The exclusive training period for Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks contenders at Churchill Downs begins Saturday from 8:30-8:45 a.m. The live stream presented by TwinSpires.com will be available at multiple sources including on Twitter, Facebook, and the Derby website. The Twitter stream, available globally to logged-in and logged-out users, will also feature a timeline of Kentucky Derby related tweets alongside the live video itself.
Trainer Mark Casse's barn breezed 16 horses Friday morning at Churchill Downs including Florida Derby (G1) runner-up State of Honor (left), who worked five furlongs in 1:01.60 for the Grade I, $2 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands on Saturday, May 6, and Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) winner Salty, who breezed five furlongs in 1:00.40 in preparation for the Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) on Friday, May 5. The Casse contingent is stabled in Barn 36 at Churchill Downs.
State of Honor, with jockey Julien Leparoux aboard, breezed through splits of :13, :26 and :37.40 before galloping out three-quarters of a mile in 1:14 and seven furlongs in 1:27.80 over a "fast" track. In the Derby, Leparoux will pilot the Casse-trained Classic Empire. Jose Lezcano has the Derby mount aboard State of Honor. "State of Honor breezed very well," assistant trainer Norm Casse said. "I'm very happy with how he looked on the track and he's developing well for the Derby."
Salty (left), one of the top Kentucky Oaks contenders, breezed under exercise rider Janelle Castonguay in company with Summer Luck (1:00.40) in splits of :13, :24.80 and :36.60 before galloping out six furlongs in 1:13.40 and seven furlongs in 1:27.60.
"Salty is one of those horses that gets me excited," Casse said. "She did everything well within herself and looked great cooling out at the barn." Joel Rosario is slated to pilot Salty in the Kentucky Oaks.
Casse's other Derby hope, Classic Empire, returned to the track Friday for the first time since winning the April 15 Arkansas Derby (G1) and stamping himself as one of the early Kentucky Derby favorites.
"We brought Martin Rivera in from Florida to be Classic Empire's main exercise rider," Casse said. "Martin works with a lot of our younger horses on the farm and got along well with Classic Empire when we sent him to Winding Oaks this winter."
The National Weather Service forecast for Louisville on Saturday is calling for a 100 percent chance of rain, and several horsemen are altering training plans for their Kentucky Derby (G1) and Kentucky Oaks (G1) contenders. You can check the latest Derby weather here.
Spiral (G3) winner Fast and Accurate is scheduled to breeze at 6 a.m. Saturday morning at Trackside Louisville, according to trainer Mike Maker.
Louisiana Derby (G2) winner Girvin (left) was vanned to Keeneland on Friday and is expected to train over the Polytrack training track with his breeze pushed back from Saturday to as far as Monday, according to trainer Joe Sharp.
Blue Grass (G2) fourth-place finisher J Boys Echo is targeted to breeze Sunday at Churchill Downs for trainer Dale Romans.
Janis Whitham's Blue Grass (G2) third-place finisher McCraken is scheduled to breeze Monday at Churchill Downs, according to trainer Ian Wilkes.
Calumet Farm's Sunland Derby (G3) winner Hence is scheduled for a Monday breeze, according to Steve Asmussen's assistant Scott Blasi.
Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) winner Farrell is expected to have only one more breeze sometime next week before the Kentucky Oaks on Friday, May 5, according trainer Wayne Catalano's assistant Fernando Canteria.
Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) contender Miss Sky Warrior (left) breezed a half-mile Thursday morning in :49 at Churchill Downs for trainer Kelly Breen. The 3-year-old daughter of First Samurai breezed with jockey Paco Lopez aboard through splits of :12 and :23.80 before galloping out five furlongs in 1:02.60 and six furlongs in 1:16.20.
"It was an easy maintenance breeze," New Jersey-native Breen said. "She did everything easy and is doing very well. Right now I don't think we need to do any more serious conditioning with her. She'll have one more easy breeze next weekend."
Arlene's Sun Start Stable's homebred will take a five-race win streak into the first Friday in May that includes a 13-length romp in the Gazelle (G2) at Aqueduct on April 8. "She's always has done well at Aqueduct," Breen said. "We ran her at Gulfstream Park in March but I thought the cold weather would do her well and help condition her for the Oaks." Miss Sky Warrior is stabled in Barn 43.
Santa Anita Derby (G1) runner-up Battle of Midway (left) was purchased privately by WinStar Farm and Don Alberto Stable as first reported Friday morning by Daily Racing Form. The 3-year-old son of Smart Strike will continue to be trained by Jerry Hollendorfer and will be ridden by new jockey Flavien Prat in the Derby.
Trainer Todd Pletcher breezed Florida Derby (G1) winner Always Dreaming and Louisiana Derby (G2) runner-up Patch in separate five-furlong moves Friday at Palm Beach Downs and both were timed in 1:01.40.
Pletcher's Kentucky Derby week contingent is expected to be bedded down in Barn 40 soon. Wood Memorial runner-up Battalion Runner is booked for a van ride from Belmont Park to Churchill Downs on Monday. Tampa Bay Derby winner Tapwrit and Rebel Stakes winner Malagacy will van to Churchill Downs from Keeneland on Monday. Florida Derby winner Always Dreaming and Louisiana Derby runner-up Patch will be flown from Palm Beach Downs in south Florida to Kentucky on Tuesday. Pletcher reports that he will have no starters in this year's Kentucky Oaks.
Florida Derby (G1) third-place finisher Gunnevera (left) breezed five furlongs in 1:01 Friday morning at Gulfstream Park West. The 3-year-old son of Dialed In is scheduled van to Churchill Downs from Miami on Saturday and will be stabled in Barn 41 upon arrival (estimated time unknown at press time).
Blue Grass (G2) winner Irap breezed one mile Friday morning at Keeneland in 1:44. The Doug O'Neill trainee is expected to ship to Churchill Downs after his next published workout.
Blue Grass runner-up Practical Joke breezed a half-mile in :49.80 Friday at Keeneland for trainer Chad Brown.
Churchill Downs has a new schooling chute for starting gate workouts that will be utilized for the first time on Saturday. The chute is positioned around the far turn at the 5/16-mile pole.
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.