Tag Archives: Bob Baffert

2015 Chandelier Stakes Preview

2015 Chandelier Stakes Preview

The second race on the long Road to the 2016 Kentucky Oaks will take place on Saturday, September 26. The Grade 1 Chandelier will be held for 2 year old fillies.

The Chandelier will be run at 1 1/16 miles on the main track at Santa Anita with a purse of $300,000. As part of the 2016 Kentucky Oaks prep schedule, the race will award points to the top four finishers that will help determine the starters for the 2016 Kentucky Oaks.

The winner will receive 10 points, second place will receive 4 points, third place will receive 2 points, and fourth place will receive 1 point.

Post time for the Chandelier is scheduled for 7 PM Eastern Time and is carded as the eight race on an eleven race program at Santa Anita. Free past performances can be found here by going to Saturday, September 26 and going to race 8 at Santa Anita. The entries have been provided in the table below.

Post PositionHorseJockeyTrainerMorning Line Odds
1Pretty N CoolMartin GarciaBob Baffert4-1
2Halo DarlinTyler BazeMike Puype12-1
3Vieja LunaJuan LeyvaGustavo Amaya15-1
4YodelsongFernando PerezMike Harrington20-1
5SongbirdMike SmithJerry Hollendorfer3-5
6Sheeza Milky WayRafael BejaranoPeter Eurton12-1
7Land Over SeaMario GutierrezDoug O'Neill9-2
8Jade PrincessVictor EspinozaBob Baffert9-2
9Right ThereKent DesormeauxKeith Desormeaux20-1

1. Pretty N Cool – She is the first of two fillies entered here for trainer Bob Baffert. She broke well in her debut, went to the lead, and put away her competition in the slop to win by 4 1/2 lengths going five furlongs. Next out, she faced the Grade 2 Sorrento field going 6.5 furlongs. She was rated that day off the speed, but the outcome was the same with a winning move on the turn to win by 2 3/4 lengths. She fought for the lead in the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante, but ultimately was second best by 5 1/4 lengths to Songbird, who also returns in this race. The stretch out to 8.5 furlongs should not be an issue, but she may find herself going head to head again with Songbird for much of this race. She is a major factor in this race.

2. Halo Darlin – She has only one start in her career and it was a nice performance. She faced fellow California maidens at Del Mar early in September. She broke well, sat off the pace in fifth while wide, and then came wide into the stretch. She was able to pull away that day in the stretch to win by five lengths. She will be moving way up in class and also has to tackle two turns for the first time in her career. She will be solid odds, but needs much more to win here.

3. Vieja Luna – She has made all her career starts in Florida at Gulfstream prior to this race. She debuted in the Cassidy Stakes where she broke awkwardly and made a modest rally to grab fourth, but was beaten 11 lengths. She broke better in her second start, but was content to run in last early on before going very wide on the far turn. She was unable to sustain that rally as she finish third by five lengths. She finally broke her maiden in her third start at Gulfstream. She broke well again, sat much closer to the pace, made her move on the far turn, and took over in the stretch to win by 9 1/4 lengths in the slop. She will be trying a route distance and two turns for the first time as well as shipping to a new circuit. She will need a major boost in her running to have a chance in this race.

4. Yodelsong – In her debut at Del Mar on July 31, it appeared she wanted to be on the lead or pressing it, but she ended up getting the perfect trip behind the trio of dueling leaders. She went wide leaving the far turn and entering the stretch while pulling away to win by 6 1/2 lengths. Next up was the Juvenile Fillies Turf Stakes at Del Mar on September 7 with far different results. She went a mile on the turf and got another good trip in the middle of the pack on the rail. However, she gave way on the far turn and finished eighth by 5 3/4 lengths. It is difficult to tell if she did not like the turf, the distance, or the competition and this spot is not much easier. A big effort is needed for her to contend.

5. Songbird – The clear and overwhelming favorite here began at Del Mar in a maiden special weight race. The rail did not cause her any trouble as she broke like a shot and ran away from the field to win by 6 1/2 lengths. Up next was the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante and she had to fight with fellow entrant Pretty N Cool for much of that race. She was able to put her away and win by 5 1/4 lengths in the end. It appears that those two will battle once again on the front end and history favors her again in this race.

6. Sheeza Milky Way – She is the only maiden in this race. She began at Los Alamitos where she tried to stalk the pace three wide, but could not hang on for third as she finished fourth by two lengths in a five horse field. Her second start was on turf at a mile at Del Mar where she tried stalking the pace again. She had a decent rally in the stretch, but was no match for the top two. She finished third by 4 1/2 lengths, but was well clear of the rest of the field by 5 1/4 lengths to fourth. Her latest start was the Juvenile Fillies Turf and once again she tried a come from behind tactic. She was very wide entering the stretch, but once again could not close fast enough, finishing fourth by three lengths. It is hard to endorse her in this spot especially with the top two fillies holding a massive edge on her.

7. Land Over Sea – She debuted in the same race as Sheeza Milky Way at Los Alamitos. She too sat off the pace, made a nice move on the rail, and finished second by 1 3/4 lengths. Her second start came on the turf course at Del Mar where she sat in the middle of the pack off the pace and then exploded on the turn and into the stretch for a 3 3/4 lengths win. Her latest race was in the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante back on dirt at 7 furlongs. It was another off the pace effort as she came very wide into the stretch, but could not pull in the top two. She finished third by six lengths. We know she can rate, likes the dirt, and distance, but she was well beaten by Songbird in the last. If she can get the top two to take each other out on the front end, she could make some noise.

8. Jade Princess – Her debut, simply put, was a disaster. She was bumped at the break on top of it being a slow break and then found herself near the rear of the field. She came out wide in the stretch, but was never a threat finishing fifth by 16 lengths. Her second start was the complete opposite. She broke much better, found herself wide for most of the running, but still up close to the leaders. She began move up on the far turn and pulled away from the field in the stretch to win by 5 1/4 lengths. If she can run off the pace again in this race, she has a solid chance to upset the top two horses.

9. Right There – She made her debut at Santa Anita in May with a solid run late to finish second by 3 1/2 lengths. The second race for her was even better in the Landaluce. She a bit slow, but made a great run on the turn and into the stretch to break her maiden by 4 3/4 lengths. Her last two races were the same with poor results. She broke slow both times, but could not produce a run in the stretch and finished fourth in the stretch. She should appreciate the two turns and could be better suited for this distance at a nice price. Interesting angles on this one despite the previous two poor performances.

Selections

This race will go through #5 Songbird, who is 2 for 2 in her career. She will have to contend with #1 Pretty N Cool on the front end, but the top choice here is #8 Jade Princess. She will be able to rate off the those two horses and go by them in the stretch. #5 Songbird has shown the ability to put away other speed horses including #1 Pretty N Cool. For fourth, #7 Land Over Sea could easily close for fourth while #9 Right There is a nice price play underneath in the exotics.

Top selection – #8 Jade Princess

2nd selection – #5 Songbird

3rd selection – #1 Pretty N Cool

4th selection – #9 Right There

Check back on Saturday night for a recap of the Grade 1 Chandelier Stakes.

American Pharoah Runs Into Racing Immortality

American Pharoah winning the 2015 Belmont Stakes with Victor Espinoza aboard (Chang W. Lee/The New York Times)
American Pharoah winning the 2015 Belmont Stakes with Victor Espinoza aboard (Chang W. Lee/The New York Times)

American Pharoah Runs Into Racing Immortality

The 37 year wait to see a Triple Crown winner in thoroughbred racing is now over. American Pharoah led from start to finish in the Belmont Stakes on his way to a 5 1/2 length victory and becoming the 12th Triple Crown winner in history.

Jockey Victor Espinoza won the Triple Crown after having two previous attempts in 2002 aboard War Emblem and 2014 aboard California Chrome. For trainer Bob Baffert, it was his fourth attempt after tries in 1997 with Silver Charm, 1998 with Real Quiet, and 2002 with War Emblem.

American Pharoah went straight to the lead and Espinoza was determined to control the pace early on. To his outside was Materiality in second and Frosted in third. Mubtaahij was fourth on the rail with Keen Ice fifth, and Madefromlucky sixth. The trailing duo was Tale of Verve and Frammento with the latter nearly nine lengths off the pacesetter.

Pharoah set pressure-less fractions of 24.06 for the opening quarter and 48.83 for the opening half mile while Materiality was still on the outside about a length off the lead. Mubtaahij continued to save ground on the rail with Keen Ice, Frosted, and Madefromlucky behind him. Tale of Verve was starting to be pushed entering the far turn and Frammento was still the trailer.

After going six furlongs in 1:13.41 and a mile in 1:37.99, American Pharoah was set down for the final quarter of a mile and his only real threat was Frosted. Frosted came out in the stretch and looked like he would make a race of it down to the wire, but Pharoah simply pulled away to win by 5 1/2 lengths.

Frosted was second with Keen Ice coming back on for third and Mubtaahij was fourth. The remaining order of finish was Frammento, Madefromlucky, Tale of Verve, and Materiality. The entire chart can be found here via Equibase.

American Pharoah is by Pioneerof The Nile out of the Yankee Gentleman mare Littleprincessemma. He paid $3.50 to win, $2.80 to place, and $2.50 to show.

The debate will now shift to how American Pharoah stacks up against the other Triple Crown winners. That will rage on for decades after this incredible run of races. Pharoah is expected to run again in 2015 though it is highly unlikely he will run beyond the end of this year.

American Pharoah Wins Preakness Easily In The Slop

American Pharoah (center) wins the 2015 Preakness Stakes with Victor Espinoza aboard (Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
American Pharoah (center) wins the 2015 Preakness Stakes with Victor Espinoza aboard (Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

American Pharoah Wins Preakness Easily In The Slop

A torrential downpour that began about 15 minutes prior to the start of the Preakness Stakes did not matter. In fact, it probably helped the Kentucky Derby winner American Pharoah dominate his foes by 7 lengths in a gate-to-wire performance.

The race began with American Pharoah hustled to the lead by jockey Victor Espinoza. Mr. Z was also gunned to the lead while Dortmund settled in third about 5 lengths off the lead. Divining Rod was fourth, Bodhisattva as fifth, and Firing Line was sixth. Danzig Moon sat in seventh early on,about 9 lengths off the lead while Tale of Verve was nearly 15 lengths off the leader in last.

American Pharoah was not relinquishing that lead as he led the field through an opening quarter mile in 22.90 and an opening half mile in 46.49. He was still being tracked by Mr. Z and Dortmund was moved outside to track from third. Divining Rod sat fourth, Firing Line was up to fifth, Bodhisattva was sixth, Danzig Moon was seventh, and Tale of Verve was last of eight.

Entering the far turn, Mr. Z, Dortmund, and Divining Rod all began to make their moves, but American Pharoah was having none of that as he began to pull away when the straightened out in the stretch.

It was clear that no one was going to catch him at that point and he would end up winning by 7 lengths. Longshot Tale of Verve rallied to be second over Divining Rod in third and Dortmund held on for fourth place.

The remaining order of finish was Mr. Z, Danzig Moon, Firing Line, and Bodhisattva. The official chart can be found here courtesy of Equibase.

American Pharoah went off as the 4-5 favorite and paid $3.80 to win, $3.40 to place, and $2.80 to show. He ran the one mile and three sixteenths in 1:58.46 over a very sloppy race track. He also won $900,000 as the winner’s share of the $1.5 million purse.

He is trained by Bob Baffert who will be making his fourth attempt at winning the Triple Crown. He previously failed to win it with Silver Charm in 1997, Real Quiet in 1998, and War Emblem in 2002.

Jockey Victor Espinoza was aboard for War Emblem’s failed Triple Crown attempt in 2002 and he was also aboard for California Chrome’s failed attempt in 2014.

American Pharoah will try to become the first horse to win the Triple Crown since Affirmed in 1978. Thirteen horses have won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, but failed to win the Belmont Stakes. One horse, I’ll Have Another, did not race due to a foot injury discovered the day before the Belmont.

The Belmont will be run at one and a half miles on Saturday, June 6. It is called “The Test of a Champion” due to the taxing nature of a race at 12 furlongs. If American Pharoah does win the Belmont Stakes, he will be the 12th Triple Crown winner in history.

2015 Preakness Stakes Preview

The Preakness Stakes is the second jewel of the Triple Crown (Maryland Jockey Club)
The Preakness Stakes is the second jewel of the Triple Crown (Maryland Jockey Club)

2015 Preakness Stakes Preview

The second jewel of American’s Thoroughbred Triple Crown will be run on Saturday from Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland.

This year a field of eight three-year olds will be going postward including the 2015 Kentucky Derby winner American Pharoah. In no surprise, he is listed as the overwhelming favorite to win the 2015 Preakness Stakes at 4-5.

The Preakness Stakes will be run at one mile and three-sixteenths (one sixteenth of a mile shorter than the Kentucky Derby) for a purse of $1,500,000.

Post time for the Preakness Stakes is approximately 6:18 PM Eastern Time and is carded as the thirteenth of 14 races at Pimlico. Free past performances for the Preakness can be found here.

The table below provides the entries for the Preakness Stakes as well.

Post PositionHorseJockeyTrainerMorning Line Odds
1American PharoahVictor EspinozaBob Baffert4-5
2DortmundMartin GarciaBob Baffert3-1
3Mr. ZCorey NakataniD. Wayne Lukas20-1
4Danzig MoonJulien LeparouxMark Casse15-1
5Tale of VerveJoel RosarioDallas Stewart30-1
6BodhisattvaTrevor McCarthyJose Corrales20-1
7Divining RodJavier CastellanoArnaud Delacour12-1
8Firing LineGary StevensSimon Callaghan4-1

1. American Pharoah – He has done nothing wrong since he finished fifth in his debut. He dominated the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes with a 6 1/4 length win and then throttled the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby field by 8 lengths. His Kentucky Derby was not nearly as impressive to his previous races, but he did get the job done. In this spot, he rates as the horse to beat and should get another great trip even from the rail.

2. DortmundBob Baffert was a bit unlucky to draw the 1 and 2 post positions here, but at least he did it here and not in Kentucky. In the post race coverage, it was reported that Dortmund had a “slight bout of colic,” which was unknown to nearly every bettor. Whether that was the reason he did not win is a different story. He got away with easy fractions in the Derby and little pressure from Firing Line. From this spot, he will probably have to go to the lead again and could once again be the controlling pace in the race.

3. Mr. Z – What a bizarre tale Mr. Z has been the last two weeks. He was not seriously considered for the Preakness and former owner Ahmed Zayat even said so earlier this week. Well, he has been sold to Calumet Farm and will run in this race anyway. In any case, Mr. Z is up against it here despite his “troubled” trip in the Kentucky Derby. He will need to improve by leaps and bounds to be a threat to win.

4. Danzig Moon – He ran a solid race in the Kentucky Derby though he did not really improve his position much during the running of the race. He was bumped during the race, but he was not likely to challenge the top four with the pace they were running at. It is difficult to decide what to do with him knowing he was not a threat to the top three that return here.

5. Tale of Verve – He was the also-eligible for the Kentucky Derby, but was not able to get in by scratch time. He does have a win at this distance of 9.5 furlongs last time out, but that was against maiden company and he faced only 5 other horses. Perhaps this is the obligatory Dallas Stewart longshot entrant, but this horse is not the same caliber as the others here.

6. Bodhisattva – He won the local prep race for the Preakness Stakes here at Pimlico in the Federico Tesio. He went to the lead, was headed in the stretch, and then fought back for the win by a length and a half. He is the only horse in this field to even have a race over this track, let alone a victory and he also has the local connections. It still feels like a tall task for him here.

7. Divining Rod – There has been some chatter about this horse being the wise guy’s selection. He was second by a neck in the Grade 3 Sam F. Davis behind Ocean Knight in his first start on lasix. He was no match for Carpe Diem in the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby and won the Grade 3 Lexington Stakes with a perfect trip and ride at Keeneland five weeks ago. He should be able to work out another good trip, but the question is can he really threaten the top 3? The feeling here is most likely not.

8. Firing Line – He was right near the lead in the Kentucky Derby making sure that Dortmund did not get away from him. He pushed American Pharoah all the way to the finish line, but was unable to get the victory. This is an incredible post for him as he will be able to get a perfect trip. He seems likeliest of all to turn the tables on American Pharoah.

Selections

It is an unfortunate conclusion to come to in this race, but this really seems to be a three horse race. #1 American Pharoah is the horse to beat based on his body of work, but #8 Firing Line got an excellent draw all the way to the outside. Of course, we cannot count out #2 Dortmund to return to his winning way he showed in his first six starts. Who will finish fourth, or possibly higher if one or more of the favorites falter, is the real question.

Top selection – #8 Firing Line

2nd selection – #1 American Pharoah

3rd selection – #6 Dortmund

4th selection – #4 Danzig Moon

Check back on Saturday evening for a recap of the 2015 Preakness Stakes.

2015 Preakness Stakes Draw

American Pharoah (#18 on the left) winning the 2015 Kentucky Derby (Reuters Photo)
American Pharoah (#18 on the left) winning the 2015 Kentucky Derby (Reuters Photo)

2015 Preakness Stakes Draw

The 2015 Preakness Stakes draw took place on Wednesday afternoon at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. It is in three days time that we will see if American Pharoah can win the second leg of the Triple Crown.

With only a field of 8 horses entered there should not be much traffic trouble in this race compared to the Kentucky Derby. The entries for the 2015 Preakness Stakes can be found in the table below.

Post PositionHorseJockeyTrainerMorning Line Odds
1American PharoahVictor EspinozaBob Baffert4-5
2DortmundMartin GarciaBob Baffert3-1
3Mr. ZCorey NakataniD. Wayne Lukas20-1
4Danzig MoonJulien LeparouxMark Casse15-1
5Tale of VerveJoel RosarioDallas Stewart30-1
6BodhisattvaTrevor McCarthyJose Corrales20-1
7Divining RodJavier CastellanoArnaud Delacour12-1
8Firing LineGary StevensSimon Callaghan4-1

Bob Baffert, trainer of the two inside horses including Kentucky Derby winner American Pharoah, was less than enthusiastic about the draw.

“I never like the 1 hole. That’s the first time I’ve ever drawn the rail here. I’ve been so lucky. You don’t like to see it, but if he’s the best horse we’ll find out,” Baffert said.

Meanwhile, Firing Line‘s jockey Gary Stevens was excited about drawing the outside post in the Preakness.

“I’m pleased not so much where I drew but where Dortmund and American Pharoah drew – 1, 2 – and Mr. Z outside of them,” Stevens said. “I expect Mr. Z to show more speed than he had in the Kentucky Derby with new ownership. Wayne’s going out for the kill; that’s going to make those guys make some decisions earlier in the race that they didn’t have the benefit of making in the Kentucky Derby. Now, I’ve got that benefit.”

As mentioned in Gary Stevens’ quote above, Mr. Z was sold by Ahmed Zayat to Calumet Farm in order to race in the Preakness. He will still be trained by D. Wayne Lukas.

The Preakness Stakes is carded as the 13th of 14 races at Pimlico on Saturday. The approximate post time is 6:18 PM Eastern Time with the eight three year olds going a mile and three sixteenths over the main track. Free past performances can be found here.

Check back in the next few days to read a preview and analysis of the 2015 Preakness Stakes.

American Pharoah Proves Best In Kentucky Derby 141

Victor Espinoza guides American Pharoah to a one length victory in the 2015 Kentucky Derby (Peter Casey / USA TODAY Sports)
Victor Espinoza guides American Pharoah to a one length victory in the 2015 Kentucky Derby (Peter Casey / USA TODAY Sports)

American Pharoah Proves Best In Kentucky Derby 141

It was billed as a race that was trainer Bob Baffert’s to lose, but he did no such thing. American Pharoah was too much for Firing Line to hold off in the stretch as Baffert’s other entry, Dortmund, held on for third.

The race began well for the eventual top three finishers. Dortmund broke well and went straight to the lead while Gary Stevens was right next to him on Firing Line. Back in third by a length was American Pharoah who was being kept out in the clear by Victor Espinoza.

Bolo, Carpe Diem, and Danzig Moon all started well and were the next three horses in line. Mr. Z was seventh, Ocho Ocho Ocho was eighth, Upstart was ninth, and Tencendur was tenth, but only by about 4 1/2 lengths.

Itsaknockout was eleventh early, Mubtaahij was twelfth, Materiality was thirteen, Frosted was fourteenth, and War Story was fifteenth. The trailing trio were Frammento, Keen Ice, and Far Right with all of them about 14 lengths off the lead after a quarter of a mile.

The top three did not change as they went down the backstretch. Dortmund continued to lead and Firing Line continued to hang right on his flank. Meanwhile, American Pharoah continued to sit in the perfect spot just behind those two.

As they left the far turn and headed into the stretch, American Pharoah came around the leading duo to put in his bid to win the Kentucky Derby. He lead by a head at the stretch call and would slowly pull away from Firing Line to win by a length. It was another two lengths back to Dortmund in third, who barely held on for third over a fast closing Frosted.

The remaining order of finish was Danzig Moon in fifth, Materiality in sixth, Keen Ice in seventh, Mubtaahij in eighth, Itsaknockout ninth, Carpe Diem tenth, Frammento eleventh, Bolo twelfth, Mr. Z thirteenth, Ocho Ocho Ocho fourteenth, Far Right fifteenth, War Story sixteenth, Tencendur seventeenth, and Upstart last of eighteen.

El Kabeir, International Star, and Stanford all scratched leading up to the race. Tale of Verve did not draw into the race with his scratch time early on Friday morning. The entire results chart can be found here via Equibase.

Final running time for the one mile and one quarter race was 2:03.02.

This race, however, was all about the top three. It was trainer Bob Baffert’s fourth Kentucky Derby win after saddling Silver Charm (1997), Real Quiet (1998), and War Emblem (2002).

For jockey Victor Espinoza, it was his third Kentucky Derby win. He was aboard War Emblem in 2002 for Baffert and also won the 2014 Kentucky Derby aboard California Chrome.

American Pharoah went off as the 2.90-1 favorite and paid $7.80 to win, $5.80 to place, and $4.20 to show. He is the third consecutive favorite to win the Kentucky Derby. American Pharoah is owned by Ahmed Zayat, who has now his first Derby.

The second jewel of the Triple Crown is in two weeks at Pimlico racecourse in Baltimore, Maryland. There will probably be a mix of Derby horses and newcomers to challenge American Pharoah. The Preakness is at a mile and three sixteenths and will be held on Saturday, May 16.

Kentucky Derby News For April 27, 2015

Kentucky Derby News For April 27, 2015

After a busy weekend, it was relatively quiet in terms of workouts for the Kentucky Derby. The lone horse to work was Bold Conquest who is ranked 22nd on the Kentucky Derby Points Leaderboard.

Bold Conquest went five furlongs in 1:01.80 while working in company with Gold Hawk. The splits were :13.20, :25.40, :37.60, and :49.60 with a gallop out of 1:16 for six furlongs.

American Pharoah walked the shedrow after his blazing five furlong workout on Sunday morning. Dortmund shipped in from California on Sunday and jogged around the track.

Bolo, also in from California, jogged one mile around the track while Danzig Moon galloped a mile and a half.

Carpe Diem finally made his way over to Churchill Downs early on Monday morning. All he did was walk around his barn.

The other Todd Pletcher trio of Itsaknockout, Materiality, and Stanford all galloped a mile and a half.

El Kabeir arrived early Monday morning after leaving New York on Sunday afternoon. He walked after his arrival. Far Right galloped a mile and a half.

Firing Line jogged around the track once while Frammento galloped over at Keeneland.

Frosted galloped a mile and three eights at Palm Meadows while Upstart also galloped. The duo will be flying into Louisville on Tuesday.

International Star jogged at the Trackside Training Center and then vanned over to Churchill Downs later in the morning.

Keen Ice galloped two miles while Mr. Z galloped and schooled in the paddock.

Mubtaahij jogged two miles at Arlington Park before being vanned to Churchill Downs with him leaving at 10 AM.

Ocho Ocho Ocho just walked around his barn on Monday morning while Tencendur did the same. War Story galloped a mile and a half.

Kentucky Oaks News

The Bob Baffert duo of Luminance and Maybellene were the only Kentucky Oaks workers. Luminance went five furlongs in 1:02.80 with splits of :12.80, :25.80, :38.40, and :50.60. She galloped out six furlongs in 1:15.60.

Maybellene worked four furlongs completing the distance in :48.80. The fractions for her were :24.20, :36.40, and a gallop out in 1:02.20.

Baffert was not too thrilled with the works.  “I might not run a horse in the Oaks,” he said. “I worked them today. I wasn’t really sure; I wanted to see how they worked. It’s a tough Oaks and I might not enter a horse in the Oaks.”

The works were OK, but I don’t know if they are ready for that yet,” Baffert said. “There are a lot of races coming up. I wanted to get them here and watch them train. They are doing well, but I want to be in a more competitive (situation). It’s a really strong Oaks field. I’ll pick some other spots for them.”

The Pletcher duo of Angela Renee and Eskenformoney both galloped a mile and a half after some schooling at the gate.

Birdatthewire walked the shedrow for the second straight day while Condo Commando galloped a mile and three eighths.

Forever Unbridled galloped a mile and three eighths as well while the pair of I’m A Chatterbox and Lovely Maria walked the shedrow.

Include Betty jogged the track early and Oceanwave did the same. Puca galloped on Monday morning.

Sarah Sis was schooled at the starting gate and then had an easy gallop. Shook Up simply walked the shedrow after her workout on Sunday.

Stellar Wind, in from California, jogged a mile on Monday morning.

Kentucky Derby News For April 25, 2015

Carpe Diem working out on Saturday, April 25, 2015 (Keeneland Photo)
Carpe Diem working out on Saturday, April 25, 2015 (Keeneland Photo)

Kentucky Derby News For April 25, 2015

It was another busy morning on Saturday with many Kentucky Derby horses working out.

Over at Keeneland, Carpe Diem worked four furlongs in :48.60 with splits of :13 and :25. He galloped out five furlongs in 1:01.20, six furlongs in 1:14.80, and seven furlongs in 1:29.40.

Back at Churchill, Tencendur went out super early before the rain start falling. He breezed five furlongs in 1:00 in company with Wake Up in Malibu. He has internal splits of :11.60, :23.40, :35.20, and :47.40 while galloping out six furlongs in 1:14.

International Star worked at the Trackside Training Center in company with Nominative. He went four furlongs in :50.80 with splits of :13, :25.20, and :37.60 with a gallop out of 1:06.20 for five furlongs.

The latest Kentucky Derby entrant, Keen Ice, went five furlongs for his work on Saturday morning. He completed the distance in 1:01.60 with fractions of :11.80, :24, :36, and :48.60 with a six furlong gallop out in 1:15.60.

Down in Florida, both Frosted and Upstart put in separate drills. Frosted worked five furlongs in 1:01 with internal fractions of :12.80, :24.80, :36.60, and a gallop out of 1:14.40 for six furlongs. Upstart worked five furlongs in 59:80 with fractions of :12.60, :24.40, and :48.

The Daily Racing Form‘s David Grening was on hand to see the works and provides his thoughts on the workouts here.

In Illinois, Mubtaahij worked at Arlington Park on Saturday. He completed the four furlongs in :49.60 with internal fractions of :14.40, :26.80, :38.40 with a final quarter of a mile clocked in :23.

In New York, El Kabeir worked four furlongs in :46.80 despite some unexpected company from another horse. Trainer John Terranova was not concerned with that, however.

“The only unanticipated thing was the company that we hooked, but it was no problem,” Terranova said. “Simon knows him well and he did what he was supposed to do anyway regardless. He was well in hand and Simon had him there. As usual, when he feels some company he’s very competitive and on the bridle, but he’s like that if you work him solo or not. It was fine. No concerns as far as that goes. It was really nice.”

El Kabeir will arrive in Kentucky on Sunday night after shipping by van.

Over in California, Firing Line put in a five furlong workout at Santa Anita. He went the distance in 1:02.20 while his trainer caught the six furlong gallop out in “1:15 and change.” He will fly to Kentucky on Sunday morning.

Then came the big workout from Dortmund, also at Santa Anita. He went six furlongs in 1:13.60 in company with Lady Bull. He started about five lengths behind Lady Bull and ran beautifully in the work according to trainer Bob Baffert.

“He worked a little fast last time, so were hoping he’d relax,” Baffert said after the workout. “He’s getting very push-button.”

 American Pharoah came out early to gallop around the track before the rain began. He will be working on Sunday morning.

Bold Conquest galloped a mile and a half on Saturday. He is scheduled to work on Monday with company per his trainer Steve AsmussenBolo will be coming from Santa Anita on Sunday via airplane before noon.

Danzig Moon walked the shedrow after his four furlong on work in :48.80 on Friday. Far Right did not do much on Saturday, but will be back on the track Sunday morning. He too worked a half mile on Friday going the distance in :49.

Frammento walked the shedrow on Saturday at Keeneland following his four furlong work on Friday. Mr. Z galloped the track as soon as it opened.

Ocho Ocho Ocho got his first taste of the Churchill Downs surface with a gallop of a mile and a half. He may work again at Churchill Downs Monday or Tuesday.

War Story galloped a mile and a half early this morning after he schooled in the paddock.

Kentucky Oaks News

Include Betty worked five furlongs in 1:02.20 with internal splits of :25.80 and :38. She galloped out six furlongs in 1:18.

Birdatthewire worked five furlongs as well completing the distance in 1:01.20. Her internal fractions were :12.40, :24.40, :36.20, and :48.40. She galloped out six furlongs in 1:14.40 and seven furlongs in 1:28.80.

Angela Renee and Eskenformoney both jogged a mile after their workouts on Friday morning. Condo Commando was rested on Saturday, one day after her five furlong work.

Forever Unbridled simply walked the shedrow Saturday morning. The duo of I’m A Chatterbox and Lovely Maria both galloped a mile and a half.

Luminance and Maybellene also galloped a mile and a half. Both are expected to have a final work prior to the Kentucky Oaks.

Oceanwave walked the shedrow on Saturday. Puca galloped a mile and a half with an expected workout on Sunday, but that could be pushed back to Monday if the track is still not up to Bill Mott‘s liking.

Sarah Sis and Stellar Wind both walked the shedrow after their works on Friday. Shook Up galloped two miles and will workout on Sunday morning.

Other Workouts

Taylor S. worked four furlongs in :50.20 while turf horse Divisidero went five furlongs in 1:01.60. Divisidero had fractions of :25, :37, and a gallop out of 1:16.40 for six furlongs.

Lavender Chrissie worked five furlongs in 1:01.60.

At Santa Anita, Bayern worked six furlongs from the gate in 1:10.80 for Bob Baffert. He went in company with Cat Burglar while Baffert timed the pair in “59 and change.” Bayern is under consideration for both the Alysheba Stakes at 8.5 furlongs and the Churchill Downs Stakes at 7 furlongs.

Umgiyo also worked at Arlington Park prior to Mubtaahij. He went four furlongs in :50 with a final quarter of a mile in :23.40.

Kentucky Derby News For April 23, 2015

Kentucky Derby News For April 23, 2015

It was another slow morning on Thursday in the way of works with no Kentucky Derby horses working out. However, there are plenty of workouts expected this weekend.

American Pharoah galloped a mile and a half on Thursday and also stood in the gate. He will workout on Sunday. Bold Conquest galloped a bit after visiting the starting gate as well.

Todd Pletcher’s quartet of Itsaknockout, Madefromlucky, Materiality, and Stanford all took to the track at Churchill Downs. They all went about a mile and a quarter for their gallop. All four will be working out on Saturday.

Carpe Diem worked at Keeneland later in the morning with Pletcher on hand to see it. Carpe Diem went a mile and a half over the main track. He is expected to work on Sunday morning at Keeneland with an approximated time of 6:30.

Danzig Moon galloped a mile and a half while his workout for this weekend is not solidified due to the weather. According to trainer Mark Casse, it will occur on either Saturday or Sunday.

Also working a mile and a half was Keen Ice. He is expected to work on Saturday morning.

Far Right finally got to a gallop after walking and jogging the previous few days. He galloped a mile and three quarters with an expected work on Saturday. Once again, however, it could be pushed back to Sunday if the weather does not cooperate.

International Star galloped a mile and a quarter at the Trackside Training Center. Like Far Right, he is scheduled to work Saturday, but could also work Sunday if the weather is better.

Mr. Z simply walked the shedrow on Thursday morning after working five furlongs in 1:01 on Wednesday. War Story also walked the shedrow. He worked five furlongs in 1:02 on Wednesday.

Tencendur galloped one and three eighths miles on Thursday. He will probably work on Saturday unless there is lightning, according to his trainer George Weaver.

Mubtaahij went around the Arlington Park track twice on Thursday. He is scheduled for another breeze on Saturday and will then ship to Churchill Downs on Monday.

Kentucky Oaks News

Eskenformoney galloped early this morning along side Madefromlucky. She went about a mile and a quarter as did Angela Renee later in the morning. Both fillies are expected to work on Friday morning.

Birdatthewire galloped a mile and a half with her work scheduled for Saturday. Condo Commando also galloped a mile and a half and will work on Friday morning. Trainer Rudy Rodriguez said she will work either 5 or 6 furlongs.

Forever Unbridled galloped a mile and a half and will work on Friday morning. She currently needs one horse ahead of her on the Kentucky Oaks Points Leaderboard to make the field.

Include Betty simply jogged early this morning while the Bob Baffert duo of Luminance and Maybellene both galloped a mile and a half.

Oceanwave and Puca both went a mile and a half for their gallops. Oceanwave will work on Friday while Puca will work over the weekend depending on the weather.

Sarah Sis galloped a mile over Churchill Downs after arriving before 5:30 on Thursday morning. She will have a five furlong workout on Friday morning.

Shook Up went to the starting gate and then galloped for a little bit.

One last note about the Kentucky Oaks is that Wonder Gal, a longshot to make the field, will not race at Churchill Downs next weekend, according to David Grening of the DRF. She was expected to enter the Kentucky Oaks or Eight Belles, but an illness will keep her in New York.

Oaks and Derby Day Stakes Probables

From Churchill Downs’ daily news report, the following are the probables for the stakes races on Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby days.

$400,000 ALYSHEBA (GII) (Entries taken April 28; race May 1) – Call Me George, Honor Code, Noble Bird, Ride On Curlin. Possible: Den’s Legacy.

$300,000 LA TROIENNE (GI) (Entries taken April 28; race May 1) – America, Frivolous, Molly Morgan, My Miss Sophia, Pearl Turn, Sheer Drama, Stopchargingmaria, Wedding Toast. Possible: Interest Free, Tiz Windy.

$200,000 EIGHT BELLES (GIII) (Entries taken April 28; race May 1) – Ekati’s Phaeton, Fancy and Flashy, Lavender Chrissie, Mizz Money, Promise Me Silver, Streetheart, Super Saks, Taylor S.

$150,000 EDGEWOOD PRESENTED BY FORCHT BANK (GIII) (Entries taken April 28; race May 1) – Lady Zuzu, Pangburn, Quality Rocks. Possible: B Rockett, Sweet Opportunity, Whimsicality.

$150,000 TWIN SPIRES TURF SPRINT (GIII) (Entries taken April 28; race May 1) – Berlino Di Tiger (BRZ), Buster Rose, Channel Marker, Good Deed, Heitai, Positive Side, Power Alert (AUS), Something Extra, Undrafted.

$500,000 WOODFORD RESERVE TURF CLASSIC (GI) (Entries taken April 29; race May 2) – Chocolate Ride, Finnegans Wake, Seek Again, Umgiyo (AUS).

$500,000 CHURCHILL DOWNS (GII) (Entries taken April 29; race May 2) – Bayern, C. Zee, Pants On Fire, Private Zone. Possible: The Big Beast.

$300,000 CHURCHILL DOWNS DISTAFF TURF MILE PRESENTED BY LONGINES (GII) (Entries taken April 29; race May 2) – Coffee Clique, I’m Already Sexy, Lady Lara (IRE), Maid On a Mission, Personal Diary, Sandiva (IRE), Solid Appeal, Strike Charmer, Tepin.

$300,000 HUMANA DISTAFF (GI) (Entries taken April 29; race May 2) – Classic Point, Dame Dorothy, Judy the Beauty, Princess Violet, Sweet Reason, Sweet Whiskey, You Bought Her. Possible: Clearly Confused.

$250,000 AMERICAN TURF PRESENTED BY RAM TRUCKS (GII) (Entries taken April 29; race May 2) – A Lot, Conquest Typhoon, Firespike, Force the Pass, Indianaughty, Metaboss, Tuba, Wireless Future, World Approval. Possible: Royal Son.

$200,000 PAT DAY MILE PRESENTED BY LG&E AND KU (GIII) (Entries taken April 29; race May 2) – Competitive Edge, Conquest Bigluck E, Hillbilly Royalty, Pain and Misery, Toasting Master, Where’s the Moon.

Kentucky Derby News For April 21, 2015

Upstart winning the 2015 Holy Bull (Coglianese Photos/Leslie Martin)
Upstart winning the 2015 Holy Bull (Coglianese Photos/Leslie Martin)

Kentucky Derby News For April 21, 2015

On Monday afternoon it was revealed that WinStar Farm has bought a minority share of Upstart from owner Ralph Evans. He will remain with trainer Rick Violette Jr.

“Upstart has been on our radar since the Breeders’ Cup,” said WinStar president Elliott Walden in a release. “Jerry Brown of Thoro-Graph approached me because he really believes this colt has a big future. We are honored to be partners with such a nice man as Ralph Evans on such an exciting young horse as Upstart.”

Upstart has been ultra consistent since his debut at Saratoga on August 15, 2014. He won his first two races before finishing second in the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes and then third in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile to close out his two year old campaign.

At three, he won Grade 2 Holy Bull (pictured above) and was disqualified from first to second in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth. He then ran second in the Grade 1 Florida Derby behind Materiality.

Mounts Starting To Solidify

There were three rider confirmations made on Monday. The first was that John Velazquez will be riding Carpe Diem in the Derby. That leaves Javier Castellano as the rider for Materiality.

Velazquez has ridden Carpe Diem in all five of his starts, guiding him to four wins and a second place finish. Velazquez also rode Materiality in all three of his starts, which were all victories.

In addition, Mike Smith was confirmed as the rider of Far Right in the Derby. Smith has ridden Far Right in each of the last three races, which has been very good for the connections. In those three races, Far Right has two wins and a second place finish.

Kentucky Derby Works and Notes

It was another slow day for works, but one did take place at Arlington Park for the Dubai shipper Mubtaahij. He went three furlongs in 36.20 over the polytrack.

Going for trainer Mike de Kock, Mubtaahij went a mile around the track before going into his work. He will be shipped from Arlington to Churchill Downs on Monday.

No other Kentucky Derby hopefuls worked, but plenty were on the track. American Pharoah galloped a mile and a half as did Danzig Moon. Pharoah will be breezing on Sunday morning. War Story galloped a mile and a quarter early in the morning and is scheduled to work on Wednesday morning.

Bold Conquest simply walked in the shedrow after Monday’s five furlong workout in 1:02.80. Far Right also walked the shedrow.

International Star galloped a mile and a quarter at the Trackside Training Center while Tencendur galloped a mile back at Churchill Downs. Keen Ice also jogged at Churchill during the morning.

Madefromlucky was vanned over to Churchill Downs from Keeneland on Monday morning with Materiality, Itsaknockout, and Stanford all arriving later on Tuesday at Churchill Downs. All four are trained by Todd Pletcher.

Mr. Z is scheduled to workout on Wednesday morning.

Kentucky Oaks News

On hand to watch his horse work this morning was Bob Baffert. He saw Maybellene work four furlongs in :48.40 with fractions of :12.60, :24.40, :36.80, and a gallop out at five furlongs in 1:01.80. She worked in company with Holiday Camp.

Two Todd Pletcher horses for the Kentucky Oaks also arrived at Churchill Downs in Angela Renee and Eskenformoney.

Birdatthewire jogged on Monday morning as did Condo Commando. Forever Unbridled galloped a mile and a half while Include Betty galloped the same distance. Luminance, Oceanwave, and Puca all galloped a mile and a half as well while Shook Up walked on Tuesday morning after her work on Monday.

Other Stakes Workers

Baffert was on hand to see his filly Maybellene workout, but two of his other horses worked in company. Those two were Callback and Lord Nelson who went four furlongs in a quick 46.80. The internal fractions were :23, :46.80, and a gallop out in 1:14.60 for six furlongs.

There were some turf workers as well on the grass labeled as good. Golden Soul went five furlongs in 1:03.60, Good Deed went four furlongs in :49.80, Heitai went four furlongs in :51.60, Chocolate Ride went five furlongs in 1:03.60, and I’m Already Sexy went five furlongs in 1:04.20.