Racing News

Road to the Kentucky Derby News

  • Verrazano, Normandy Invasion record bullet moves ahead of Wood Memorial

    Undefeated Verrazano worked five furlongs in 1:01.17 Sunday morning over the fast dirt at Palm Meadows Training Center in Florida, completing his major preparations for an expected start in Saturday's Grade 1, $1 million Wood Memorial at Aqueduct.

  • Orb impresses McGaughey before, during and after Florida Derby

    Shug McGaughey made the trip to Payson Park Sunday morning to check on Orb, who was rather bright for a late-developing colt who had just outrun nine rivals to win the Grade 1 Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park late Saturday afternoon.

    "I'm kind of surprised how well he bounced out of his race, to tell you the truth," McGaughey said.

  • Plesa proud, and disappointed, following Itsmyluckyday's Florida Derby second

    Itsmyluckyday was "110 percent" Sunday morning back in his stall in trainer Eddie Plesa Jr.'s Calder barn following his game runner-up effort as the 8-5 favorite under jockey Elvis Trujillo in Saturday's Grade 1 Florida Derby.

    "I really wanted to win the Florida Derby," sighed Plesa, who trains Itsmyluckyday for the Trilogy Stable and his wife, Laurie. "I expected him to win and he didn't. Am I disappointed? Yes, but I'm also proud of him too. He's done everything we've asked.

  • Orb captures Florida Derby

    Stuart S. Janney III and Phipps Stable's homebred Orb bided his time in midpack before moving up on the outside of the dueling Merit Man and Itsmyluckyday in the lane of Saturday's Grade 1, $1 million Florida Derby to take command and draw off for a 2 3/4-length win.

    The Shug McGaughey trainee continued jockey John Velazquez's stellar afternoon at Gulfstream Park, handing his rider a fifth win on the day as he paid $7.80, $3.80 and $3.40 as the near 3-1 third choice.

  • Revolutionary wins Louisiana Derby battle

    WinStar Farm's Revolutionary gamely fended off a stretch challenge from 19-1 longshot Mylute to land the centennial running of the Grade 2, $1 million Louisiana Derby on Saturday, giving trainer Todd Pletcher a third graded stakes win on the day at Fair Grounds and fifth overall on what was a tremendous day for the multiple Eclipse Award-winning conditioner.

  • Unlimited Budget remains undefeated in Fair Grounds Oaks

    Repole Stable's Unlimited Budget was bet down to 4-5 favoritism over Flashy Gray and lived up to that status to hand trainer Todd Pletcher a second Oaks win Saturday when taking the Grade 2, $490,000 Fair Grounds Oaks by 1 3/4 lengths.

    Earlier on the day, Pletcher saddled Dreaming of Julia to victory in the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Oaks for owner/breeder Stonestreet Stables.

  • Dreaming of Julia dominates Gulfstream Park Oaks

    Stonestreet Stables' homebred Dreaming of Julia vied with Live Lively for favoritism in Saturday's Grade 2, $300,000 Gulfstream Park Oaks, but on track there was no challenge as the bay filly drew off to a devastating 21 3/4-length score over that rival to give John Velazquez his third win on the day.

  • Lines of Battle hands O'Brien second straight U.A.E. Derby

    Lines of Battle, one of only two American Triple Crown nominees in Saturday's Group 2, $2 million U.A.E. Derby, drove to a 1 1/2-length victory to earn 100 points toward the Kentucky Derby. Owned by breeder Joseph Allen in partnership with Coolmore principals Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith, the War Front colt gave Irish champion trainer Aidan O'Brien his second straight score in the classic.

  • Goldencents drills three-quarters ahead of Santa Anita Derby

    On a picture-perfect Friday morning, dual Grade 3 star Goldencents had his final major drill for the Grade 1, $750,000 Santa Anita Derby on April 6 when going six furlongs on the fast main dirt at the Arcadia, California, track in a bullet 1:14.

    It was the fastest of nine moves at the distance, the average time of which was 1:16 1/5. Exercise rider Jonny Garcia was aboard the bay son of Into Mischief, who looks to improve on his disappointing fourth-place finish last out in the Grade 2 San Felipe on March 9.

  • Verrazano, Vyjack top prospective Wood field

    Undefeated three-year-olds Verrazano and Vyjack are expected to head the field for the 89th running of the Grade 1, $1 million Wood Memorial on April 6, Aqueduct Racetrack's final major prep for the May 4 Kentucky Derby.

    Unraced as a two-year-old, Verrazano won his first two starts at Gulfstream Park by a combined margin of 24 lengths, and heads into the 1 1/8-mile Wood off a commanding three-length victory on March 9 in the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby. Trained by Todd Pletcher, the More Than Ready colt will again have the services of Hall of Famer John Velazquez in the Wood.

  • Florida Derby, Louisiana Derby, UAE Derby Kick Off Second Leg of Championship Series

    The First Leg of the Championship Series on the “Road to the Kentucky Derby Presented by TwinSpires.com” concluded last weekend and now it’s on to the Second Leg, which is composed of the seven most meaningful springboard events in advance of America’s greatest race, the Kentucky Derby.

  • Points and pride at stake as Road to the Kentucky Derby hits high gear

    After more than three decades in the Thoroughbred racing and breeding business, Evelyn Benoit isn’t shy about her convictions. Ask her about her star 3-year-old, Sunbean, who is scheduled to compete Saturday in the $1 million Louisiana Derby, and Benoit, a Louisianan through and through, offers that her horse is good enough to run in another, more prestigious Derby – the Kentucky Derby.

  • Video Road to the Kentucky Derby Louisiana Derby Preview 3.30.2013

    Jill Byrne takes a look at the strong field in the 100th running of the Louisiana Derby. Will the Road to the Kentucky Derby go through the Big Easy this year? Hopefuls look to earn valuable points on Saturday at the Fairgrounds Racecourse and Slots.

  • Flashy Gray tops Fair Grounds Oaks

    Flashy Gray gets a chance to make amends for her runner-up effort as the 2-5 favorite in Oaklawn's Grade 3 Honeybee on March 9 when she is pegged as the solid 6-5 morning-line choice in the Grade 2, $500,000 Fair Grounds Oaks on Saturday on the Louisiana Derby Day undercard.

  • Live Lively, 'Julia set for rematch in Gulfstream Oaks

    Saturday's Grade 2, $300,000 Gulfstream Park Oaks, at 1 1/8 miles, features a rematch of Live Lively and Dreaming of Julia, the top two finishers in the Grade 2 Davona Dale on February 23.

  • Itsmyluckyday, Orb square off in Florida Derby

    They've been able to avoid each other all winter while racking up wins at Gulfstream, and are conveniently stabled in different areas of South Florida, but the inevitable crossing of paths between Itsmyluckyday and Orb finally arrives Saturday as the two classic prospects head a field of 10 for the Grade 1, $1 million Florida Derby over 1 1/8 miles.

    The final Kentucky Derby prep for the two protagonists, this Florida Derby clash also has a blue collar vs. blue blood feel to it.

  • Revolutionary 3-1 favorite in full Louisiana Derby field

    Revolutionary, who overcame severe traffic problems to win Aqueduct's Grade 3 Withers in his last start on February 2, has been installed as the lukewarm 3-1 morning-line favorite in the 100th anniversary edition of the Grade 2, $1 million Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds on Saturday.

  • Spiral Champ Black Onyx is First Kentucky Derby Contender to Arrive at Churchill Downs

    Spiral Stakes winner Black Onyx arrived at Churchill Downs on Wednesday and became this year’s first major Kentucky Derby contender to be stabled at the historic Louisville racetrack.

  • Kentucky Derby Report -- Mar. 28

    A couple of horses staked their claim last weekend, with Black Onyx upsetting the Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park and Govenor Charlie posting an easy win as the Sunland Derby favorite. Black Onyx's connections made him a late Triple Crown nominee after the Spiral and Govenor Charlie continued to enhance his reputation in a deep Bob Baffert stable.