champion LOOKIN AT LUCKY (Smart Strike) could spoil those plans.
ESKENDEREYA (Giant's Causeway), generally considered among the top two candidates for the May 1 Kentucky Derby (G1), will have his final prep for the big dance in Saturday's $750,000 Wood Memorial S. (G1) on a stakes-laden card at Aqueduct. The leading prospect for trainer Todd Pletcher, who could conceivably have as many as seven or eight entrants in the Run for the Roses, will again be piloted be piloted by John Velazquez over one lap of the Big A's 1 1/8-mile main oval.
The decision earlier this week to send Beautician (Dehere) to Keeneland for Saturday's Ashland S. (G1) has left Friday's $300,000 Fantasy S. (G2) at Oaklawn Park with only four three-year-old filly prospects, but the quartet, headed by multiple Grade 1 winner BLIND LUCK (Pollard's Vision), is solid on paper. The 1 1/16-mile Good Friday feature kicks off Oaklawn's Racing Festival of the South, which runs through Arkansas Derby Day on April 10.
Grade 1 winner SHE BE WILD (Offlee Wild), recipient of the Eclipse Award as champion two-year-old filly of 2009, will make only her second start of the year on Saturday while facing seven rivals in the $400,000 Ashland S. (G1) at Keeneland. The 1 1/16-mile Polytrack test could be the final chance for the Wayne Catalano charge to prove herself worthy of starting in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) on April 30.
Jill Byrne talks about the tireless work it takes to prepare a horse for race day
In order for BACKTALK (Smarty Jones) to become the latest son of a Kentucky Derby (G1) winner to capture the Run for the Roses, good things need to happen in Saturday's $500,000 Illinois Derby (G3) at Hawthorne. In addition to last year's Sanford S. (G2) and Bashford Manor S. (G3) winner, the nine-furlong feature has attracted seven others including a pair of California-based colts who will make their dirt debut at the suburban Chicago oval.