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KENTUCKY DERBY UPDATE
CALIFORNIA CHROME – The morning-line favorite for the Kentucky Derby, Steve Coburn and Perry Martin's California Chrome, went trackside Thursday morning at 6:55 as hundreds of cameras clicked and video rolled. The handsome chestnut colt stopped and took it all in, then did the same several times more as he backtracked his way to the frontside and under the iconic Twin Spires at Churchill Downs, before heading up the tunnel way to the paddock to "school," just as he had the day before.
The contenders in Kentucky Derby 140 aren't just names on a page, program numbers, or expensive props in America's most famous horse race.
These beautiful Thoroughbreds are fascinating individuals, with idiosyncratic personalities, and unique stories about how they grew up and came of age.
Grade 2 hero Hoppertunity was withdrawn from the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby with a foot problem on Thursday.
The Bob Baffert-trained son of Any Given Saturday jogged Wednesday morning, returning to the track after working a half-mile in :48 during Monday's rain storm.
Thirteen fillies will contest Friday’s $1 million Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs and favoritism runs through Untapable, an overwhelming 4-5 choice on the morning line. She brings outstanding form into the 1 1/8-mile race and the bay filly will break from the far outside post with regular rider Rosie Napravnik.
Steven Coburn and Perry Martin's California Chrome, winner of four consecutive races by a combined 24 ¼ lengths, is the 5-2 morning-line favorite for Saturday's 140th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) at Churchill Downs.
Vicar's in Trouble (Post position 1, morning line 30-1)/Harry's Holiday (Post position 2, morning line 50-1)/General a Rod (Post position 8, morning line 15-1) – Mike Maker (trainer) – On Vicar's in Trouble --"I know we didn't have much choice, but I don't have to walk too far to saddle the horses, and maybe our riders will be friendly and give each other enough space. Hopefully, we get a good break out of Vicar like we usually do, and we get a good position pretty early." On Harry's Holiday – "Same with Harry." On General a Rod – "I couldn't be happier with that draw.''
KENTUCKY DERBY UPDATE – Wednesday, April 30, 2014
CALIFORNIA CHROME (No. 1) – The West Coast whiz California Chrome went trackside Wednesday morning at Churchill Downs just before 6:40 with exercise rider Willy Delgado at the controls. The chestnut stood inside the five-furlong gap for about three minutes, then began a backtrack along the rail by announcing his presence to one and all with a great, loud whinny.
Two-Time Horse of the Year Wise Dan Seeks Woodford Reserve Turf Classic Repeat; Judy the Beauty Tops Humana Distaff Field of Eight on Derby Day Undercard
Morton Fink's two-time reigning Horse of the Year Wise Dan will seek to become the second two-time winner of the $500,000-added Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (Grade I) on Saturday when he faces nine foes in the 29th running of the 1 1/8-mile race.
The Woodford Reserve Turf Classic, along with the 28th running of the $300,000-added Humana Distaff (GI), anchors a five stakes undercard leading up to the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) on Saturday's 13-race program. First post Saturday is 10:30 a.m. (all times Eastern).