Tag Archives: Madefromlucky

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.

2015 Belmont Stakes Preview

American Pharoah training at Belmont Park (Reuters)
American Pharoah training at Belmont Park (Reuters)

2015 Belmont Stakes Preview

The 2015 Triple Crown culminates on Saturday with 2015 Belmont Stakes. Once again, there is the possibility of a Triple Crown winner with American Pharoah having won both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes in May.

A field of eight has been assembled to vie for the 2015 Belmont Stakes that carries a purse of $1,500,000. They will go one mile and one-half (12 furlongs) over the main track dubbed “Big Sandy.”

Post time for the Belmont Stakes is at 6:50 PM Eastern time and is carded as the 11th of 13 races on Saturday. Free past performances can be found here.

The table below provides the entries along with the jockey, trainer, and morning line odds.

Post PositionHorseJockeyTrainerMorning Line Odds
1MubtaahijIrad Ortiz, Jr.Mike de Kock10-1
2Tale of VerveGary StevensDallas Stewart15-1
3MadefromluckyJavier CastellanoTodd Pletcher12-1
4FrammentoMike SmithNick Zito30-1
5American PharoahVictor EspinozaBob Baffert3-5
6FrostedJoel RosarioKiaran McLaughlin5-1
7Keen IceKent DesormeauxDale Romans20-1
8MaterialityJohn VelazquezTodd Pletcher6-1

 

1. Mubtaahij – He was the easy winner of the Group 2 UAE Derby in late March before taking on the Kentucky Derby. In the Derby, he sat mid pack for most of the race and he did not have much of a response in the stretch as he finished 8th. He should like this 12 furlong distance and if he can sit closer to the pace, he could make some noise down the stretch.

2. Tale of Verve – It took this guy six starts to break his maiden and he was then entered in the Preakness Stakes. He surprised many by running second to American Pharoah at odds of 28-1, but he was seven lengths behind Pharoah. That race has led some to believe he has a chance to pick the pieces once again at big odds. He will need some pace to run at in this spot and there does not appear to be much.

3. Madefromlucky – He was under consideration for the Kentucky Derby, but was sent into the Grade 2 Peter Pan Stakes instead. He did well in the Peter Pan when he made a four wide move in the stretch and pulled away to win by a length. He did beat only four horses that day and he ran fourth and second to Pharoah in his two races previous to the Peter Pan. He could add value to the exotics at a decent price.

4. Frammento – He was a longshot in the Kentucky Derby and he ran like it. He finished 11th beaten 12 lengths that day. He had no pace to run at in the Derby and he does not appear to have any pace in the Belmont either. He is taking the blinkers off for this race, but he appears likely headed for a spot in the bottom of the superfecta at best.

5. American Pharoah – There is not much more to say about him. He has won six straight races after a poor debut including the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. He is clearly the horse to beat and he will probably be the controlling speed in this race. He is just a mile and a half from horse racing immortality if he can win this race. The obvious favorite here and the top choice.

6. Frosted – He and Materiality were the only ones to really make up ground in the Kentucky Derby. Frosted just missed third as the wire came before he was able to blow past Dortmund and he finished fourth by 3 1/4 lengths. He should not be nearly as far back in this race and he could sit just off the leaders to give him a good spot turning for home. Must be considered as a slight upset possibility.

7. Keen Ice – He is another closer that will need some pace to run at in the Belmont. He was able to move from 14th to 7th in the stretch during the Kentucky Derby. His efforts prior to the Kentucky Derby show that he was an underneath horse at best and that appears to be the case here as well.

8. Materiality – He started his career a perfect 3 for 3 entering the Kentucky Derby. He had a bad draw with the three post, which caused him to come off the pace. He was near the back of the pack midway through the race and rallied to finish sixth with some trouble. In the Belmont, he should not have the same trip and will be much closer to the pace, if not contesting it with Pharoah. He certainly has a chance in this race.

Selections

This race runs through #5 American Pharoah as expected. He is likely to be the controlling speed and has not done anything wrong this year. He may have pace pressure from #8 Materiality, but he has shown the ability to win coming from behind. #1 Mubtaahij is interesting because he should relish the distance and be closer to the pace than he was in the Derby. #6 Frosted will be worth a look if you are trying to beat Pharoah while #3 Madefromlucky looked nice winning the Peter Pan at Belmont on May 9.

Top selection – #5 American Pharoah

2nd selection – #1 Mubtaahij

3rd selection – #6 Frosted

4th selection – #3 Madefromlucky

Check back on Saturday night for a recap of the 2015 Belmont Stakes.

Kentucky Derby News For April 24, 2015

Kentucky Derby News For April 24, 2015

Friday was a busier than expected morning with several works, primarily from the Todd Pletcher barn, moved up to Friday due to concerns over the weather forecast this weekend.

The quartet of Itsaknockout, Materiality, Madefromlucky, and Stanford all worked on Friday morning. Itsaknockout and Materiality worked in company with the latter on the inside. The duo completed four furlongs in :48 with splits of :12, :23.60, and :35,60. They galloped out five furlongs in 1:01 and six furlongs in 1:14.60

Madefromlucky and Stanford also breezed four furlongs in company with one another. Stanford was on the inside and the two did not cross the wire together. Madefromlucky completed the four furlongs in :48.40 with internal splits of :12.40 and :24.40. Madefromlucky galloped out in 1:01 for five furlongs and 1:13.80 for six furlongs.

“He had trouble getting a hold of the track on the turns for whatever reason,” John Velazquez said of Madefromlucky. “I wouldn’t say it was a bad workout, but the other horse worked better.”

Stanford went :12.40 and :24:20 for the internal splits while galloping out five furlongs in 1:01.60 and six furlongs in 1:15.

“Stanford breezed really well today and I thought his gallop out was particularly good,” Pletcher said.

Also working at Churchill was Far Right, who went four furlongs in :49. He had splits of :12.40, :24.20, and galloped out five furlongs in 1:03.

Danzig Moon worked as well, going four furlongs in :48.80 while working in company with Bollente. He had internal fractions of :12.80, :25, :37, and galloped out five furlongs in 1:01.80. Bollente went the four furlongs in :49.

Bolo worked five furlongs at Santa Anita on Friday, going the distance in :59.60. “A minute—that’s what I wanted,” trainer Carla Gaines said. “The other horse started kinda slowly and I didn’t want (rider Rafael Bejarano) to grab him, but he settled down.”

Frammento, currently the next horse in line for the Kentucky Derby, worked four furlongs in :48 at Keeneland.

American Pharoah galloped a mile and a half with a scheduled workout on Sunday morning while Bold Conquest galloped the same distance.

International Star galloped a mile and a quarter. He is scheduled to work on Saturday, but that may not happen if the weather is poor. Keen Ice galloped a mile and a half with a scheduled work on Saturday morning.

Ocho Ocho Ocho flew in from California is now stabled at Churchill Downs. He will gallop on Saturday morning. Tencendur galloped one mile and three eighths and is scheduled to work on Saturday morning as well.

War Story simply jogged on Friday morning, two days after his 1:02 five furlong work at Churchill Downs.

Outside of Kentucky, there are several notable works scheduled for Saturday morning. The first is El Kabeir who will work at Belmont Park and then ship to Churchill Downs on Sunday. El Kabeir galloped one mile and three eighths at Belmont on Friday morning.

In addition, Carpe Diem is scheduled to work at Keeneland. At Arlington Park, Mubtaahij is scheduled to work while the California duo of Dortmund and Firing Line are also on the workout docket.

The other works on Saturday morning will be Frosted and Upstart down at Palm Meadows in Florida. The Daily Racing Form‘s David Grening reported that trainer Kiaran McLaughlin moved the workout back from Friday morning to Saturday morning due to the amount of moisture in the track.

Madefromlucky Out Of the Derby, Keen Ice In

In light of Madefromlucky’s lackluster workout on Friday morning, Todd Pletcher and the connections of the horse decided to bypass the Kentucky Derby and point towards the Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont on May 9. The hope is that Madefromlucky will be ready to go in the Belmont Park on June 6.

With Madefromlucky not entering the Kentucky Derby, that puts Keen Ice in field. Keen Ice is a winner of one race in 7 career starts. He has made 5 consecutive starts in Graded Stakes competition.

Keen Ice most recently ran fourth in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby and was third in the Grade 2 Risen Star prior to that race.

Kentucky Oaks News

There were also plenty of Kentucky Oaks contenders working as well on Friday morning.

Angela Renee worked four furlongs in company with Curalina while completing the distance in :48.80. The internal splits for those two were :12.40, :24.40 with five furlongs in 1:00.20 and six furlongs galloped out in 1:14.20. The Daily Racing Form‘s Mike Welsch had a slightly different clocking, but was impressed with this duo.

Another Todd Pletcher worker that went out was Eskenformoney who went in company with Roberta Turner. The duo went a half mile in :48.40 with internal splits of :11.60, :23.60, :36, and a five furlong gallop out in 1:01.60.

Then there was Forever Unbridled who worked five furlongs in 1:01. Her splits for the workout were :12.20, :24, :36.20, and :48.40 with a final gallop out of 1:15.80 for six furlongs.

Then there were three more horses during the special Oaks/Derby training session.

Sarah Sis went five furlongs in 1:02.60 with internal splits of :12.40, :24.80, and :37. She galloped out six furlongs in 1:16.80.

Oceanwave worked five furlongs in company with Purse Strings. She completed the five furlongs in 1:02 with internal splits of :12.40, :24.20, :36, and :48.60 while galloping out six furlongs in 1:18.20. Mike Welsch has postulated that she may not be entered in the Oaks off this work.

Condo Commando worked five furlongs in 1:00.40 with internal fractions of :25, :36.40, and :48.60 with a six furlong gallop out in 1:13 flat. Mike Welsch was impressed the most by Condo Commando of these three fillies during the special training session.

At Santa Anita, Stellar Wind breezed six furlongs in 1:12.80 for trainer John Sadler. She did so in company with Scooter Bird. She will leave California on Sunday morning and arrive in Kentucky later that day.

Birdatthewire galloped a mile and a half with a scheduled work on Saturday morning. The duo of Luminance and Maybellene also galloped a mile and a half.

I’m A Chatterbox and Lovely Maria both galloped a mile and a half for trainer Larry Jones at Keeneland on Friday morning. They were vanned over to Churchill in the afternoon. Both will be working on Sunday morning.

Include Betty galloped early on Friday morning as did Shook Up. Meanwhile, Puca galloped a mile and three eighths. Puca is expected to work on Saturday or Sunday, depending on the weather.

Other Stakes Probable Workouts

Todd Pletcher sent out four other horses, with a couple that are expected to appear next weekend. Competitive Edge worked four furlongs in :48.20 with a quarter of a mile in :23.60 and a five furlong gallop out in 1:01.60.

Prontonico and Stopchargingmaria worked as a pair going four furlongs in :49.00. They galloped out five furlongs in 1:02.60.

Sandiva also worked out going four furlongs in :49.20. She galloped out five furlongs in 1:02.20 and six furlongs in 1:15.60.

Other workers included Noble Bird and Coastline who went four furlongs together in :48.40. Sweet Whiskey worked four furlongs in :48, Pain and Misery went four furlongs in :50, and Promise Me Silver went four furlongs in :48.80 with a gallop out in 1:02.80 for five furlongs.

Gold Medal Dancer went five furlongs in 1:01.40 while the pair of Conquest Typhoon and World Approval went four furlongs in :49.

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 22, 2015

Kentucky Derby entrant War Story during his workout on April 22, 2015 (Photo courtesy of Churchill Downs PR)
Kentucky Derby entrant War Story during his workout on April 22, 2015 (Photo courtesy of Churchill Downs PR)

Kentucky Derby News For April 22, 2015

Two Kentucky Derby entrants worked out on Wednesday morning in War Story and Mr Z. War Story went out very early while Mr. Z waited until after the renovation break to workout. Both horses went five furlongs for their workouts.

War Story worked at 5:45 in the morning completing the five furlongs in 1:01.60. The internal fractions were :24.60 and :36.40 with him being clocked at 1:15.60 for six furlongs on the gallop out. Dylan Davis was aboard for the work for trainer Tom Amoss.

Mr. Z completed his five furlongs in 1:01 with his internal fractions going in :12.80, :25, :37, and :48.60. He galloped out 6 furlongs in 1:15.60 and was clocked with a final quarter of :24.20. Edvin Vargas was the rider for Mr. Z during the work for trainer D. Wayne Lukas.

At Santa Anita, Ocho Ocho Ocho went six furlongs from the gate. He completed the move in 1:13.60 for trainer Jim Cassidy. His rider is unconfirmed for the Kentucky Derby, but it will either be Elvis Trujillo or Santiago Gonzalez. Ocho Ocho Ocho will be in Kentucky on Friday and work at Churchill next Wednesday.

No other Kentucky Derby horses had a work, but plenty made an appearance on the track.

American Pharoah and Danzig Moon both galloped a mile and a half after the renovation break. American Pharoah is expected to workout on Sunday while Danzig Moon will most likely work on Saturday.

Bold Conquest galloped after the break as well. He worked on Monday, going five furlongs in 1:02.60.

Far Right jogged two miles and is scheduled to work over the weekend. Which day he works will depend on the weather, according to his trainer Ron Moquett.

International Star galloped a mile and a quarter as did Tencendur. Tencendur is expected to work on Saturday morning if all goes well with the weather.

Todd Pletcher‘s four horses of Itsaknockout, Madefromlucky, Materiality, and Stanford all galloped a mile and a quarter on Wednesday morning. All four are expected to workout on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Carpe Diem galloped a mile and a half on Wednesday and will work out at Keeneland on Sunday morning.

Keen Ice galloped a mile after the renovation break.

Away from Churchill Downs, Mubtaahij went a lap around the Arlington Park polytrack on Wednesday morning after his three furlong workout on Tuesday. Upstart went two miles at Palm Meadows in Florida and he will work over the weekend down there.

Kentucky Oaks News

There were not workers for the Kentucky Oaks on Wednesday morning. Angela Renee and Eskenformoney both galloped a mile and a quarter for trainer Todd Pletcher.

Birdatthewire galloped a mile, Condo Commando galloped a mile and an eighth, while Shook Up also galloped over the track.

Forever Unbridled, Include Betty, Luminance, Oceanwave, and Puca all galloped a mile and a half over the track. Forever Unbridled will work on Friday morning while Puca is scheduled for a workout on Saturday.

Maybellene walked the shedrow after her four furlong workout on Tuesday.

American Pharoah Waltzes Home In Arkansas Derby

It was another easy victory for American Pharoah in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby (Danny Johnston / AP)
It was another easy victory for American Pharoah in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby (Danny Johnston / AP)

American Pharoah Waltzes Home In Arkansas Derby

It was another dominant performance by American Pharoah at Oaklawn Park. He did not have the lead this time, but it was of little consequence on his way to an 8 length win over Far Right.

Longshot Bridget’s Big Luvy went straight to the lead with American Pharoah breaking well, but relegated back to second. Mr. Z was third, Madefromlucky was in a good spot fourth, and The Truth or Else sat fifth. Win The Space was sixth early on, Bold Conquest was seventh, and the late running Far Right was last of 8 more than 13 lengths behind the leader.

Bridget’s Big Luvy continued to lead on the backstretch and into the far turn with Pharoah still in second. The Truth or Else made a bid up the rail to move into the third while Mr. Z was in fourth. Win The Space was fifth and Madefromlucky was asked to make his move from sixth entering the far turn. Far Right was up to seventh and Bold Conquest was back in last.

On the far turn, American Pharoah engulfed the leader and took over with Mr. Z making his move right behind him. At this point, it was only a matter of how far American Pharoah would win by as he was under a hand ride throughout the running.

A mad dash for second place went to Far Right who came from way out of it to grab second over Mr. Z in third and Madefromlucky in fourth. Bold Conquest finished fifth, Win The Space was sixth, The Truth or Else was seventh, and Bridget’s Big Luvy was last of eight.

The entire race can be found here via Equibase.

American Pharoah is by Pioneerof The Nile out of the Yankee Gentleman mare Littleprincessemma. He was ridden by Victor Espinoza and is trained by Bob Baffert. He completed the one mile and one eighth in 1:48.52. He paid $2.20 to win, $2.20 to place, and $2.10 to show.

For the victory, American Pharoah earned 100 points towards the Kentucky Derby Points Leaderboard to give him a total of 160. Far Right earned 40 points to give him a total of 62, Mr. Z earned 20 points for a total of 34 points, and Madefromlucky earned 10 points for a total of 30.

The Road to the Kentucky Derby is now finished. The Kentucky Derby Points Leaderboard is virtually set except for possible defections from now until Kentucky Derby entry day on Wednesday, April 29.

2015 Arkansas Derby Preview

2015 Arkansas Derby Preview

The final Road to the Kentucky Derby race will be the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby from Oaklawn Park on Saturday. The other Derby Prep on Saturday will be the Grade 3 Lexington Stakes from Keeneland.

The Grade 1 Arkansas Derby will be run at one mile and one eighth on the main track with a purse of $1,000,000.

The Arkansas Derby will also offer 100 points to the winner of the race towards the Kentucky Derby Points Leaderboard. Second place will receive 40 points, third place will receive 20 points, and the fourth place finisher will receive 10 points.

Post time for the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby is 7:18 PM Eastern time is carded as the 11th of 12 races on Saturday at Oaklawn Park. Free past performances can be found here.

1. The Truth Or Else (15-1 Morning Line) – He broke his start in his fourth start and then finished third in back-to-back graded stakes races (the Grade 1 Champagne and the Grade 2 Nashua). He then hit a bump in the road when he finished a well beaten sixth by 16 lengths in the Grade 2 Remsen. After almost three months off, he came back in the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes to finish second by 3/4 of a length after holding the lead in the stretch. He then raced in the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes, but was no match for American Pharoah while finishing fourth by 10 lengths. He puts the blinkers on for the first time, but he is up against it here from a top two perspective.

2. Mr. Z (10-1 ML) – Mr. Z has been a constant participant in the Kentucky Derby prep races. After finishing third by a neck to Dortmund in the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Futurity, he came to Oaklawn for the Smarty Jones Stakes in which he finished 3rd by 2 1/4 lengths after veering out badly in the stretch. In the Grade 3 Southwest he finished third by 3/4 of a length after setting the pace. He then moved south to Louisiana for the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby, but stopped badly after prompting the pace early. The blinkers go back on for this race, but he still seems like an underneath horse at best.

3. Bridget’s Big Luvy (20-1 ML) – It took until his third start to win, but he got it done in the slop by 3/4 of a length at Belmont last October. A three month break between races did not provide any help as he was crushed in the Grade 3 Hutcheson by 25 lengths (finished fifth of 6 horses). After another short break, he reappeared in the Private Terms Stakes and went gate-to-wire by 2 1/2 lengths in the slop again. His best races have been over a muddy track, but he will need a lot more than that to help him here.

4. Madefromlucky (6-1 ML) – He began his career at Monmouth where he went from fifth, to third, to second in his first three races. After four months off, he showed up at Gulfstream Park to win by 4 3/4 lengths. He made it two wins in a row with a length and a half score in an optional claiming $75,000. Last race, he entered the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes and ran into American Pharoah, but still finished second. He once again is a prime candidate to fill out the exacta.

5. Bold Conquest (20-1 ML) – He had a solid 2 year old campaign with a win, two seconds, and a third from four starts including second place in the Grade 3 Iroquois by a neck and third in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland. He resurfaced here at Oaklawn after the Breeders’ Futurity and finished in fourth in the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes after a solid closing kick. His second start off the layoff was the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes, but he was a well beaten third behind American Pharoah and Madefromlucky. Nevertheless, at 20-1 on the morning line he still boasts a solid chance to add value to the underneath exotics.

6. American Pharoah (1-2 ML) – The heavy morning line favorite has been excellent since breaking his maiden. He did that in the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity by 4 3/4 lengths in gate-to-wire fashion. He then entered the Grade 1 Front Runner at Santa Anita and won by 3 1/4 lengths. After an injury sidelined him, he came back in the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes and dusted the field there as well by 6 1/4 lengths. He is the deserving favorite here and should not have much trouble in this race.

7. Far Right (9-2 ML) – He started his career early in 2014 with a races at Keeneland and Churchill in April and May respectively. He was then switched to trainer Ron Moquett from William Helmbrecht and won his first race in September. He finished his two year old season with a fourth place finish in the Grade 2 Futurity, third in the Street Sense Stakes, and third in the Grade 3 Delta Jackpot. He came back this year and has won two straight in similar fashion. First, he won the Smarty Jones Stakes by 1 3/4 lengths with a rail ride. Then, he came with another strong run in the Grade 3 Southwest to win once more by  3/4 of a length. He is one of the top threats to finish in the exacta.

8. Win The Space (30-1 ML) – He has raced twice, but has yet to break his maiden. His first race was at Santa Anita on February 22 and he was wide on the turn. He finished third by 4 1/4 lengths and then was entered in another maiden race at Santa Anita March 8. He tried to go up the rail in the stretch but could not make a rally. Trainer George Papaprodromou decided to send him to Oaklawn anyway and has taken the blinkers off. This is an interesting spot for this horse, but one that does not lend to him pulling the shocking upset.

Selections

This race runs through #6 American Pharoah. He should have little trouble with this field, but there are some interesting horses that can finish second and third. #4 Madefromlucky should sit in a perfect spot behind the leaders and could pull the upset if Pharoah falters. #5 Bold Conquest is a big price on the morning line at 20-1, but he can easily spice up the exotics with a late run. #7 Far Right should not be discounted either as he can make a wicked run to finish in the exacta.

1. American Pharoah

2. Madefromlucky

3. Bold Conquest

4. Far Right

A recap of the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby will be posted on Saturday night.

2015 Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 4 Announced

2015 Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 4 Announced

Churchill Downs has announced the individual horses for the fourth pool of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager. The pool will open at 12 PM Eastern Time on Friday, March 27 and close on Sunday, March 29 at 6 PM Eastern Time.

Trainer Bob Baffert has the top two morning line choices in American Pharoah at 9-2 and Dortmund at 5-1. Carpe Diem is the third choice at 6-1 and “all others” is the fourth choice at 8-1.

Below is a list of each horse in alphabetical order with their morning line odds in parentheses.

1. American Pharoah (9-2)

2. Ami’s Flatter (50-1)  (New entrant in Pool 4)

3. Bold Conquest (50-1) (New entrant in Pool 4)

4. Bolo (20-1)

5. Carpe Diem (6-1)

6. Daredevil (30-1)

7. Dortmund (5-1)

8. Dubai Sky (30-1) (New entrant in Pool 4)

9. El Kabeir (20-1)

10. Far From Over (15-1)

11. Far Right (30-1)

12. Firing Line (12-1)

13. Frosted (30-1) (New entrant in Pool 4)

14. International Star (20-1)

15. Itsaknockout (30-1)

16. Keen Ice (50-1)

17. Madefromlucky (30-1) (New entrant in Pool 4)

18. Materiality (20-1) (New entrant in Pool 4)

19. Mr. Z (50-1)

20. Mubtaahij (30-1) (New entrant in Pool 4)

21. Prospect Park (15-1)

22. Upstart (15-1)

23. War Story (50-1)

24. All other 3 year olds (8-1)

The seven horses that were part of pool 3, but not in pool 4 are Danzig Moon, Khozan, Lord Nelson, Ocean Knight, Ocho Ocho Ocho, Texas Red, and The Great War.

All other 3 year olds closed as the favorite in pool 1 at odds of 3/5 that ran from November 28 through November 30, 2014. All others again closed as the favorite in pool 2 at odds of 5/2 that ran from February 6 through February 8. The third pool also had all other as the 4-1 favorite with American Pharoah at 8-1 and Dortmund at 9-1.

Bettors can also bet the an exacta with any combination of the 24 entries listed above. Live odds can be seen at KentuckyDerby.com or by clicking here between Friday, March 27 and Sunday, March 29.

There are three Kentucky Derby prep races this weekend. They are all on Saturday, March 28 with the Group 2 UAE Derby, the Grade 1 Florida Derby, and the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby. All three races award points to the top four finishers in the amount of 100, 40, 20, and 10 to the first, second, third, and fourth place finishers respectively. The points go towards the Kentucky Derby Points Leaderboard and help secure a spot in the Kentucky Derby.

American Pharoah Dismantles Rebel Stakes Field

American Pharoah Dismantles Rebel Stakes Field

A four month layoff was not an issue for American Pharoah as he destroyed his Grade 2 Rebel Stakes foes by more than 6 lengths. Madefromlucky  was second, Bold Conquest was third, and The Truth or Else finished fourth.

American Pharoah had an awkward start, but was able to gather himself and immediately go to the lead with no pace pressure whatsoever. That allowed jockey Victor Espinoza to relax his horse and control the pace of the race.

Paid Admission and Madefromlucky were second and third a length and a half behind early on with Bold Conquest in fourth by 3 lengths. The Truth or Else was fifth, Sakima was sixth, and Tizwonderfulcreek was last of seven.

Meanwhile, American Pharoah set a tepid pace in the slop of 24.41 for the opening quarter, 49.63 for the half-mile, and 1:15.22 for the first six furlongs. Paid Admission was in second until the far turn when he was through with Madefromlucky and Bold Conquest neck and neck for second.

In the stretch, it was only a matter of how much American Pharoah would win by. That margin ended up being 6 1/4 lengths over Madefromlucky who pulled away from Bold Conquest in third. The Truth or Else finished fourth with the final three places going to Paid Admission, Sakima, and Tizwonderfulcreek. Equibase’s official chart can be found here.

For the win, American Pharoah earned 50 points towards the Kentucky Derby Points Leaderboard to give him a total of 60. Madefromlucky earned his first 20 points, Bold Conquest earned 10 points to bring his total up to 17, and The Truth or Else earned 5 points to give him a total of 11.

American Pharoah is by Pioneerof The Nile out of the Yankee Gentleman mare Littleprincessemma. He was ridden by Victor Espinoza and is trained by Bob Baffert. He ran the one mile and one sixteenth in 1:45.76 over a sloppy and sealed track. He paid $2.80 to win as the 2/5 favorite.

The Road to the Kentucky Derby continues next weekend with two stakes races. The first is on Saturday at Turfway Park with the Grade 3 Spiral Stakes at one mile and one eight over the synthetic main track. The second race is on Sunday with the Grade 3 Sunland Derby from Sunland Park also at one mile and one eight. Both races carry point distribution of 50, 20, 10, and 5 to the top four finishers.

2015 Rebel Stakes Preview

2015 Rebel Stakes Preview

The sole Road to the Kentucky Derby prep race on Saturday is the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park. The Rebel marks the return of American Pharoah, the 2 year old champion in 2014.

The Rebel will be run at one mile and one sixteenth on Oaklawn’s main track. The purse is a whopping $750,000 with the top four horses earning points towards the Kentucky Derby Points Leaderboard. The winner of the Rebel will earn 50 points, the second place finisher will earn 20 points, third place will earn 10 points, and fourth place will earn 5 points.

The Rebel Stakes took a hit when Take Charge Brandi was ruled out of the race due to a chip in her right knee. She would have been heavily bet and now she will miss the Kentucky Oaks as a result of the injury.

A compact field of 7 horses will run in the Rebel with post time scheduled for 7:06 PM Eastern Time. The Rebel is scheduled as the tenth race on an eleven race program. Free past performances can be found here.

1. The Truth Or Else (4-1 Morning Line) – He needed four starts to break his maiden, but the first three came on turf. His first start on dirt saw him win by 2 1/2 lengths and he has since stayed on that surface with four straight graded stakes starts. He was third in both the Grade 1 Champagne and Grade 2 Nashua while not seriously challenging the top in those races. He ran a poor sixth in the Grade 2 Remsen stakes before taking a 3 month vacation. He resurfaced in the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes here at Oaklawn where he made a huge move on the far turn, but came up a half-length short to Far Right. He probably needed that race and is a prime contender here in the Rebel.

2. Madefromlucky (6-1 ML) – He started his career at Monmouth improving in each of his first three starts. He was fifth in his debut, third in his second race, and finished second by three-quarters of a length in his third start. He went to the bench for more than four months and won off the layoff at a mile and a sixteenth at Gulfstream Park. He was transferred to the barn of Todd Pletcher after his maiden breaking win and he made it back-to-back wins with a length and a half win in an optional claimer. He will be stalking the lead in this race and could definitely figure int he exotics.

3. Tizwonderfulcreek (30-1 ML) – He is the longest shot in the race based upon the morning line with a lifetime record of 1 for 5. He started at Prairie Meadows with a third place finish in his debut and a fourth place finish in his second race. He was then shipped to Remington Park for his third race and a try on turf, which he enjoyed as he won by a length. Nearly 5 months later he resurfaced here at Oaklawn where he ran by 8 3/4 lengths going 6 furlongs. Last time out he was fourth by 9 1/4 lengths in an allowance race at one mile and one sixteenth. This is not the spot for him to pull the upset and get his first win on dirt.

4. American Pharoah (1-2 ML) – We have reached the overwhelming favorite to win the Rebel Stakes. His debut was a poor one when he finished fifth by 9 1/4 lengths going 6.5 furlongs at Del Mar. He improved in his second start, which just happened to be the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity at 7 furlongs. He went gate-to-wire that day and then did the same thing three and a half weeks later at Santa Anita. In the Grade 1 Front Runner, a race aptly named on that day, American Pharoah went wire-to-wire again. He was going to run in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile but a bruise to his left front foot precluded him from running. His workouts leading up to this race have been excellent and he probably does not even need to be 80% to win this race. The one to beat.

5. Bold Conquest (8-1 ML) – Just like The Truth Or Else, he too is coming out of the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes won by Far Right. He had some trouble in the stretch as he tried to close from way back, but he ended up fourth by 3 1/2 lengths. The Southwest was also his first in four and a half months, which he may have needed. He could certainly hit the board in this race.

6. Paid Admission (15-1 ML) – He started his career with three straight off the board finishes before winning his fourth start by 5 lengths at Delta Downs. He tried the Smarty Jones Stakes here at Oaklawn after that win, but once again was well beaten. Last time out he finished second by 4 1/2 lengths in an optional claimer going a mile and a sixteenth. The waters get deeper once again and he will need some help to hit the board.

7. Sakima (20-1 ML) – This guy started his career at Churchill Downs on the final day of November. He ran an even race throughout while finishing fifth by 11 lengths. Six weeks later he came here to Oaklawn under the care of trainer Ron Moquett and was placed first following a disqualification to break his maiden. His third start was in an allowance race where he was fourth by 1 3/4 lengths while he had trouble finishing in the stretch. He will need to step up here to make an impact.

 

Selections

This race comes down to #4 American Pharoah and how he handles the 5 month layoff. His workouts suggest he is ready and this field is hardly imposing, which makes him the heavy favorite. #1 The Truth Or Else should improve in his second start off the layoff while the same could be said for #5 Bold Conquest. #2 Madefromlucky is the only other pace horse outside of American Pharoah and could definitely hang around for second or third. As it happens sometimes on the Road to the Kentucky Derby, it could be a chalky finish in the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes.

1. American Pharoah

2. Madefromlucky

3. The Truth Or Else

 

Be sure to check back on Saturday night for a recap of the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes.