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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.
Following multi-length victories in the Wood Memorial and Illinois Derby, Eskendereya (pronounced “ess-ken-DRAY-uh”) and American Lion are now safety positioned on the Top 20 Graded Stakes Earnings list that determines the prospective field for Kentucky Derby 136 on Saturday, May 1 at Churchill Downs.
The $2 million guaranteed Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) has been restricted to 20 starters since 1975. Graded stakes earnings accumulated in major races on the “Road to the Kentucky Derby” have determined the field for the 1 ¼-mile classic since 1986.
From Oaklawn Park's notes:
Honeybee S. (G3) heroine NO SUCH WORD (Canadian Frontier), who was beaten nine lengths into third in Friday's Fantasy S. (G2) at Oaklawn Park, will not go on to the April 30 Kentucky Oaks (G1), trainer Cindy Jones said.
"She ran well, she just needed to be a little faster to run with those two," she said, referring to winner Blind Luck (Pollard's Vision) and runner-up Tidal Pool (Yankee Gentleman). "That winner's the real deal. When Rafael Bejarano said she (Blind Luck) was better on dirt, he was right.