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Once again, the Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) is likely to serve as a preview of the Kentucky Oaks (G1) five weeks later on April 30.
On Saturday morning, the connections of the first four horses under the wire in Friday's 44th running of the Fair Grounds Oaks all admitted that the Kentucky Oaks is their next planned target, and the fact that four of the last five Fair Grounds Oaks winners have gone on to win the Kentucky Oaks underlines the strong connection between the two events.
Surprise victories in Saturday’s pair of prep races for the 136th Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) appear to have convinced many Derby fans that this year’s “Run for the Roses” is a wide-open affair as the Mutuel Field, or “all others”, is the betting favorite with one day remaining in Pool 3 of Churchill Downs’ 2010 Kentucky Derby Future Wager (“KDFW”).
Twin Creeks Racing Stables' MISSION IMPAZIBLE (Unbridled's Song) wore down the stubborn pacesetter A Little Warm (Stormin Fever) to capture Saturday's $750,000 Louisiana Derby (G2) at Fair Grounds, giving trainer Todd Pletcher yet another arrow in his already-stocked Kentucky Derby (G1) quiver. Ridden for the first time by Rajiv Maragh, the gray colt closed steadily in deep stretch to complete 1 1/8 miles on the fast track in 1:50 1/5.
Kenneth & Sarah Ramsey's homebred DEAN'S KITTEN (Kitten's Joy) secured his spot in the Kentucky Derby (G1) field with a convincing victory in Saturday's $500,000 Lane's End S. (G2) at Turfway Park, rallying from just off the pace to win going away by 2 1/2 lengths. Trained by Mike Maker, the chestnut colt registered his first graded stakes score when completing 1 1/8 miles over the Polytrack in 1:50 2/5 with jockey Cornelio Velasquez.
Throughout its 10-year history, the $2 million U.A.E. Derby (UAE-G2) has been dominated by South African trainer Mike de Kock and Godolphin's Saeed bin Suroor. This ironclad trend from old Nad al Sheba carried over into Saturday's first running at Meydan, as de Kock's highly-regarded pair of MUSIR (Redoute's Choice) and Raihana (Elusive Quality) overpowered Godolphin's Mendip (Harlan's Holiday) in the stretch. Confidently handled by Christophe Soumillon, favored Musir produced a last-to-first rally to win a shade cozily from Raihana.
Koolmen Racing Stable's ORCHESTRATOR (Bernstein) took to a short lead entering the stretch and out-finished Age of Humor (Distorted Humor) by a neck in Saturday's $125,000 Bourbonette Oaks (G3) at Turfway Park. Unplaced in her two previous stakes attempts on turf, the Kenny McPeek-trained sophomore filly switched to Polytrack and registered her first stakes victory, completing a mile in 1:38 1/5 with Alex Solis.
Eskendereya, 'All Others', Lookin At Lucky Tight at the Top After Opening Day of Final Derby Futures Pool
It is crowded at the top of the collection of 24 betting interests following the first of three days of betting in Churchill Downs’ third and final pool of the 2010 Kentucky Derby Future Wager (“KDFW”), and a single $2 bet is all that separates the top two choices after Friday’s opening day betting.
Mark H. Stanley's QUIET TEMPER (Quiet American) returned to her winning ways on Friday when rallying for the victory in the $300,000 Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) under jockey Robby Albarado. The Dale Romans-trained bay was sent off the near 3-1 favorite against her 10 rivals in this 1 1/16-mile test and stopped the clock in 1:44 2/5 on the fast track.
Like nurturing a champion Thoroughbred, the art of crafting fine bourbon whiskey takes time, patience and attention to detail. So it is with Woodford Reserve®, the Official Bourbon of the Kentucky Derby, which honors the country’s favorite horse race with a limited-edition Kentucky Derby commemorative bottle. The 2010 bottle features the work of nationally-acclaimed, Louisville-based artist Jeaneen Barnhart.
SOUTH / PLETCHER’S DISCREETLY MINE HEADS BAKER’S DOZEN IN LOUISIANA DERBY – E. Paul Robsham’s Discreetly Mine, a front-running winner of Fair Grounds Risen Star (GII) on Feb. 20, figures to have more company on the front end Saturday has he faces a dozen foes in the 97th running of the $750,000 Louisiana Derby (Grade II) at the New Orleans track.