The hottest new Kentucky Derby party continues to heat up as 19 top international chefs announce their menu offerings and wine pairings for the third annual Taste of Derby – the Official Kentucky Derby Party of Churchill Downs. At this celebration of cuisine and racing on Thursday, May 3, the eve of the Kentucky Oaks, guests will mingle with horse racing and Hollywood celebrities and savor exquisite cuisine and delectable wines from racing destinations across the country as internationally-renowned chefs serve samples of their regional specialties.
Mike Walker and Lou Sutterfield’s Amie’s Dini, runner-up in the Honeybee (Grade III) and Fantasy (GII) at Oaklawn Park for trainer Ron Moquett, galloped 1 ½ miles under Laura Moquett during the 15-minute period following the renovation break from 8:30-8:45 a.m. (all times Eastern) when the track is reserved for training by Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum Brands (GI) and Kentucky Oaks (GI) contenders.
Mike Walker and Lou Sutterfield’s Amie’s Dini, runner-up in the Honeybee (Grade III) and Fantasy (GII) at Oaklawn Park for trainer Ron Moquett, walked onto the Churchill Downs track when it opened at 5:45 a.m. (all times Eastern) Tuesday and jogged once around the one-mile oval under Laura Moquett.
Mike Walker and Lou Sutterfield’s Amie’s Dini, second behind Mamma Kimbo in the Fantasy (Grade II) at Oaklawn Park, walked the shedrow of trainer Ron Moquett’s barn at Churchill Downs the morning after working four furlongs in :50.40.
Mike Walker and Lou Sutterfield’s Amie’s Dini, runner-up in both the Honeybee (Grade III) and Fantasy (GII) at Oaklawn Park, continued her preparations for the $1 million Kentucky Oaks (GI) with a four- furlong breeze after the renovation break on the fast Churchill Downs track Sunday morning in :50.40 for trainer Ron Moquett.
Anita Cauley’s homebred On Fire Baby, a leading contender for the $1 million Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) , breezed seven furlongs on a fast track Friday morning at Churchill Downs in 1:26.80 for trainer Gary Hartlage.
Working under regular rider Joe Johnson at 6:20 a.m. (ET), On Fire Baby recorded fractions of :13, :25, :37.40, :49.80, 1:01.80 and 1:14.40 and galloped out a mile in 1:40.20 and 1 1/8 miles in 1:54.80. It was the faster of two seven-furlong works Friday.
Peachtree Stable's undefeated Princess Arabella, who would have been a major contender in the Kentucky Oaks, has been retired due to injury.
Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert revealed the news on HRTV Thursday.
"Unfortunately, Princess Arabella came back with a small soft tissue problem that was going to need six or seven months off, so we decided in her best interest to retire her," Baffert said.
Baffert added that Princess Arabella has "a little ligament damage," and that she's not lame, but would be unlikely to be able to compete at the same high level again.
Churchill Downs has opened its on-site ticket office for convenient walk-up purchase of tickets for the upcoming April 28-July 1 Spring Meet that include general admission tickets to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) and Kentucky Oaks (GI); a limited number of tickets for seating in Section 125 that include on-site hospitality in the Infield Club on either Derby or Oaks Day; and the third annual “Taste of Derby” party on Thursday, May 3.
The 138th running of Churchill Downs’ $1 million Kentucky Oaks (Grade I), America’s premier races for 3-year-old fillies, attracted a trio of late nominees for its 138th running at Churchill Downs on Friday, May 4.
Last year, Peachtree Stable and Bob Baffert saddled Plum Pretty to a gutsy neck victory in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks, and those connections could make a repeat visit to the Churchill Downs winner's circle on May 4 after Mamma Kimbo posted a 1 1/4-length score in Wednesday's Grade 2, $300,000 Fantasy Stakes at Oaklawn Park.
Late nominations for the 138th running of the $1 million-guaranteed Kentucky Oaks (Grade I), America’s premier race for 3-year-old fillies, and the 26th running of the $500,000-added Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (GI), one of the nation’s top races for older turf stars and a fixture on the Kentucky Derby Day schedule, are due in the Churchill Downs racing office by 11:59 p.m. (Eastern) on Wednesday, April 11.
Alex J. Campbell Jr.'s homebred Karlovy Vary was doing well on Sunday, the day after she scored a front-running win in the 75th running of the Grade 1 Ashland at odds of 15-1. Her next target is the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks on May 4 at Churchill Downs.
"That's where she'll go as long as everything is good," trainer Rusty Arnold said.
E. Paul Robsham Stables' homebred Broadway's Alibi ran to her even-money odds on Saturday when wiring the Grade 3, $250,000 Comely Stakes at Aqueduct by 3 1/2 lengths. The Todd Pletcher trainee took the lead soon after the start and set splits of :23 3/5, :47 1/5 and 1:11 3/5 before finishing up a mile on the fast main track in 1:36 2/5 under jockey Javier Castellano.
Alex G. Campbell Jr.'s homebred Karlovy Vary was sent off the second longest shot on the board at 15-1 in Saturday's Grade 1, $500,000 Ashland Stakes, but that didn't stop the Rusty Arnold pupil from leading all the way home under jockey James Graham. The bay miss paid out $32.80, $11.60 and $5.60 to her faithful backers when completing 1 1/16 miles on Keeneland's Polytrack in 1:44 4/5.
Mamma Kimbo unexpectedly fired in a big way in her February 18 debut at Santa Anita, but it will be no great surprise if she replicates that fine showing in Wednesday's Grade 2, $300,000 Fantasy at Oaklawn Park. The 1 1/16-mile test for three-year-old fillies, a potential tune-up for the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks, kicks off Oaklawn's annual Racing Festival of the South, which has been condensed this year into the final four days of the 2012 meet.
Following her fifth-place finish in the last week's Grade 2 Gulfstream Oaks, trainer Jose Garoffalo has indicated that Peras International's Grade 2-winning filly Yara is on target for a start in this year's running of the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks.
"That was the initial plan before her last race and we're going to stick to it," Garoffalo remarked Friday morning. "We're looking forward to running her in the Oaks; for now that's the plan."
Trainer Gary "Red Dog" Hartlage said Thursday morning that owner Anita Cauley wants a "fresh horse" for the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks May 4, so the decision has been made not to start their multiple Grade 2 winner On Fire Baby in either the Grade 2 Fantasy on April 11 or the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby on April 14. Both races had been under consideration since the Smoke Glacken filly won the Grade 3 Honeybee at Oaklawn on March 10.
Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Fillies victress Stephanie's Kitten returns to competition on Saturday when taking on six rivals in the Grade 1, $500,000 Ashland Stakes at Keeneland. The bay daughter of Kitten's Joy is seeking to become just the fifth filly to complete an Alcibiades-Ashland double after taking the former race in October during her juvenile campaign.
Brereton C. Jones' homebred Believe You Can took the lead on the backstretch of Saturday's Grade 2, $480,000 Fair Grounds Oaks and just held 4-5 favorite Summer Applause on the wire to score a head win under jockey Rosie Napravnik. Trained by Larry Jones, the Proud Citizen daughter was the 7-2 third pick in the five-filly field and gave back $9, $2.80 and $2.10 when finishing 1 1/16 miles on the fast Fair Grounds dirt in 1:43 4/5.
Michael Dubb, Bethlehem Stables and the Elkstone Group's Grace Hall reclaimed her winning attitude just in time to dominate Saturday's Grade 2, $300,000 Gulfstream Oaks under jockey Javier Castellano. The pair were forced to race three wide down the backstretch and swung wide into the lane before easily drawing off to a 6 1/2-length score on the wire.