Forced to make an additional prep in the G1 Blue Grass S. to be assured of a spot in the Kentucky Derby starting gate, this Todd Pletcher trainee delivered with a good runner up finish behind Java's War. The 40 qualifying points he earned gave him a total of 50 and landed him in the 12 th spot on the leaderboard following the defection of Govenor Charlie. The G2 Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds on 3/30 was intended to be his final race before the 1 st Saturday in May, but a trouble-filled trip cost him all chance and he wound up 7 th . A precocious colt, Palace Malice was a solid second in his debut last July. But it was the impressive 3 1/2-length win at Saratoga in his second start that stamped him as a player in the division before a bucked shin ended his juvenile campaign. His sophomore season began with a runner up finish in a January Gulfstream Park ... read more on Palace Malice
Long considered a serious Kentucky Derby prospect, this Todd Pletcher trainee didn't punch his ticket to Louisville until winning the 4/13 G1 Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park. Under jockey Rafael Bejarano, Overanalyze came wide from off the pace, collared leader Falling Sky and drew off to a 4 ¼-length score. The bay crossed the wire in the 1 1/8m test in 1:51.94 and earned a 96 BRIS Speed Rating for his effort. The 100 Kentucky Derby points picked up in Hot Springs vaulted Overanalyze to #5 on the leaderboard for eligibility to run for the roses and guaranteed him a spot in the starting gate. The win also boosted his career earnings to $956,381 and record to 7-4-0-1. The son of Dixie Union began his career by taking a Saratoga maiden race last August under a hand ride and has competed exclusively in graded stakes ever since, winning ever other race.. read more on Overanalyze
With the G1 Blue Grass S. now in the bag, Ken McPeek's versatile trainee is a stakes winner on synthetic and turf and graded stakes-placed on dirt from his solid 2 nd behind Verrazano in the G2 Tampa Bay Derby. His Blue Grass victory on 4/13 at Keeneland was easily the most impressive of his career, as the bay overcame a terrible start, lagged well behind, then circled the field to blow by 12 of his rivals and nail leader Palace Malice for a neck score. The bay stopped the clock in 1:50.27 and earned an 89 Beyer Speed Figure. Already among the top 20 in the new Kentucky Derby points qualifying system, he picked up 100 more for a total of 122 and 4 th -place ranking on the current list of those eligible to run for the roses.With Julien Leparoux aboard for the 1 st time, the Blue Grass continued a tradition of slow starts by Java's War, including poor beginnings in the Tampa stakes . read more on Javas War
Of the Kentucky Derby contenders targeting the Run for the Roses for their next start, Mylute was the 1 st to arrive at Churchill Downs. Tom Amoss' charge vanned from Fair Grounds following his runner up finish in the G2 Louisiana Derby and passed through the Churchill Downs stable gate at 3:30 a.m. ET on 4/2 in route to stall 20 in barn 29. With the 40 Kentucky Derby qualifying points Mylute picked up in his thrilling neck defeat to Revolutionary in New Orleans, the son of champion sprinter Midnight Lute has a total of 42 and ranks #13 on the current list to run for the roses. A spot in the gate virtually assured, he began his preparations on 4/7 with an easy 4f breeze over a fast Churchill Downs oval in 50.20 (16/24). The return to the Louisville track was a homecoming for Mylute... read more on Mylute
Hours before 2011 Kentucky Derby champion Animal Kingdom ran away with the world's richest horse race, the $10 million Dubai World Cup, Lines of Battle punched his ticket to Louisville with an impressive performance of his own in the $2 million U.A.E. Derby at Meydan. The victory gave top Irish trainer Aiden O'Brien his 2 nd straight in the race following Daddy Long Legs' score a year ago. Tracking behind slow early fractions (27.06 for the first quarter and :52.92 for the half mile), Lines of Battle took a brief lead then was passed at the 800-meter mark by Godolphin's Snowboarder. When that rival faded, Lines of Battle took command and then repelled a late bid from Elleval for a final margin of 1 ½ lengths. Under jockey Ryan Moore, he covered the about 1 3/16m on the Tapeta surface in 2:02.05 and picked up 100 Kentucky Derby qualifying points to assure himself . read more on Lines of Battle
Sterling Racing's Black Onyx punched his ticket to Louisville with a victory in his stakes and synthetic surface debut, the $550,000 G3 Spiral S. at Turfway Park on 3/23. Dismissed at over 15/1 despite the fact that Crop Report, whom Black Onyx defeated in a Gulfstream Park allowance optional claiming turf race last out, returned to win the Rushaway S. earlier on the card. The dark bay colt remained a perfect 2-for-2 since moving to Kelly Breen's barn and attracting Joe Bravo in the irons following a drubbing on the Gulfstream dirt to kick off 2013. After settling mid-pack early in the Spiral, Black Onyx made a 5-wide bid and hit the front entering the stretch to put away Taken by the Storm and hold the more accomplished Uncaptured at bay. As a juvenile, Black Onyx made two off-the-turf New York starts for conditioner Carl Domino, finishing 2 nd in his debut and then breaking his maiden. read more on Black Onyx
Willis D. Horton's Will Take Charge vaulted to the top of the new Kentucky Derby qualifying standings with 60 points following his hard-fought victory over game stablemate Oxbow in the $600,000 G2 Rebel S. at Oaklawn Park on 3/16. Coming from off-the-pace, Will Take Charge appeared to have all the momentum in deep stretch but leader Oxbow dug in and battled him to the wire before succumbing in the final strides. Will Take Charge covered the 1 1/16m in 1:45.28 and posted 101 BRIS and 95 Beyer respective speed numbers for his effort. The Rebel was the 2 nd stakes win and 3 rd in seven career starts for the son of Unbridled's Song. He previously took Oaklawn's Smarty Jones S. by holding Texas Bling at bay before disappointing in the sloppy G3 Southwest S. when he showed nothing and finished 18 lengths behind Super Ninety Nine in 6 th.. read more on Will Take Charge
Pick Six Racing's Vyjack showed a new dimension when coming from well off the pace to run by his rivals and remain undefeated in the $400,000 G3 Gotham S. over Aqueduct's inner track on 3/2. With the 50 Kentucky Derby qualifying points and $240,000 winner's check, the Rudy Rodriguez trainee now sits in 2 nd -place on the eligibility list to run for the roses and has likely secured a spot in the starting gate. New pilot Joel Rosario took hold out of the gate and the gelding relaxed nicely near the back of the pack behind moderate early fractions. He progressed into 8 th of 11 at the half and was still there through three-quarters when pacesetter West Hills Giant looked poised to kick clear. But Rosario swung his mount five-wide and Vyjack set sail with tremendous acceleration to blow by his rivals in route to a 2 ¼ -length score and final time of 1:44.09 for the 1 1/16m.... read more on Vyjack
After beginning his career with three losses over New York tracks, trainer Shug McGaughey's Orb has now racked up three straight victories capped by his come-from-behind score in Gulfstream Park's $400,000 G2 Besilu Stables Fountain of Youth S. on 2/23. With John Velazquez in the irons for the first time, Orb settled well off the pace in seventh as Majestic Hussar showed the way and odds-on favorite Violence remained in close contact with the pacesetter. As Violence took command leaving the far turn, Orb circled four wide and took dead aim on the new leader. Orb put his head in front past the eighth pole and outkicked his rival to win by half a length in a final time of 1:42.24 for the 1 1/16m contest. The two were well clear of show finisher Speak Logistics, who crossed the wire 6 3/4 lengths behind Violence. The 97 Beyer Speed Figure Orb posted was 14 points higher than his previous best... read more on Orb
Bob Baffert's trainee put on a jaw-dropping performance when trouncing nine other Triple Crown nominees in Oaklwan Park's $300,000 G3 Southwest Stakes on 2/18. Sent off as the even-money favorite over a surface rated sloppy, the son of Pulpit gunned it out of the gate and never looked back, pouring it on down the stretch for an 11 ¼ length laugher in his two-turn debut. The chestnut, who was under wraps late, and pilot Rafael Bejarano stopped the clock in 1:44.84 for the 1 1/16m contest. The 101 BRIS Speed Rating Super Ninety Nine earned was his 2 nd consecutive triple digit figure following a 103 in a Santa Anita optional claiming race on 1/31 to begin his sophomore season. As a two-year-old, the colt broke his maiden at first asking at Santa Anita in early October then was forced to scratch from the 11/2 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Sprint S. .... read more on Super Ninety Nine
Richard Small's charge came from off the pace to notch his 3 rd straight win in Laurel Park's $80,000 Miracle Wood Stakes on 2/9. Jockey Forrest Boyce guided the chestnut wide from near the back-of-the-pack to collar Where's Dominic and battle that rival to the 1/16 th pole before pulling clear for a 1-length score. The son of Smart Strike and Deputy Minister mare Dynamic Deputy covered the 1m in 1:40.58 and earned a career-best 96 BRIS Speed Rating. His figures have improved in each of his four starts, all at Laurel Park. After finishing mid-pack in his 6f debut there, he was forwardly-placed early when winning his next two 1m races. Owned by Robert Meyerhoff's Fitzhugh LLC, Dynamic Strike has now bankrolled $90,600. The colt was bred in Pennsylvania by his owner and foaled on February 18, 2010... read more on Dynamic Strike
The Todd Pletcher trainee gained a wealth of experience and displayed considerable courage when winning the $200,000 G3 Withers at Aqueduct in his stakes debut on 2/2. Stuck on the rail at the back of the pack, jockey Javier Castellano kept the son of War Pass under a tight hold early while looking for running room. Once he found it, Revolutionary accelerated, split rivals and battled to a neck win over fellow Triple Crown nominee Escapefromreality. Covering the 1 1/16 miles in 1:44:32, he earned a 96 BRIS Speed Rating and corresponding 86 Beyer Speed Figure. The victory boosted his career bankroll to $188,500 and earned him 10 points in the new Kentucky Derby qualifying system. Though it took Revolutionary four tries to break his maiden, he did so stylishly with an 8 1/2 - length laugher in a 1m race over Aqueduct's inner track to close out his juvenile campaign on 12/28. read more on Revolutionary
Though he had romped in the New Year's Day Gulfstream Park Derby, it was the 1/26 G3 $400,000 Holy Bull S. victory over juvenile champion Shanghai Bobby that stamped Eddie Plesa, Jr.'s charge as a major player on the road to Louisville. As expected, Shanghai Bobby went to the lead from his rail post and Itsmyluckyday settled behind the favorite and longshot Clearly Now. The son of Lawyer Ron and Viva La Slew took charge passing the mile and finished the 1 1/16 miles two lengths ahead of the champ in a track record 1:41.81. Clearly Now couldn't keep up and was 11 1/2 lengths back in 3 rd The 10 points and winner's share of the purse propelled him to #5 in the new Kentucky Derby points standings that will determine eligibility to run for the roses this year. Itsmyluckyday broke his maiden in his 2 nd career start at Monmouth Park and has now bankrolled $425,600 with five victories.. read more on Itsmyluckyday
Having lost promising Kentucky Derby prospects Hightail and Titletown Five to injuries, Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas found himself back on the road to Louisville when Oxbow wired the field in the $200,000 G3 Lecomte Stakes at Fair Grounds on 1/19. In a stunning display, the son of Awesome Again out of the Cee's Tizzy mare Tizamazing powered away down the lane in route to an 11 ½-length victory over eight overmatched rivals. With Jon Court aboard, he covered the 1m70yds in 1:43.30 and banked $120,000 for owner Bluegrass Hall plus 10 points in the new Kentucky Derby qualifying system. Lukas shipped his charge from his winter base at Arkansas' Oaklawn Park to Louisiana on the day before the Lecomte and reunited him with Court. Oxbow's career began in unfortunate fashion when he was pulled up and vanned off shortly after the start of a Saratoga MSW last August..... read more on Oxbow
The potent owner-trainer combo of John Oxley and Mark Casse took their second straight 7f Pasco S. at Tampa Bay Downs on 1/12 when Dynamic Sky overcame traffic, steadying and a wide trip to pick up his share of the $100,000 purse in his seasonal debut. Wearing blinkers for the first time, Dynamic Sky crossed the wire in 1:22.79, just .24 seconds off the stakes record and ¾ of a length in front of highly-regarded stablemate Sky Commander. As a juvenile, the colt began his career in a stakes, checking in 3 rd behind another heralded Oxley-Casse runner, Uncaptured, in the restricted Vandal S. at Woodbine. He broke his maiden next out in the Simcoe S. for Canadian bred two-year-olds over that same oval then took on open company in Keeneland's G1 Dixiana Breeders' Futurity... read more on Dynamic Sky
A victory in the G3 Sham S. at SA on 1/5 vaulted Doug O'Neill's charge to the top of the Kentucky Derby point standings with a total of 24 to Shanghai Bobby's 20. In tight early, Goldencents stalked just behind Sham pacesetter Manando, took command nearing the sixteenth pole and drew away for a 1 ½-length margin at the wire. He stopped the clock in 1:36.50 for the 1 mile event, earning a 93 BRIS Speed Rating and identical Beyer Speed Figure. Goldencents earned his 1 st graded stakes score in his 2012 finale, the G3 Delta Downs Jackpot. His lone loss in four starts was a 2 nd to soon-to-be-named juvenile Eclipse Award winner, Shanghai Bobby. From the first crop of outstanding freshman sire Into Mischief and out of the Banker's Gold mare Golden Works, Goldencents is owned by W. C. Racing, Dave Kenney and RAP Racing, the stable.... read more on Goldencents
Let's Go Stables' Verrazano entered the Kentucky Derby picture with a spectacular New Year's Day debut at GP. The Todd Pletcher trainee tracked the early leaders, moved three-wide into the far turn and poured it on down the lane to trounce 10 maiden special weight rivals in a sensational 7 ¾-length score. Ridden by John Velazquez, the bay colt stopped the clock in 1:16.48 for the 6 ½-furlong contest and earned a 94 Beyer Speed Figure. By More Than Ready and out of Enchanted Rock (Giant's Causeway), a daughter of the G1-winning mare Chic Shirine,Verrazano is a half-brother to Pletcher's 2012 G2 Risen Star champ and Kentucky Derby starter El Padrino. The Kentucky-bred was foaled on January 27, 2010, and purchased for $250,000 at the 2011 September Yearling Sale. The connections made him a Louisiana Derby early bird nominee by the 12/17 deadline... read more on Verrazano
Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer's Zeewat recorded his 2 nd stakes victory and improved his career record to 5-3-0-1 when taking the one-mile Gold Rush S. at GG on 12/8. The son of Harlan's Holiday and Delizia was third early behind a slow pace before taking charge and pulling away to win by 3 ¼ lengths, earning career best BRIS and Beyer figures of 92 and 80, respectively. With a final quarter faster than his first three, Zeewat earned a 107 BRIS Late Pace Rating in his two-turn debut. Prior to his Gold Rush score, Zeewat followed his SR maiden-breaker with a win in the Cavonnier Juvenile Stakes at the same track. A slow start next out in the Tim Conway Stakes at SA doomed his chances and resulted in his only off-the-board finish when he checked in 4 th of five runners... read more on Zeewat
Favored Violence ran his record to a perfect 3-for-3 when notching his second stakes victory in the 1 1/16m $750,000 G1 CashCall Futurity at BHP on 12/15. With Javier Castellano again in the irons, trainer Todd Pletcher's son of Medaglia d'Oro enjoyed a stalking trip and caught front-running Fury Kapcori late before edging away for a 1 ¼-length score and final time of 1:43.50. Before winning his first 2-turn attempt, the big, leggy Violence broke his maiden despite a slow start in his SAR debut then survived an inquiry to take the bumpy G2 Nashua Stakes at AQU on 11/4. Dell Ridge Farm bred the dark bay or brown colt in Kentucky from the Gone West mare Violent Beauty. His family includes champion older mare Sky Beauty, G1 Breeders' Cup Distaff winner Pleasant Home and multiple G1 victors Tale of Ekati, Point of Entry and Pine Island. Violence was foaled on March 21, 2010, and purchased by Black Rock Thoroughbreds as a yearling for $600,000 at the Keeneland September 2011 sale. Violence joined Pletcher's PMM string in South Florida following his CashCall win and is being pointed to the Fountain of Youth Stakes at GP or the Risen Star at FG, both G2s on 2/23, to start his sophomore season... read more on Violence.
Trainer Bob Baffert's Tapit colt announced his arrival on the Kentucky Derby trail with an emphatic debut, taking a 7f BHP maiden race on 12/8 by 3 ½ lengths. Flashback signaled his ability with flashy morning works and was sent to post as the even money favorite. He settled in the middle of his eight rivals a few lengths off the pacesetter and advanced three-wide into the stretch. When pilot Julien Leparoux gave him a left-handed crack of the whip, Flashback responded to quickly grab the lead and kick clear, stopping the clock in 1:23.09 and earning 98 and 93 BRIS and Beyer figures, respectively. The grey colt is out of the Mr. Greeley mare Rhumb Line, making him a full brother to the multiple stakes winning mare Zazu and a half brother to Corinthian's Jewel, who won the 9f Restoration S. at MTH. Bred in Kentucky by William G. ... read more on Flashback.
The connections of Avie's Quality thought enough of their colt to nominate him to Woodbine's G3 Grey S. before his career debut and he rewarded their belief in his ability with an impressive victory in the Display S. over that track December 1. He has progressed in each of his starts, beginning with a 3 rd on the polytrack followed by a near-miss 2 nd on the turf in maiden contests. Trainer Josie Carroll added blinkers and returned him to the synthetic surface for his next race and Avie's Quality responded with a breakthrough performance to blow by a well-meant leader and draw off to a 5-length romp. In the Display S., the Kentucky-bred settled midpack early, steadily advanced and again showed tremendous acceleration when closing three-wide on the turn to sweep to the lead and kick clear for a 1 ¼ -length score and career best 91 Beyer.... read more on Avie's Quality.
Trainer Chad Brown's pupil has come a long way in a short time from a well-beaten 5 th in his 6f mid-September debut to just missing to a graded stakes winner in the 1 1/8m G2 Remsen S. at Aqueduct 11/24. He displayed his thrilling come from behind style in his maiden-breaker before drawing off to beat nine foes by more than nine lengths. In the Remsen, the Tapit colt unleashed a long, sustained drive to hook the leading Todd Pletcher-trained duo of Delhomme and Overanalyze and then battled with the latter to the wire. The 104 BRIS speed rating he and Overanalyze earned in the Remsen S. ranks near the top of the juvenile male division this year and the 99 Beyer speed figure the pair recorded is the highest in a route race by two-year-old males. Fox Hill Farms owns Normandy Invasion, who is unbeaten under jockey Jose Lezcano.... read more on Normandy Invasion
John Oxley's Uncaptured (Lion Heart-Captivating) added his 3 rd stakes victory in Woodbine's Swynford S. and remained a peferct 4-for-4. A stunning loss as the .40/$1 favorite in the G3 Grey Stakes derailed plans for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile and left his connections scratching their heads. Taking a less ambitious route, the Mark Casse trainee was shipped to Churchill Downs and supplemented to the opening day G3 Iroquois S., in which he put on a dazzling display to dust a deep and talented field. Uncaptured smoked a 5f best of 43 bullet in 59.40 over a fast CD oval on 11/14 in preparation for Saturday's G3 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes under the Twin Spires... read more on Uncaptured