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Jill Byrne analyzes the upcoming Derby prep races
Kentucky Derby (G1) hopeful NOBLE'S PROMISE (Cuvee) has been supplemented to the English Derby (Eng-G1) at Epsom Downs, it was announced Thursday. The historic test, held at about 1 1/2 miles on turf, is scheduled for June 5. It cost £8,000 to make the Ken McPeek pupil eligible for the English classic at the second entry stage.
Noble's Promise, who was just caught by Lookin at Lucky (Smart Strike) in the Rebel S. (G2) last time out, is a top contender in Saturday's Arkansas Derby (G1) at Oaklawn Park.
From Thursday's Keeneland notes:
On a soggy Thursday morning at Keeneland, the waiting game was on at Barn 33.
"We are going to wait it out," said Dan Blacker, assistant to trainer Tom Albertrani and exercise rider for Padua Stables' ODYSSEUS (Malibu Moon), the 7-2 morning-line second choice for Saturday's Blue Grass S. (G1). Odysseus will break from post position 1.
NOBLE'S PROMISE (Cuvee) held the lead in the stretch of Oaklawn Park's Rebel S. (G2) on March 13 while making his seasonal bow, but was just caught on the wire and nipped by a head for the victory that day. Three lengths farther back in that 1 1/16-mile test came DUBLIN (Afleet Alex), and the pair will pick up where they left on Saturday in the feature event of the Oaklawn meet, the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1).
Three weeks out from the Kentucky Derby (G1), there are a lot of places owners and trainers of classic hopefuls would rather be than on the bubble. For the nine colts entered in Saturday's $750,000 Blue Grass S. (G1), the nine-furlong Polytrack heat at Keeneland offers an opportunity for most to shed that status and lock in a spot in the starting gate at Churchill Downs on May 1.
Jill Byrne heads to the spa...at the track!
“I love pink.” Those three words were printed across the chest of Jodie Nelson as she paddled her surfboard from Catalina Island to the California coast to raise money for breast cancer research. The 40-mile adventure, recently covered by NBC’s “The Today Show,” was not only admirable, but also a magical experience celebrating one woman’s determination to raise money and awareness for a disease that affects millions worldwide.
Got pink? Churchill Downs and Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, the world’s largest breast cancer organization, are issuing the people of Louisville a challenge to “Get Your Pink On!” each Friday leading up to the 136th running of the Kentucky Oaks to honor breast cancer survivors.
From Keeneland's notes:
Tampa Bay Derby (G3) winner ODYSSEUS (Malibu Moon) and multiple Grade 1-placed AIKENITE (Yes It's True) arrived at Keeneland Sunday afternoon, six days ahead of their clash in Saturday's Blue Grass S. (G1). Both had wintered at Palm Meadows in South Florida.