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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.

Carpe Diem Easily Wins Blue Grass Stakes

Carpe Diem had little trouble in the Grade 1 Blue Grass on Saturday (Matt Goins/Herald-Leader)
Carpe Diem had little trouble in the Grade 1 Blue Grass on Saturday (Matt Goins/Herald-Leader)

Carpe Diem Easily Wins Blue Grass Stakes

It was smooth sailing for Carpe Diem in the Grade 1 Blue Grass. He pressed the pace and then drew away in the stretch to win by 3 lengths over Danzig Moon.

Ocho Ocho Ocho went straight to the lead as expected and Carpe Diem was right there on his flank from the start. Gorgeous Bird sat third by 2 1/2 lengths, Classy Class was fourth, and Danzig Moon was in fifth. Pepper Roani was sixth, Frammento was seventh by 9 lengths, and Unrivaled was well behind in last by 11 lengths.

The top two continued to go around the turn and on the backstretch with little inclination to push forward too quickly. Gorgeous Bird still sat third on the backstretch and entering the far turn with Classy Class poised to go past him on his right flank. Danzig Moon was fifth, Pepper Roani was sixth, Frammento was seventh, and Unrivaled was still last.

Entering the stretch, Carpe Diem was given his queue to go to the front and he did just that with little threat from the other runners. Ocho Ocho Ocho continued to battle after setting the pace, but finished third behind Danzig Moon. Frammento made enough of a rally to finish fourth by 7 1/4 lengths.

Classy Class finished fifth, Gorgeous Bird was sixth, Unrivaled finished seventh, and Pepper Roani was last of eight by 14 1/2 lengths. The full chart can be found here via Equibase.

Carpe Diem is by Giant’s Causeway out of the Unbridled’s Song mare Rebridled Dreams. He was ridden by John Velazquez and is trained by Todd Pletcher. He paid $2.80 to win as the 2 to 5 favorite. He also paid $2.40 to place and $2.10 to show.

Carpe Diem earned 100 points for his win and now has 164 points total on the Kentucky Derby Points Leaderboard. Danzig Moon earned 40 points to bring his total to 45 points, Ocho Ocho Ocho earned 20 points to bring his total to 30 points, and Frammento earned 10 points to give him a total of 20.

The final two races on the Road to the Kentucky Derby will be next week with the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby from Oaklawn Park and Grade 3 Lexington Stakes from Keeneland.

Materiality Holds Off Upstart In The Florida Derby

Materiality holds off Upstart to win the Grade 1 Florida Derby (Photo: Kenny Martin, Coglianese)
Materiality holds off Upstart to win the Grade 1 Florida Derby (Photo: Kenny Martin, Coglianese)

Materiality Holds Off Upstart In The Florida Derby

In what ended up being a two horse race, it was Materiality that won the Grade 1 Florida Derby over Upstart by a length and a half.

Jack Tripp took the lead out of the gate with a good break, but was soon taken on by Materiality with Upstart a length back in third. Itsaknockout settled in fourth, Quimet was in fifth, My Point Exactly was in sixth, and Ami’s Flatter was seventh. Indianaughty was eighth and the trailer was Dekabrist by more than 11 lengths.

On the backstretch Jack Tripp was still prompted by Materiality and Upstart was three wide. Quimet was fourth, My Point Exactly was fifth, Ami’s Flatter was sixth, and Itsaknockout was back to seventh. The trailing duo remained Indianuaghty and Dekabrist.

On the far turn the race turned into a match race between Materiality and Upstart as the other horses failed to make up any ground.

Throughout the stretch it was Materiality on the inside who repelled every attack from Upstart. He eventually pulled away to win by a length and a half. It was over 12 lengths back to Ami’s Flatter in third and Itsaknockout finished fourth.

The rest of the field, in order of finish, was Dekabrist, Indianaughty, My Point Exactly, Quimet, and Jack Tripp. The results chart can be found here via Equibase.

Materiality is by Afleet Alex out of the Langfuhr mare Wildwood Flower. He was ridden by John Velazquez and is trained by Todd Pletcher. He ran the one mile and one eighth in 1:52.30 while paying $5.60 to win, $3.00 to place, and $2.40 to show.

Materiality went off as the second choice at 9-5 behind Upstart who was even money.

For the win, Materiality earned his first 100 points towards the Kentucky Derby Points Leaderboard. Upstart earned 40 points to bring his total to 76, Ami’s Flatter earned 20 points for a total of 40, and Itsaknockout earned 10 points for a total of 60.

The Florida Derby was the third Road to the Kentucky Derby prep race on Saturday. The first was the Group 2 UAE Derby and the other was the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby.

The Road to the Kentucky Derby continues next week with the Grade 1 Wood Memorial from Aqueduct, the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby from Santa Anita, and the Grade 1 Blue Grass from Keeneland.

Carpe Diem Has No Trouble In Tampa Bay Derby

Carpe Diem easily won the 2015 Tampa Bay Derby (SV Photography)
Carpe Diem easily won the 2015 Tampa Bay Derby (SV Photography)

Carpe Diem Has No Trouble In Tampa Bay Derby

Despite not racing for over 4 months, Carpe Diem did not appear to miss a beat winning the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby. He is now in great position to make the Kentucky Derby the first Saturday in May.

Divining Rod took control of the race from the rail with My Johnny Be Good pressuring him from the outside. Moonlight Bandit was close in third while Carpe Diem was fourth about 2 lengths off the lead. Second choice Ocean Knight was in fifth, Danzig Moon was in sixth, Ami’s Flatter was in seventh, and Great Stuff was trailing in eighth.

Divining Rod continued to lead on the back stretch and into the far turn while My Johnny Be Good started to throw in the towel. Carpe Diem was still right behind the leader and began making his move. Ami’s Flatter was into fourth, Ocean Knight was struggling in fifth, Danzig Moon was in sixth, Great Stuff was up to seventh, and Moonlight Bandit was in last.

As they hit the stretch, Carpe Diem was well on his way to victory opening up 2 lengths by the stretch call. Divining Rod was back in second and Ami’s Flatter was third. It would be an easy romp home for Carpe Diem as he won by 5 lengths over Ami’s Flatter and Divining Rod in third. Danzig Moon was in fourth by 12 1/2 lengths.

The remaining order of finish was Great Stuff in fifth, Moonlight Bandit in sixth, Ocean Knight in seventh, and My Johnny Be Good in last. Souper Colossal scratched prior to the race. The Equibase chart can be found here.

Carpe Diem was ridden by John Velazquez and is trained by Todd Pletcher. Carpe Diem is by Giant’s Causeway out of the Unbridled’s Song mare Rebridled Dreams. He ran the one mile and one sixteenth in 1:43.60 while paying $4.00 as the even-money favorite.

For the win, Carpe Diem received 50 points for the win to bring his total to 64 points towards the Kentucky Derby Points Leaderboard. He sits in fourth place after the three Road to the Kentucky Derby races on Saturday.

Ami’s Flatter earned his first 20 points while Divining Rod earned his first 10 points. Toasting Master also earned his first 5 points towards the Kentucky Derby.

The next Kentucky Derby Prep race is the Rebel Stakes on Saturday, March 14 at Oaklawn Park.