Grade 2 hero Hoppertunity was withdrawn from the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby with a foot problem on Thursday.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.
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).
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Wednesday, April 30, 2014) – Through various sources, the Churchill Downs communications team has confirmed that 21 horses are known to have been entered in Saturday’s $2 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands.
Willis Horton's Will Take Charge, winner of the Clark Handicap (Grade I) here last fall and the Oaklawn Handicap (GII) in his most recent start, heads a field of nine for Friday's 11th running of the $300,000-added Alysheba Presented by Besilu Stables (GII) at 1 1/16 miles on the main track.
$250,000 Pick 6 for Oaks Day; $1 million Pick 6 for Derby Day
Churchill Downs Racetrack and TwinSpires.com have partnered for the third straight year to guarantee the Pick 6 pools on Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby days. The Kentucky Oaks Day Pick 6 will carry a $250,000 guaranteed pool and the Kentucky Derby Day Pick 6 will feature a $1 million guarantee.
Winchell Thoroughbreds’ homebred Untapable, who has won her two starts in 2014 by a combined 17 ¼ lengths, has been installed as the 4-5 morning-line favorite in a field of 13 3-year-old fillies for Friday’s 140th running of the $1 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (Grade I).
KENTUCKY DERBY UPDATE – Monday, April 28, 2014
CALIFORNIA CHROME (No. 1) – As the rains pelted, the lightning flashed and the thunder roared at Churchill Downs Monday morning, likely Kentucky Derby favorite California Chrome and a dozen of his West Coast buddies went airborne from Ontario Airport near Los Angeles on a Tex Sutton charter shortly after 5 a.m. (Pacific Time). The flight landed in Louisville just after 11:30 a.m. local time and the horses arrived at the track at 12:45 p.m.
CALIFORNIA CHROME (No. 1) – Trainer Art Sherman, coming on strong despite running on very little sleep, and California Chrome, coming on strong, too, despite not being allowed to do much running, made the Churchill Downs scene Tuesday morning and proved big hits.
When the starting gate opens for the 11TH race on Saturday, May 3, at Churchill Downs, two young brothers from Puerto Rico will have realized a childhood dream -- to ride in the Kentucky Derby.
With news Sunday of defections by Ring Weekend and Bayern from the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands, Commanding Curve now sits in the 20th spot on the updated "Road to the Kentucky Derby" point standings.
Click here for the latest RTTKD standings.
Martin Cherry’s homebred Embellishing Bob was elevated to first place after Bayern was disqualified for drifting out in deep stretch to win the 90th running of the $176,700 Derby Trial (Grade III) for 3-year-olds before a crowd of 24,431 on the opening night of the 38-day Spring Meet.
After 4-5 favorite Bayern held on by a desperate nose from Embellishing Bob and Myositis Dan in Saturday night's Grade 3, $176,700 Derby Trial, the inquiry sign flashed, and the stewards looked into a rough stretch run at Churchill Downs. A weary Bayern had carried Embellishing Bob out in deep stretch, and he was accordingly disqualified for interfering with the runner-up. Embellishing Bob, a Martin Cherry homebred trained by Steve Margolis, was thus awarded the victory in his stakes debut.
CALIFORNIA CHROME (No. 1) – “Very good. Exactly what I needed for the horse. He doesn’t need much now. He’s ready. I just wanted to put some air into him. He’s happy and fresh. That’s the way I want to keep him for this race.”
With Victor Espinoza aboard, Santa Anita Derby hero California Chrome worked a half-mile Saturday morning at Los Alamitos Racecourse in :48 1/5, his final move in preparation for next Saturday's Kentucky Derby.
LOUISVILLE, KY (Friday, April 25, 2014) – Multiplatinum and award-winning country music singer and songwriter Jo Dee Messina will perform the national anthem prior to the 140thrunning of the Kentucky Derby® Presented by YUM! Brands® (Grade 1) at historic Churchill Downs Racetrack (“CDRT”) on Saturday, May 3.