Cindy's Horse Racing Website Index

Big Weekend of Derby Preps

Date: 04/10/2003

Harlan's Holiday (outside) draws even with Booklet as they head into the final turn of the 2002 Blue Grass Stakes before drawing off to win.
Saturday April 12th is one of the most important days on the Triple Crown Trail with the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct, the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland, and the Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn. All are high profile races at 1 1/8 miles with the first two Grade 1 races with $750,000 purses and the third a Grade 2 race with a $500,000 purse. All have produced multiple Kentucky Derby winners in the past and can be very important in giving contenders enough graded stakes earnings to make the cut for the Kentucky Derby starting gate. As in the past six years, a national pick three wager known as the Big 3 Pick 3 will be offered on these races. Free past performances will be available for all three races from DRF (links below before each list of entries). The races will be televised with the Wood Memorial live on ESPN from 3:30 - 4:30pm EDT followed by the Blue Grass and Arkansas Derby on NBC from 4:30 to 6:00pm EDT.

Here is the field for the Wood Memorial (G1). Free past performances are available here from DRF.

1 New York Hero 123 Pedersen Arroyo Jr. 8-1  
2 Spite The Devil 123 Jerkens Luzzi 30-1  
3 Kissing Saint 123 Lewis Migliore 20-1  
4 Funny Cide 123 Tagg Santos 6-1  
5 Senor Swinger 123 Baffert Stevens 10-1  
6 Indy Dancer 123 Pletcher Velazquez 5-1  
7 Sky Soldier 123 Beattie Madrigal Jr. 15-1  
8 Empire Maker 123 Frankel Bailey 3-5  

The Wood came up a bit light because a few horses opted out to avoid running against Empire Maker, most notably Lion Tamer. If he is as good as he appeared in the Florida Derby, he should romp here. The track is expected to be wet due to heavy rains forecast for Friday. Post time for the Wood is 4:15pm EDT

Here is the field for the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G1). Free past performances are available here from DRF.

1 Acceptable Venture 123 Romans Perret 30-1  
2 Peace Rules 123 Frankel Prado 7-5  
3 Offlee Wild 123 Smith Day 6-1  
4 Badge of Silver 123 Werner Albarado 2-1  
5 Crowned Dancer 123 Paasch Desormeaux 20-1  
6 Great Notion 123 Miller Melancon 15-1  
7 Ten Cents a Shine 123 Lukas Smith 20-1  
8 Lion Tamer 123 Pletcher Velazquez 12-1  
9 Brancusi 123 Biancone Farina 8-1  
10 Lots of Sizzle 123 Keen Lumpkins 30-1  

The field for the Blue Grass is quite contentious as most of the horses who passed the Wood wound up here. There are several good horses who could win here given luck and a good performance. Peace Rules is a deserving favorite off his Louisiana Derby win, but don't be surprised if one of the up-and-coming horses upset him. Post time for the Blue Grass is 5:15pm EDT. Update: Badge of Silver suffered a hairline fracture in a cannon bone during a workout and is out for a while now.

Here is the field for the Arkansas Derby (G2). Free past performances are available here from DRF.

1 Sell to Survive 118 Morse Marquez Jr. 30-1  
2 Crowned King 122 McKeever Jr. Rennie 20-1  
3 Defrere's Vixen 118 Asmussen Meche 12-1  
4 Christine's Outlaw 118 Weaver Guidry 12-1  
5 Sir Cherokee 118 Tomlinson Thompson 30-1  
6 Cat Genius 122 Amoss Borel 6-1  
7 Region of Merit 122 Clement Coa 4-1  
8 Comic Truth 122 Norman Theriot 15-1  
9 Aristocat 118 Pletcher Douglas 5-1  
10 Man Among Men 122 Mandella Solis 4-1  
11 Saint Liam 118 Reinstedler Court 30-1  
12 Eugene's Third Son 118 Byrne Sellers 3-1  

The Arkansas Derby has by far the weakest field of the three races. The best horse is probably Man Among Men, but he has to prove that after his last disappointing race. The other main contenders would be the top two finishers from the Tampa Bay Derby, Region of Merit and Aristocat, and Eugene's Third Son who was second in the Lane's End at Turfway. Post time for the Arkansas Derby is 5:44pm EDT.

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