Eskendereya heading back to Palm Meadows

From Sunday's NYRA notes:

A little more than 12 hours after his smashing 9 3/4-length victory in Saturday's $750,000 Wood Memorial S. (G1), ESKENDEREYA (Giant's Causeway) was on his way back to Florida, where he will spend the next couple of weeks preparing for his likely role as the favorite for the May 1 Kentucky Derby (G1).

"I like the surface at Palm Meadows, as does he," trainer Todd Pletcher said Sunday morning. "And, the weather will be more reliable there."

Sidney's Candy, Lucky in good shape after Santa Anita Derby

From Sunday's Santa Anita notes by Ed Golden:

It was all quiet on the Western front Sunday morning after the most eventful Santa Anita Derby (G1) in recent memory Saturday. It was on to the Kentucky Derby  (G1) for front-running winner SIDNEY'S CANDY (Candy Ride [Arg]), and ditto for third-place finisher LOOKIN AT LUCKY (Smart Strike), the 4-5 favorite who, after troubled trips in three of his last four races, perhaps should be called Lookin at Unlucky.

Pleasant Prince blitzes in a bullet :58 2/5 for Blue Grass

From Sunday's Keeneland notes:

Florida Derby (G1) runner-up PLEASANT PRINCE (Indy King) worked five furlongs in a bullet :58 2/5 over Keeneland's Polytrack on Sunday morning, signaling his sharpness for Saturday's Blue Grass S. (G1). Jockey Julien Leparoux was aboard for the move, which easily ranked as the fastest of 17 at the distance.

"That was about as good as a horse can work," trainer Wesley Ward said.

Contessa mulls Withers, Derby Trial for Eightyfiveinafifty

From Sunday's NYRA notes:

After his anxiety-inducing yet impressive victory in Saturday's Bay Shore S. (G3), EIGHTYFIVEINAFIFTY (Forest Camp) will set his sights on one of two races for his next target. According to trainer Gary Contessa, the explosively fast three-year-old colt will either remain at Aqueduct for the Withers S. (G3) or ship to Churchill Downs for The Cliff's Edge Derby Trial S. (G3). Both are one-turn mile races.

American Lion bound for Keeneland

From Sunday's Keeneland notes:

WinStar Farm's AMERICAN LION (Tiznow), who captured Saturday's Illinois Derby (G3), was scheduled to return to Keeneland on Sunday afternoon.

American Lion's victory gave WinStar three horses with enough earnings to be guaranteed a spot in the Kentucky Derby starting gate, along with Sunland Derby (G3) hero ENDORSEMENT (Distorted Humor) and multiple Grade 3 winner RULE (Roman Ruler), who was third in the Florida Derby (G1) last out.

Evening Jewel returning to Santa Anita to prepare for Kentucky Oaks

From Sunday's Keeneland notes:

EVENING JEWEL (Northern Afleet), gritty winner of Saturday's Ashland S. (G1) at Keeneland, is heading back to her home base at Santa Anita on Monday, according to trainer Jim Cassidy.

"We can keep her happier out there rather than leaving her here with someone else," Cassidy said Sunday morning. "Hopefully, we will be back in two weeks."

Evening Jewel held off IT'S TEA TIME (Dynaformer) by a neck to stamp herself as one of the prime contenders for the Kentucky Oaks (G1) to be run April 30 at Churchill Downs.

American Lion uses his speed to land Illinois Derby

After attempting to rate unsuccessfully in his first two starts this year, WinStar Farm's AMERICAN LION (Tiznow) went right to the lead in Saturday's $500,000 Illinois Derby (G2) and never surrendered, securing a spot in the Kentucky Derby (G1) starting gate with a 2 3/4-length decision. The Eoin Harty-trained colt completed 1 1/8 miles over the fast, drying-out Hawthorne track in 1:51 1/5.

Sidney's Candy romps in Santa Anita Derby

A little while after Eskendereya (Giant's Causeway) routed the competition in Saturday's Wood Memorial S. (G1) at Aqueduct, SIDNEY'S CANDY (Candy Ride [Arg]) offered a rebuttal on behalf of the West Coast Kentucky Derby (G1) hopefuls with a front-running, 4 1/2-length romp in Saturday's $750,000 Santa Anita Derby (G1).

Eskendereya makes it look easy again in Wood Memorial

Barring the unforeseen, Zayat Stables' ESKENDEREYA (Giant's Causeway) should march into Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May as the solid favorite in the Kentucky Derby (G1) after another blowout prep victory, this time in the $750,000 Wood Memorial S. (G1). An outstanding 8 1/2-length victor the Fountain of Youth S.

Evening Jewel wires Ashland

Braly Family Trust's EVENING JEWEL (Northern Afleet) has been knocking on the door of a graded win in her past two starts, but on Saturday broke through in style with a gutsy neck victory in the $400,000 Ashland S. (G1) at Keeneland. With Kent Desormeaux guiding her on the front end, the James Cassidy-trained lass ran 1 1/16 miles on the Polytrack in 1:43 2/5 to earn her shot in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) on April 30.