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.
CALIFORNIA CHROME (No. 1) – Steven Coburn and Perry Martin’s California Chrome is scheduled to work Saturday morning at 7:30 (Pacific Time) at Los Alamitos.
The New York-based trio of Samraat, Wicked Strong, and Uncle Sigh had their final major preps for next Saturday's Kentucky Derby Friday morning, with Samraat working a mile at Aqueduct and Wicked Strong and Uncle Sigh breezing seven and five furlongs, respectively, over Belmont Park's training track.
Blue Grass third-place finisher Pablo del Monte has 20 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby and is 22nd on the list of point earners vying for the 20 positions in the starting gate for the May 3 race. On Friday morning, breeder, trainer and co-owner Wesley Ward worked the Giant's Causeway colt six furlongs in 1:11 1/5 over Keeneland's Polytrack to prepare for a possible start in the race.
CALIFORNIA CHROME (No. 1) – Steven Coburn and Perry Martin’s California Chrome is scheduled to work Saturday at Los Alamitos.
Trained by Art Sherman, California Chrome is scheduled to ship to Louisville on Monday and be ridden in Kentucky Derby 140 by Victor Espinoza.
The field for the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby is still not set, with a trio of recent defections opening spots for Uncle Sigh, Vinceremos and Harry's Holiday. Attrition always plays a part in the build-up and more than a handful of three-year-olds remain outside the bubble waiting for a spot to materialize.
Although a run for Social Inclusion in the May 3 Kentucky Derby is still a possibility, the connections of the late-developing colt have decided to focus on the Preakness Stakes, the middle leg of the Triple Crown on May 17 at Pimlico, as their goal.
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.
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.
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.