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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.
The connections of Santa Anita Oaks (G1) winner TURBULENT DESCENT (Congrats) have all but ruled out a bid at the May 6 Kentucky Oaks (G1) and will instead point the filly toward shorter races, trainer Mike Puype told Daily Racing Form on Tuesday.
Turbulent Descent captured the Santa Anita Oaks last Saturday by a neck over Zazu (Tapit), a rival that beat her two starts back in the Las Virgenes S. (G1).
Trainer Bob Baffert told Daily Racing Form that THE FACTOR (War Front) is now likely to ship to Oaklawn Park for the March 19 Rebel S. (G2). The 1 1/16-mile test would mark his two-turn debut.
"If he works well next week, and I'm happy with him, we'll go to the Rebel," Baffert said Sunday.
"If I'm not happy, we'll go to the next one. That's my plan."
A track record-setting winner of a six-furlong maiden at Santa Anita on December 26, The Factor captured the seven-furlong San Vicente S. (G2) last time out on February 20.