- Road to the Kentucky Derby
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Two decades ago, a talented juvenile named Summer Squall captured the Kentucky S. for Dogwood Stable and trainer Neil Howard. On Friday, the same owner/trainer team sent out LOU BRISSIE (Limehouse) in the $110,300 Kentucky Juvenile S. (G3) at Churchill Downs. While Lou Brissie has some way to go before matching the exploits of Summer Squall, the promising colt emulated that past Dogwood star by winning the dash to remain perfect from two starts.
Homebred PREMIER PEGASUS (Fusaichi Pegasus) moved his record to a perfect three-for-three and doubled his earnings to $125,400 when taking Saturday's $100,000 Hollywood Prevue S. (G3) for owner/trainer Myung Kwon Cho. The dark bay colt broke on top of the six-horse field and proceeded to lead through fractions of :23, :46 1/5 and 1:10 before scooting away in the stretch for the 1 1/2-length victory.
Sidelined since his dead-heat third in the Del Mar Futurity (G1), the Jerry Hollendorfer-trained INDIAN WINTER (Indian Charlie) produced a rousing late charge to catch the front-running City Cool (City Zip) in Monday's $80,600 San Pedro S. at Santa Anita. The 10-1 longest shot on the board despite his two-year-old form, the dark bay colt crossed the wire a half-length on top with Martin Pedroza, returning $22, $9.80 and $4.60.
Darley Stable's homebred FORT HUGHES (Henny Hughes) hustled to the early lead and extended his advantage en route to a stakes record-setting score in Monday's $65,000 Jimmy Winkfield S., the Martin Luther King Jr. Day feature at Aqueduct. Dispatched as the 7-5 favorite, the Kiaran McLaughlin pupil blitzed six furlongs on the fast inner track in 1:08.33, bettering Farmonthefreeway's old stakes mark of 1:08 4/5 set in 1993, and not far off the inner track record of 1:07.93.
BOYS AT TOSCONOVA (Officer), winner of the Hopeful S. (G1) and second to champion two-year-old colt Uncle Mo (Indian Charlie) in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) on November 6, will not run Sunday in the $400,000 Holy Bull (G3) at Gulfstream Park.
"I don't see anything wrong with him," trainer Rick Dutrow said. "I don't think it would be smart to rush him into a race when we have a lot of time heading up to a race.
"He's not showing his usual high energy. It would be stupid to rush him."
Team Valor International's homebred PLUCK (More Than Ready) produced a last-to-first charge to win Saturday's $909,000 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (G2) going away by one length, in a race marred by a fatal injury to Rough Sailing (Mizzen Mast).
Gary Barber, Roger Birnbaum and Kevin Tsujihara's COMMA TO THE TOP (Bwana Charlie) took the lead at the start of Saturday's $100,000 Generous S. (G3) at Hollywood Park and never looked back en route to a 1 3/4-length victory. With jockey Corey Nakatani aboard, the Peter Miller charge ran one mile on the firm turf course in 1:34 3/5 to earn his fourth straight win and second consecutive stakes score.
Repole Stable's UNCLE MO (Indian Charlie) entered Saturday's $1,818,000 Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) riding a two-race win streak and exited the 1 1/16-mile event with a perfect three-for-three career mark following a dominating 4 1/4-length victory under jockey John Velazquez. The bay colt took command in the stretch and pulled off to stop the clock in 1:42 3/5 over the fast track to give trainer Todd Pletcher his second win on the day.
Tom R. Walters' SANTIVA (Giant's Causeway), who had finished second as a maiden in the Breeders' Futurity (G1) at Keeneland, opened his account in tenacious fashion in Saturday's $165,000 Kentucky Jockey Club S. (G2) at Churchill Downs. Making his first start for trainer Eddie Kenneally, the bay juvenile turned back challenges from 3-5 favorite Astrology (A.P. Indy) on the outside and 7-2 second choice Major Gain (More Than Ready) to his inside to grind out a workmanlike half-length decision.
Live Oak Plantation's TO HONOR AND SERVE (Bernardini) will now head to Florida as one of next year's leading classic prospects following a comfortable score in Saturday's $196,000 Remsen S. (G2) at Aqueduct. Already highly thought of before entering the starting gate as the 3-5 favorite in the Remsen, the Bill Mott trainee enhanced his burgeoning reputation while showcasing his talents at nine furlongs.