Archive for April, 2014

Wise Dan draws inside for title defense in Woodford Reserve Turf Classic

Morton Fink’s two-time reigning Horse of the Year Wise Dan will seek to become the second two-time winner of the Grade I, $500,000-added Woodford Reserve Turf Classic on Saturday when he faces nine foes in the 29th running of the 1 1/8-mile race.

The Woodford Reserve Turf Classic, along with the Grade I $300,000-added Humana Distaff, anchors a five stakes undercard leading up to the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday’s 13-race program. First post Saturday is 10:30 a.m. (all times Eastern).


Trained by Charlie LoPresti, Wise Dan opened his 2014 the same way he did last year: with a victory in the Grade I Maker’s 46 Mile at Keeneland on April 11. The chestnut son of Wiseman’s Ferry will break from the rail in the field of 10, though he won from the inside at Churchill last year in the Grade II Firecracker Handicap.



I will just leave it in  (jockey) Johnny (Velazquez’s) hands he knows what he needs to do,” LoPresti said. “I would say (his three furlong work Tuesday) one of his best workouts ever.He worked super, super one of his best workouts of the year going into this race. He was well in hand and full of run.”


A winner of 20 of 28 career starts for earnings of $6,473,610, Wise Dan will try to join Einstein as the only two-time winner of the race. Einstein won the 2008 and 2009 renewals.

 Chief among Wise Dan’s rivals are Juddmonte Farms’ Seek Again, Gary Barber’s Boisterous and Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Admral Kitten.
Seek Again began his career in Europe and in his U.S. debut won the Grade I Hollywood Derby in what was his most recent start. Now trained by Bill Mott, Seek Again will break from post position 10 and be ridden by Joel Rosario.
Boisterous counts the 2013 edition of the Grade I Man o’ War among his graded stakes victories. Now trained by Todd Pletcher, Boisterous will break from post position seven and be ridden by Javier Castellano.

Julien Leparoux will be aboard 2013 Grade I Secretariat winner Admiral Kitten for trainer Mike Maker and break from post position four.

The field for the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic, from the hedge out, is as follows: Wise Dan (Velazquez, 124 pounds), Bright Thought (Victor Espinoza, 120), Guys Reward (Corey Lanerie, 120), Admiral Kitten (Leparoux, 120), Kaigun (Alan Garcia, 118), Moro Tap (Rosie Napravnik, 118), Boisterous (Castellano, 120), Finnegans Wake (Mike Smith, 118), Skyring (Joe Rocco Jr., 122) and Seek Again (Rosario, 122).

Tapiture unfazed by storms in final work

LOUISVILLE – It was a morning unfit for man or beast. And Winchell Thoroughbreds’ homebred Tapiture could not have been less fazed.

Amidst a brutal rain storm that forced Churchill Downs to temporarily halt training due to lightning strikes, multiple graded stakes winner Tapiture put in his final major work before the Kentucky Derby in routine fashion, working four furlongs in 50 flat under exercise rider Abel Flores.

As the Steve Asmussen-trainee reached the track at 6:15 a.m., the rain picked up heavily and lightning flashes were coming in bunches. A thunderclap rang out just as Tapiture broke off for the move but Flores stayed composed as he guided the colt through a first quarter in 24.60, galloping out five furlongs in 1:04.80.

“It felt like the priest’s round of golf in Caddyshack,” laughed Asmussen afterwards. “Only, thank goodness, we didn’t get struck by lightning at the end of it. I’m  very  happy to get it in, I loved how he moved over it. I can’t say enough about Abel, under those conditions, to do what we wanted. He hit 50 right on and that’s what we were aiming for with the horse.

“This racetrack (Churchill) handles water amazingly.”

Tapiture won the Grade II  Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill last November and opened his sophomore campaign with a victory in the Grade III Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn on February 17. After finishing second in the Grade II Rebel Stakes, the son of Tapit was most recently fourth in the Grade I Arkansas Derby.

When the weather settled down enough for Churchill to reopen the track, trainer Bob Baffert sent Rebel Stakes winner Hoppertunity out for his last major turn up, breezing him four furlongs in :48 in company with 5-year-old graded stakes winner Drill.

Hoppertunity broke off two lengths behind Drill and finished up on even terms but did edge in front as he galloped out six furlongs in 1:13.40 and seven furlongs in 1:27.40.

“I like the way he was today,” said Baffert, who also sent Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies winner and Kentucky Oaks hopeful Ria Antonia out to breeze a half-mile in :47.40. “Drill actually really liked the wet so he was a good partner That’s the way he works, Hoppertunity, where Drill is always the aggressor. He just went along there steady, and (jockey) Martin (Garcia) said he was really having a hard time puling him up there at the end. I’m happy we got the work got in and now we can sit back, keep him happy and love on him.”

Baffert added that Sunland  Derby winner Chitu came out of his six-furlong work from the gate on Sunday in good order. Chitu is being treated for seedy toe, a fungus condition, but Baffert said the colt would wear regular shoes for the Kentucky Derby.

“The thing about the foot is it is more of a cosmetic looking thing on him, it was blown out of proportion,” Baffert said. “He’s good. We put a regular shoe on.”

California Chrome arrives

Likely Kentucky Derby favorite California Chrome received a hero’s welcome to Churchill Downs as he arrived on the grounds at 12:45 p.m.

The Grade I Santa Anita Derby will traveled on the same flight as Grade I Toyota Blue Grass Stakes victor Dance With Fate with each settling in without issue.
Trainer Art Sherman had indicated California Chrome would get his first feel for the Churchill strip Tuesday morning with a likely jog. Despite his rockstar status, one surprise upon arrival however was the discovery that California Chrome’s Kentucky Derby saddle towel had his named spelled wrong with California spelled C-A-L-I=F=O=R=I=N-A. Those seeking omens may recall that the saddle towel for eventual champion Bernardini was misspelled when he won the 2006 Preakness Stakes.

Wicked Strong on track

Grade I Wood Memorial winner Wicked Strong made his first trip to the track at Churchill Downs Monday and galloped approximately 1 1/4 miles over the sloppy surface under exercise rider Kelvin Pahal.

“He galloped pretty much like he always does, starts out real slow looking around and once he gets warmed up he starts stretching out,” trainer Jimmy Jerkens said. “He didn’t pull like he does back home, only because of the combination of the mud and he’s never seen the place before. I thought he looked good and comfortable and switched his leads nice.”

Starlight, Skychai Racing partner to buy General a Rod

Starlight Racing and Skychai Racing will have an additional contender  in Saturday’s Kentucky Derby as the two partnerships announced Monday they had purchased stakes winner General a Rod  outright from previous owner J. Armando Rodriguez.

Starlight Racing already had Grade II Risen Star Stakes winner Intense Holiday set for the first leg of the Triple Crown and Skychai is among the owners of  Grade III Spiral Stakes runner up Harry’s Holiday. Terms of the deal for General a Rod were not disclosed.

“James Shircliff (of Skychai) has been trying to acquire this horse since January I think,” said Jack Wolf of Starlight Racing. “He was finally successful in pulling it off. He invited Starlight into the ownership so we decided to do it and a few of our partners to come along so that’s what we’ve done.”

A release said that General a Rod will retain his current trainer Mike Maker and jockey Joel Rosario for Kentucky Derby and  will carry the orange and turquoise colors of Shircliff in the race.

In a follow-up conversation, Wolf said there were no plans to move the son of Roman Ruler to another trainer post Kentucky Derby.

“As far as I’m concerned, Mike Maker is the trainer now and tomorrow and until whenever,” Wolf said. “He’s done a fantastic job. There are no plans to move the horse.”

General a Rod has yet to be off the board in five career starts and won the Gulfstream Park Derby in his seasonal bow this January 1. The dark bay colt was second in the Grade II Fountain of Youth Stakes and third last time out in the Grade I Florida Derby.

“I like his race record, I like his pedigree, I like his running style,” Wolf said. “Here’s an opportunity to get involved in the equity of another horse running in the Derby and for the rest of his career. I think he’s got a very bright future ahead of him.”



entucky Derby hopeful General a Rod will have new ownership as he heads in

Intense Holiday shines, We Miss Artie struggles in final work

LOUISVILLE – A trainer’s comments following morning workouts often border on the routine, rarely varying away from general praising of what they’ve just seen from their horses.

Six-time Eclipse Award winning trainer Todd Pletcher proved refreshingly blunt after sending his quartet of Kentucky Derby contenders out for their final serious works Sunday, both in his positive and negative assessments of their situations.

The best and most disappointing efforts of the morning at Churchill Downs came from the same Pletcher pairing as he worked Grade I winner We Miss Artie and Grade II Risen Star Stakes winner Intense Holiday in company going four furlongs.

With jockey John Velazquez up, Intense Holiday broke off on near even terms with his stablemate but inhaled We Miss Artie in the lane, finishing three lengths in front at the wire while covering the distance in 48.60 with a gallop out 1:00.80.

While Pletcher said afterwards he can’t recall Intense Holiday ever having worked better, he deemed the move for We Miss Artie “the worst I’ve seen him work on dirt” as he clocked in at 49.20 with a gallop out in 1:02.40.

“I would probably classify this as the best work I’ve seen from him,” Pletcher said of Intense Holiday. “Having said that, the horse always trains well…but I thought that was exceptionally good.

“I wasn’t happy with the work this morning (from We Miss Artie), I didn’t think it was typical of what we’ve seen from him. He seems to be cooling out fine but…I’ve been telling everyone all week that he normally works good on the dirt. This morning he didn’t.”

Pletcher added he was “not sure at all” if We Miss Artie should go on to the Kentucky Derby. When reached by the Herald-Leader later Sunday, owner Ken Ramsey said the colt would not be withdrawn without physical issue.

“I asked the exercise rider  (Nick Bush) based on the work, would you take him out of the Derby and save him for the Preakness or something and he said no,” Ramsey said. “The dirt may very well be different Saturday than what it is now and he may handle it better. Bottom line is We Miss Artie has earned his shot at the roses and if he stays sound, we’re staying in.”

Pletcher also worked Grade I Arkansas Derby winner Danza and Vinceremos in company going four furlongs with Danza getting the better of the move. The son of Street Boss finished up in 48.80 traveling on the outside with Vinceremos going in 49 flat in an effort that likely cemented his spot in the Derby field.

“In particular Intense Holiday and Danza have trained great since they’ve been here,” Pletcher said. “Vinceremos did well enough for us to consider a start (in the Derby).”


Chitu loses shoe in move

Sunland Derby winner Chitu lost the special shoe on his right front foot while breezing six furlongs from the gate in 1:13.20 on Sunday.

Chitu is being treated for seedy toe, a rare but potentially dangerous fungus condition. Baffert said that he and his staff have dealt with Chitu’s seedy toe issue for several months and it has not affected the colt’s racing career.

The son of Henny Hughes lost of piece of his hoof in the treatment of the condition and the special shoe gives additional support to the area.

“He runs in regular shoes,” Baffert said. “It’s a little fungus that gets in the toe and eats the front of the wall. It’s not painful or anything. He’s never been sore. The fungus is under control, but we just took a lot of the wall in the front of hoof off. We always have it covered up, but right now we have it open so it can get air and dry out. He’s fine.”

Baffert added that Bayern  is no longer a candidate for the Derby. Bayern finished first in the Derby Trial Saturday night, but was disqualified to second for bumping with Embellishing Bob. Bayern was 21st on the list for the 20 berths in the Derby, but Baffert said that even if a spot opened up the colt will not run.

Wildcat Red, Ride On Curlin work

Despite a less than stellar time, trainer Jose Garoffalo deemed himself more than pleased after Grade II winner Wildcat Red worked five furlongs in 1:04.40 on Sunday.
The winner of the Grade II Fountain of Youth  Stakes posted fractions of :13.20, :25.80, :38.80, :51.20 and galloped out six furlongs in 1:20.60.

“The track seemed a little heavy but he did good, he didn’t have to do much,” Garoffalo said. “The good thing is he didn’t want to stop after the wire. He came back very good.”

Ride On Curlin, runner-up in the Arkansas Derby, worked seven furlongs on Sunday in 1:29 for trainer Billy Gowan.

“We wanted to go slow and then finish up and that’s what he did,” Gowan said. “Just a maintenance work. He’s fit.”

Ring Weekend out of Kentucky Derby with fever; Commanding Curve in

It was a morning of conflicting emotions for the principals of West Point Thoroughbreds as their Tampa Bay Derby winner Ring Weekend was declared out of the Kentucky Derby after spiking a fever on Sunday.

“I got a text at 5:15 a.m. from my barn that he had a  temperature a little over 102 and it’s kind of fluctuated from there,” trainer Graham Motion said. “We did several different blood tests and everything confirms he has a pretty significant infection. It is unbelievable, people don’t realize how much you live on tender hooks especially with these big events because they are animals.

“If he gets over it very quickly, the Preakness is something we could talk about,” Motion added. “But if he ends up missing a week, it’s going to be unlikely obviously.”

Second in the Calder Derby last time out, Ring Weekend had worked six furlongs in 1:12.80 at Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland on Friday. His defection from the field clears the way for Commanding Curve, who is also owned by West Point Thoroughbreds, to crack the 20-horse Kentucky Derby field.

“It is kind of ironic that that happened,” said Terry Finley, founder of West Point Thoroughbreds. “But they are owned by two different partnerships so they are unrelated in that respect. It’s just bad timing (for Ring Weekend).

Commanding Curve ran third in the Grade II Louisiana Derby last time out and broke his maiden over the Churchill Downs track going 1 1/16-miles last November 30.

“We’re happy we’re in, but – let me say something, Terry Finley and Graham Motion are top class horsemen,” said Dallas Stewart, trainer of Commanding Curve. “I’ve worked for Terry for 20 years, and he always does right by the horse, no matter the circumstance. Terry always handled things the right way and with class. It’s unfortunate for him and for Graham, but I’m sure (Ring Weekend) will bounce out of it good. He’s in great hands.”

Stewart was in a similar position last year when his charge Golden Soul got into the field late due to defections and nearly pulled an upset, running second to Orb.

“I think he’s every bit as good as horse as (Golden Soul) is,” Stewart said of Commanding Curve last week. “He’s trained well, there is nothing I don’t like about the way he does things. He’s handled the crowd very good, he’s real easy to gallop.”

Shaun Bridgmohan will have the mount on Commanding Curve for the Derby.

Pablo Del Monte, third in the Grade I Toyota Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland, is now 21st in the Kentucky Derby points standings and would be the next to get in if there are any other defections.



Candy Boy, Medal Count impress in final works

LOUISVILLE – The final pre-Kentucky Derby workout is always a hold-your-breath moment for all respective connections. Count trainer John Sadler and Eclipse Award-winning conditioner Dale Romans among those who were breathing a little easier Saturday morning.

A handful of Derby contenders put in their final serious moves during a sun-kissed morning at Churchill Downs with Sadler-trainee Candy Boy and Romans protege Medal Count leaving the strongest impressions of the group.

In his second move since running third in the Grade I Santa Anita Derby, Candy Boy worked five furlongs in 1:00.80 in company. Breaking off about four lengths behind workmate Monument, Candy Boy caught that partner around the turn and finished up about a length in front notching splits of 12.40, 24.40, 36.20 and galloping out in 1:13.80 under Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens.

“Churchill Downs, they either get over the track or they don’t – there’s no in-between. And he skipped over it,” Stevens said. “He was very smooth. He finished up under his own power and galloped out a good, strong three-quarters of a mile. He was tough to pull up, took one deep breath, and that was it.”

Candy Boy won the Grade II Robert B. Lewis in his seasonal bow at Santa Anita Park on February 8 but Sadler opted to wait until the Grade I Santa Anita Derby on April 5 to run the son of Candy Ride again.

The bay colt ended up finishing 8 3/4-lengths behind race winner California Chrome that day – an outing Sadler is chalking up to his charge being short form wise.

“We gave him two months between starts so he might have gotten a little tired,” Sadler said. “But he came out of it in good shape and he’s always been a consistent horse. I’m looking forward to running him 1 1/4 miles. We think he can run very even for a long distance.”

Spendthrift Farm’s Medal Count continued to impress with his energy level, working six furlongs in 1:13 with splits of 12.60, 24.40, 36.20, 48.20, 1:00.20 and galloping out seven furlongs in 1:26.60.

Medal Count will be making his third start in five weeks going into the Kentucky Derby, having won the Grade III Transylvania Stakes on opening day of the Keeneland meet and running second in the Grade I Toyota Blue Grass Stakes eight days later.

“I would not have changed anything about the breeze, it was perfect,” Romans said. “For him to come back and show a sharp work, you could tell he was happy with what he was doing. I think he’s a horse that the more we do with him, the better he’ll get.”

Having previously run off the board in three prior stakes before breaking through with his Transylvania win, Romans attributes Medal Count’s turnaround to good old fashion maturation.

“He surprised me with just how long it’s taken him to put those race together that we saw at Keeneland,” Romans said. “I thought he was as good a horse as I’ve ever had since Day 1. I think a lot of it has to do with confidence.  These horses have to have  that self assurance about  them and know they’re good enough and if they get a little adversity to overcome it and not just throw in the towel.”

Lanerie gets mount on Harry’s Holiday

Corey Lanerie will be riding in his first Kentucky Derby next Saturday as trainer Mike Maker confirmed the Louisville-based jockey will have the mount aboard stakes winner Harry’s Holiday.

Harry’s Holiday joined stablemate and Louisiana Derby winner Vicar’s in Trouble on the worktab at Churchill Saturday with both going five furlongs.

With Lanerie aboard for the move, Harry’s Holiday breezed in 1:02.60 posting splits of 13.40 and 38.80. Vicar’s in Trouble worked in company with jockey Rosie Napravnik aboard, coming home in 1:03.80 with splits of 13.20, 25.80, 38.20.

When asked if the slower clocking for Vicar’s in Trouble was by design in an attempt to get the colt to relax, Maker said “No, whatever the time was it was.”

California Chrome, Dance With Fate work out West

Brilliant Grade I Santa Anita Derby winner and likely Kentucky Derby favorite winner California Chrome dazzled in his last major work before the first leg of the Triple Crown, breezing four furlongs in 48.20 at Los Alamitos.

Jockey Victor Espinoza barely moved in the saddle as California Chrome completed the drill, ears pricked the entire way.

Grade I Toyota Blue Grass Stakes winner Dance With Fate was originally slated to work on the grass at Santa Anita Park, but had his moved switched to the dirt due to rain that softened the course. Trainer Peter Eurton ended up thoroughly enthused after the son of Two Step Salsa drilled a half mile in 47 flat, second fastest of 62 moves at the distance.

“I know how aggressive he can get but I think he went so well today I’m pleased we went that route (on dirt),” Eurton said. “I could not have been more pleased with how he looked down the lane.”

Both California Chrome and Dance With Fate are scheduled to fly into Louisville on Monday. Eurton added that, if Churchill Downs allows, he would like to school Dance With Fate between races early in the card on Kentucky Oaks Friday.


Champions Curlin, Ashado inducted into Hall of Fame

Edited release:

Jockey Alex Solis, trainer Gary Jones and champion racehorses Ashado and Curlin have been elected to the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame in the contemporary category. The electees will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Friday, Aug. 8 at 10:30 a.m. at the Fasig-Tipton sales pavilion.

Solis, 50, who is closing in on 5,000 career victories (he has 4,986 through Thursday), ranks ninth all time in purse earnings with $234,981,821 and 30th in wins. In a career that began in 1982, Solis, a native of Panama City, Panama, has won 321 graded stakes and 633 overall stakes. He has won three Breeders’ Cup races, including the 2003 Classic with Pleasantly Perfect. Solis won the 1986 Preakness, as well as seven other graded stakes, with champion Snow Chief.

Major victories for Solis include multiple editions of the Santa Anita Derby, Florida Derby, Hollywood Derby, Norfolk, Hollywood Futurity, Santa Monica Handicap, Hollywood Turf Cup, Yellow Ribbon, Charles Whittingham Handicap, Eddie Read Handicap and Shoemaker Mile, among others. He has also won the Dubai World Cup, Pacific Classic, Santa Anita Handicap, Haskell Invitational, Secretariat, Manhattan Handicap, Jockey Club Gold Cup and Carter Handicap, among others.

The winner of 18 riding titles on the Southern California circuit, Solis won the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award in 1997. He won 11 stakes races with champion Kona Gold, including the Breeders’ Cup Sprint. Other notable mounts for Solis include Criminal Type, Bertrando, Jewel Princess, Timber Country, The Wicked North, Pleasant Tap, Victory Gallop, Megahertz, Dare and Go, Brother Derek, After Market, Flat Out and Magical Fantasy.

Ashado, bred in Kentucky and owned by Starlight Stables, Paul Saylor and Johns Martin, won 12 of her 21 career starts with purse earnings of $3,931,440. She was named Champion 3-Year-Old Female in 2004 and Champion Older Female in 2005.

Trained by Todd Pletcher, Ashado won the Spinaway, Schuylerville and Demoiselle as a 2-year-old in 2003. The daughter of Saint Ballado compiled a record of 4-1-1 and earnings of $610,800 in six starts that year. At 3, she won the Kentucky Oaks, Breeders’ Cup Distaff, Coaching Club American Oaks, Fair Grounds Oaks and Cotillion Handicap en route to a ledger of 5-2-1 and earnings of $2,259,640 in eight starts that year. In her final season, at age 4 in 2005, Ashado won the Go for Wand Handicap, Ogden Phipps Handicap and Beldame. She finished 3-1-1 with earnings of $1,061,000 in seven starts that year.

Curlin, bred in Kentucky and owned by Jess Jackson’s Stonestreet Stables after a private sale early in his 3-year-old season, won 11 of 16 career starts and has the highest purse earnings in North American history at $10,501,800, surpassing the previous mark set by Hall of Fame member Cigar.

Curlin, who was trained for the majority of his career by Steve Asmussen, did not race as a 2-year-old. As a 3-year-old in 2007, the son of Smart Strike won the Breeders’ Cup Classic, Jockey Club Gold Cup, Preakness, Arkansas Derby and Rebel to be named Horse of the Year and Champion 3-Year-Old Male. He finished 6-1-2 with earnings of $5,102,800 from nine starts that year. At 4, Curlin was once again Horse of the Year and added Champion Older Male honors. He won the Dubai World Cup, Stephen Foster, Woodward and his second Jockey Club Gold Cup in 2008, compiling a mark of 5-1-0 and earnings of $5,399,000 in seven starts. Overall, he won nine graded/group stakes, including seven Grade/Group I victories.


Jones, 69, won 1,465 races and had purse earnings of $52,672,611 in a career that spanned from 1975 to 1996. He won 102 graded stakes and 233 overall stakes. A native of Long Beach, Calif., Jones trained 104 stakes-winning horses, including Turkoman, the 1986 Champion Older Male. Jones won 15 meet titles on the Southern California circuit, including four at Santa Anita, where he ranks sixth all time in wins (576) and seventh in stakes victories (72). He set a record with 47 wins at Santa Anita in 1976, surpassing the previous standard of 44 established by his father, Farrell Jones. At Hollywood Park, Jones ranks 13th all time in wins (463) and 10th in stakes victories (58). He also won 17 stakes at Del Mar, including the inaugural Pacific Classic with Hall of Famer Best Pal in 1991.

Jones trained Kostrama to a world turf record of 1:43 4/5 in the 1 1/8-mile Las Palmas Handicap at Santa Anita, sent out Time to Explode to equal a world record of 1:19 2/5 at Hollywood and conditioned Beautiful Glass to a five-furlong track mark of :55 4.5 at Hollywood.

The contemporary electees were chosen from a nationwide voting panel comprised of 185 racing writers, broadcasters, industry officials and historians from a group of nine finalists selected by the Hall of Fame’s Nominating Committee.

Memorabilia from Kentucky Derby winner Orb up for auction

Edited release:

A shadow box including a shoe worn by 2013 Kentucky Derby winner Orb will be offered on ebay from April 24 through May 4. Sale of the shadow box will benefit Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation.


The horseshoe is presented encircling one of the blossoms from the Kentucky Derby winner’s blanket of roses. Hair strands cut from Orb’s mane are tied with the winning colors of co-owner Stuart Janney’s silks. Skip Dickstein’s photo of the Derby finish is mounted on a raised mat and below the photo is a brass plate with “ORB Kentucky Derby 2013.”


All have been framed by Cross Gate Gallery in Lexington, Kentucky, with a linen fabric mat liner. The glass is protected with Tru Vue Conservation Grade 99% UV protection. The wooden shadow box is stained in dark brown with a lightly distressed look and trimmed in gold. The box measures 2 ½ inches deep, 15 ½ inches wide and 19 inches high.


The Orb shoe is the first in a series to be offered by Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation. Similar presentations including shoes worn by 2013 Preakness winner Oxbow and 2013 Belmont winner Palace Malice will be auctioned in coming weeks. The auction will begin on Thursday, April 24, at 9 p.m. EST and will end on Sunday, May 4, at 9 p.m. EST.


To bid please visit ebay and type in horse racing memorabilia under the search engine. If you do not have an ebay account, please follow their instructions to set up an account in order to bid. PayPal is the preferred method of payment.

Champion Wise Dan tunes up for Woodford Reserve Turf Classic

Edited Keeneland release:

Reigning two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan, who opened his 2014 campaign with a win in the Grade I Maker’s 46 Mile at Keeneland on April 11, worked a half-mile in a bullet :47.60 Tuesday morning.

Clockers caught Wise Dan, ridden by Damien Rock, in fractions of :11.80, :23.80, :47.60 with a gallop-out of 1:00.80 and 1:14.20.

“I just wanted to get a decent work in him,” trainer Charlie LoPresti said. “I was a little bit worried that I was short the last time I ran him (in the Maker’s 46 Mile) because of the winter (which affected Wise Dan’s training schedule). Now it’s exactly what I wanted. I just wanted a good workout for him just to keep him kicking over.”

Wise Dan, a homebred racing for Morton Fink, won the Maker’s 46 Mile by three-quarters of a length over Kaigun for his Keeneland record sixth graded stakes score, ninth Grade I win overall and 16th graded stakes victory. The gelding has 20 wins in 28 starts and earnings of $6,473,610.

LoPresti said Wise Dan came out of the Maker’s 46 Mile “very good. We’re real happy with him. I think we’re right where we were last year with him.”

Like last year, the plan is for Wise Dan to make his next start in the Grade I, $500,000-added Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill Downs on May 3. He won the race last year.

In preparation for that race, LoPresti expects Wise Dan to turn in another move next week.

“Last year I just went a quarter of a mile, out in three-eighths, something like that,” he said. “I’ll probably do something with him like I did last year.”

Cairo Prince out of Kentucky Derby with ankle injury

Cairo Prince, winner of the Grade II Holy Bull Stakes in January, is being sent to Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital and will miss the Kentucky Derby due to an injured left front ankle, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said Saturday.

McLaughlin said the son of Pioneerof the Nile worked well last Sunday when he went four furlongs in 48.60 at Palm Meadows Training Center but came out of the move “jammed up” on Monday.

“We’ve had some little tiny bit of issues with his feet at times so we thought it was his feet,” McLaughlin said. “We soaked and worked on his feet and they got better but he didn’t really get 100 percent sound. We X-rayed him and couldn’t see anything. We helped the foot but it wasn’t solely the foot, it was the ankle also. So he’s on his way to Rood & Riddle and Dr. (Larry) Bramlage will help us out diagnose what it is because we’re not sure.”

Owned by a group that includes Godolphin Racing, Paul Braverman,  Terrence Murray, Craig Robertson III, and Harvey Clarke, Cairo Prince most recently finished fourth in the Grade I Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park but still had enough points to make the Kentucky Derby field.

McLaughlin, a Lexington native, had called the gray colt his best ever prospect for the first leg of the Triple Crown.

“It’s just very sad for my whole staff and team and everybody,” McLaughlin added. “They all put forth such a big effort and we had a great chance to win (the Derby). He hadn’t missed a day of training all year  and then boom, this happens.

“Very unlucky timing, bad timing. But hopefully we have a horse for the summer and fall. He’s a very talented horse.”

Cairo Prince won the Grade II Nashua Stakes last November and was beaten just a nose in the Grade II Remsen to cap his juvenile campaign.

The defection of Cairo Prince opens the door for Grade III Sam F. Davis winner Vinceremos to make the Kentucky Derby field on points should his connections choose.

“I watched him train the last two mornings and he’s been training really good,” said Randy Gullatt of Twin Creeks Racing, which co-owns Vinceremos along with WinStar Farm. “We’ll let the horse make the call. If he has two good weeks as good as he’s had the last two days, it looks very favorable for us.”

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