Jill Byrne's Weekend Prep Review March 5-7

John Asher's Kentucky Oaks 136 Update for Monday, March 8

CALIFORNIA / CRISP REBOUNDS TO UPSET BLIND LUCK IN SANTA ANITA OAKS – A third straight Grade I stakes victory by Blind Luck In Saturday’s Santa Anita Oaks (GI) would have made the Jerry Hollendorfer trainee a near-prohibitive favorite for the $500,000-added Kentucky Oaks (GI), America’s premier race for 3-year-old fillies, at Churchill Downs on April 30.

But the race provided another reminder of why races are contested on track and not on paper.

John Asher's Kentucky Derby 136 Update for Monday, March 8

NEW YORK / BRITISH INVADER AWESOME ACT ROLLS IN GOTHAM – Mrs. Susan Roy and Vinery’s British import Awesome Act displayed a clear affinity for traditional dirt in his first start over the surface and placed himself in contention for a start in the $2 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) with a stylish victory in Saturday’s Gotham Stakes (GIII) at Aqueduct.

Eskendereya Emerges As the Favored Individual, But 'All Others' Is Overall Favorite In Pool 2 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager

Zayat Racing Stable’s Eskendereya emerged as the solid individual choice to win $2 million-guaranteed Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) on Saturday, May 1 – but the “All Others” betting interest remained the overall fans’ choice as Pool 2 of Churchill Downs’ 2010 Kentucky Derby Future Wager (“KDFW”) ended its three-run early Sunday evening.

Blind Luck Edges Amen Hallelujah, Christine Daae To Be Favorite in 2010 Kentucky Oaks Future Wager

She suffered a surprising defeat over the weekend, but the faith of racing fans in Blind Luck was unshaken as trainer Jerry Hollendforfer’s filly was a start-to-finish favorite in Churchill Downs’ three-day 2010 Kentucky Derby Future Wager when the betting pool concluded Sunday evening.

Lookin at Lucky still likely for Rebel; Blind Luck targets Fantasy

Trainer Bob Baffert left the door slightly ajar for 2009 two-year-old champion male LOOKIN AT LUCKY (Smart Strike) to make his three-year-old debut in Saturday's San Felipe S. (G2) at Santa Anita, but reiterated that he was more likely to ship to Oaklawn Park for the Rebel S. (G2) on the same day. Both are 1 1/16-mile events.

"I'll look at the weather at Oaklawn and if it looks like snow, I'll just keep him here," Baffert said Sunday morning. "But right now, the Rebel looks pretty firm.

Gotham top three could renew rivalry in Wood; Buddy's Saint scheduled to breeze

The top three finishers from Saturday's Gotham S. (G3) -- AWESOME ACT (Awesome Again), YAWANNA TWIST (Yonaguska) and NACHO FRIEND (Friends Lake), respectively -- could all square off once again at Aqueduct in the April 3 Wood Memorial S. (G1).

Gotham winner Awesome Act was bright and energetic in his stall at Belmont Park Sunday morning following his successful dirt debut.

Eskendereya leads busy Pletcher worktab

Trainer Todd Pletcher sent out a brigade of workers, including several major Kentucky Derby (G1) hopefuls, at Palm Meadows on Sunday.

Fountain of Youth S. (G2) romper ESKENDEREYA (Giant's Causeway), with jockey John Velazquez aboard, took a half-mile spin on the fast track in :49 1/5. The well-bred chestnut is likely to line up next in the March 20 Florida Derby (G1).

Eskendereya Now Individual Derby Futures Choice, But 'All Others' Still The Overall Favorite

Fountain of Youth (Grade II) winner Eskendereya made a strong move on Saturday into the role the individual favorite for the 136th Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI), but the “All Others” bet remained the overall fans’ choice with one day remaining in Pool 2 of Churchill Downs’ 2010 Kentucky Derby Future Wager (“KDFW”).

Dublin fires bullet for Rebel

At Oaklawn Park on Sunday, Hopeful S. (G1) star DUBLIN (Afleet Alex) drilled five furlongs in a bullet :59 3/5, best of 56 works at the distance on the fast track. The Wayne Lukas colt was posting his final major move in advance of Saturday's Rebel S. (G2).

Oaklawn clockers caught the powerfully-built chestnut reeling off fractions of :11 4/5, :23 1/5, :35 1/5 and :47, and galloping out six furlongs in 1:13 4/5, as reported by Daily Racing Form.