Florida Derby (G1) runner-up State of Honor breezed a half-mile in :49.80 over a fast track on Easter Sunday at Churchill Downs in preparation for a start in the $2 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) on Saturday, May 6. The Ontario-bred son of To Honor and Serve, trained by Mark Casse, was put through eighth-mile splits of :12 and :24.40 by exercise E.J. Bowler and galloped out five furlongs past the wire in 1:02.
"We really just wanted to get a solid maintenance-work in him before something more serious next week," assistant trainer Norm Casse said. "State of Honor is a tremendous work horse so we will probably keep breezing him by himself."
Throughout his six-race 2-year-old season, State of Honor trained and raced exclusively over Woodbine's synthetic Tapeta surface with the exception of one turf race. But his future engagements changed after Casse breezed the colt on dirt at Palm Meadows in South Florida this winter. "Horses that are primarily based on the synthetic track need time to acclimate to the dirt surface," Norm Casse said. "We really thought State of Honor was a true dirt horse after his first breeze at Palm Meadows. We have been treating every race in his 3-year-old campaign as a steppingstone to the first Saturday in May, and he has improved in each start."
Salty, a top contender for the $1 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) after winning the Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2), breezed a half-mile in :48 Sunday in preparation for the Friday, May 5 race. The 3-year-old daughter of Quality Road went to the track at 6 a.m. with exercise rider Janelle Castonguay and breezed in company with multiple graded stakes-placed mare Mississippi Delta (:48) through fractions of :12.20 and :24.40 before galloping out five furlongs in 1:01.
"We have always been very high on Salty," assistant trainer Norm Casse said. "She's extremely talented and could not have gone better over the Churchill surface. We knew she liked the surface as a 2-year-old but it gives you confidence to see her enjoying it even more as we prep for the Oaks." Salty is 3-2-1-0 lifetime with earnings of $180,370.
Arkansas Derby (G1) winner Classic Empire (left) is scheduled return to Mark Casse's Churchill Downs Barn 36 on Monday afternoon. The juvenile champion could resume training Thursday or Friday.
Santa Anita Derby (G1) winner Gormley breezed three furlongs in :37.80 Saturday at Santa Anita Park. The colt is not expected to arrive at Churchill Downs until Derby week.
Gotham (G3) winner and Blue Grass (G2) fourth-place finisher J Boys Echo is expected to breeze after the break around 8:30 a.m. Monday at Churchill Downs. The 3-year-old son of Mineshaft is stabled in trainer Dale Romans' Barn 4.
Blue Grass winner Irap is scheduled to breeze the next two Fridays at Keeneland before arriving at Churchill Downs.
Triple Crown quick links:
2017 Belmont Stakes Entries - A field of 12 was entered for the Belmont Stakes with Irish War Cry the lukewarm favorite at 7-2. Get all the horses, post positions, odds, and free past performances here.
Analyzing the Belmont Stakes Contenders - Our annual analysis using popular angles and statistical trends to see who best matches the profile of a Belmont winner. This year the top two are clear with a 5-way tie for third spot.
Cloud Computing wins the Preakness (G1) - Cloud Computing pressed the pace and got up to win the 2017 Preakness (G1) by a head over Classic Empire with Senior Investment third. Favorite Always Dreaming faded to 8th. Get the results, chart, and photos here.
Preakness Undercard Stakes Results - There were 7 other stakes on Preakness day, highlighted by the Dixie Stakes (G2) on the turf won by World Approval, the Gallorette (G3) won by Cambodia, and the Maryland Sprint Stakes (G3) won by Whitmore. Get the results, charts, and photos for all 7 races here.
Black-Eyed Susan Day Results - Actress broke her maiden in the mud to win the 2017 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (G2) at Pimlico on Friday. There were 6 other stakes on the card including the Pimlico Special (G3) won by Shaman Ghost, the Allaire Dupont Distaff (G3) won by Terra Promessa, and the Miss Preakness Stakes (G3) won by Vertical Oak. Get the results, charts, and photos for all 7 races here.
Thursday Preakness Photos - Two photos each and comments for all 10 Preakness horses from Thursday morning at Pimlico. Everyone galloped today since training ends early Friday.
2017 Alibi Breakfast - The traditional Alibi Breakfast was held on Thursday May 18, before the 142nd running of the Preakness Stakes. Connections of some of the 10 Preakness entrants were on hand to swap stories about their horse as well as watch the presentation of the annual awards.
2017 Preakness Entries - A field of 10 was entered for the 142nd Preakness on Saturday, with Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming drawing post 4 as the 4-5 favorite. Classic Empire is second choice at 3-1 from post 5. Get the horses, posts, odds, and free past performances here.
Wednesday Preakness Photos - Two photos each and comments for all the Preakness horses from Wednesday afternoon at Pimlico, except Multiplier who arrived late yesterday.
Tuesday Preakness Photos - Photos and comments for seven of the Preakness horses from Tuesday afternoon at Pimlico, including Always Dreaming, Classic Empire, and five others who arrived today.
Preakness Entry Rules - the field is limited to 14 starters, here is how they determine the order of preference if more than that enter.
Preakness Infield - After the massive tightening of the rules which resulted in a huge drop in attendance in 2009, things have relaxed slightly and you can buy a special "all you can drink beer" Mug Club ticket now.
Preakness Traditions - Black-eyed Susans to the winner, the Woodlawn Vase trophy, the Alibi Breakfast, painting the weather vane, and more.
Always Dreaming romps in the 2017 Kentucky Derby (G1) - Favorite Always Dreaming led most of the way to win the Kentucky Derby (G1) by 2 3/4 lengths in the slop at Churchill Downs on Saturday. Longshots Lookin at Lee and Battle of Midway finished second and third. Get the results, chart, and photos here.
Kentucky Derby Undercard Stakes Results - There were 6 other stakes on the card today with the Derby, including the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (G1) won by Divisidero, the Humana Distaff (G1) won by Paulassilverlining, the Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (G2) won by Roca Rojo, the Churchill Downs Stakes (G2) won by Limousine Liberal, the American Turf (G2) won by Arklow, and the Pat Day Mile (G3) won by Wild Shot. Get the results, charts, and photos here.
Abel Tasman wins the 2017 Kentucky Oaks (G1) - Abel Tasman came from last early on to win the Kentucky Oaks (G1) by 1 1/4 lengths in the slop at Churchill Downs on Friday. Daddys Lil Darling was second and Lockdown was 3rd while favorite Paradise Woods faded to 11th. Get the results, chart, and photos here.
Kentucky Oaks Undercard Stakes Results - There were 5 other stakes on the card today with the Oaks, including the La Troienne (G1) won by Big World, the Alysheba (G2) won by Bird Song, the Eight Belles (G2) won by Benner Island, the Twin Spires Turf Sprint (G3) won by Green Mask, and the Edgewood Stakes (G3) won by La Coronel. Get the results, charts, and photos here.