PRINCESS OF SYLMAR / UNLIMITED BUDGET / DREAMING OF JULIA / SILSITA – The report on the four Kentucky Oaks (GI) fillies out of the Todd Pletcher barn was all positive Saturday morning following their major impact on the rich 3-year-old filly classic.
Princess of Sylmar (the winner), Unlimited Budget (third), Dreaming of Julia (fourth) and Silsita (10th) “came out of the race well,” Pletcher said. “They all pulled up in good order.”
It's almost incomprehensible that a horse fresh from a dominating victory in the $2 million UAE Derby in Dubai would be viewed as a hopeless long shot in the Kentucky Derby, but that apparently will be the case with Lines of Battle, who was 34-1 in Derby advance wagering Saturday morning.
Call Rosie Napravnik what you will – a trail blazer, a pioneer, a woman of extraordinary talents – but first there's this: The reason Napravnik is such a compelling story in the run-up to the Kentucky Derby has little to do with her gender and everything to do with the fact she is one of the world's best jockeys.
Friday’s attendance was surpassed only by the 116,046 that attended in 2010.
Trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by Mike Smith, Princess of Sylmar covered the 1 1/8 miles on a fast main track in 1:49.17. It was the first Oaks victory for Smith and the third for Pletcher, who won the 2004 running with Ashado and in 2007 with Rags to Riches.
Trained by Chad Brown, Noble Tune covered the 1 1/16 miles on a firm Matt Winn Turf Course in 1:41.63. The victory in the race was the second for Castellano, who won the American Turf in 2005 with Rey de Café.
Trained by Pat Byrne and ridden by Rosie Napravnik, Take Charge Indy covered the mile and a sixteenth on a fast main track in 1:41.47. Cyber Secret, ridden by Robby Albarado, finished second, but was placed eighth by the stewards for interference into the run to the first turn. Hynn Book, who finished a length behind Cyber Secret, was elevated to second and Bourbon Courage was moved up to third.
Trained by Tom Amoss and ridden by Garrett Gomez, So Many Ways covered the seven furlongs on a fast main track in 1:22.84.
Trained by Mike Maker and ridden by Joel Rosario, Kitten’s Dumplings covered the 1 1/16 miles on a firm Matt Winn Turf Course in 1:41.24. Kitten’s Dumplings gave the Ramseys their second consecutive victory on the Edgewood, having won with Stephanie’s Kitten last year.
Trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by John Velazquez, Authenticity covered the mile and a sixteenth on a fast main track in stakes-record time of 1:42.09. The previous stakes record was 1:42.43 set by Shadow Cast in 2005.
He's a Kentucky Derby neophyte with the weight of the racing world on his shoulders, yet Kevin Krigger is not lacking for confidence. Far from it. Krigger is firm in his belief that he's the right man at the right time, to both win the Kentucky Derby in his first attempt and return a black jockey to the Derby winner's circle for the first time in more than a century.
“We noticed a little swelling in the ankle this morning, previous to training,” Breen said. “It brought major concern right away. He went out, he trained, he did gallop. He came back and was, say, a one out of five lameness.”
X-rays were scheduled for after training hours, shortly before the 9 a.m. scratch time deadline. A scratch announced before 9 a.m. would have allowed also-eligible Fear the Kitten to draw into the field.
“He actually looked pretty good training this morning,” Breen said.
CHARMING KITTEN/OVERANALYZE/PALACE MALICE/REVOLUTIONARY/VERRAZANO – “We’re 100% done. We’ll leave well enough alone from here.”
That was trainer Todd Pletcher’s take on things surrounding his five Kentucky Derby (GI) entrants as they filed off the Churchill Downs racetrack Friday morning after turning in their final gallops prior to their Saturday date in America’s classic.
There is a late scratch from Kentucky Derby 139. #1 Black Onyx has been scratched from Saturday’s 139th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands. Again, a late scratch from Kentucky Derby 139 - #1 Black Onyx will not run. Stewards have decided that the #1 slot in the starting gate will be left open in the Kentucky Derby starting gate and the remaining 19 horses in the Derby field will start from the post positions they drew in Wednesday’s post draw.
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Among the many factors that can affect a horse's performance in the Kentucky Derby, some say that post position is among the most vital. And yet other horsemen say post position doesn't matter a lick.
The truth – and the best post positions in Saturday's 20-horse field – likely lie somewhere in the middle.
Fox Hill Farm owner Rick Porter invited the Normandy veterans to attend the 2013 Kentucky Derby as his guests, and Porter will welcome the group for visit with Normandy Invasion at Churchill Downs’ Barn 42 at 8:30 a.m.
Although infield revelers are not permitted to bring personal coolers to the infield for this weekend’s celebrations of the 139th runnings of the Longines Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) and Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI), Churchill Downs Racetrack (“CDRT”) will offer an affordable alternative to those fans once they’ve entered the infield admission gates.
A lot of factors go into handicapping the Kentucky Derby. We can analyze all the data available, watch race replays and workouts, but it’s seldom an easy process and the one thing you can’t count on is racing luck.
With that being said, I am confident Orb will win Saturday’s 139th running of the Run for the Roses.
The Kentucky Derby is America's greatest horse race, the one owners, trainers and jockeys want to win more than any other. But from a purely competitive standpoint this weekend at Churchill Downs, the marquee race on Friday – the $1 million Kentucky Oaks, Churchill's championship event for 3-year-old fillies – promises to be in a league of its own, sporting the deepest and most competitive field in the race's 139-year history. The 10-horse field includes three unbeaten fillies, and yet none of the three is expected to start as the betting favorite.
KENTUCKY DERBY UPDATE – THURSDAY, MAY 2, 2013
BLACK ONYX – Sterling Racing’s Black Onyx galloped 1 ½ miles during the Derby and Oaks session while under regular exercise rider Aurelio Gomez. Trainer Kelly Breen was concerned that with the largest throng of morning onlookers yet his Spiral Stakes (Grade III) winner might finally get fazed by all the attention. Turned out, there was nothing to worry about.
We know the contenders for the 139th Kentucky Derby through their lives on the racetrack, with their past performances and workouts being a matter of public record. But we don't really know them as individuals. To gain insight into their character, it's helpful to learn about their early life as foals.