Tag Archives: Rick Violette

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.

Upstart Dusts Grade 2 Holy Bull Foes

Upstart crushed the competition in the Holy Bull Stakes (Coglianese Photos)
Upstart crushed the competition in the Holy Bull Stakes (Coglianese Photos)

Upstart Dusts Grade 2 Holy Bull Foes

Upstart crushed the 8 horses who raced against him and emphatically put his name on the list of top Kentucky Derby contenders. Upstart, ridden by Jose Ortiz, won by 5 1/2 lengths after drawing away in the stretch.

Even before the race, the complexion change slightly with the decision by the connections of Dom The Bomb to run in the Hutcheson Stakes in race 7. He was seen as a pace threat if he were to have run in this race, but instead he finished last in the Hutcheson after pressing the pace.

The Holy Bull began with Bluegrass Singer breaking well and taking the lead from the start. First Down was a length behind him and Upstart sat off his flank. Behind the trio were Decision Day, Frosted, and Juan and Bina. The trailing trio consisted of Keen Ice, High Noon Rider, and Frammento.

Bluegrass Singer continued to lead the field as they marched down the backstretch and on the far turn as well. Upstart moved up to second on the backstretch and continued his charge on the turn with First Down battling in third though he was struggling to keep up. Frosted was in fourth, Juan and Bina was in fifth position on the far turn, and Keen Ice was sixth. Frammento moved up to seventh, High Noon Rider was eighth, and Decision Day fell all the way back to last.

After being forced to go 4 wide on the turn and entering the stretch, Upstart took over the lead and pulled clear to win by 5 1/2 lengths. Frosted was no match for Upstart, but still was able to grab second over Bluegrass Singer who finished 7 3/4 lengths behind the winner. Juan and Bina finished fourth by 9 1/2 lengths.

The final order of finish beyond the top four was Keen Ice, Frammento, First Down, Decision Day, and High Noon Rider. High Noon Rider did not finish the race, as he was pulled up and walked off.

The final time for the 1 1/16 miles was 1:43.61. Upstart went off as the 2-1 second choice. He paid $6.20 to win, $3.20 to place, and $2.40 to show. He is trained by Rick Violette. Upstart earned 10 points towards the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard and the win gives him 16 points total thus far.

Frosted earned 4 points for the second place finish to give him 8 points while Bluegrass Singer and Juan and Bina both earned their first points of the Road to the Kentucky Derby.

The Road to the Kentucky Derby takes a week off before returning on Saturday, February 7 with the Withers Stakes at Aqueduct and the Robert B. Lewis at Santa Anita.