KENTUCKY OAKS – KENTUCKY DERBY
Okay, who do you like?
The track is sloppy for the first few races today at CHURCHILL DOWNS on Oaks day but is expected to dry out somewhat by the 6:12 post time for the Kentucky Oaks.
The Oaks field features a litany of speedy gals and the early pace of this race could be sizzling.
Thoroughblog will take 2, 3 and 4 for the Oaks with 20 to 1 shot CHOCOLATE KISSES the longshot chance to reel in the speed.
Friday, Churchill Downs, post time: 6:12 p.m. EDT
LONGINES KENTUCKY OAKS-GI, $1,250,000, 3yo, f, 1 1/8m
PP HORSE SIRE OWNER TRAINER JOCKEY WT
1 Out for a Spin Hard Spun Commonwealth Stbl, Bradshaw, R & Stonestreet Stbls Stewart Ortiz, Jr. 121
2 Chocolate Kisses Candy Ride (Arg) Debby M. Oxley Casse Leparoux 121
3 Lady Apple Curlin Phoenix Thoroughbred III and KatieRich Stables Asmussen Santana, Jr. 121
4 Bellafina Quality Road Kaleem Shah, Inc. Callaghan Prat 121
5 Flor de La Mar Tiznow Godolphin, LLC Baffert Rosario 121
6 Positive Spirit Pioneerof the Nile Ryan, Michael J. and Dilger, Gerry Brisset Franco 121
7 Jaywalk Cross Traffic D. J. Stable LLC and Cash is King LLC Servis Castellano 121
8 Motion Emotion K Take Charge Indy Mark DeDomenico LLC Van Berg Smith 121
9 Liora Candy Ride (Arg) Coffeepot Stables Catalano Hill 121
10 Champagne Anyone K Street Sense Six Column Stables, LLC and Bloch, Randall L. Wilkes Landeros 121
11 Jeltrin Tapizar ADR Racing Stable, LLC Delgado Saez 121
12 Street Band Istan Francis, Ray, Jones, Cindy & J. Larry, Medallion Racing Jones Doyle 121
13 Serengeti Empress K Alternation Joel Politi Amoss Ortiz 121
14 Restless Rider Distorted Humor Fern Circle Stables and Three Chimneys Farm, LLC McPeek Hernandez, Jr. 121
15 Dunbar Road Quality Road Peter M. Brant Brown Ortiz 121
16 Point of Honor Curlin Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners & Stetson Racing, LLC Weaver Velazquez 121
Breeders: 1-William M. Backer Revocable Trust, 2-Pin Oak Stud, LLC, 3-KatieRich Farms, 4-JSM Equine, LLC., 5-Don Alberto Corporation, 6-Santa Rosa Partners, 7-Gainesway Thoroughbreds LTD, 8-WinStar Farm, LLC, 9-Dell Ridge Farm, LLC, 10-Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings LLC, 11-C. Kidder, N. Cole, J. K. Griggs &Linda Griggs, 12-Larry Jones, Cindy Jones & Ray Francis, 13-Tri Eques Bloodstock, LLC, 14-Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings LLC, 15-Jeffery J. Drown, 16-Siena Farms LLC
KENTUCKY DERBY- HAIKAIL is a scratch
The sun may not shine bright but the Old Kentucky Home is alive with all the buzz of the world’s most famous horse race.
The weather could play havoc with the track on Derby day, but the last two Derbies were run on sloppy tracks.
Two scratches in recent days of OMAHA BEACH and HAIKAL have moved some horses inside a couple of posts and now there is a field of 19.
Mike Smith has picked up a Derby mount after all, being named on Cutting Humor.
Thoroughblog has not nailed down a win selection yet (stay tuned Saturday morning) but the contenders from this corner are, listed
IN POST ORDER:
BY MY STANDARDS
CODE OF HONOR
Horse number Horse Sire owner Trainer last 3 Beyer Figures (from most recent) Jockey odds
1 War of Will (War Front) – Gary Barber Mark Casse – 78, 90, 94 Tyler Gafflione 15-1
2 Tax (Arch) – R. A. Hill Stable, Reeves Thoroughb, Hugh Lynch & Corms Racing (Lucas – Stritsman) Danny Gargan – 95, 96, 93 J Alvarado 20-1
3 By My Standards (Goldencents)– Allied Racing Stable LLC (Chester Thomas) Bret Calhoun – 97,86, 73 Gabriel Saez 15-1
4 Gray Magician (Graydar)– Wachtel Stable (Adam Wachtel), Eclipse Thoroughbrd & Gary Barber Peter Miller – n/a,80, 73 50-1 D Van Dyke
5 Improbable (City Zip)– WinStar Farm LLC (Kenny Troutt), China Horse Club) & Starlight Racing (Jack Wolf et al) -Bob Baffert – 95, 96, 93 Irad Ortiz 5-1
6 Vekoma (Candy Ride-Arg) – R. A. Hill Stable (Randy Hill) & Gatsas Stables (Mike Gatsas) George Weaver – 94, 90, 97 J Castellano 15-1
7 Maximum Security (New Year’s Day) – Gary L. & Mary E. West Jason Servis – 101, 102, 83 Luis Saez 8-1
8 Tacitus (Tapit)– Juddmonte Farms Inc. (Prince Khalid Abdullah) Bill Mott – 93,75, 77 J Ortiz 8-1
9 Plus Que Parfait (Point of Entry) – Imperial Racing LLC (Michael Foley) Brendan Walsh – UAE Derby win, 58, 83 R Santana 30-1
10 Cutting Humor (First Samurai)– Starlight Racing (Jack Wolf) Todd Pletcher – 95, 76, 85
Corey Lanerie Mike Smith 30-1 11 Haikal (Daaher)– Shadwell Stable (Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum) Kiaran McLaughlin – R Maragh 95,84, 85 30-1 12 Omaha Beach (War Front) – Fox Hill Farm (Rick Porter) Richard Mandella – 96, 90, 83 Mike Smith 4-1
13 Code of Honor (Noble Mission) – William S. Farish Shug McGaughey III – 91,95, 77 John Velazquez 12-1
14 Win Win Win (Hat Trick-Jpn)– Live Oak Plantation (Charlotte C. Weber) Mike Trombetta – 88,89, 99 J Pimentel 12-1
15 Master Fencer (JPN) (Just the Way) Katsumi & Yasuyo Yoshizawa Koichi Tsunoda Japan J Leparoux 50-1
16 Game Winner (Candy Ride-Arg) – Gary L. & Mary E. West Bob Baffert – 96, 93, 97 J Rosario 9-2
17 Roadster (Quality Road)– Speedway Stable LLC (Peter Fluor & K.C. Weiner) Bob Baffert – 98, 93, 89 Florent Geroux 5-1
18 Long Range Toddy (Take Charge Indy) – Willis Horton Racing LLC Steve Asmussen – 95, 87, 83 Jon Court 30-1
19 Spinoff (Hard Spun)– Wertheimer et Frere (Alain & Gerard Wertheimer) Todd Pletcher – 96, 84, 75 M Franco30-1
20 Country House (Lookin at Lucky) – Mrs. J.V. Shields, E.J.M. McFadden Jr. & LNJ Foxwoods Bill Mott – F Prat 87, 86, 80 30-1
21 Bodeexpress (Bodemeister) Top Racing, Global Racing, GDS Racing G Delgado Chris Landeros 96, 91,, 74 30-1
Friday Derby notes from Churchill
BODEXPRESS – Top Racing LLC, Global Thoroughbred and GDS Racing Stable’s Bodexpress galloped a mile at Churchill Downs Friday morning.
Trainer Gustavo Delgado will saddle his second Kentucky Derby starter Saturday. The Venezuela legend, who was the all-time winningest trainer in his homeland before venturing to the U.S. in 2014, saddled Majesto for an 18th-place finish in the 2016 Run for the Roses.
Bodexpress, a maiden who finished second behind Maximum Security in the Florida Derby (GI), will be jockey Chris Landeros’ first Derby mount.
BY MY STANDARDS – Allied Racing Stables’ By My Standards, with trainer Bret Calhoun and his assistants, Tom Morgan and Dennis “Peaches” Geier watching in the rain, galloped 1 ½ miles Friday morning.
“We’re ready to roll,” Calhoun said. “I’m naturally a nervous person as a horse trainer and there won’t be much sleep tonight.”
By My Standards will break from post three and is 15-1 on the morning line.
CODE OF HONOR – William S. Farish’s Code of Honor galloped more than a mile under Brian Duggan at 6:35 Friday over the rain-soaked surface.
Trainer Shug McGaughey said Code of Honor would not go to the track Saturday morning to train.
McGaughey, who won the 2013 Derby with Orb, will give a leg up to two-time Derby-winning rider John Velazquez tomorrow.
“I’d like to see him get away good,” McGaughey said of Code of Honor, who will break from post 13. “I hope the speed outside goes and we find a good spot in the middle. When it comes time to make a move, I hope we have a clear run.”
When Orb won in 2013, the victory came over a sloppy track, conditions similar to what Code of Honor may face Saturday.
“With Orb, I didn’t know what to expect (regarding an ‘off’ track),” McGaughey said. “I was hoping it would be fast with Easy Goer (in 1989), no one in that family liked it.
Easy Goer had finished second in the 1988 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (GI) here over a muddy track and caught the same conditions six months later in the Derby when he ran second to Sunday Silence.
COUNTRY HOUSE/TACITUS – Juddmonte Farms’ Tacitus and Mrs. J. V. Shields Jr. et al.’s Country House appeared two of the more comfortable horses over the sloppy conditions Friday morning, each galloping for trainer Bill Mott during the special Kentucky Derby session.
Based in Barn 19, Country House had Marianne Scherer aboard, while Juan Quintero piloted Tacitus.
“All good,” Mott confirmed.
CUTTING HUMOR/SPINOFF – The Todd Pletcher-trained duo of Derby colts trained early at 5:15 Friday, their final piece of exercise prior to their dates with destiny in Saturday’s 145th edition of the Kentucky Derby.
Starlight Stable’s Cutting Humor and Wertheimer and Frere’s Spinoff galloped in the rain on a strip termed “sloppy.”
Cutting Humor will have a new rider for Saturday’s $3 million test, Hall of Famer Mike Smith taking over for assigned jockey Corey Lanerie. Starlight owner Jack Wolf has indicated that he will pay double jockey fees (usually 10%) on purse earnings for the race. Manny Franco retains his call on Spinoff.
GAME WINNER/IMPROBABLE/ROADSTER – All three of Bob Baffert’s Kentucky Derby contenders headed out in the morning deluge to gallop about a mile and a half over the Churchill Downs oval.
Grade I winners Roadster and Improbable hit the track during the special training period from 5:15-5:30 with the former going along for an easy gallop under Humberto “Beto” Gomez and his stablemate doing the same under the guidance of Jose Contreras. Gomez then headed back to hop on Game Winner, who also took a spin around the drenched going as assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes kept watch aboard his pony.
With rain slated to have a presence all day Saturday, who handles the off going best will be a key intangible for the first leg of the Triple Crown. Improbable raced over a sealed, sloppy Oaklawn Park track when finishing second to Omaha Beach in the Arkansas Derby (GI) an effort that was even more admirable considering his gate antics before the start of the race.
Improbable wore blinkers for the first time that day but will not race with them Saturday.
“Improbable, his motor runs a little hotter than most of them,” Baffert said. “I think I’ve got three nice horses but it’s still a very wide open race. There are 10 horses that I think are within a length of each other. It’s whoever gets the trip. And especially now that it’s going to rain, we don’t know what is going to happen. It’s too bad the weather is not going to work with us. We’ll just have to deal with it.”
GRAY MAGICIAN – Wachtel Stable, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Gary Barber’s UAE Derby (GII) runner-up Gray Magician left Barn 39 with assistant Ashlie Campbell aboard and jogged over the sloppy main Churchill Downs track Friday morning.
Trainer Peter Miller confirmed that the son of Graydar is on schedule to become the conditioner’s second Kentucky Derby (GI) starter following well-beaten finish by Comma to the Top in 2011 behind Animal Kingdom.
LONG RANGE TODDY – Willis Horton’s Long Range Toddy had a light one-mile gallop Friday morning over the “sloppy” surface at Churchill Downs.
“It’s out of our control now, we’re ready.” Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen’s assistant Scott Blasi said.
Long Range Toddy will be ridden by 58-year-old Jon Court and is 30-1 on the morning line.
MASTER FENCER – Katsumi and Yasuyo Yoshizawa’s Koichi Tsunoda-trained Master Fencer soaked up his surroundings Friday morning, quite literally. Under a deluge on the main dirt track, the first Japanese-bred to tackle the Run for the Roses cantered two laps of the track under exercise rider Yosuke Kono; one markedly slow and one at a steady pace. He then walked another lap before heading back to the Quarantine Barn.
“He’s never ran in a Grade I, but we hope he can run well,” Tsunoda said through a translator. “I’m really glad to see that he is comfortable here. In his last race, he was pretty childish. I think he has a lot of ability. He still has some potential to improve. We expect him to hopefully run in the Kentucky Derby to his full ability.”
MAXIMUM SECURITY – Gary and Mary West’s Maximum Security galloped a 1 3/8 miles Friday morning over a sealed sloppy track at Churchill Downs.
“It looked like he went over it really well,” trainer Jason Servis said.
Maximum Security, who is undefeated in four career starts, captured an optional claiming starter allowance over a muddy Gulfstream Park track in his second start.
The son of New Year’s Day breezed three times at Palm Meadows Training Center in Boynton Beach, Florida, since registering a front-running 3 ½-length victory in the March 30 Florida Derby (GI) and before shipping to Churchill Downs this week.
“Things have gone OK, getting on the plane and all that, but he’s had a couple breezes that were slower than I wanted. That’s been on my mind,” Servis said. “He just ran a mile and an eighth, but he went slower than I wanted to go. But he’s had three breezes after the Florida Derby, so I can’t imagine he’s not fit.”
PLUS QUE PARFAIT – Imperial Racing’s UAE Derby (GII) champion Plus Que Parfait galloped an easy lap of the sloppy Churchill Downs dirt track during the special training track with Brendan Walsh’s assistant Tom Molloy in the saddle. The son of Point of Entry appeared more comfortable than most over the off going.
“I barely asked him to do anything,” Molloy said. “He didn’t mind the mud one bit at all.”
Walsh’s first Kentucky Derby (GI) starter has one start over wet going, when a game second over Churchill Downs’ sealed sloppy going in the Kentucky Jockey Club (GII) in late November.
TAX – R. A. Hill Stable, Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, Hugh Lynch and Corms Racing Stable’s Tax jogged once around the sealed sloppy track Friday morning at Churchill Downs.
Trainer Danny Gargan said his isn’t worried about the prospect of a wet track for the Kentucky Derby (GI).
“He’s by Arch out of a Giant’s Causeway mare,” Gargan said. “I’m not really concerned about it.”
Junior Alvarado has the return call aboard the gelding who began his career with a second-place finish in a $30,000 maiden claiming race Sept. 29 and who was claimed for $50,000 three weeks later at Keeneland.
VEKOMA – Randy Hill and Mike Gatsas’ Blue Grass Stakes (GII) winner Vekoma galloped a mile and quarter under Cindy Hutter during the 5:15-5:30 training window for Oaks and Derby horses.
Trainer George Weaver said Vekoma would not go to the track in the morning to train.
Following the victory at Keeneland, Weaver took Vekoma back to his Florida base at Palm Beach Downs where he had two works. The latter came last Friday, a bullet five furlongs in :59.95 in company with Majestic Dunhill who will run in Saturday’s $500,000 Churchill Downs (GI).
“Everything has been smooth (since the Blue Grass) and the horse seems happy,” said Weaver, who is saddling his second Kentucky Derby starter.
Javier Castellano has the mount on Vekoma, a winner of three of four starts and the first horse to win the Blue Grass in just his fourth start since Coaltown in 1948.
WAR OF WILL – The striking son of War Front, War of Will, took it easy during a rain-logged morning Friday and just jogged under exercise rider Jose Vasquez.
“I had thought about maybe galloping because we run so late tomorrow but (didn’t) after seeing the track and the rain,” trainer Mark Casse said.
Casse stated again that it “doesn’t hurt my feelings” seeing rain in the forecast for Saturday given the form War of Will showed over wet going when he broke his maiden at Churchill Downs last Nov. 24. And with graded stakes winner Haikal officially having to scratch from the Kentucky Derby because of a foot abscess, War of Will now will break from the No. 2 stall – slightly improving his position after drawing the rail from the 10-furlong classic.
“If history repeats itself, the inside is usually pretty good (when it rains),” Casse said.
WIN WIN WIN – Live Oak Plantation’s Win Win Win galloped a mile and a half under exercise rider Melanie Williams at 5:15 Friday.
Trainer Mike Trombetta said Win Win Win may jog in the morning “if the track is open and it is not horrible.”
Win Win Win will break from post position 14 under first-time Derby rider Julian Pimentel.
SAHIN CIVACI DEBUTS AT WOODBINE
Vancouver-born, Turkish-raised SAHIN CIVACI will make his riding debut at Woodbine on Saturday.
He was born in Vancouver but at the age of 10 his parents moved back to their native Ankara, Turkey. In his early teens Sahin enrolled at a course sponsored by the Turkish Jockey Club and soon decided riding horses was what he wanted to do for a living.
Civaci arrived on the Hastings Racecourse scene in 2014 and he has won 120 races.
He is represented by Ron Burke.
OPENING DAY SATURDAY AT HASTINGS; A BUZZ AMONG RACING FANS
Vancouver, B.C. (May 3/19) – With more than 500 horses on the grounds and 75 of them ready to race on opening day Saturday at Hastings Racecourse, the 2019 thoroughbred season is poised to get out of the starting gate in classic style.
“With eight races on the card, four of them $50,000 stakes and with good-sized fields, plus live simulcast coverage of the Kentucky Derby, it’s hard not to be enthusiastic,” says Hastings general manager Darren MacDonald. “Our horsemen really delivered. We’re ready to roll.”
Saturday marks the beginning of a 51-day meet at Hastings Racecourse and the start of a stakes schedule that includes $2.27 million in purse money over the course of the season.
In a unique twist, all four $50,000 stakes will run consecutively Saturday in races 5 thru 8, making up the popular Pick Four wagering challenge. The lineup includes the Brighouse Belles for 3-year-olds & up, fillies and mares; Swift Thoroughbreds Inaugural for 3-year-olds & up; Jim Coleman Province for 3-year-olds and the Ross McLeod for 3-year-old fillies.
The running of the 145th Kentucky Derby from Churchill Downs will be shown live on the jumbo infield screen at 3:50 p.m. Picking up on the festive spirit of the famous Run for the Roses, an anticipated huge gathering of race-goers at Hastings will enjoy all kinds of activity at track level with a fleet of food trucks, musical entertainment and giveaways in a salute to the 130th anniversary of thoroughbred racing in British Columbia.
Historians have recorded that the first official race staged in Vancouver was held in 1889 down the middle of what would become Howe Street. A horse named Mayflower won the Vancouver City Stakes and first-place money of $25.
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