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Pin Oak Stable's homebred Don't Leave Me (Lemon Drop Kid) captured Saturday's $147,675 Bourbonette Oaks (G3) at Turfway Park by three parts of a length under jockey Jose Lezcano.
The deadline for owners and trainers to make their promising 3-year-old Thoroughbreds eligible to compete in the coveted races of the 2015 Triple Crown during the series’ late nomination phase will arrive just before midnight (all times Eastern) on Monday, March 23. Horses nominated prior to that cutoff time will join 429 made eligible during its early nomination phase to run in the series of American classics that includes the $2 million-guaranteed Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I), the $1.5 million-guaranteed Preakness (GI) and the $1.5 million-guaranteed Belmont Stakes (GI).
Two-year-old champion American Pharoah confirmed his status as a leading Kentucky Derby contender in the March 14 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park, returning from a lengthy layoff with a smashing 6 ¼-length victory.
Unraced since September, two-year-old champion American Pharoah made a spectacular return to the races in the $750,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) at Oaklawn Park, winning as easily as jockey Victor Espinoza pleased.
March 7 featured three scoring races with serious Kentucky Derby implications.
Dortmund kept his unblemished record intact on Saturday with a wire-to-wire victory in the $401,250 San Felipe (G2) at Santa Anita. Kaleem Shah's flashy chestnut led by a half-length through splits of :23 and :46 4/5, extended his lead to a length through six furlongs in 1:11 1/5, and then turned back a challenge from Bolo (Temple City) in the stretch en route to a 1 1/4-length victory as the 4-5 favorite in the 1 1/16-mile Santa Anita Derby (G1) prep.
Joe Ragsdale's Sarah Sis (Sharp Humor) drew off by a wide margin in the stretch of Saturday's $150,000 Honeybee S. (G3) at Oaklawn Park before being geared down for a 1 1/2-length victory under jockey Julio Felix.
Zayat Stables’ El Kabeir was easy to label as a front-running type entering Saturday’s $400,000 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct, but the gray colt displayed new tactics in rallying boldly from off the pace, posting a convincing 2 ¾-length victory.
Saturday's $350,000 Tampa Bay Derby (G2) was all about even-money favorite Carpe Diem, who stalked the early pace before stamping his authority by five emphatic lengths.
'All Others' Edges I'm A Chatterbox, Champ Take Charge Brandi, Condo Commando To Be 2015 Kentucky Oaks Future Choice
Racing fans had some difficulty in separating the major contenders for this year’s running of the $1 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) during Churchill Downs’ 2015 Kentucky Oaks Future Wager (“KOFW”), so they settled on the “Mutuel Field” (#24), or “All Others”, as a mild favorite over individual stars I’m A Chatterbox (#4), champion Take Charge Brandi (#22) and Condo Commando (#4) at Sunday evening’s conclusion of three days of betting.