Racing News

Road to the Kentucky Derby News

  • Ria Antonia Works, In Tune Takes First Trip Over Track / Longines Kentucky Oaks Update for Wednesday, April 23

    UNTAPABLE (No. 1) – Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Untapable visited the starting gate and then galloped Wednesday morning under Angel Garcia at Churchill Downs in preparation for the May 2 $1 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (GI).

    Untapable is trained by Steve Asmussen, who saddled Summerly to win the 2005 Oaks. Rosie Napravnik, who won the 2012 Kentucky Oaks on Believe You Can, has the mount on Untapable.

    SUGAR SHOCK (No. 2) – On Clud Nine LLC’s Sugar Shock galloped 1 ½ miles under exercise rider Seth VanDyke after the renovation break.

    Trained by Doug Anderson, Sugar Shock is scheduled to work Friday with Calvin Borel up.

    FASHION PLATE (No. 3) – Arnold Zetcher and Michael Tabor’s Fashion Plate, winner of the Las Virgenes (GI) and Santa Anita Oaks (GI) in her  two most recent starts, is scheduled to work Saturday morning at Santa Anita according  to trainer Simon Callaghan.

    Fashion Plate is scheduled to fly to Louisville on Monday.

    IN TUNE (tie-No. 4)/MY MISS SOPHIA (tie-No. 4)/GOT LUCKY (No. 8) – Wertheimer and Frere’s In Tune made her first appearance on the track at Churchill Downs, galloping under Ovel Merida after the renovation break.

    In Tune, who is undefeated in three starts that includes a victory in the Gulfstream Park Oaks (GII), arrived at Churchill Downs Tuesday afternoon as part of a continent of horses trained by Todd Pletcher.

    Pletcher’s other Oaks considerations, Mathis Stable’s My Miss Sophia and Hill ‘n’ Dale Equine Holdings and Philip Steinberg’s Got Lucky, galloped with Humberto Zamora and Amy Mulen aboard, respectively.

    Rider assignments for the Oaks are to be determined.

    ROSALIND (No. 6) – Landaluce Educe Stables’ Rosalind, dead-heat-winner of the Ashland Stakes (GI), galloped under exercise rider Danny Ramsey for trainer Kenny McPeek after the renovation break.

    McPeek plans to work Rosalind on Friday, Saturday or Sunday, depending on weather.

    ROOM SERVICE (No. 7)/AURELIA’S BELLE (No. 9) – Gary and Mary West’s Room Service and James Miller’s Aurelia’s Belle galloped after the renovation break with exercise rider Calamity Compton handling the duties on both.

    RIA ANTONIA (No. 10) – Christopher Dunn and Loooch Racing Stable’s Ria Antonia worked five furlongs in 1:00.60 with Rosie Napravnik aboard before the morning renovation break at Churchill Downs.

    Working on her own, Ria Antonia posted fractions of :12.80, :24.60 and :48.20 with a six-furlong gallop out time 1:14.80. The move was the third fastest of 15 at the distance.

    “I was happy with the work,” trainer Bob Baffert said of Ria Antonia, who arrived here Monday from Southern California. “She went really nice and moved well over the track.”

    Mike Smith, who rode Princess of Sylmar to victory in the 2013 Oaks, has the mount.

    KISS MOON (No. 11) – Carl Pollard’s Kiss Moon returned to the track for the first time since working five furlongs in 1:00.60 on Monday. Kiss Moon galloped after the break under Otto Thorwarth for trainer David Vance.

    FIFTYSHADESOFGOLD (No. 12) – The Estate of Clarence Scharbauer Jr.’s Fiftyshadesofgold, a candidate for the Oaks or the Eight Belles (GIII) on May 2, galloped two miles before the renovation break under Sara Escudero.

    Trained by Bret Calhoun, Fiftyshadesofgold is scheduled to work Friday.

    UNBRIDLED FOREVER (No. 13) -- Charles Fipke’s Unbridled Forever galloped after the renovation break under exercise rider Pedro Velez for trainer Dallas Stewart.

    Robby Albarado has the Oaks mount.

    SWEET REASON (No. 14) – Treadway Racing Stable’s Sweet Reason remains under consideration for a possible start in the Kentucky Oaks but trainer Leah Gyarmati said no decision has been made on the filly who is training at Belmont Park.

    Click here to link to a PDF copy of the complete Kentucky Derby & Kentucky Oaks Update for Wednesday, April 23

  • Hoppertunity, General A Rod Work at Churchill / Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands Update for Wednesday, April 23

    VICAR’S IN TROUBLE (No. 2)/GENERAL A ROD (No. 15)/HARRY’S HOLIDAY (No. 20) – J. Armando Rodriguez’s General a Rod recorded his first official work at Churchill Downs in preparation for Kentucky Derby 140, covering five furlongs in 1:03.40 with splits of :13, :26.20, 39 and out six furlongs in 1:17.60 with exercise rider Joel Barrientos up for trainer Mike Maker.

    General a Rod’s work came after the morning renovation break and was followed by Barrientos aboard Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Vicar’s In Trouble, who galloped.

    “They’re all in good shape,” Maker said. “General a Rod had a routine, maintenance work, so we’ll work him back in six days and go from there.”

    Skychai Racing, Terry Raymond and Jana Wagner’s Harry’s Holiday was one of the first horses on the track after it opened at 5:45 to gallop under Barrientos.

    DANCE WITH FATE (No. 3) – Sharon Alesia, Bran Jam Stable and Ciaglia Racing’s Dance With Fate, winner of the Blue Grass Stakes (GI) in his most recent start, is scheduled to work Saturday morning on the turf at Santa Anita according to trainer Peter Eurton.

    Dance With Fate is scheduled to ship to Louisville on Monday. Corey Nakatani has the mount.

    DANZA (No. 6)/INTENSE HOLIDAY (No. 8)/WE MISS ARTIE (No. 10)/VICEREMOS (No. 19) – Three of trainer Todd Pletcher’s four Kentucky Derby possible entrants galloped after the renovation break at Churchill Downs.

    Making their initial appearances beneath the Twin Spires were Starlight Racing’s Intense Holiday and Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s We Miss Artie, both of whom arrived from Florida Tuesday afternoon. Isabelle Bourez was aboard Intense Holiday and Nick Bush was on We Miss Artie.

    Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners’ Danza, winner of the Arkansas Derby (GI), was partnered by Ezequiel Perez.

    Vinceremos, owned by WinStar Farm and Twin Creeks Racing Stables, was scheduled to arrive at the Pletcher barn after training hours from WinStar, where he had been since the Blue Grass Stakes (GI).

    Pletcher has not confirmed a rider for Vinceremos. Joe Bravo has the mount on Danza, Javier Castellano on We Miss Artie and John Velazquez on Intense Holiday.

    HOPPERTUNITY (No. 7)/CHITU (No. 12)/BAYERN (No. 23) – Karl Watson, Mike Pegram and Paul Weitman’s Hoppertunity worked five furlongs in company in 1:00.20 after the renovation break with Rosie Napravnik up.

    Working in company with Drill, a 5-year-old multiple graded stakes winner, Hoppertunity recorded fractions of :12.40, :24.40, :36.20 and galloped out six furlongs in 1:13.20, seven-eighths in 1:26.60 and a mile in 1:41.60. The five-eighths move was the second fastest of 15 at the distance.

    "I was happy with the work,” trainer Bob Baffert said. “I thought it went well even though the workmate didn’t put up much of a fight and lost interest.”

    Hoppertunity, who arrived at Churchill Downs on Monday, enters Derby 140 off a runner-up finish in the Santa Anita Derby (G1) behind probable Derby favorite California Chrome.

    “I was happy with the way he ran (in the Santa Anita Derby) and he finished well,” Baffert said. “I didn’t think he was going to beat California Chrome, but he ran a good, solid race.

    “He (Hoppertunity) is a laid-back horse and he is not going to wow you. He is just a steady horse and he moves well over the track. We know he can run.”

    Tanma Corporation’s Chitu galloped after the break under Dana Barnes and Kaleem Shah’s Bayern jogged before the break under Jorge Alvarez.

    Baffert entered both in Saturday night’s $150,000-added Derby Trial (GIII).

    Bayern likes this track, so I am going to enter him in the Trial and watch for defections (from the Derby field),” Baffert said. “I think the Trial would set him up for the Preakness well.”

    As for Chitu, Baffert said, “I am going to enter him, but I am not sure if he will run. This gives me an option. He’s a lazy work horse. He needs to get one good work and I want to see how he trains.”

    WILDCAT RED (No. 9) – Honors Stable Corp.’s Wildcat Red galloped 1 1/8 miles under exercise rider Juan Belmonte after the renovation break.

    Trained by Jose Garoffalo, Wildcat Red arrived at Churchill Downs Tuesday afternoon from his South Florida base. Garoffalo is scheduled to be here Friday and Wildcat Red will work Saturday or Sunday with jockey Luis Saez slated to be aboard.

    RIDE ON CURLIN (No. 11) – Daniel Doughtery’s Arkansas Derby (GI) runner-up Ride On Curlin galloped a mile in 1:57.40 but stretched his legs down the lane and finished the final quarter in :26.20 after the renovation break under exercise rider Bryan Beccia.

    Conditioned by Billy Gowan, Ride On Curlin is scheduled to breeze most likely on Saturday, depending on weather.

    TAPITURE (No. 13) – Ron Winchell’s Tapiture galloped early Wednesday morning with Abel Flores aboard for trainer Steve Asmussen.

    MEDAL COUNT (No. 16) –  Spendthrift Farm’s Medal Count, runner-up in the Blue Grass (GI) last out, galloped after the renovation break under exercise rider Faustino Aguilar for trainer Dale Romans.

    Medal Count, who will be ridden in Kentucky Derby 140 by Robby Albarado, is scheduled to work Saturday, weather permitting, according  to  Romans.

    CANDY BOY (No. 17) – C R K Stable’s Candy Boy jogged early Wednesday morning under exercise rider Jelani Grant for trainer John Sadler.

    It was the first day at the track for Candy Boy, who arrived from Southern California on Monday and walked the shedrow Tuesday. Sadler is expected to be at the barn in the morning.

    UNCLE SIGH (No. 18) – Wounded Warrior Stables and Anthony Robertson’s Uncle Sigh is scheduled to work Friday morning on the Belmont Park Training Track around 9:30 according to trainer Gary Contessa.

    Contessa said Uncle Sigh would leave New York by van early Saturday morning with a Saturday evening arrival at Churchill Downs anticipated. Contessa will fly to Louisville on Sunday. Irad Ortiz Jr., is scheduled to ride Uncle Sigh in the Derby.

    COMMANDING CURVE (No. 21) – West Point Thoroughbreds’ Commanding Curve, third in the Louisiana Derby (GII) in his most recent start, galloped after the renovation break for trainer Dallas Stewart under exercise rider Emerson Chavez.

    Commanding Curve stands 21st on the “Road to the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard presented by Twinspires.com.”

    SOCIAL INCLUSION (No. 24) – Rontos Racing Stable’s Social Inclusion is scheduled to work Thursday morning at Gulfstream Park.

    BIG BAZINGA (No. 25) – Derby Dreamers Racing Stable’s Big Bazinga galloped 1 ½ miles under Loren Diego after the renovation break. Big Bazinga, trained by Katerina Vassilieva, is scheduled to work Saturday.

    Click here for a PDF copy of the Kentucky Derby Presented byYum! Brands and Longines Kentucky Oaks Update for Wednesday, April 23.

  • Baffert Duo of Chitu, Bayern; Zito's Spot Top "Opening Night" Derby Trial

    Curtis Green’s Spot, winner of the Swale Stakes (Grade II) and the Bob Baffert-trained duo of Tanma Corporation’s Chitu and Kaleem Shah’s Bayern headline a field of 10 horses entered Wednesday for the 90th running of the $150,000-added Derby Trial (GIII) on Saturday’s Opening Night Presented by Stella Artois and Finlandia Vodka at Churchill Downs.

    The one-mile Derby Trial highlights the opening night of the 38-day Spring Meet, the centerpiece of which comes the following weekend with the 140th running of the $2 million guaranteed Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) on Saturday, May 3 and the 140th running of the $1 million guaranteed Longines Kentucky Oaks (GI) the day before.

    Scheduled as the eighth race on Saturday’s 10-race program, post time for the Derby Trial is 10:01 p.m. (EDT) with first post being 6 o’clock.

    Conditioned by two-time Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Nick Zito, Spot finished seventh in the Florida Derby (GI) in his most recent start. John Velazquez has the mount on Spot, who will break from post position nine.

    Chitu, winner of the Sunland Derby (GIII) in his most recent start, has won three of four starts with his lone setback coming in a runner-up finish in the Robert B. Lewis (GII). Joel Rosario will ride Chitu, who will break from post position two.

    Bayern won his first two starts at Santa Anita before finishing third as the favorite in the Arkansas Derby (GI) in his stakes debut. Rosie Napravnik will ride Bayern and break from post position one.

    The field for the Derby Trial, from the rail out, is as follows: Bayern (Napravnik, 118 pounds), Chitu (Rosario, 123), Big Sugar Soda (Ricardo Santana Jr., 118), Friendswith K Mill (Kent Desormeaux, 118), Matador (Julien Leparoux, 118),Embellishing Bob (Brian Hernandez Jr., 118), Laddie Boy (Stewart Elliott, 118), Bitters ‘n Bourbon (Corey Lanerie, 118), Spot (Velazquez, 120) and Myositis Dan (Joe Rocco Jr., 118).

  • Gary West's Top 10 Kentucky Derby Championship Series Performances

    By Gary West, special to KentuckyDerby.com

    Over the next 10 days or so, much will be written extolling the virtues of California Chrome. His virtues are as conspicuous as they are numerous. He’s professional and smart; most of all, he’s fast. And he just keeps running. He deserves the praise, the plaudits and the acclaim. In this run-up to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands, he has given not only the best performance of any 3-year-old but arguably the best two performances.

  • Longines Kentucky Oaks Update for Tuesday, April 22

    UNTAPABLE (No. 1)/EUPHROSYNE Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Untapable, winner of the Fair Grounds Oaks (GII) and Silverbulletday (GIII) at Fair Grounds, returned to the track on Tuesday and galloped 1 1/8 miles over a fast surface under exercise rider Angel Garcia.The Steve Asmussen-trained daughter of Tapit worked five furlongs on Sunday under jockey Rosie Napravnik, who will ride Untapable in the Longines Kentucky Oaks. She walked under Asmussen’s shedrow on Monday.

  • Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands Update for Tuesday, April 22

    VICAR’S IN TROUBLE (No. 2)/GENERAL A ROD (No. 15)/HARRY’S HOLIDAY (No. 20) – Trainer Mike Maker vanned his trio of Kentucky Derby possibilities to the Churchill Downs backside late Tuesday morning.

    Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s  Vicar’s in Trouble galloped at the Trackside Training Center Tuesday morning and is scheduled to breeze at Churchill Downs on Saturday along  with  Harry’s  Holiday,  who  is  owned by  Skychai  Racing, Terry Raymond and Jana Wagner. Harry’s Holiday galloped Tuesday at Trackside. Joel Barrientos was aboard both colts.

  • Longines Kentucky Oaks Update for Monday, April 21

    UNTAPABLE (No. 1)/ EUPHROSYNE (No. 8) – Gillian S. Campbell, Ralph Staver, Shelly Staver, Dan Clark and Greg Skoda’s Euphrosyne, listed as “possible” for the Longines Kentucky Oaks, breezed five furlongs in the company of a workmate in 1:02.20 Monday morning. Abel Flores was aboard the daughter of Harlan’s Holiday, who covered the distance in fractional splits of :13, :25.80 and :38 and galloped out six furlongs in 1:16.

    Euphrosyne was on the track with Asmussen’s first set of horses.

    Untapable, who had worked five furlongs on Sunday, walked on Monday.

  • Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands Update for Monday, April 21

    VICAR'S IN TROUBLE (No. 2) / GENERAL A ROD (No. 15) / HARRY'S HOLIDAY (No. 20) – Trainer Mike Maker reported Monday morning that his trio  of  Kentucky  Derby  possibilities  “were  doing  just  fine”  at  the  nearby Trackside Training Center.

  • 'Fate' could give Nakatani first Derby win; White announces his Derby odds

    Corey Nakatani will seek his first Kentucky Derby victory in his 17th attempt when he rides Blue Grass winner Dance With Fate in the Run for the Roses on May 3 at Churchill Downs.

  • Wildcat Red, Intense Holiday, We Miss Artie put in final Florida works

    Grade 2 hero Wildcat Red completed the Florida portion of his preparation for the $2 million Kentucky Derby on May 3 by working a half-mile in :48 3/5 over Gulfstream Park's fast main track on Sunday.

  • Longines Kentucky Oaks Update for Sunday, April 20

    UNTAPABLE (No. 1)Winchell Thoroughbred LLC’s Untapable, winner of the Fair Grounds Oaks (GII) and Rachel Alexandra (GIII) at Fair Grounds, tuned up for her scheduled run in the Longines Kentucky Oaks with a sharp five-furlong work at Churchill Downs under jockey Rosie Napravnik.

  • Kentucky Derby Update for Sunday, April 20

    VICAR’S IN TROUBLE (No. 2) / GENERAL A ROD (No. 16) / HARRY’S HOLIDAY (No. 21) – Trainer Mike Maker reported Sunday morning that things were “all well” at the nearby Trackside Training Center for his trio of Kentucky Derby possibilities.

  • Updated Road to the Kentucky Derby Presented by TwinSpires.com Leaderboard (after races of Sat., April 19)

    Click here for the updated Road to the Kentucky Derby Presented by TwinSpires.com Leaderboard following the Coolmore Lexington (GIII) and races of Sat., April 19 ...

  • Mr Speaker brings gavel down in Lexington

    Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey thought about running Mr Speaker in the April 12 Blue Grass at Keeneland, but decided to pass the hurly-burly of a big field in that major Kentucky Derby prep, and instead opted for Saturday's Grade 3, $200,000 Lexington Stakes over the same track. Judging by how the Phipps Stable homebred stormed four lengths clear in his first attempt on synthetic, it's worth wondering how he might have fared one week ago.

  • California Chrome leads Derby worktab

    Santa Anita Derby winner California Chrome took another step closer to the Kentucky Derby on May 3 when he worked four furlongs at his Los Alamitos headquarters Saturday morning in :47 4/5 under regular rider Victor Espinoza.

  • Cairo Prince to miss Derby with ankle injury

    Cairo Prince has sustained an ankle injury that will rule him out of the May 3 Kentucky Derby, Daily Racing Form's David Grening reported via Twitter.

  • Pablo Del Monte remains on Derby trail

    Wesley Ward, trainer and part-owner of Blue Grass third-placer Pablo Del Monte, reports that his colt remains on the road to the 140th Kentucky Derby  for now.

    With the defection of Cairo Prince Saturday, Pablo Del Monte ranks 23rd on the Kentucky Derby leader board with 20 points.

  • Dance With Fate confirmed for Derby

    Blue Grass winner Dance With Fate will indeed take his spot in the starting gate in the May 3 Kentucky Derby, connections announced Friday.

  • Commanding Curve, Unbridled Forever breeze in hopes of making Derby, Oaks

    Kentucky Derby hopeful Commanding Curve, ranked No. 23 on the "Road to the Kentucky Derby" leaderboard, continued his preparations for a potential start in the "Run for the Roses" with a five-furlong move Friday morning at Churchill Downs in 1:00 2/5.