Archive for April, 2013

Orb overwhelms in final pre-Derby work; Baffert runners out of the mix

It was the equine equivalent of a mic drop.

Grade I winner Orb effectively threw down the gauntlet to his fellow Kentucky Derby contenders Monday morning when he effortlessly coasted through a four furlong breeze in 47:80  over the Churchill Downs main track.

Working in company with stablemate Overwhelming, the two broke off on even terms with exercise rider Jen Patterson up on Orb and his Derby jockey Joel Rosario on his workmate. Without being asked, Orb clocked splits of 12, 23.80, 35.80 galloping out five furlongs in 1:00.80 and six furlongs in 1:14.60. The son of Malibu Moon finished about four lengths in front  and continued to widen that margin during the gallop out, prompting a huge smile from Patterson as they came off the track.

“I mean he left his workmate pretty easily and finished up well,” trainer Shug McGaughey said. “He has had a little bit of a tendency in his races to sort of when he made the lead, he  thought he had done enough so we wanted him to kind of finish on by that horse today and he did that.

“From day one that he got here, I’ve been happy with what I saw. I was hoping this was what I would see. He dropped his head and walked home the way you’d want him to and really didn’t break a sweat. (Jen) felt like she never was really out of a high gallop.”

Owned and bred by Stuart Janney and Phipps Stables, Orb has repeatedly left McGaughey impressed during his progression in recent months. After winning the Grade II Fountain of Youth Stakes over Grade I winner Violence, Orb came back and handled one of the better fields on the prep trail this year when he won the Grade I Florida Derby on March 30.

“I think it’s going even better than the way I wanted this week,” McGaughey said. “As of right now I’ve got no qualms. I’m excited, really excited. I have been since the Florida Derby.”

Fellow Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas also sent his Derby contenders out for their final serious moves Monday. Grade III winner Oxbow worked five furlongs in a bullet :59.80 while Rebel Stakes winner Will Take Charge went the same distance in 1:01.00.

Also Monday, trainer Bob Baffert confirmed that he will not start either Sunland Derby winner Govenor Charlie or Risen Star runner-up Code West in the Kentucky Derby, making this the first year since 2008  the Hall of Famer he will not have a starter in the first leg of the Triple Crown.

Todd Pletcher also confirmed Monday he would not start Grade III Coolmore Lexington Stakes winner Winning Cause in the Kentucky Derby, leaving the five-time Eclipse Award winner with a roster of five starters.

“He worked very well today (four furlongs in 48.20) but after speaking the owners we decided we would not start,” Pletcher said. “Just felt like this would be his third race in a month and the proper thing to do for the horse was sit back.”

With the defections of Govenor Charlie, Code West and Winning Cause, Tiz a Minister and Golden Soul are now 19th and 20th in the points standings to get into the Kentucky Derby field.

Wise Dan likely for Woodford Reserve, Lezcano to ride

Reigning Horse of the Year Wise Dan will start in Saturday’s Grade I Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill Downs “as long as everything stays good”, trainer Charlie LoPresti confirmed Monday.

Wise Dan had been under consideration for the Grade I Stephen Foster on the dirt at Churchill in June but LoPresti said that with Successful Dan, Wise Dan’s half brother, returning to win his seasonal bow at Keeneland, he will likely point him that route with his younger sibling now set to take on 4-time Grade I winner Point of Entry in the 1 1/8-miles Woodford.

“He’s like a monster right now,” LoPresti said of Wise Dan. “With Successful Dan we might point him to the Stephen Foster but that’s not the only reason we’re making this decision. He (Wise Dan) is very good right now. But if there are any hiccups over the next two days, he will not run.”

Jockey John Velazquez, regular rider for both Wise Dan and Point of Entry, will stay on Point of Entry for the Woodford with Jose Lezcano slated to ride Wise Dan. Lezcano subbed for an injured Velazquez and guided Wise Dan to victory when he won the Grade I Maker’s 46 Mile at Keeneland in his seasonal bow on April 12 and was also aboard the chestnut when he won the Shadwell Turf Mile last October.

“Johnny already committed to ride Point of Entry because I told him I wasn’t going in that race (the Woodford),” LoPresti said. “I don’t think it’s a matter of which one he choses over the other one, it’s that he’s already committed to ride that horse. It’s the same thing like with the Shadwell when we told him we weren’t going.”

Velazquez had a prior commitment to ride Archwarrior for trainer Todd Pletcher in the Champagne last fall, which is why he was unable to ride in the Shadwell.

Point of Entry, trained by Shug McGaughey, opened his 2013 campaign with a win over champion and eventual Dubai World Cup winner Animal Kingdom in the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap in February. Point of Entry won three Grade I races last year before finishing second in the Breeders’ Cup Turf. He and Wise Dan will be facing off against each other for the first time.

Pletcher squads heads Derby workout tab Saturday

In what will be their final major moves before next Saturday’s Kentucky Derby, trainer Todd Pletcher sent out all five of his expected starters Saturday morning just after the renovation break at Churchill Downs.

Working in company with stablemate Authenticity, undefeated Wood Memorial winner Verrazano covered five furlongs in :59.40, sixth fastest of 52 moves at the distance. The striking bay son of More Than Ready recorded splits of 11.80, 23.20, 35, 47 galloping out in 1:13.

“He was relaxed breaking off, finished up strongly and galloped out well,” Pletcher said of Verrazano, who is unbeaten in four starts this year after not racing as a 2-year-old. “I thought he handled the track really well. I thought it was well in hand throughout. He gave me every indication he liked the surface.”

Louisiana Derby winner Revolutionary and Blue Grass Stakes third place finisher Charming Kitten worked four in company with each other with Revolutionary covering the distance in 48.20 and galloping well out in front of Charming Kitten, who clocked in at 48.40.

“He did everything perfect, just like last week,” said newly-minted Hall of Fame jockey Calvin Borel, who was aboard Revolutionary in the work and will ride WinStar Farm’s colt for the first time in the Kentucky Derby.

“I thought Charming Kitten spun his wheels a little bit the last 50-60 yards of the work,” added Pletcher. “But I thought both of them accomplished from a fitness standpoint what we were looking for”

Grade I Arkansas Derby winner Overanalyze, who Gary Stevens in the iron, and Palace Malice, with Mike Smith up,  also worked four furlongs in tandem with the former breezing a bullet in :47 flat and Palace Malice coming in a tick behind in :47.20. Palace Malice, second in the Blue Grass Stakes, wore blinkers for the move and will keep them on for the Kentucky Derby, Pletcher said.

“I thought both horses worked super,” Pletcher said. “It was a little bit faster than we set out but it was the right kind of fast for me. They started off in 24  and finished in 23. Both them were doing it against the bridle without the riders asking them for anything. I thought they both finished very well and galloped out great.”


Borel heads up Racing Hall of Fame inductees

Edited release:

Three-time Kentucky Derby-winning jockey Calvin Borel and the racehorses Housebuster, Invasor, Lure, McDynamo, and Tuscalee have been elected to the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, it was announced Friday.

Borel, Housebuster, Invasor, and Lure were selected in the contemporary category, while McDynamo and Tuscalee were chosen by the Museum’s Steeplechase Review Committee. The electees will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Friday, Aug. 9 at 10:30 a.m. at the Fasig-Tipton sales pavilion.

Borel, 46, has won 5,012 races and has purse earnings of $120,859,986 in a career that began in 1983. He is the only jockey to win the Kentucky Derby three times in a four-year span, accomplishing the feat with Street Sense (2007), Mine That Bird (2009), and Super Saver (2010). His three victories in the Run for the Roses are surpassed only by Hall of Famers Eddie Arcaro and Bill Hartack with five each, and Hall of Famer Bill Shoemaker with four.

One of only two riders with more than 1,000 wins at Churchill Downs (Hall of Famer Pat Day is the other), Borel won the Preakness, Woodward, Haskell, Mother Goose, and Kentucky Oaks with 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra. Among Borel’s other major victories are the Travers, Alabama, Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, Sword Dancer, Florida Derby, and Stephen Foster. He also won the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award in 2010. Borel has won riding titles at Churchill Downs, Oaklawn Park, Ellis Park, Kentucky Downs, and Delta Downs, among others.

Housebuster (Mt. Livermore—Big Dreams, by Great Above) won 15 times in 22 career starts and earned $1,229,696. He won the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Sprinter in 1990 and 1991. Bred in Kentucky by Blanche P. Levy and owned by her son, Robert P. Levy, Housebuster won the Jerome Handicap, King’s Bishop, Spectacular Bid, Swale, Hutcheson, Withers, Lafayette, and Derby Trial in 1990 at age 3 en route to an 8-for-10 campaign. A winner of eight consecutive races at one point in his career, Housebuster won the Carter Handicap, Forego Handicap, and Vosburgh Stakes at 4 in 1991. Eleven of his 15 wins were in graded stakes races. He was trained by Hall of Famer Warren A. Croll, Jr.

Invasor (Candy Stripes—Quendom, by Interprete), was bred in Argentina and won 11 of 12 career starts with earnings of $7,804,070. He was named Horse of the Year and Champion Older Male in 2006 when he won the Pimlico Special, Suburban Handicap, Whitney Handicap, and Breeders’ Cup Classic. At age 5 in 2007, Invasor won the Donn Handicap and Dubai World Cup. He was trained at ages 4 and 5 by Kiaran P. McLaughlin. Prior to that, Invasor won the Uruguayan Triple Crown in 2005 for trainer Anibal San Martin. Following the Uruguayan Triple Crown victories, Invasor was purchased by Sheik Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum to run for Shadwell Stable. Nine of his wins were in Grade/Group 1 events.

Lure (Danzig—Endear, by Alydar) won 14 of 25 career starts with earnings of $2,515,289. Bred and owned by Claiborne Farm (Seth Hancock, president), Lure won the Breeders’ Cup Mile in 1992 and 1993. He won nine graded stakes, including three Grade 1 events. Trained by Hall of Famer Claude R. McGaughey III, Lure set track records at 5 furlongs and 1 mile. He also won the Gotham, Kelso Handicap, Turf Classic, Dixie Handicap, Caesars International Handicap, Elkhorn, Fourstardave Handicap, Bernard Baruch Handicap, and Daryl’s Joy.

McDynamo (Dynaformer—Rondonia, by Monteverdi (IRE)) won 17 of 34 career starts and retired as the all-time leading earner among steeplechase horses with $1,310,104. He won the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Steeplechase Horse in 2003, 2005, and 2006. Owned by Michael J. Moran and trained by Sanna Hendriks, McDynamo won five consecutive runnings of the Breeders’ Cup Grand National (2003 through 2007), the final one at age 10, to become the oldest horse to win the race. McDynamo set course records in each of his first two Grand National victories. He also won the Colonial Cup three times, including a record performance in 2003. McDynamo’s victory in the 2006 Grand National allowed him to surpass Hall of Fame member Lonesome Glory’s career record for steeplechase earnings.

Tuscalee (Tuscany—Verna Lee, by British Buddy) won 39 of 89 career starts with career earnings of $130,917 while racing from 1963 through 1972. He remains the all-time leader in steeplechase victories with 37. Tuscalee also set the single-year record for steeplechase wins with 10 in 1966. Tuscalee’s 1966 campaign of 10-2-0 from 13 starts garnered him recognition as the Champion Steeplechase Horse by the Thoroughbred Racing Associations. Bred and owned by Alfred H. Smith, Sr., and trained by Joe Aitcheson, Sr., Tuscalee won four editions of the National Hunt Cup, including his final career victory at age 12 in 1972. Tuscalee also won the Georgetown Steeplechase Handicap and the Indian River Steeplechase twice each. Other notable victories included the Midsummer Hurdle, Clark Cup, and Manly Steeplechase Handicap.

The contemporary electees were chosen from a nationwide voting panel comprised of 179 racing writers, broadcasters, industry officials, and historians from a group of 10 finalists selected by the Museum’s Nominating Committee. The Museum’s Steeplechase Review Committee, which meets once every four years, requires 75 percent approval from its members for a candidate to gain election to the Hall of Fame. Following the changes made to the contemporary voting system in 2010 that eliminated a mandate of the top vote-getter in a particular category (i.e. jockey, trainer, male horse, and female horse) being elected to the Hall of Fame, the Steeplechase Committee received approval from the Museum’s Executive Committee to select a maximum of three candidates of their choosing without regard to whether or not the candidate is human or equine.

The Museum will announce as many as two inductees as inaugural selections to the Pillars of the Turf category for the Hall of Fame in May. Pillars of the Turf is a new Hall of Fame designation approved by the Museum’s Executive Committee to honor esteemed individuals who have made valuable contributions to the sport of Thoroughbred racing.


Lisa Danielle named Kentucky Broodmare of the Year

Morton Fink’s Lisa Danielle, dam of reigning Horse of the Year Wise Dan, was honored as Kentucky’s Broodmare of the Year for 2012,  the Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders (KTOB) announced on Thursday.


Wise Dan won five of six starts in 2012 including three consecutive Grade I races on the turf to close out his championship season. The 6-year-old gelded son of Wiseman’s Ferry ended his season by winning the Breeders’ Cup Mile in course-record time en route to earning Eclipse Awards for Horse of the Year, champion older male and champion turf male – the first horse since John Henry in 1981 to sweep all three of those honors.


In addition to producing Wise Dan, Lisa Danielle is also the dam of multiple graded stakes winner Successful Dan. Before being sidelined with a reoccurring suspensory injury while prepping for a start in the Grade I Whitney last July, the 7-year-old Successful Appeal won the Grade II Alysheba Stakes over the likes of eventual Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Fort Larned in a track record time of 1:41.04 for 1 1/16-miles at Churchill Downs last May.

“They’re a great family, I wish we had like 10 mares like Lisa Danielle and we got to train all the babies out of them,” said trainer Charlie LoPresti, who conditions both Wise Dan and Successful Dan. “My job would be really easy. She’s just a great mare, for one mare to have that many horses like that.”

By Wolf Power, Lisa Danielle is the lone broodmare owned by Morton Fink. The 19-year-old chestnut mare has thrown seven winners from eight starters.

Wise Dan himself was also honored during the annual Kentucky-Bred Champions Awards Luncheon as he was was named Kentucky-bred Horse of the Year, Handicap Horse and Turf Horse Male. On April 12, the chestnut gelding opened his 2013 campaign by winning the Grade I Maker’s 46 Mile at Keeneland.

Other honors went to Shanghai Bobby (Two-Year-Old Colt), Beholder (Two-Year-Old Filly), I’ll Have Another (Three-Year-Old Colt), Believe You Can (Three-Year-Old Filly), Royal Delta (Handicap Mare), Groupie Doll   (Sprinter),  Tapitsfly (Turf Horse Female), Demonstrative (Steeplechase)  and Certify (Racing Abroad).

Fred Bradley, co-breeder and -owner of Groupie Doll, received the Hardboot Breeders Award.

Also honored was G.D. Hieronymus, Keeneland’s director of broadcast services who received the Charles W. Englehard Award in recognition of his efforts to place Keeneland at the forefront of technological advances. Two people who race and sell at Keeneland also were honored: Brereton C. Jones (P.A.B. Widener  Trophy) and Josephine Abercrombie (W. T. Young Humanitarian Award).

Ken and Sarah Ramsey, who have won a record number of races at Keeneland this meet, were recognized as Owners of the Year for being the 2012 Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund Leaders. Mike Maker, who is having a record-setting spring meet here, was recognized as Trainer of the Year. Claiborne Farm and Adele B. Dilschneider, who race and sell at Keeneland, were honored as Breeders of the Year.

WinStar Farm’s Distorted Humor was honored as the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund (KTDF) sire of the year.
The recipients of 2012 KTOB KY-bred Champion awards were voted on for the first time by the full membership of KTA/KTOB while the KTDF category leaders were tabulated using purse money won at KY racetracks in 2012.


Den’s Legacy, Super Ninety Nine declared out of Derby consideration

Churchill Downs release:
Trainer Bob Baffert told the Churchill Downs communications team Tuesday afternoon that Super Ninety Nine  and Den’s Legacy were no longer under consideration for the $2 million Kentucky Derby  on Saturday, May 4.
“After speaking with my owners, we’ve decided not to run Super Ninety Nine and Den’s Legacy in the Kentucky Derby,” Baffert said via telephone from California. “Based on their recent form, we just didn’t feel they’d be competitive enough to win. They’re both good horses, but we’ll look for something else down the road. We realize there are some other horses on the ‘bubble’ with the hope of running and we wanted to get this information out as soon as possible to make sure they’d have every opportunity to run and prepare for a start in the Derby.”
Super Ninety Nine, owned by Susan Chu’s Tanma Corporation, was ranked No. 18 with 30 points on the “Road to the Kentucky Derby” Leaderboard that determines which 20 horses would have preference for America’s greatest race. After winning Oaklawn Park’s Southwest by 11 ¼ lengths in February, Super Ninety Nine returned to finish fifth in the Rebel and a distant third in the Santa Anita Derby.
Den’s Legacy, a runner-up in the Sham and Robert Lewis and third in the CashCall Futurity and Rebel, finished sixth in the Arkansas Derby for Scott and Joe Ford’s Westrock Stable. He had 20 points, which ranked 20th.
The official defection of Super Ninety Nine and Den’s Legacy clears the way for Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Charming Kitten, third in the Grade I Toyota Blue Grass Stakes, to make the 20-horse field.
Baffert, a three-time Kentucky Derby-winning trainer, still has runaway Sunland Derby winner Govenor Charlie (No. 11) on target for the Derby and possibly Code West (No. 21) and Power Broker (No. 24).
“As for Code West and Power Broker, we haven’t made any decisions yet about their Derby status,” Baffert said. “I’ll be in (Louisville) Saturday and I want to watch them train over the track and see what happens. They’ll work again Sunday or Monday, but I won’t make final decisions about those two until I have to.”
Baffert also reported that Fiftyshadesofhay won’t run in the $1 million Kentucky Oaks  on Friday, May 3.
“But she could go in the Eight Belles or Black-Eyed Susan,” Baffert said.

Ramseys establish new Keeneland mark for meet wins

Having been the dominant owners at Keeneland for the better part of the last decade, it is fitting Ken and Sarah Ramsey grabbed one of the track’s long-standing milestones for themselves.

The  Ramseys established a new mark for most wins by an owner in any Keeneland meet when Scealeile came home under leading rider Joel Rosario in the opening race Saturday to become the couple’s 13th winner of the Spring Meet.

Based in Nicholasville, the Ramseys had been tied with Calumet Farm and Mr. and Mrs. Robert Roberts for the all-time mark. The Ramseys previously won 12 races to take the 2012 Fall Meet title with Calumet having a dozen winners during the 1941 Spring Meet title and the Roberts boasting 12 victories in Fall 1968.

With little more than a week still to go in the current meet, the always-enthusiastic Ken Ramsey was savoring his operation’s achievement and looking forward to trying to better it.

“We don’t want to set the bar too high so that the grand kids can have the opportunity to break it,” Ramsey laughed. “Seventy two years, that’s a long time. But I think we should add a couple for insurance to make sure no body else sneaks up on us.”

Later on the card, Awesome Flower – who scored the first win of the meet for the Ramseys when she took the first race on opening day April 5 – triumphed in the seventh race to bring the new record total to 14.

Scealeile is conditioned by Mike Maker, who leads all Keeneland trainers with 14 wins – two off the Spring Meet record of 16 set by Todd Pletcher in 2005.

The Ramseys themselves have all but locked up what will be their 12th Keeneland meet title overall, six of which have been won outright.

“How sweet is it, as Jackie Gleason would say,” Ramsey said.


Churchill Downs strengthens security policies for Oaks, Derby

Churchill Downs release:
Churchill Downs announced Thursday it will strengthen security and hospitality policies and expand screenings for patrons, employees and vendors who will enter the track for the  the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 4, and the Kentucky Oaks on Friday, May 3.
Churchill Downs officials are asking fans to participate in making the 2013 Derby and Oaks racing safe and enjoyable by being aware of their surroundings during their visits to the historic track. Should any patron see an activity that might be unusual or suspicious, they’re urged to notify a member of the racetrack team or security personnel working in and around the track. Derby and Oaks fans are urged to keep a simple phrase in mind: “See Something, Say Something.”
Track officials have released a revised list of Derby and Oaks “Dos and Don’ts” – items permitted for patron carry-in to the track on those days and items that are banned. The track had issued its 2013 policies and procedures April 12, but Churchill Downs and its law enforcement and safety partners launched a further review of those practices following Monday’s bomb blasts at the Boston Marathon.
Additions to the list of items banned for carry-in to Churchill Downs in the revised Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks security and hospitality polices include:
  • Coolers – Removed from the list on banned items in 2009, coolers will no longer be permitted for carry-in to the infield. Styrofoam coolers and ice will be available at infield purchase points;
  • Camcorders, tripods and video equipment;
  • Cameras with detachable lenses, cameras equipped with lenses more than six inches in length, and tripods of any kind.
  • Purses must be 12 inches or less in any dimension;
  • Cans of any kind and size;
  • Fireworks, laser lights and pointers and mace/pepper spray;
  • Noisemakers and air horns.
Additionally, all patrons who enter Churchill Downs on those days will be subject to an electronic wand search at admission gates (1, 3, 10 and 17) and employee, vendor and media entrances. All items carried into the track by persons passing through those gates are subject to search by officers from Churchill Downs security and its law enforcement partners.  Searches could occur outside or inside the track’s admission gates. Prohibited items removed during the admissions process will not be held for retrieval at the conclusion of those racing programs.
“Churchill Downs relies strongly on the experience and expertise of our law enforcement and public safety partners, and they endorsed these changes in our Kentucky Derby and Oaks security procedures,” said Kevin Flanery, president of Churchill Downs Racetrack. “Our reassessment of security procedures was prompted by Monday’s tragedy in Boston, and it has led to a strengthening of safety practices that we hope will ease any concerns Derby and Oaks fans might have following this week’s events.
“While large numbers of our Churchill Downs team and our law enforcement and public safety partners will be working around and throughout our grounds, fans can play a role in ensuring that the Kentucky Derby and Oaks are enjoyable and safe events. If any patron sees an activity or behavior that seems unusual or suspicious, we hope they will report it to members of our guest service and security teams and allow us to check it out. We want fans to have a wonderful and unforgettable Oaks and Derby Days, but we hope they will remember these words: ‘If you see something, say something.’”
Churchill Downs overhauled its security policies and procedures prior to the 2002 renewals of the Kentucky Derby and Oaks. That effort was a response to the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, and most of the changes implemented then remain in place today. A small number of policies had been relaxed in recent years, but the 2013 adjustments reinstate most of those. For instance, coolers were allowed in the infield in 2009 following a 2002-08 ban, but now are back on the “don’t” portion of the Derby and Oaks “Dos and Don’ts” list.
Churchill Downs officials urge patrons to arrive early on Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby Days to accommodate search procedures. Admission gates will open at 8 a.m. (all times Eastern) on both days, with post time for each day’s first race scheduled for 10:30 a.m.      
The list of items that will not be permitted for carry-in on Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks Day includes (with changes and adjustments from 2012 in ALL CAPS):
  • COOLERS (Styrofoam coolers and ice available at infield purchase points at prices comparable to those at off-track retailers);
  • CANS, glass bottles or containers;
  • Pop up and patron tents, no poles or stakes of any kind;
  • Grills;
  • Alcoholic beverages;
  • Thermoses;
  • Backpacks;
  • Luggage (includes briefcases);
  • Duffel bags;
  • Wagons;
  • Umbrellas;
  • Weapons (including knives).
Items permitted for carry-in by patrons on Oaks and Derby Days include (with changes and adjustments from 2012 in ALL CAPS):
  • Purses, but NONE LARGER THAN 12 INCHES IN ANY DIMENSION (all subject to search);
  • Baby/diaper bags – ONLY IF ACCOMPANIED BY A CHILD (all subject to search);
  • Food items in clear plastic bags (maximum size 18” X 18” – no trash bags – limit of two bags per person);
  • “Box” lunches in clear plastic bags or containers (maximum size 18” X 18” – no trash bags);
  • Sunscreen (non-glass containers only);
  • Small personal music systems, radios and televisions (no boomboxes)
  • Cellular telephones, smartphones and tablets (patrons could be required to turn devices on);
  • Binoculars;
  • Seat cushions (without back);                        
  • Strollers (ONLY if carrying a child);
  • Chairs (Gate 3 ONLY);
  • Blankets & Tarpaulins (Gates 1 & 3 ONLY).

Borel named to ride Revolutionary in Kentucky Derby

Three-time Kentucky Derby winning jockey Calvin Borel was officially named Monday to ride WinStar Farm’s Revolutionary when the son of War Pass makes his expected start in the Kentucky Derby on May 4.

Borel previously helped bring home the first Kentucky Derby winner for owner WinStar Farm and trainer Todd Pletcher, who conditions Revolutionary, when he guided Super Saver to victory for those connections in 2010.


“Calvin’s Kentucky Derby experience and affinity for Churchill Downs makes him a perfect fit for most Derby contenders, and we’re thrilled to have him aboard Revolutionary to once again carry the WinStar colors in horse racing’s biggest race,” Elliott Walden, President & CEO of WinStar, said in a release. “Obviously, Calvin did a masterful job guiding Super Saver to WinStar’s first ever Kentucky Derby victory a few years ago, which is something we’ll be forever thankful for. So we’ve had good fortune together, and hopefully, history can repeat itself on May 4th.”


WinStar polled fans this past weekend through its fan-based website – WinStar Stablemates – to gain feedback on which jockey fans would like to see aboard Revolutionary in the Kentucky Derby. Calvin Borel and Rosie Napravnik were far and away the leading vote getters, which helped to affirm the decision.


Walden added: “We’re thrilled with the response from the fans that took the interest and got involved in voting on who should ride Revolutionary in the Derby through our WinStar Stablemates website. We took every choice under serious consideration, and ultimately Todd (Pletcher) and I chose Calvin. We’re pleased that many of the fans thought the same.”

Borel earned his first Derby win when he booted home champion Street Sense to victory in 2007. Borel then pulled a monster upset in 2009 when he got longshot Mine That Bird home in the first leg of the Triple Crown.

Mylute sizzles in Churchill Downs work; Pletcher contenders arriving

Churchill Downs release:

Mylute, runner-up to Revolutionary in the $1 million Louisiana Derby, continued his preparations for the Kentucky Derby with a six-furlong breeze in 1:12.20 on Sunday morning at Churchill Downs.

Working under Shaun Bridgmohan in company with two other Tom Amoss trainees, Mylute recorded fractions of :12.60, :24.80, :36.60, :48.40 and 1:00.20, and galloped out seven furlongs in 1:25 and a mile in 1:39. He started about eight lengths behind the duo of workmates and finished eight lengths in front at the wire.

“I wanted him to pass those horses down the lane and then finish once he got by them,” Amoss said. “He did those things, so the work went well.”

Amoss said Mylute would have two more works prior to the Kentucky Derby on May 4, but they would be much easier than Sunday’s move.

“If anybody was interested in Mylute as a Derby prospect, today’s work was the one they needed to see,” Amoss said. “It was a serious work and he looked very good. Mylute is going to do nothing to impress anyone in his next two works. He’s going to work by himself and they are going to be slow and easy half-mile works. Today’s work was an indication of where we are with him and we were pleased.”

In other Kentucky Derby news, Arkansas Derby winner Overanalyze  arrived in good order at Churchill Downs on Sunday at 12:15 p.m. (all times Eastern) after flying to Lexington and then vanning to Louisville. He is stabled in Barn 34 for trainer Todd Pletcher.

“We were hoping for an improved performance in his second start off the layoff,” Pletcher said. “We were hoping for a big effort, but he actually exceeded our expectations.”

Later on Sunday, Overanalyze will be joined in the Pletcher barn by Wood Memorial winner Verrazano, who is on a Tex Sutton flight from New York that is scheduled to land in Louisville at 3:50 p.m.

Joining Verrazano on the flight from New York are Normandy Invasion  and Kentucky Oaks contenders Close Hatches and Princess of Sylmar , 1-2 finishers in the Grade II Gazelle .

Princess of Sylmar will join the Pletcher string in Barn 34, Normandy Invasion will be in Barn 42 for trainer Chad Brown and Close Hatches will go to Barn 19 for trainer Bill Mott.

Also expected to arrive at Churchill Downs from Oaklawn Park on Sunday evening are Will Take Charge , Oxbow and Falling Sky. Will Take Charge won the Rebel over stablemate Oxbow, who finished fifth in the Arkansas Derby. Both will be stabled in Barn 44 for four-time Kentucky Derby winning trainer D. Wayne Lukas. Falling Sky, who finished fourth in the Arkansas Derby, will be stabled in Barn 36 for trainer John Terranova.

On Sunday, the connections for Uncaptured, Merit Man and Departing confirmed that their horses are no longer under consideration for the Derby. Also, Den’s Legacy, sixth in the Arkansas Derby, did not fly to Kentucky as originally planned. Trainer Bob Baffert sent him back to his California base.

In Kentucky Oaks news, Pletcher worked a trio of Oaks contenders following the morning renovation break at Churchill Downs on Sunday.

Dreaming of Julia , 21 ¾-length winner of the Gulfstream Oaks, breezed a half-mile in :49 and recorded fractions of :12.80, :24.40, :36.60 and galloped out five furlongs in 1:02.20. The four-furlong time ranked 15th of 43 at the distance.

“I thought she looked great and thought she handled the surface really well,” Pletcher said. “It was a typical breeze for her. She looked like she was in a gallop, but she went in :49. We were very happy with it. Her appetite and energy level have been great since that big performance at Gulfstream.”

Unlimited Budget, undefeated winner of the Fair Grounds Oaks, and Silsita , narrow winner of the Bourbonette Oaks , worked together and breezed four furlongs in :48.60 and recorded early fractions of :13.20 and :25.60. Unlimited Budget galloped out five furlongs in 1:01.80 and Silsita galloped out in 1:02. The four-furlong time ranked 10th of 43 at the distance.

“I think both worked very well, especially Unlimited Budget,” Pletcher said. “She seems like she really likes the surface here and was full of run throughout the run.”

Dreaming of Julia worked under Humberto Zamora, Unlimited Budget was guided by Patti Krotenko and Silsita worked under Nick Bush.

Following the running of the Toyota Blue Grass, runner-up Palace Malice  and third Charming Kitten returned to Pletcher’s barn at Churchill Downs on Saturday night.

“We were happy, but it’s frustrating at the same time,” Pletcher said. “We would have loved to win, but we were very pleased with their efforts. Both came out of the race well. We’ll prepare as though (Charming Kitten) is going to get in (to the Derby).”

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