Blue Norther Stakes
New Years Stakes
Road to the Derby
Year in Review
At this late stage, just two weeks out from the Kentucky Derby, most contenders are working out at their home tracks or at Churchill Downs and training up to the big day. But some, in need of further conditioning or more graded stakes earnings to gain entry into the field, made their final preps this weekend in Kentucky or Maryland.
Coin Silver winner of the Lexington Stakes.
When the gate opened, Going Wild and 22-1 shot Actxecutive went to the front and battled around the clubhouse turn, getting the quarter in 23.19 and the half in 46.50, before the longshot dropped out of contention from this fast pace and eventually would finish last. Jockey Stewart Elliott kept favorite Rockport Harbor in striking position in 4th down the backstretch, staying out in the 4 path out of trouble and avoiding the deep rail over the sloppy going. Turning for home, Going Wild had the lead after 6 furlongs in 1:12.01, then he too dropped out, succumbing to the early pace duel. 13-1 shot Coin Silver, after a bumpy start, took a three-wide path around the turn, took the lead with a furlong to go, and drew away to win by 3 1/2 lengths over the last closing Sort It Out in a time of 1:45.76. It was another 3 1/2 back to 8-1 shot Storm Surge in third, while favorite Rockport Harbor flattened out in the stretch and disappointed in sixth.
Winning trainer Todd Pletcher said, "It was good that he didn't break too well and got shuffled back around the first turn and was able to save ground. It was a big move forward for him today. He likes the wet track. Anytime a horse comes around this time of year, you've gotta love it. If he comes out of it well, we'll see if he can bounce back in two weeks."
Winning jockey Javier Castellano said, "He didn't break too well and I just kept him behind the speed. It was a very fast pace so I just waited to make my run. He's a pretty good horse. I don't think a mile and a quarter will be too much for him."
Stewart Elliott, aboard beaten favorite Rockport Harbor, said, "I knew when the race started that we would find out if he liked the surface or not. We broke well, and I was sitting in a good position but by the first turn I knew he didn't care for the mud at all. He was so exhausted that he almost collapsed after the race. I would consider this a throw-out race though, and I have not lost any confidence in him as we move forward (for the Kentucky Derby)."
Malibu Moonshine winner of the Federico Tesio Stakes.
Jockey Roberto Alvarado took 9-1 shot Hello Jerry to the front and was loose on the lead through an easy half in 49.22, 3/4 in 1:14.01, and a mile in 1:39.81. At the top of the stretch, Malibu Moonshine came out four wide, closed strongly through the lane and outfinished Hello Jerry in the final 1/16 to win by 3/4 length in a time of 1:53.31. It was 2 1/4 lengths back to favored Byanosejoe in third.
Winning trainer King T. Leatherbury said, "I knew we had a lot of horse. I'm just absolutely stopping him in behind the leaders. Of course, they were slowing it down as much as they could, doing their job. The race set up great for us from there. He's usually way back, but with the slow pace he was up close today. Once I got him out at the head of the lane, he did the rest and kicked hard. The added distance was no concern. I think he'll run all day." Asked if he would enter in the Preakness, Leatherbury said, "It's a whole lot different class of horses. But we'll see how the Derby goes first. You've got to meet such better horses. We'll evaluate the race. If we figure we can run third or fourth, then we'll probably run. You don't expect a horse like this to win the Preakness against the best horses in the world. We'll see how many horses are eliminated by the Derby."
Winning jockey Steve Hamilton said, "I knew we had a lot of horse. I'm just absolutely stopping him in behind the leaders. Of course, they were slowing it down as much as they could, doing their job. The race set up great for us from there. He's usually way back, but with the slow pace he was up close today. Once I got him out at the head of the lane, he did the rest and kicked hard. The added distance was no concern. I think he'll run all day. It is every jockeys dream to ride in a Triple Crown race. This horse keeps getting better the further we go. He has done everything we have asked and I don't think we have seen the best of him."
2005 Kentucky Derby Prep Results
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