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Divisidero with Edgar Prado returns after winning the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic
Kentucky Derby Day is the biggest card of racing at Churchill Downs. Before the main event, there were five graded stakes contested over the main track and turf course before the 167,227 fans who came out on Saturday, the second largest attendance in history. Conditions were excellent most of the day with a dry fast main track, firm turf, sunny skies, and temperatures in the low 80's, with a brief shower just before the running of the Woodford Reserve.
Left: Tepin in the winner's circle. Winning jockey Julien Leparoux said, "She's just a champ. She's a very good filly. I'm blessed to be on her. She's the best I've ever rode, that's for sure. She is really just special. Every time you ask her for something she does it even better. Today I didn't want to be too far from Johnny (Velazquez on Isabella Sings). I took her a little bit out of her comfort zone, but then she just reacts on the backside and came kicking at the end like she always does."
Right: The winning connections with their trophy. Winning trainer Mark Casse said, "I guess Royal Ascot here we come. I think that she got her confidence. She’s learned to relax. We have a lot of good older horses and I believe in letting them get confidence and get better. She’s probably one of our biggest accomplishments because she started out as good and she’s become great. I don’t care how good you are or how good a trainer you are, no one can predict greatness like her."
Left: Catalina Red in the winner's circle. Winning jockey Javier Castellano said, "A very good set-up. It worked out perfect for me. Those two horses showed speed early in the race, and it was a good set-up for me. A good post outside. I like it the way he did it turning for home. When I asked him, he took off really well."
Right: Beaten favorite and 8th place finisher Speightster. The 3-1 choice settled about 1 1/2 lengths off the pace under Jose Lezcano but tired in the stretch to finish 8th beaten 14 lengths.
Left: Taris in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Simon Callaghan said, "There’s a little bit of pressure with such a high purchase price, but she deserved it and she deserved it before this. We couldn’t be happier. It was a perfect trip. We thought there would be speed up to the inside and we just got a nice, clean trip and it just worked out perfectly." Jockey Flavien Prat added, "It was the trip I was hoping for. I was happy coming into the turn and the pace was what I wanted. When she turned for home, she was gone."
Right: Second place finisher Stonetastic. Jockey Paco Lopez said, "My filly tried really hard. No real excuse. The other filly (Taris) beat me really easy."
Camelot Kitten wins the American Turf (G2)
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Left: Camelot Kitten in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Chad Brown said, "Irad (Ortiz) worked out a really good trip from that post position and we made the equipment change and put blinkers on the horse. He’s a horse that always had trained really well like a top-level stake horse and then in the afternoons I felt like we weren’t really getting everything out of him. We tried to put the blinkers on him, he worked really big here at Churchill last week and combined with Irad’s great ride it made the difference."
Right: Beaten favorite and 4th place finisher Airoforce leads first time by. The 2-1 choice set the pace under Julien Leparoux but tired late to finish fourth beaten 2 3/4 lengths.
Left: Sharp Azteca in the winner's circle with race namesake Pat Day on the far left. Winning trainer Jorge Navarro said, "I think this horse is one of the best 3-year-olds in the nation. The horse had some issues and we gave him some time off. We took a chance in here. He worked in :58 last week and the way he did it was just amazing. This horse will run all day."
Right: Sixth place finisher and beaten favorite American Freedom. The 7-5 choice settled in 5th 5 lengths off the pace under Javier Castellano, but could not improve late finishing 6th beaten 7 lengths.
Left: Divisidero in the winner's circle. Trainer Buff Bradley said, “I love winning on Derby Day. He’s a really special horse. We felt really confident coming into this race. We’re realistic. We knew this was a good bunch of horses. He’s a terrific horse and I think he’s going to show what kind of horse he is this year. Edgar (Prado) thought he’d be closer. We felt he could lay a lot closer. Edgar thought there wasn’t as much speed in here. We felt like when we got to this distance we’d let him run his race."
Right: Fifth place finisher and beaten favorite Big Blue Kitten trails the field first time by. Trainer Chad Brown said, “He ran like a horse that needed a race. He hadn’t started since the Breeders’ Cup."
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