The exclusive training period for Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks contenders at Churchill Downs from 8:30-8:45 a.m began Saturday. The live stream presented by TwinSpires.com is available at multiple sources including on Twitter, Facebook, and the Derby website.
Thanks to inclement weather, Janis Whitham's McCraken (left) and the Albaugh Family Stable's J Boys Echo were the only two 3-year-olds on the "sloppy" main track Saturday during the first of Churchill Downs' exclusive Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks training periods from 8:30-8:45 a.m. (all times EDT). Both colts galloped in the mud in preparation for scheduled starts in the $2 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) on Saturday, May 6.
Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) and Sam F. Davis (G3) winner McCraken, who is undefeated in three starts beneath the Twin Spires, galloped 1 3/4 miles with regular exercise rider Yoni Orantes aboard. The 3-year-old son of Ghostzapper - stabled with trainer Ian Wilkes' string in Barn 26 - is scheduled to breeze Monday at 8:30 a.m. with jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. in the irons.
Gotham (G3) hero J Boys Echo, who finished fourth in the Blue Grass (G2) one position behind McCraken, galloped 1 1/2 miles with exercise rider Tammy Fox up. The Mineshaft colt is on target to breeze five furlongs Sunday at 8:30 a.m. J Boys Echo is stabled in trainer Dale Romans' Barn 4.
Several trainers tried to beat the weather and sent their Derby and Oaks contenders to train between 6-7 a.m.:
Arkansas Derby (G1) winner Classic Empire (left) jogged one mile Saturday with regular exercise rider Martin Rivera up for trainer Mark Casse. The 2-year-old champion is expected to breeze next weekend.
Following Friday workouts, Casse's other Derby contender State of Honor and Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) contender Salty jogged one mile at 6 a.m. Both horses will have the day off Sunday, according to assistant trainer Norm Casse.
Sunland Derby winner Hence made an appearance during trainer Steve Asmussen's first set at 6 a.m. Saturday. The 3-year-old son of Street Boss is expected to breeze in the first set Monday morning when training begins.
Spiral (G3) winner Fast and Accurate was scheduled to breeze at 6 a.m. Saturday morning at Trackside Louisville but trainer Mike Maker called an audible and decided to wait until Sunday or Monday when the weather dries out.
Jordan's Henny, currently No. 16 on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks Leaderboard after a third-place finish in the Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2), breezed an easy half-mile in :50.20 Saturday. The 3-year-old daughter of Henny Hughes splashed through fractions of :12.40 and :37.80 before galloping out five furlongs in 1:03.40.
Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) winner Farrell visited the track for training Saturday at 6 a.m. The 3-year-old daughter of Malibu Moon is expected to breeze Wednesday or Thursday at Churchill Downs, according to trainer Wayne Catalano.
Likely starters in the 143rd running of the $1 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) to be run for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/8 miles on Friday, May 5: Abel Tasman (Mike Smith), Daddys Lil Darling (Robby Albarado), Ever So Clever (Luis Contreras), Farrell (Channing Hill), It Tiz Well (Corey Nakatani), Miss Sky Warrior (Paco Lopez), Paradise Woods (Flavien Prat), Sailor's Valentine (Corey Lanerie), Salty (Joel Rosario), Tequilita (Luis Saez), Wicked Lick (Brendan Walsh) and Yorkiepoo Princess (Irad Ortiz Jr.). Possible starters within the Top 14 on the preference list: Chanel's Legacy (Alex Birzer) and Lockdown (TBA). Next up in order of preference: Vexatious (Kent Desormeaux), Jordan's Henny (TBA), Benner Island (TBA), Someday Soon (TBA), Mopotism (TBA) and Shane's Girlfriend (TBA).
Wood Memorial (G2) third-place finisher Cloud Computing has been removed from Kentucky Derby contention and will point to the Preakness, according to trainer Chad Brown. The defection of Cloud Computing bumps Rebel Stakes (G2) third-place finisher Untrapped into the field for the first Saturday in May.
Brown's Blue Grass (G2) runner-up Practical Joke is scheduled to van to Churchill Downs from Keeneland on Monday.
Trainer Todd Pletcher breezed Wood Memorial runner-up Battalion Runner on Saturday morning over Belmont Park's training track, according to the Daily Racing Form's Dave Grening. The 3-year-old son of Unbridled's Song is expected to arrive at Churchill Downs early Monday morning. Pletcher's Rebel winner Malagacy and Tampa Bay Derby (G2) winner Tapwrit (left) are also expected to arrive on Monday from Keeneland. The second wave of Pletcher's Kentucky Derby contenders are targeted to arrive Tuesday, which includes Florida Derby (G1) winner Always Dreaming and Louisiana Derby (G2) runner-up Patch. Pletcher will be stabled in Barn 40.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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