Racing News

Road to the Kentucky Derby News

  • Java's War rallies last to first in Blue Grass

    After breaking slowly and trailing during the early stages, Java's War closed fast to catch Palace Malice in deep stretch of Saturday's Grade 1 Blue Grass at Keeneland. Julien Leparoux rode the Kenny McPeek-trained colt, who earned a Kentucky Derby berth with the neck decision.

  • Pure Fun, Taken By the Storm work in company for McPeek

    Grade 1 winner Pure Fun and Taken By the Storm worked five furlongs together at Keeneland Saturday morning for trainer Kenny McPeek, completing five furlongs in 1:01 2/5 on the Polytrack.

    Rosie Napravnik was up on Pure Fun, who could face males in next Saturday's Lexington Stakes at Keeneland. Taken By the Storm was ridden by Alan Garcia and could be cross-entered to the Lexington and Illinois Derby, which will be run the same day at Hawthorne.

  • Spiral Winner Black Onyx Back to Work

    Black Onyx, 1 ½-length winner of the Spiral (GIII), breezed five furlongs in 1:00.60 on the fast main track at Churchill Downs on Saturday morning in his first major training move since his victory at Turfway Park on March 23.

  • Footbridge aims to buck history in Blue Grass

    Godolphin Racing's Footbridge attempt to overcome some serious history on Saturday when he makes his stakes debut in the 89th running of the Blue Grass Stakes. No horse has won this major Keeneland prep for the Kentucky Derby after breaking his maiden in his previous start, something Footbridge accomplished in his fourth start.

  • Rydilluc blows out for Blue Grass

    Palm Beach winner Rydilluc completed his major preparations for Saturday's Blue Grass Stakes by breezing through the stretch Thursday morning at Keeneland.

    Keeneland clockers began timing the colt at the three-eighths pole. With exercise rider Ricardo Orantes up, Rydilluc turned in fractions of :13 and :24 3/5 en route to completing three Polytrack furlongs in :37 2/5. The Medaglia d'Oro colt galloped out a half-mile in :51 3/5.

  • Louisiana Derby Winner Revolutionary Arrives at Churchill Downs

    After a brief freshening at WinStar Farm in Versailles, Ky., Louisiana Derby (Grade II) winner Revolutionary arrived at Churchill Downs shortly after 11 a.m. EDT on Friday to be prepped for the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI).

    Arriving with multiple graded stakes-winning 6-year-old Doubles Partner, Revolutionary, ranked No. 4 on the “Road to the Kentucky Derby Presented by TwinSpires.com” Leaderboard, was bedded down in Stall 9 of Barn 34 for trainer Todd Pletcher.

  • Renee's Titan heads 11-filly Beaumont field

    Renee's Titan, winner of the Santa Ynez in which she defeated Eclipse Award winner Beholder, tops a field of 11 three-year-old fillies entered for Sunday's 28th running of the Grade 2, $150,000 Beaumont to be contested over Keeneland's Beard Course of seven furlongs, 184 feet.

  • O'Neill looking forward to 'Golden' Derby experience

    Trainer Doug O'Neill is excited about the Kentucky Derby prospects of Goldencents, who earned a berth in the $2 million race when capturing the Santa Anita Derby last Saturday.

    "He came out of the Santa Anita Derby great," O'Neill said Thursday morning at Santa Anita. "He's doing super but it's one day at a time. He was back on the track for the first time today, jogging, and at this point, we would work him nine days out (at Santa Anita, where the colt is based) and fly him (to Kentucky) seven days out. That's the tentative game plan."

  • At Blue Grass, Undrafted looks to bring it home

    Wesley Ward is nothing if not audacious. In 2009, he ventured across the Atlantic with a handful of horses and saddled two stakes winners at Royal Ascot, thus becoming the first U.S.-based trainer to capture a stakes race at England’s most prestigious “carnival.” That surely made an impression on the bluebloods of European racing.
     

  • Kentucky Derby Championship Series Weekly Update

    With the First Saturday in May just more than three weeks away, the “Road to the Kentucky Derby Presented by TwinSpires.com” is winding down and Saturday’s Toyota Blue Grass (Grade I) at Keeneland and Arkansas Derby (GI) at Oaklawn Park will conclude the Second Leg of the Championship Series.

    As part of the Second Leg of the Championship Series, points will be awarded to the Top 4 finishers in the Blue Grass and Arkansas Derby on a 100 for first, 40 for second, 20 for third and 10 for fourth scale.

  • Velazquez, Castellano confirm Derby mounts

    Several key riding assignments have been confirmed for the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 4.

    John Velazquez will stick with Wood Memorial winner and likely Kentucky Derby favorite Verrazano, agent Angel Cordero Jr. reported on Wednesday. Velazquez has guided the Todd Pletcher-trained Verrazano to victories in all four career starts but faced a difficult decision due to the fact that he was also the regular rider for Florida Derby winner Orb, another leading Kentucky Derby contender.

  • Kentucky Derby Report - April 11

    The Wood Memorial played out in similar fashion to the Florida Derby a week earlier, with snail-like early fractions that resulted in a low BRIS Speed rating for the winner. Verrazano wasn't flashy but remained unbeaten, narrowly defeating the fast-charging Normandy Invasion, whose runner-up finish resurrected his Kentucky Derby hopes.

  • Rose to Gold splashes home a winner in sloppy Fantasy

    Kathleen Amaya and Raffaele Centofanti's Rose to Gold easily captured her final prep for the May 3 Kentucky Oaks when wiring Wednesday's Grade 3, $400,000 Fantasy at Oaklawn Park over a sloppy, sealed track. With jockey Calvin Borel aboard, the Friends Lake miss ran to her odds as the 3-5 favorite and paid $3.40, $2.40 and $2.10 for the 4 1/2-length score.

  • Baffert seeks second Arkansas Derby score with War Academy

    Hall of Fame conditioner Bob Baffert has dominated Oaklawn Park's series of graded preps for the Kentucky Derby, winning the Southwest, Rebel and Arkansas Derby a combined eight times since 2010. He will again be a major factor in Saturday's renewal of the Grade 1, $1 million Arkansas Derby, saddling War Academy and Den's Legacy for the 1 1/8-mile fixture that highlights a blockbuster closing day program at the Hot Springs, Arkansas, course.

  • Uncaptured, Rydilluc top overflow Blue Grass field

    Uncaptured and Rydilluc will likely vie for favoritism in an oversubscribed field of 15 entered for Saturday's Grade 1, $750,000 Blue Grass at Keeneland.

    The nine-furlong Polytrack contest and Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park about one hour later are the final races in the second leg of the Championship Series on the new Road to the Kentucky Derby point system. The top four finishers from each race will be awarded points toward a starting berth in the Kentucky Derby on a 100-40-20-10 basis.

  • Dreaming of Julia, Unlimited Budget Arrive at Churchill Downs for Oaks 139

    Dreaming of Julia, 21 ¾-length winner of the Gulfstream Oaks (Grade II), and undefeated Fair Grounds Oaks (GII) winner Unlimited Budget arrived at Churchill Downs on Monday at 6:50 p.m. EDT and will continue their preparations for the $1 million Kentucky Oaks (GI) beneath the Twin Spires.

  • Balance the Books in, Noble Tune out of Blue Grass

    Trainer Chad Brown was at Keeneland Monday morning and confirmed that Balance the Books would be entered Wednesday for Saturday's Grade 1 Blue Grass and said Noble Tune, who had been considered for the race, instead would make his next start at Churchill Downs. Both colts worked at Keeneland Sunday, Balance the Books covering four furlongs in :48 1/5 and Noble Tune breezing five furlongs in 1:01 1/5.

    "I don't feel like (Noble Tune has) handled the Polytrack as well as I would have hoped, but Balance the Books is now a probable to run in there," Brown said.

  • Flashback will miss Derby due to knee chip

    Flashback, second as the even-money favorite in Saturday's Santa Anita Derby, will miss the Kentucky Derby due to a chip in his right knee, trainer Bob Baffert reported Sunday night.

    The gray son of Tapit will have surgery to remove the chip and is expected to make a full recovery. Baffert revealed that Flashback should return to training in 60 days in preparation for a return to the races later this year.