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Gem, Inc.'s HARISSA (Afleet Alex), a Southern California-based filly, rolled to a 3 1/2-length triumph in her dirt debut in Sunday's $200,000 Sunland Park Oaks.
ENDORSEMENT (Distorted Humor) entered Sunday's $800,000 Sunland Derby (G3) owning just one win, having broken his maiden on February 20 at Oaklawn Park. He exited his stakes bow in the 1 1/8-mile test with enough graded earnings to now make it into the Kentucky Derby (G1) on May 1, and according to Bill Casner of owner WinStar Farm, the chestnut colt will be given his shot at the Run for the Roses.
Lookin At Lucky, Eskendereya Are Top Horses, But 'All Others' Is Future Favorite In Wide-Open Kentucky Derby
There is no surprising information in the news that reigning American 2-year-old champion Lookin At Lucky and runaway Fountain of Youth (Grade II) winner Eskendereya were the favored individual horses in the third and final pool of Churchill Downs’ 2010 Kentucky Derby Future Wager (“KDFW”) when the bet concluded it’s three-day run early Sunday evening. But an eyebrow or two will surely be raised by word that the overall bettor’s choice in this early search for the winner of the 136th Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum!
Bob Baffert said late Sunday morning he is "90 percent sure" that multiple Grade 1 victor LOOKIN AT LUCKY (Smart Strike) will run in Saturday's $750,000 Santa Anita Derby (G1) rather the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) at Oaklawn Park on April 10. The champion colt worked six furlongs on Santa Anita's Pro-Ride in 1:12 under Martin Garcia.
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.