It’s a true reminder that the pace is quickening on the journey to the 141st running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I): the first of four pools in Churchill Downs Racetrack’s Kentucky Derby Future Wager (“KDFW”) will open its three-day run on Friday, Nov. 28 and the “All Others” wagering interest is expected to be a heavy favorite when Derby future betting concludes early Sunday evening.
Ocho Ocho Ocho enhanced his Kentucky Derby credentials with a game win in Saturday's Grade 3, $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot, scoring by a nose after a stretch-long duel with Mr. Z. Unbeaten in three starts, the James Cassidy-trained colt had to withstand an objection and steward's inquiry to earn his first graded victory and 10 points toward a possible spot in the Kentucky Derby starting gate.
Willis D. Horton's Take Charge Brandi chased a fast pace but would not be denied on Saturday while making her first start since taking the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies on November 1.
Delta Downs' racing office saw a flurry of activity on Tuesday morning as final entries and post positions were drawn for Saturday's $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot. The Grade 3 event drew an overflow of 12 runners, with 10 allowed to start in the 1 1/16-mile race, and the Delta Downs Jackpot is part of the "Road to the Kentucky Derby" series, awarding points on a 10-4-2-1 scale to the top four respective finishers.
Erich Brehm, Wayne Detmar, Lee Michaels and trainer J. Keith Desormeaux et al.'s Texas Red came flying from last to run away with Saturday's Grade 1, $1,840,000 Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita by 6 1/2 lengths. Sent off as the 13-1 sixth choice on the board, the son of Afleet Alex paid $29.80 for his first stakes win and also collected 10 points toward the 2015 Kentucky Derby.
Willis D. Horton's Take Charge Brandi wasn't given much of a chance in Saturday's Grade 1, $1.84 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, as evidenced by her 61-1 odds, but the chestnut miss obviously didn't pay any attention to the toteboard as she wired the 1 1/16-mile contest by a half-length.
$4.2 Million Capital Improvement Project Includes New Courtyard, Remodeled Winner’s Circle
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014) – Churchill Downs Racetrack plans to enhance the experience for owners that start horses in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands and the Longines Kentucky Oaks through a $4.2 million capital improvement project that includes the construction of 20 private, open-air, all-inclusive Winner’s Circle Suites in a premium location under the Twin Spires between the sixteenth pole and finish line. The notable project also includes a remodeled Trackside Winner’s Circle and the creation of a new Courtyard that will accommodate temporary premium seating during Derby Week while providing a relaxed park-like setting for everyday racing fans.
Conquest Stables' Conquest Harlanate made short work of her rivals as the 3-5 favorite in Sunday's Grade 3, $179,264 Mazarine for juvenile fillies at Woodbine.
Ken and Sarah Ramsey's International Star has an ambitious name, but the promising juvenile took a step toward living up to it in Sunday's Grade 3, $138,983 Grey Stakes at Woodbine. Invading from trainer Mike Maker's Trackside Louisville base, the son of Fusaichi Pegasus rallied strongly from off a slow pace to win by 1 1/4 lengths, and earned 10 points toward the 2015 Kentucky Derby.
Let's Go Stable's Daredevil accelerated to the lead entering the stretch of Saturday's Grade 1, $500,000 Champagne at Belmont Park and dominated to the finish line, winning handily by a 2 1/2-length margin. Now unbeaten from two starts, the Todd Pletcher-trained colt has established himself as a top contender for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita on November 1.
A sloppy, sealed track was no detriment for Jay Em Ess Stable's By The Moon on Saturday at Belmont Park as she pulled off a 2 1/4-length victory in the Grade 1, $500,000 Frizette Stakes under jockey Jose Ortiz.
Siena Farm LLC's homebred Angela Renee saved ground on the backstretch of Saturday's Grade 1, $301,750 Chandelier at Santa Anita Park, angled out rounding the turn under jockey Rafael Bejarano and held off the determined late run from 2-1 favorite Conquest Eclipse to score a 1 1/2-length victory.
After her impressive gate-to-wire, 2 1/4-length victory in Saturday's Pocahontas at Churchill Downs, GSN Racing LLC's Cristina's Journey was reported by trainer Dale Romans to have exited the race in good form.
As the first race in the "Road to the Kentucky Derby" scoring series, and a "Win & You're In" for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, Saturday's Grade 3, $115,500 Iroquois Stakes featured several promising two-year-olds at Churchill Downs. It wasn't the leading fancies, however, but the 11-1 shot Lucky Player who earned the Breeders' Cup ticket, and the 10 points toward the 2015 Kentucky Derby. Edging stablemate Bold Conquest by a neck, he topped the Steve Asmussen-trained exacta and also gave his freshman sire, two-time champion Lookin at Lucky, his first graded winner.
The $500,000 Los Alamitos Futurity (Grade I) has been added to the list of races that comprise the 2014-15 “Road to the Kentucky Derby.” The series of 35 select races – 19 “Prep Season” races and 16 “Championship Series” races – will determine which horses qualify to the 141st running of the $2 million guaranteed Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) on Saturday, May 2, 2015.