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THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2015

Racing Headlines

Dortmund enters San Felipe picture

Dortmund, who worked seven furlongs Thursday in 1:25 3/5, might not wait for the Santa Anita Derby (Benoit Photo)
Dortmund (Big Brown), unbeaten in four starts and a major player on the Triple Crown trail, worked seven furlongs on Santa Anita's fast main track Thursday morning in 1:25 3/5 under regular rider Martin Garcia. The Bob Baffert trainee galloped out a mile in 1:38.

Asked if the son of 2008 Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness 9G1) winner Big Brown was possible to start in the March 7 San Felipe S. (G2) at 1 1/16 miles instead of waiting for the Santa Anita Derby (G1) on April 4, Baffert said, "anything's possible."

Promising maiden winner Prospect Park (Tapit), definite at this point for the San Felipe, is scheduled to work shortly for the $400,000 race that offers 50 Kentucky Derby qualifying points to the winner.

"I brought him up from San Luis Rey the day before yesterday," trainer Cliff Sise Jr. said. "He galloped great here Wednesday, and now we've got to determine whether we work tomorrow or Saturday," depending on the weather. "I'd rather work Saturday, because that's a week out (from the race), but, you can't work if the track's closed."

Also probable for the San Felipe are unbeaten Delta Downs Jackpot (G3) winner Ocho Ocho Ocho (Street Sense) and Baffert trainee Lord Nelson (Pulpit), who upset Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) winner Texas Red (Afleet Alex) in the San Vicente S. (G2) on February 1.

Ocho Ocho Ocho worked six furlongs for Jim Cassidy Thursday in a bullet 1:12, while El Camino Real Derby (G3) winner Metaboss (Street Boss), scheduled to run in the Spiral (G3) at Turfway Park on March 21 for trainer Jeff Bonde, worked five furlongs in 1:02 4/5.

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Dortmund enters San Felipe picture

Dortmund, who worked seven furlongs Thursday in 1:25 3/5, might not wait for the Santa Anita Derby (Benoit Photo)
Dortmund (Big Brown), unbeaten in four starts and a major player on the Triple Crown trail, worked seven furlongs on Santa Anita's fast main track Thursday morning in 1:25 3/5 under regular rider Martin Garcia. The Bob Baffert trainee galloped out a mile in 1:38.

Asked if the son of 2008 Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness 9G1) winner Big Brown was possible to start in the March 7 San Felipe S. (G2) at 1 1/16 miles instead of waiting for the Santa Anita Derby (G1) on April 4, Baffert said, "anything's possible."

Promising maiden winner Prospect Park (Tapit), definite at this point for the San Felipe, is scheduled to work shortly for the $400,000 race that offers 50 Kentucky Derby qualifying points to the winner.

"I brought him up from San Luis Rey the day before yesterday," trainer Cliff Sise Jr. said. "He galloped great here Wednesday, and now we've got to determine whether we work tomorrow or Saturday," depending on the weather. "I'd rather work Saturday, because that's a week out (from the race), but, you can't work if the track's closed."

Also probable for the San Felipe are unbeaten Delta Downs Jackpot (G3) winner Ocho Ocho Ocho (Street Sense) and Baffert trainee Lord Nelson (Pulpit), who upset Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) winner Texas Red (Afleet Alex) in the San Vicente S. (G2) on February 1.

Ocho Ocho Ocho worked six furlongs for Jim Cassidy Thursday in a bullet 1:12, while El Camino Real Derby (G3) winner Metaboss (Street Boss), scheduled to run in the Spiral (G3) at Turfway Park on March 21 for trainer Jeff Bonde, worked five furlongs in 1:02 4/5.

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Local Time doubles up in U.A.E. Oaks; Safety Check finds no problem in Zabeel

Local Time became Saeed bin Suroor's 10th U.A.E. Oaks winner (Andrew Watkins/Dubai Racing Club)
Two horses who have gone unbeaten through the Carnival for Godolphin, Local Time (Invincible Spirit) and Safety Check (Dubawi), continued their winning sprees in Thursday's features at Meydan. U.A.E. One Thousand Guineas heroine Local Time completed the fillies' classic double when hacking up in the $250,000 U.A.E. Oaks (UAE-G3), handing trainer Saeed bin Suroor his 10th win in the race. And the Charlie Appleby-trained Safety Check prevailed in course-record time in the $250,000 Zabeel Mile (UAE-G2).

Local Time brought a five-race winning streak into the Oaks. Concluding her juvenile campaign with a victory in the Oh So Sharp (Eng-G3) at Newmarket, she transitioned to Meydan's new dirt track with a last-gasp score in a January 15 conditions race, the Guineas trial. Local Time moved forward second time over the surface to dominate the February 5 One Thousand Guineas at a metric mile, and once again appeared in a league of her own on the stretch-out in trip here.

Under regular rider James Doyle, the British-bred sophomore readily stalked Australian-bred Shahrasal (Shamardal) before clearing away to a 4 3/4-length decision. Shahrasal outdueled Runner Runner (Dark Angel) to save second, and bin Suroor's other runner, Good Place (Street Cry), was well back in fourth of five. Yodelling (Medaglia d'Oro) was scratched after spiking a temperature.

Although Local Time's final time for about 1 3/16 miles was a rather slow 2:00 4/5, it was more than sufficient to collect her sixth consecutive win.

"I was always confident," Doyle said. "She has thrived this year in Dubai and that is her third win of the season and second classic.

"She is uncomplicated and a joy to ride. She makes my job easy."

Bin Suroor told godolphin.com that plans were yet to be determined, with her options being a tilt versus males in the March 28 U.A.E. Derby (UAE-G2) or heading to Newmarket's One Thousand Guineas (Eng-G1) May 3.

Local Time, who hasn't lost since her debut, more than doubled her career earnings to $294,618 from her 7-6-0-0 line. A Darley homebred, the bay is the first registered foal from Group 3-placed stakes victress Marie de Medici (Medicean). Local Time's second dam, Group 3 scorer Mare Nostrum (Caerleon), is a half-sister to Grade 1 queen Aube Indienne (Bluebird).

Safety Check will now head back to England after winning his second straight Group 2 in course-record time (Andrew Watkins/Dubai Racing Club)
Later, Safety Check also made it a Carnival hat trick in the Zabeel Mile. A smashing winner of his last pair at about seven grassy furlongs in a January 8 handicap and the January 22 Al Fahidi Fort (UAE-G2), where he set a course record of 1:23.09, the improving four-year-old successfully handled the extra furlong as well as the top weight of 129 pounds.

Jockey William Buick settled him just about midpack early, and delivered him at the right time in the stretch to prevail by a length. Safety Check established another course mark in 1:35.53 to crown his Dubai venture.

"This horse has just really thrived since arriving in Dubai," Appleby said. "I still feel he is better over 1400 meters, but he has certainly seen out the trip well tonight. William gave him a perfect ride and that will see him finished for the Carnival.

"He deserves a break so we will get him back to England and probably aim him at Glorious Goodwood where the (July 29) Lennox S. (Eng-G2) looks a suitable target."

Red-hot handicapper Dark Emerald (Dark Angel) rallied for second, capping a brilliant Carnival which saw him win two straight handicaps, miss narrowly in his first, and now earn a Group 2 placing. Earnshaw (Medaglia d'Oro) held third in his Dubai bow.

Darwin (Big Brown) dead-heated for fourth with a stablemate from the Mike de Kock yard, Johann Strauss (High Chaparral). Unfortunately, the Emirates Racing Authority reported that Darwin came up lame in his left front.

Safety Check's resume now reads 20-8-5-0, $573,250. Prior to this breakout season, the chestnut's only stakes credit was a second in the 2013 Silver Tankard as a juvenile.

Bred by Malih al Basti in Ireland, Safety Check was sold for $202,689 as a Tattersalls December weanling. He was produced by the unraced Doors to Manual (Royal Academy), an unraced half-sister to Group 1-winning sire Marchand de Sable (Theatrical).

Volatile turned the tables on Mastermind in the Meydan Classic (Andrew Watkins/Dubai Racing Club)
Buick was scoring a double on the card, having engineered a form reversal aboard Volatile (Strategic Prince) in the $125,000 Meydan Classic. Runner-up to the front-running Mastermind (Var) in the local trial February 5, Volatile overhauled that same rival here, and scored a coup for his Swedish connections -- owner Stall Let's Fly - Easy and trainer Jessica Long. He pulled away by 1 1/4 lengths and covered about seven furlongs on turf in 1:23.

"I am absolutely delighted," said Long, who also bred Volatile in Sweden. "We were hopeful of a big run as he ran really well behind Mastermind in the 1400-meter trial for this race.

"William has given him a great ride and this is a massive result for our yard and Sweden."

Mastermind crossed the wire with 2 1/4 lengths to spare over Wychwood Warrior (Lope de Vega) in third. Quarterback (American Post) took fourth, and Australian shipper Tashbeeh (Commands) wound up a one-paced fifth in a dead-heat with Good Contact (Teofilo).

Volatile boosted his bankroll to $110,722 while improving his record to 5-2-1-1. The bay gelding has gone on his travels since trouncing a maiden field in his homeland on the Jagersro dirt last September. He next appeared on the turf at Newmarket in the October 17 Cornwallis (Eng-G3), finishing a solid third. Volatile tried the Meydan dirt in the January 15 trial for the U.A.E. Two Thousand Guineas, but never factored in fifth, and has reverted to turf.

Out of the Souvenir Copy mare Look That Chick, Volatile hails from the extended family of French highweight mare Ana Marie (Anabaa) and Group 1 victor Morandi (Holy Roman Emperor).

De Kock snared a win in the nightcap, an about 10-furlong turf handicap, when Flying the Flag (Galileo) just got up over Godolphin's Tha'Ir (New Approach) in a blanket finish. Under Johnny Geroudis, the five-year-old forced his neck in front in 2:01 4/5.

Flying the Flag, formerly with Aidan O'Brien, scored his first win for Mike de Kock (Andrew Watkins/Dubai Racing Club)
Flying the Flag was formerly with Aidan O'Brien, for whom he captured the 2013 International S. (Ire-G3) and placed in that year's Glencairn S. as well as the 2012 Futurity S. (Ire-G2). Subsequently acquired by Wilgebosdrift Stud et al, he was unplaced in a pair of English outings for de Kock last summer, and sixth in his Dubai premiere in a February 5 handicap. With this first win for his new connections, he has compiled a mark of 12-3-1-1, $184,454.

Other than the glaring exception of Local Time, the Meydan dirt was so fast Thursday that handicappers set track records in the other three races on the surface. The about six-furlong mark was lowered to 1:10.86 by Price Is Truth (Distorted Humor), who helped himself by getting off to a good start.

"He broke well today," apprentice rider Marc Monaghan said, alluding to his past two tardy starts. "He was always traveling strongly and quickened nicely when I asked him. He can improve on his."

Trained by Satish Seemar, Price Is Truth claims a record of 17-3-1-1, $118,239.

Mashaaref (Cape Cross) spearheaded a trifecta for Sheikh Hamdan in the about seven-furlong handicap, going wire to wire in a record time of 1:23.54.

"He broke very well and I was able to get straight to the front," winning rider Silvestre de Sousa recapped. "He enjoyed himself and quickened nicely to settle matters in style."

The Musabah al Muhairi charge, who won on a non-Carnival card two starts back February 14, upped his line to 26-5-5-2, $168,681.

The metric mile record on dirt likewise fell, courtesy of longshot Pit Stop (Iffraaj), who snapped a losing streak dating back to last summer in Ireland. Making his third start for Salem bin Ghadayer, the four-year-old mowed down Not a Given (Any Given Saturday) in the final strides and clocked 1:36.59.

"They went a really good gallop," jockey Mickael Barzalona said of the non-Carnival race. "That fast pace has really helped him, and he was running on well in the final 300 meters, and we hit the front where it mattered."

Pit Stop's scorecard stands at 10-3-0-0, $67,441.

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Local Time doubles up in U.A.E. Oaks; Safety Check finds no problem in Zabeel

Local Time became Saeed bin Suroor's 10th U.A.E. Oaks winner (Andrew Watkins/Dubai Racing Club)
Two horses who have gone unbeaten through the Carnival for Godolphin, Local Time (Invincible Spirit) and Safety Check (Dubawi), continued their winning sprees in Thursday's features at Meydan. U.A.E. One Thousand Guineas heroine Local Time completed the fillies' classic double when hacking up in the $250,000 U.A.E. Oaks (UAE-G3), handing trainer Saeed bin Suroor his 10th win in the race. And the Charlie Appleby-trained Safety Check prevailed in course-record time in the $250,000 Zabeel Mile (UAE-G2).

Local Time brought a five-race winning streak into the Oaks. Concluding her juvenile campaign with a victory in the Oh So Sharp (Eng-G3) at Newmarket, she transitioned to Meydan's new dirt track with a last-gasp score in a January 15 conditions race, the Guineas trial. Local Time moved forward second time over the surface to dominate the February 5 One Thousand Guineas at a metric mile, and once again appeared in a league of her own on the stretch-out in trip here.

Under regular rider James Doyle, the British-bred sophomore readily stalked Australian-bred Shahrasal (Shamardal) before clearing away to a 4 3/4-length decision. Shahrasal outdueled Runner Runner (Dark Angel) to save second, and bin Suroor's other runner, Good Place (Street Cry), was well back in fourth of five. Yodelling (Medaglia d'Oro) was scratched after spiking a temperature.

Although Local Time's final time for about 1 3/16 miles was a rather slow 2:00 4/5, it was more than sufficient to collect her sixth consecutive win.

"I was always confident," Doyle said. "She has thrived this year in Dubai and that is her third win of the season and second classic.

"She is uncomplicated and a joy to ride. She makes my job easy."

Bin Suroor told godolphin.com that plans were yet to be determined, with her options being a tilt versus males in the March 28 U.A.E. Derby (UAE-G2) or heading to Newmarket's One Thousand Guineas (Eng-G1) May 3.

Local Time, who hasn't lost since her debut, more than doubled her career earnings to $294,618 from her 7-6-0-0 line. A Darley homebred, the bay is the first registered foal from Group 3-placed stakes victress Marie de Medici (Medicean). Local Time's second dam, Group 3 scorer Mare Nostrum (Caerleon), is a half-sister to Grade 1 queen Aube Indienne (Bluebird).

Safety Check will now head back to England after winning his second straight Group 2 in course-record time (Andrew Watkins/Dubai Racing Club)
Later, Safety Check also made it a Carnival hat trick in the Zabeel Mile. A smashing winner of his last pair at about seven grassy furlongs in a January 8 handicap and the January 22 Al Fahidi Fort (UAE-G2), where he set a course record of 1:23.09, the improving four-year-old successfully handled the extra furlong as well as the top weight of 129 pounds.

Jockey William Buick settled him just about midpack early, and delivered him at the right time in the stretch to prevail by a length. Safety Check established another course mark in 1:35.53 to crown his Dubai venture.

"This horse has just really thrived since arriving in Dubai," Appleby said. "I still feel he is better over 1400 meters, but he has certainly seen out the trip well tonight. William gave him a perfect ride and that will see him finished for the Carnival.

"He deserves a break so we will get him back to England and probably aim him at Glorious Goodwood where the (July 29) Lennox S. (Eng-G2) looks a suitable target."

Red-hot handicapper Dark Emerald (Dark Angel) rallied for second, capping a brilliant Carnival which saw him win two straight handicaps, miss narrowly in his first, and now earn a Group 2 placing. Earnshaw (Medaglia d'Oro) held third in his Dubai bow.

Darwin (Big Brown) dead-heated for fourth with a stablemate from the Mike de Kock yard, Johann Strauss (High Chaparral). Unfortunately, the Emirates Racing Authority reported that Darwin came up lame in his left front.

Safety Check's resume now reads 20-8-5-0, $573,250. Prior to this breakout season, the chestnut's only stakes credit was a second in the 2013 Silver Tankard as a juvenile.

Bred by Malih al Basti in Ireland, Safety Check was sold for $202,689 as a Tattersalls December weanling. He was produced by the unraced Doors to Manual (Royal Academy), an unraced half-sister to Group 1-winning sire Marchand de Sable (Theatrical).

Volatile turned the tables on Mastermind in the Meydan Classic (Andrew Watkins/Dubai Racing Club)
Buick was scoring a double on the card, having engineered a form reversal aboard Volatile (Strategic Prince) in the $125,000 Meydan Classic. Runner-up to the front-running Mastermind (Var) in the local trial February 5, Volatile overhauled that same rival here, and scored a coup for his Swedish connections -- owner Stall Let's Fly - Easy and trainer Jessica Long. He pulled away by 1 1/4 lengths and covered about seven furlongs on turf in 1:23.

"I am absolutely delighted," said Long, who also bred Volatile in Sweden. "We were hopeful of a big run as he ran really well behind Mastermind in the 1400-meter trial for this race.

"William has given him a great ride and this is a massive result for our yard and Sweden."

Mastermind crossed the wire with 2 1/4 lengths to spare over Wychwood Warrior (Lope de Vega) in third. Quarterback (American Post) took fourth, and Australian shipper Tashbeeh (Commands) wound up a one-paced fifth in a dead-heat with Good Contact (Teofilo).

Volatile boosted his bankroll to $110,722 while improving his record to 5-2-1-1. The bay gelding has gone on his travels since trouncing a maiden field in his homeland on the Jagersro dirt last September. He next appeared on the turf at Newmarket in the October 17 Cornwallis (Eng-G3), finishing a solid third. Volatile tried the Meydan dirt in the January 15 trial for the U.A.E. Two Thousand Guineas, but never factored in fifth, and has reverted to turf.

Out of the Souvenir Copy mare Look That Chick, Volatile hails from the extended family of French highweight mare Ana Marie (Anabaa) and Group 1 victor Morandi (Holy Roman Emperor).

De Kock snared a win in the nightcap, an about 10-furlong turf handicap, when Flying the Flag (Galileo) just got up over Godolphin's Tha'Ir (New Approach) in a blanket finish. Under Johnny Geroudis, the five-year-old forced his neck in front in 2:01 4/5.

Flying the Flag, formerly with Aidan O'Brien, scored his first win for Mike de Kock (Andrew Watkins/Dubai Racing Club)
Flying the Flag was formerly with Aidan O'Brien, for whom he captured the 2013 International S. (Ire-G3) and placed in that year's Glencairn S. as well as the 2012 Futurity S. (Ire-G2). Subsequently acquired by Wilgebosdrift Stud et al, he was unplaced in a pair of English outings for de Kock last summer, and sixth in his Dubai premiere in a February 5 handicap. With this first win for his new connections, he has compiled a mark of 12-3-1-1, $184,454.

Other than the glaring exception of Local Time, the Meydan dirt was so fast Thursday that handicappers set track records in the other three races on the surface. The about six-furlong mark was lowered to 1:10.86 by Price Is Truth (Distorted Humor), who helped himself by getting off to a good start.

"He broke well today," apprentice rider Marc Monaghan said, alluding to his past two tardy starts. "He was always traveling strongly and quickened nicely when I asked him. He can improve on his."

Trained by Satish Seemar, Price Is Truth claims a record of 17-3-1-1, $118,239.

Mashaaref (Cape Cross) spearheaded a trifecta for Sheikh Hamdan in the about seven-furlong handicap, going wire to wire in a record time of 1:23.54.

"He broke very well and I was able to get straight to the front," winning rider Silvestre de Sousa recapped. "He enjoyed himself and quickened nicely to settle matters in style."

The Musabah al Muhairi charge, who won on a non-Carnival card two starts back February 14, upped his line to 26-5-5-2, $168,681.

The metric mile record on dirt likewise fell, courtesy of longshot Pit Stop (Iffraaj), who snapped a losing streak dating back to last summer in Ireland. Making his third start for Salem bin Ghadayer, the four-year-old mowed down Not a Given (Any Given Saturday) in the final strides and clocked 1:36.59.

"They went a really good gallop," jockey Mickael Barzalona said of the non-Carnival race. "That fast pace has really helped him, and he was running on well in the final 300 meters, and we hit the front where it mattered."

Pit Stop's scorecard stands at 10-3-0-0, $67,441.

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Williamstown euthanized at age 25

Williamstown enjoyed his retirement years at Old Friends Farm (Rick Capone)

Grade 2 victor Williamstown (Seattle Slew) was euthanized on February 25 at the age of 25 due to complications caused by the neurological disease EPM, Old Friends reported Thursday.

Williamstown had been pensioned at Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Farm in Georgetown, Kentucky, since 2007. Michael Blowen, founder and president of Old Friends, made the announcement of his passing Thursday morning.

As a racehorse, Williamstown scored his biggest win in the 1993 Withers S. (G2) at Belmont Park in track-record time of 1:32.79 for owner Peter W. Willmott. It was considered one of the fastest miles in racing history.

Williamstown's three-year career included wins in two other stakes and placings in seven black-type events, including runner-up efforts in the Jerome H. (G1) and King's Bishop S. (G2). In all, the Kentucky-bred dark bay racked up a 5-5-5 mark from 24 starts and earned $360,884.

He was also successful as a stallion, siring 15 stakes winners, including Grade 3 scorer Vinemeister.

Williamstown was pensioned from stud duty in 2007 after proving infertile. The Central Kentucky insurance firm Aubrey Insurance took possession of the horse and tried to place him in an equine program at University of Minnesota, but he did not fit their needs. Plans to euthanize Williamstown were underway when an employee at Aubrey decided to contact Blowen at Old Friends.

"I'll never forget the day, nearly eight years ago, when a woman named Lisa called from Frank Aubrey Insurance and asked us if we had room for a horse named Williamstown," Blowen recalled. "I was thrilled. I had visited Williamstown years earlier at Saratoga when Peter Vestal trained him. Over the years, his kind owner, Peter Willmott, visited Williamstown many times and was a generous supporter.

"Like his sire, Seattle Slew, Williamstown knew he could be very imperious," Blowen added. "But he earned it, and he'll be missed."

Williamstown euthanized at age 25

Williamstown enjoyed his retirement years at Old Friends Farm (Rick Capone)

Grade 2 victor Williamstown (Seattle Slew) was euthanized on February 25 at the age of 25 due to complications caused by the neurological disease EPM, Old Friends reported Thursday.

Williamstown had been pensioned at Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Farm in Georgetown, Kentucky, since 2007. Michael Blowen, founder and president of Old Friends, made the announcement of his passing Thursday morning.

As a racehorse, Williamstown scored his biggest win in the 1993 Withers S. (G2) at Belmont Park in track-record time of 1:32.79 for owner Peter W. Willmott. It was considered one of the fastest miles in racing history.

Williamstown's three-year career included wins in two other stakes and placings in seven black-type events, including runner-up efforts in the Jerome H. (G1) and King's Bishop S. (G2). In all, the Kentucky-bred dark bay racked up a 5-5-5 mark from 24 starts and earned $360,884.

He was also successful as a stallion, siring 15 stakes winners, including Grade 3 scorer Vinemeister.

Williamstown was pensioned from stud duty in 2007 after proving infertile. The Central Kentucky insurance firm Aubrey Insurance took possession of the horse and tried to place him in an equine program at University of Minnesota, but he did not fit their needs. Plans to euthanize Williamstown were underway when an employee at Aubrey decided to contact Blowen at Old Friends.

"I'll never forget the day, nearly eight years ago, when a woman named Lisa called from Frank Aubrey Insurance and asked us if we had room for a horse named Williamstown," Blowen recalled. "I was thrilled. I had visited Williamstown years earlier at Saratoga when Peter Vestal trained him. Over the years, his kind owner, Peter Willmott, visited Williamstown many times and was a generous supporter.

"Like his sire, Seattle Slew, Williamstown knew he could be very imperious," Blowen added. "But he earned it, and he'll be missed."

Horton wants Take Charge Brandi to face the boys in Rebel

Horton (right) wants to see Take Charge Brandi in the Rebel (Benoit Photos)

Champion Take Charge Brandi (Giant's Causeway) is "50-50" to make her next start in the $150,000 Honeybee S. (G3) on March 7 at Oaklawn Park, the three-year-old filly's owner, Willis D. Horton, said early Wednesday afternoon.

Horton indicated his preference is for Take Charge Brandi to challenge males in the $750,000 Rebel S. (G2) on March 14 at the Hot Springs, Arkansas, venue.

The 1 1/16-mile Rebel is expected to attract American Pharoah (Pioneerof the Nile), the country's champion two-year-old male last year, and The Truth Or Else (Yes It's True), runner-up in last Sunday's Southwest S. (G3).

Take Charge Brandi won an Eclipse Award as the 2014 champion two-year-old filly, and the Rebel would be her first race against males.

"I guess we're going to have to look at it and see," Horton said. "I haven't completely made up my mind yet, but I would like to run in the Rebel. That's exactly where I'd like to."

Horton said he will confer with the filly's Hall of Fame trainer, D. Wayne Lukas, before a decision is made, which the owner believes will come by the middle of next week. Post positions for the 1 1/16-mile Honeybee will be drawn March 4.

Lukas has said for weeks that Take Charge Brandi would run in the Honeybee, but he's also pointing Dixie Belle S. third Super Saks (Sky Mesa) for the race.

Take Charge Brandi captured the Martha Washington S. in her sophomore debut on January 31 by a head after closing out her juvenile campaign with scores in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1), Delta Downs Princess S. (G3) and Starlet S. (G1).

The chestnut miss currently has 40 points toward a starting berth in the May 1 Kentucky Oaks (G1) at Churchill Downs, and the Honeybee offers 50-20-10-5 to the top four finishers. The Rebel will give away the same amount of points for a berth in the Kentucky Derby (G1) on May 2 under the Twin Spires.

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Horton wants Take Charge Brandi to face the boys in Rebel

Horton (right) wants to see Take Charge Brandi in the Rebel (Benoit Photos)

Champion Take Charge Brandi (Giant's Causeway) is "50-50" to make her next start in the $150,000 Honeybee S. (G3) on March 7 at Oaklawn Park, the three-year-old filly's owner, Willis D. Horton, said early Wednesday afternoon.

Horton indicated his preference is for Take Charge Brandi to challenge males in the $750,000 Rebel S. (G2) on March 14 at the Hot Springs, Arkansas, venue.

The 1 1/16-mile Rebel is expected to attract American Pharoah (Pioneerof the Nile), the country's champion two-year-old male last year, and The Truth Or Else (Yes It's True), runner-up in last Sunday's Southwest S. (G3).

Take Charge Brandi won an Eclipse Award as the 2014 champion two-year-old filly, and the Rebel would be her first race against males.

"I guess we're going to have to look at it and see," Horton said. "I haven't completely made up my mind yet, but I would like to run in the Rebel. That's exactly where I'd like to."

Horton said he will confer with the filly's Hall of Fame trainer, D. Wayne Lukas, before a decision is made, which the owner believes will come by the middle of next week. Post positions for the 1 1/16-mile Honeybee will be drawn March 4.

Lukas has said for weeks that Take Charge Brandi would run in the Honeybee, but he's also pointing Dixie Belle S. third Super Saks (Sky Mesa) for the race.

Take Charge Brandi captured the Martha Washington S. in her sophomore debut on January 31 by a head after closing out her juvenile campaign with scores in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1), Delta Downs Princess S. (G3) and Starlet S. (G1).

The chestnut miss currently has 40 points toward a starting berth in the May 1 Kentucky Oaks (G1) at Churchill Downs, and the Honeybee offers 50-20-10-5 to the top four finishers. The Rebel will give away the same amount of points for a berth in the Kentucky Derby (G1) on May 2 under the Twin Spires.

Bet Horseracing Free Online at TwinSpires.com

Daredevil returns in Swale

Daredevil captured his first two starts on the front end and will likely show speed from the innermost post (Adam Coglianese Photo)

Champagne (G1) winner Daredevil (More Than Ready) will cut back to seven furlongs and open his three-year-old campaign against six rivals in Saturday's $200,000 Swale Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream Park. Trained by Todd Pletcher, Daredevil has recorded three consecutive bullet works in advance of the Swale and will break from the rail post with Javier Castellano.

Daredevil opened his racing career with a pair of smashing wins, including a 2 1/2-length score over Upstart (Flatter) in the October 4 Champagne that netted a field-best 104 BRIS Speed, but the chestnut colt will be attempting to rebound after trailing in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1). He figures to be a strong betting favorite in his seasonal bow.

Souper Colossal (War Front) is Daredevil's main rival. An easy winner of his first three starts, including the Sapling Stakes and Tyro Stakes at Monmouth Park last summer, the Eddie Plesa-Jr. trainee returned from a two-month layoff with a seventh in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. The bay colt came back this year with an easy win in the grassy Texas Glitter, scoring by a 1 1/2-length margin at a five-furlong trip, and Souper Colossal is eligible to move forward the second-time out with a returning Joel Rosario.

Hutcheson (G3) and Pasco runner-up X Y Jet (Kantharos) is also entered and Ready for Rye (City Zip) will make his first appearance since finishing second as the even-money choice in the January 3 Spectacular Bid.

The South Florida track will also offer a pair of Grade 3 turf stakes for sophomores, the $150,000 Palm Beach and $150,000 Herecomesthebride. Both races will be contested at 1 1/16 miles.

The Palm Beach drew 11 runners and features a match-up between Dubai Sky (Candy Ride) and Night Prowler (Giant's Causeway), who exit stakes victories over the course in the January 24 Kitten's Joy and January 3 Dania Beach (G3), respectively. John Velazquez will be back aboard Dubai Sky, who will be seeking his fourth consecutive win for Bill Mott, and Castellano has the assignment on Night Prowler for Chad Brown.

Sweetest Chant (G3) heroine Consumer Credit (More Than Ready) is the one to beat among nine fillies in the Herecomesthebride. She's won three straight for Brown and Edgard Zayas will be up for the third straight time. Sweetest Chant second Quality Rocks (Rock Hard Ten), a two-time Grade 3 runner-up for Mott, has leading rider Castellano and Ginger Brew winner Devine Aida (Unbridled's Song) is another runner of interest.

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Daredevil returns in Swale

Daredevil captured his first two starts on the front end and will likely show speed from the innermost post (Adam Coglianese Photo)

Champagne (G1) winner Daredevil (More Than Ready) will cut back to seven furlongs and open his three-year-old campaign against six rivals in Saturday's $200,000 Swale Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream Park. Trained by Todd Pletcher, Daredevil has recorded three consecutive bullet works in advance of the Swale and will break from the rail post with Javier Castellano.

Daredevil opened his racing career with a pair of smashing wins, including a 2 1/2-length score over Upstart (Flatter) in the October 4 Champagne that netted a field-best 104 BRIS Speed, but the chestnut colt will be attempting to rebound after trailing in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1). He figures to be a strong betting favorite in his seasonal bow.

Souper Colossal (War Front) is Daredevil's main rival. An easy winner of his first three starts, including the Sapling Stakes and Tyro Stakes at Monmouth Park last summer, the Eddie Plesa-Jr. trainee returned from a two-month layoff with a seventh in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. The bay colt came back this year with an easy win in the grassy Texas Glitter, scoring by a 1 1/2-length margin at a five-furlong trip, and Souper Colossal is eligible to move forward the second-time out with a returning Joel Rosario.

Hutcheson (G3) and Pasco runner-up X Y Jet (Kantharos) is also entered and Ready for Rye (City Zip) will make his first appearance since finishing second as the even-money choice in the January 3 Spectacular Bid.

The South Florida track will also offer a pair of Grade 3 turf stakes for sophomores, the $150,000 Palm Beach and $150,000 Herecomesthebride. Both races will be contested at 1 1/16 miles.

The Palm Beach drew 11 runners and features a match-up between Dubai Sky (Candy Ride) and Night Prowler (Giant's Causeway), who exit stakes victories over the course in the January 24 Kitten's Joy and January 3 Dania Beach (G3), respectively. John Velazquez will be back aboard Dubai Sky, who will be seeking his fourth consecutive win for Bill Mott, and Castellano has the assignment on Night Prowler for Chad Brown.

Sweetest Chant (G3) heroine Consumer Credit (More Than Ready) is the one to beat among nine fillies in the Herecomesthebride. She's won three straight for Brown and Edgard Zayas will be up for the third straight time. Sweetest Chant second Quality Rocks (Rock Hard Ten), a two-time Grade 3 runner-up for Mott, has leading rider Castellano and Ginger Brew winner Devine Aida (Unbridled's Song) is another runner of interest.

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Far Right will train up to Arkansas Derby; Mr. Z headed to Louisiana Derby

Far Right (far right) got the best of The Truth or Else (far left) and Mr. Z (white blinkers) in a muddy edition of the Southwest (Oaklawn Park/Coady Photography)

The top three finishers in from last Sunday's Southwest S. (G3) at Oaklawn Park are headed in different directions.

Far Right (Notional), a three-quarter length winner over The Truth Or Else (Yes It's True) in the 1 1/16-mile race, will make his next start in the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) on April 11, trainer Ron Moquett said Wednesday morning.

By training up to the Arkansas Derby, Far Right will skip the $750,000 Rebel S. (G2) on March 14, which is the next scheduled start for the Truth Or Else, trainer Kenny McPeek said.

Mr. Z (Malibu Moon), beaten a nose for second in the Southwest, will make his next start in the $750,000 Louisiana Derby (G2) at Fair Grounds on March 28, owner Ahmed Zayat said Tuesday.

Far Right became the first horse to win both the Southwest and January 19 Smarty Jones S. since that latter one-mile race was added in 2008 to kick off Oaklawn's series of Kentucky Derby (G1) prep races. Moquett said the plan entering 2015 was to run Far Right three times at Oaklawn in hopes of having a fresh horse for the Kentucky Derby, adding the Southwest being delayed six days because of winter weather wasn't a major factor in bypassing the Rebel.

"We decided to try to not just get there (to the Kentucky Derby), but get there with enough healthy horse to do some damage," Moquett said. "We're trying to get there with the most horse."

Moquett said Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, who rode Far Right in the Smarty Jones and Southwest, has committed to ride the chestnut colt in the Arkansas Derby. The trainer said Far Right went back to the track for the first time since the Southwest on a snowy Wednesday morning.

"We jogged him just to stretch his legs," the horseman remarked. "It was actually a day early. It was good."

Grade 1-placed The Truth Or Else closed from far back -- last by 14 1/4 lengths after a quarter-mile -- to just miss after taking a narrow lead in deep stretch.

"He ran a good race," McPeek stated Wednesday morning.

Mr. Z, the 2-1 favorite, sprinted to a clear early lead, but couldn't hold off The Truth Or Else on the outside or Far Right, who came up the rail, in the final furlong. The colt broke from the extreme outside post 11, a spot zero for 20 in route races at the meeting.

"I thought he ran a hell of a race," Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas said moments after the Southwest.

Zayat's son, Justin, racing and stallion manager for Zayat Stables, said Mr. Z will race without blinkers in the Louisiana Derby.

Zayat Stables is scheduled to be represented by American Pharoah (Pioneerof the Nile) in the 1 1/16-mile Rebel, which would mark the 2015 debut of the Eclipse Award-winning two-year-old male.

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Far Right will train up to Arkansas Derby; Mr. Z headed to Louisiana Derby

Far Right (far right) got the best of The Truth or Else (far left) and Mr. Z (white blinkers) in a muddy edition of the Southwest (Oaklawn Park/Coady Photography)

The top three finishers in from last Sunday's Southwest S. (G3) at Oaklawn Park are headed in different directions.

Far Right (Notional), a three-quarter length winner over The Truth Or Else (Yes It's True) in the 1 1/16-mile race, will make his next start in the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) on April 11, trainer Ron Moquett said Wednesday morning.

By training up to the Arkansas Derby, Far Right will skip the $750,000 Rebel S. (G2) on March 14, which is the next scheduled start for the Truth Or Else, trainer Kenny McPeek said.

Mr. Z (Malibu Moon), beaten a nose for second in the Southwest, will make his next start in the $750,000 Louisiana Derby (G2) at Fair Grounds on March 28, owner Ahmed Zayat said Tuesday.

Far Right became the first horse to win both the Southwest and January 19 Smarty Jones S. since that latter one-mile race was added in 2008 to kick off Oaklawn's series of Kentucky Derby (G1) prep races. Moquett said the plan entering 2015 was to run Far Right three times at Oaklawn in hopes of having a fresh horse for the Kentucky Derby, adding the Southwest being delayed six days because of winter weather wasn't a major factor in bypassing the Rebel.

"We decided to try to not just get there (to the Kentucky Derby), but get there with enough healthy horse to do some damage," Moquett said. "We're trying to get there with the most horse."

Moquett said Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, who rode Far Right in the Smarty Jones and Southwest, has committed to ride the chestnut colt in the Arkansas Derby. The trainer said Far Right went back to the track for the first time since the Southwest on a snowy Wednesday morning.

"We jogged him just to stretch his legs," the horseman remarked. "It was actually a day early. It was good."

Grade 1-placed The Truth Or Else closed from far back -- last by 14 1/4 lengths after a quarter-mile -- to just miss after taking a narrow lead in deep stretch.

"He ran a good race," McPeek stated Wednesday morning.

Mr. Z, the 2-1 favorite, sprinted to a clear early lead, but couldn't hold off The Truth Or Else on the outside or Far Right, who came up the rail, in the final furlong. The colt broke from the extreme outside post 11, a spot zero for 20 in route races at the meeting.

"I thought he ran a hell of a race," Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas said moments after the Southwest.

Zayat's son, Justin, racing and stallion manager for Zayat Stables, said Mr. Z will race without blinkers in the Louisiana Derby.

Zayat Stables is scheduled to be represented by American Pharoah (Pioneerof the Nile) in the 1 1/16-mile Rebel, which would mark the 2015 debut of the Eclipse Award-winning two-year-old male.

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Well-matched group of nine entered for Santa Ysabel

Light the City (left) just missed to Callback in the Las Virgenes last out (Benoit Photos)

Santa Anita Park will host just one stakes race on Saturday, but that contest offers up a total of 85 points toward a starting berth in the May 1 Kentucky Oaks (G1) at Churchill Downs.

The $100,000 Santa Ysabel S. (G3) will award the winner 50 points, second-place 20, third-place 10 and fourth-place five on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks. Nine fillies will take their chances in the 1 1/16-mile affair, including stakes victress Light the City (Street Sense).

The bay lass, one of three Jerry Hollendorfer-trained runners in the race, captured her initial two starts last year and closed out her juvenile campaign with a third-place effort in the Desi Arnaz S. in mid-November. She was unable to factor in the Santa Ynez S. (G2) in her sophomore bow on January 3, but returned last out to just miss by a half-length in the Las Virgenes S. (G1) while stretching out to a mile for the first time.

Light the City was piloted by Kent Desormeaux for the first time in the Las Virgenes, and he retains the mount on Saturday.

There are any number in the Santa Ysabel with a chance on Saturday, Danette (Curlin) being one of them. Desormeaux got off the filly trained by his brother Keith Desormeaux to ride Light the City, leaving the way clear for Fernando Perez to take the mount on the maiden.

Despite boasting eight career races thus far, Danette has yet to visit the winner's circle. The bay miss finished third in last year's Chandelier S. (G1) and was fifth, beaten only 1 1/2 lengths, in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) in her penultimate start of the season. She returned to the maiden ranks last out, running second, and will break from the rail in the Santa Ysabel.

Achiever's Legacy (City Zip) is another Hollendorfer runner and actually beat Light the City as winner of the Desi Arnaz last November. The chestnut filly found herself finishing behind her stablemate recently when third in the Las Virgenes, and gets a major jockey switch to Gary Stevens for this one.

There are three last-out maiden winners entered on Saturday, with Enchanting Lady (Tale of the Cat) the most impressive having gotten past that initial hurdle in a stakes. The Bob Baffert trainee crossed under the wire second in her debut last May but returned a month later to take the Landaluce S. by 6 1/4 lengths. Though unraced since then, the dark bay filly has been working up a storm at Santa Anita in anticipation of her return to competition, including a six-furlong bullet move two weeks ago.

Stellar Wind (Curlin) also missed in her first attempt, running third at Laurel Park in late November, then romped by 8 3/4 lengths a month later while stretching out to a mile. The Virginia-bred chestnut made those two starts for trainer Donald Barr but will be saddled for the first time by John Sadler in this spot.

Curlin's Fox (Curlin), the other maiden winner, scored in her debut on February 1 going about 6 1/2 furlongs on Santa Anita's downhill turf course. She'll be stretching out while trying the main track here for Carla Gaines, as will the Graham Motion-trained Rainha Da Bateria (Broken Vow). That filly has only ever competed on grass, including a victory in the Jessamine S. (G3) last October at Keeneland.

Rattataptap (Tapit), a 4 3/4-length allowance/optional claiming winner on January 29, and Hollendorfer's California Oaks runner-up Glory (Tapit) complete the Santa Ysabel field.

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Well-matched group of nine entered for Santa Ysabel

Light the City (left) just missed to Callback in the Las Virgenes last out (Benoit Photos)

Santa Anita Park will host just one stakes race on Saturday, but that contest offers up a total of 85 points toward a starting berth in the May 1 Kentucky Oaks (G1) at Churchill Downs.

The $100,000 Santa Ysabel S. (G3) will award the winner 50 points, second-place 20, third-place 10 and fourth-place five on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks. Nine fillies will take their chances in the 1 1/16-mile affair, including stakes victress Light the City (Street Sense).

The bay lass, one of three Jerry Hollendorfer-trained runners in the race, captured her initial two starts last year and closed out her juvenile campaign with a third-place effort in the Desi Arnaz S. in mid-November. She was unable to factor in the Santa Ynez S. (G2) in her sophomore bow on January 3, but returned last out to just miss by a half-length in the Las Virgenes S. (G1) while stretching out to a mile for the first time.

Light the City was piloted by Kent Desormeaux for the first time in the Las Virgenes, and he retains the mount on Saturday.

There are any number in the Santa Ysabel with a chance on Saturday, Danette (Curlin) being one of them. Desormeaux got off the filly trained by his brother Keith Desormeaux to ride Light the City, leaving the way clear for Fernando Perez to take the mount on the maiden.

Despite boasting eight career races thus far, Danette has yet to visit the winner's circle. The bay miss finished third in last year's Chandelier S. (G1) and was fifth, beaten only 1 1/2 lengths, in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) in her penultimate start of the season. She returned to the maiden ranks last out, running second, and will break from the rail in the Santa Ysabel.

Achiever's Legacy (City Zip) is another Hollendorfer runner and actually beat Light the City as winner of the Desi Arnaz last November. The chestnut filly found herself finishing behind her stablemate recently when third in the Las Virgenes, and gets a major jockey switch to Gary Stevens for this one.

There are three last-out maiden winners entered on Saturday, with Enchanting Lady (Tale of the Cat) the most impressive having gotten past that initial hurdle in a stakes. The Bob Baffert trainee crossed under the wire second in her debut last May but returned a month later to take the Landaluce S. by 6 1/4 lengths. Though unraced since then, the dark bay filly has been working up a storm at Santa Anita in anticipation of her return to competition, including a six-furlong bullet move two weeks ago.

Stellar Wind (Curlin) also missed in her first attempt, running third at Laurel Park in late November, then romped by 8 3/4 lengths a month later while stretching out to a mile. The Virginia-bred chestnut made those two starts for trainer Donald Barr but will be saddled for the first time by John Sadler in this spot.

Curlin's Fox (Curlin), the other maiden winner, scored in her debut on February 1 going about 6 1/2 furlongs on Santa Anita's downhill turf course. She'll be stretching out while trying the main track here for Carla Gaines, as will the Graham Motion-trained Rainha Da Bateria (Broken Vow). That filly has only ever competed on grass, including a victory in the Jessamine S. (G3) last October at Keeneland.

Rattataptap (Tapit), a 4 3/4-length allowance/optional claiming winner on January 29, and Hollendorfer's California Oaks runner-up Glory (Tapit) complete the Santa Ysabel field.

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Retired top jockey Lambert dies at age 74

Jerry Lambert was one of the leading riders of his generation (Benoit Photos)

Jerry Lambert, one of California's leading jockeys through the 1960s and '70s, was found dead Monday morning at his place of employment, Magali Farms in Santa Ynez, California, by his daughter, Lacey, who is also employed at the farm.

Born in Clyde, Kansas, on December 27, 1940, Lambert, 74, was best known as the regular rider of the jet-black Hall of Fame gelding Native Diver, with whom Lambert won three consecutive Hollywood Gold Cups in 1965-67. "The Black Horse," as Lambert often referred to him, had a keen temperament and front-running style that was perfectly complemented by Lambert's deft touch.

"He was a great rider," retired Hall of Fame jockey Donald Pierce said. "I rode with him from the time he came to California in 1961 until I retired (early 1984). Anytime he was in a race, you had to deal with him because he didn't make mistakes. He was very quiet, very low key and he'd come and beat you when you'd least expect it. He was a lot like Shoe. He was very quiet to be around and to ride with."

Santa Anita's leading winter/spring meet rider in 1967-'68 with 77 winners in 72 days of racing, "Clyde," as he was known to his contemporaries, was also leading rider at Santa Anita's Oak Tree Meeting in 1972 with 30 winners. Known as a great judge of pace and blessed with light hands and a cool demeanor, Lambert's career was often stymied by his love of the outdoors, which resulted in a number of protracted absences from the saddle.

"I think maybe the best indication of how good he was, was that every time he came back, he had a lot of business," Pierce noted. "Buster Millerick (trainer of Native Diver) loved him and whenever Jerry would come back to ride, Buster put him on horses which was very unusual then, 'cause those older guys didn't like it when you took off and were gone for a while. Most of the time, when you took off, those horses went to other jocks and that's the way it was."

Lambert, who was also Del Mar's leading rider in 1967, was an integral part of one of American racing's all-time greatest match races, which pitted trainer A.T. "Tommy" Doyle's Typecast against trainer Willard Proctor's Convenience at 1 1/8 miles on June 17, 1972, at Hollywood Park.

Typecast, who was ridden by Bill Shoemaker, was favored over Convenience, but Lambert, in the opinion of many observers, rode a race for the ages, enabling Convenience to prevail by a head in a $250,000 winner-take-all thriller witnessed by an on-track crowd of 53,575.

Lambert was best known as Native Diver's regular rider (Benoit Photos)

"Not too many people out-rode Shoemaker, but Jerry had him in his hip pocket that day," said trainer Tom Proctor, who was a 16-year-old groom at the time. "He had Shoe in a bad spot going into the first turn and again when they turned for home. He had Shoe where he wanted him and he drifted out, so Shoe had to come inside.

"I never saw my dad get nervous, but he was that day. There were 53,000 'paid' there and from the time the horses came into the old paddock in front of the grandstand, I don't think anyone sat down. Jerry was a horse-backer and that was a big win for Glen Hill Farm."

Lambert enjoyed a career resurgence in 1987, riding at Bay Meadows and Golden Gate Fields for trainers such as Jack Arterburn and Jerry Dutton, but his roll was derailed when he sustained a life-threatening spill going into the far turn at Pleasanton in July 1987, which resulted in a broken cheekbone, broken ankle and collapsed lung.

Commenting on the incident in a Los Angeles Times article on February 1, 1988, veteran turf writer and handicapper Gordon Jones said, "Too bad. Jerry Lambert was riding as well as I've ever seen him ride, and then for that to happen..."

Lambert was a winner of the 1995 Darley Award, given annually to America's top Arabian-bred jockey and he finished up his riding career at Los Alamitos, where he dominated the track's Arabian-bred standings from 1994-1998.

"Jerry may've had the best set of hands I've ever seen," Los Al track announcer Ed Burgart stated. "He sat a horse perfect and he never abused his mounts. They ran out of their minds for Jerry, he just had that magic touch."

A winner of Santa Anita's George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award in 1971, Lambert, who broke his maiden on a half-mile bullring in Shelby, Montana, in 1958, won 2,535 Thoroughbred races and retired with 42 stakes wins at Santa Anita, 54 at Hollywood Park and 30 stakes triumphs at Del Mar.

Funeral services are pending.

Retired top jockey Lambert dies at age 74

Jerry Lambert was one of the leading riders of his generation (Benoit Photos)

Jerry Lambert, one of California's leading jockeys through the 1960s and '70s, was found dead Monday morning at his place of employment, Magali Farms in Santa Ynez, California, by his daughter, Lacey, who is also employed at the farm.

Born in Clyde, Kansas, on December 27, 1940, Lambert, 74, was best known as the regular rider of the jet-black Hall of Fame gelding Native Diver, with whom Lambert won three consecutive Hollywood Gold Cups in 1965-67. "The Black Horse," as Lambert often referred to him, had a keen temperament and front-running style that was perfectly complemented by Lambert's deft touch.

"He was a great rider," retired Hall of Fame jockey Donald Pierce said. "I rode with him from the time he came to California in 1961 until I retired (early 1984). Anytime he was in a race, you had to deal with him because he didn't make mistakes. He was very quiet, very low key and he'd come and beat you when you'd least expect it. He was a lot like Shoe. He was very quiet to be around and to ride with."

Santa Anita's leading winter/spring meet rider in 1967-'68 with 77 winners in 72 days of racing, "Clyde," as he was known to his contemporaries, was also leading rider at Santa Anita's Oak Tree Meeting in 1972 with 30 winners. Known as a great judge of pace and blessed with light hands and a cool demeanor, Lambert's career was often stymied by his love of the outdoors, which resulted in a number of protracted absences from the saddle.

"I think maybe the best indication of how good he was, was that every time he came back, he had a lot of business," Pierce noted. "Buster Millerick (trainer of Native Diver) loved him and whenever Jerry would come back to ride, Buster put him on horses which was very unusual then, 'cause those older guys didn't like it when you took off and were gone for a while. Most of the time, when you took off, those horses went to other jocks and that's the way it was."

Lambert, who was also Del Mar's leading rider in 1967, was an integral part of one of American racing's all-time greatest match races, which pitted trainer A.T. "Tommy" Doyle's Typecast against trainer Willard Proctor's Convenience at 1 1/8 miles on June 17, 1972, at Hollywood Park.

Typecast, who was ridden by Bill Shoemaker, was favored over Convenience, but Lambert, in the opinion of many observers, rode a race for the ages, enabling Convenience to prevail by a head in a $250,000 winner-take-all thriller witnessed by an on-track crowd of 53,575.

Lambert was best known as Native Diver's regular rider (Benoit Photos)

"Not too many people out-rode Shoemaker, but Jerry had him in his hip pocket that day," said trainer Tom Proctor, who was a 16-year-old groom at the time. "He had Shoe in a bad spot going into the first turn and again when they turned for home. He had Shoe where he wanted him and he drifted out, so Shoe had to come inside.

"I never saw my dad get nervous, but he was that day. There were 53,000 'paid' there and from the time the horses came into the old paddock in front of the grandstand, I don't think anyone sat down. Jerry was a horse-backer and that was a big win for Glen Hill Farm."

Lambert enjoyed a career resurgence in 1987, riding at Bay Meadows and Golden Gate Fields for trainers such as Jack Arterburn and Jerry Dutton, but his roll was derailed when he sustained a life-threatening spill going into the far turn at Pleasanton in July 1987, which resulted in a broken cheekbone, broken ankle and collapsed lung.

Commenting on the incident in a Los Angeles Times article on February 1, 1988, veteran turf writer and handicapper Gordon Jones said, "Too bad. Jerry Lambert was riding as well as I've ever seen him ride, and then for that to happen..."

Lambert was a winner of the 1995 Darley Award, given annually to America's top Arabian-bred jockey and he finished up his riding career at Los Alamitos, where he dominated the track's Arabian-bred standings from 1994-1998.

"Jerry may've had the best set of hands I've ever seen," Los Al track announcer Ed Burgart stated. "He sat a horse perfect and he never abused his mounts. They ran out of their minds for Jerry, he just had that magic touch."

A winner of Santa Anita's George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award in 1971, Lambert, who broke his maiden on a half-mile bullring in Shelby, Montana, in 1958, won 2,535 Thoroughbred races and retired with 42 stakes wins at Santa Anita, 54 at Hollywood Park and 30 stakes triumphs at Del Mar.

Funeral services are pending.

Safety Check seeks third DWCC win in Zabeel Mile; Local Time tops UAE Oaks

Safety Check set a new course record while earning his first stakes score in the Al Fahidi Fort (Andrew Watkins/Dubai Racing Club)

Thursday's eighth meeting of the 2015 Dubai World Cup Carnival at Meydan Racecourse is arguably the best with three feature races, highlighted by the Zabeel Mile (UAE-G2).

Eleven have been declared for the 1600 meter turf feature, including Godolphin's Safety Check (Dubawi), trained by Charlie Appleby and seeking a third 2015 Carnival victory having won a 1400 meter handicap in his seasonal debut and the Al Fahidi Fort (UAE-G2) over the same course and distance.

The mount of William Buick, who was aboard when he won the Al Fahidi Fort, will be penalized for that victory and have to contend with an extra 200 meters this week.

"He has really thrived since arriving in Dubai and remains in great form," Appleby said. "The Meydan turf course really suits him and he should run another big race but the penalty obviously makes life harder for him.

"The 1400 meters has really suited him for his two wins this year and has to prove himself as effective over 1600 meters but he has won over the trip at Newmarket as a juvenile."

Appleby also saddles Outstrip (Exceed and Excel), winner of the 2013 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) and Champagne S. (Eng-G2), in the same race with James Doyle in the saddle. He will make his second start of the campaign having been well beaten in the opening round of the Al Maktoum Challenge (UAE-G2).

"He was disappointing last time," Appleby admitted. "He had been working well but just did not face the kickback. He continues to please us at home and will appreciate the return to turf."

South African Mike de Kock won the inaugural running of the Zabeel Mile in 2007 with Kapil and has saddled two subsequent winners. Seeking a fourth win in the race, he has three shots at the target with last year's Al Fahidi Fort (UAE-G2) victor Anaerobio (Catcher in the Rye), Group 1 runner-up Johann Strauss (High Chaparral) and Group 3 scorer Darwin.

Christophe Soumillon rides the last named, with Pat Dobbs aboard Johann Strauss, as he was when a close second at Abu Dhabi in his first start for the yard. Johnny Geroudis will ride Anaerobio.

Like Safety Check, the Brendan Powell-trained Dark Emerald (Dakr Angel), described by his handler as "the best horse I have ever trained," is also seeking a third Meydan win this year. He has already won handicaps going 1200 and 1400 meters, but stays 1600 meters well.

Local Time stepped up big time to give Saeed bin Suroor his ninth U.A.E. One Thousand Guineas win (Andrew Watkins/Dubai Racing Club)

The main support race on Thursday at Meydan is the UAE Oaks (UAE-G3) with only six declared for the 1900 meters dirt contest, headed by Godolphin's Local Time (Invincible Spirit). The bay lass captured the UAE One Thousand Guineas last out and has gone 5-0-0 from six starts thus far in her career, including victory in the Oh So Sharp S. (Eng-G3) last October at Newmarket.

Doyle rides for trainer Saeed bin Suroor and the pair look certain to be hard to beat.

"She won the Guineas very well," noted bin Suroor who is seeking a 10th win in this race. "Her work has been very good and she should cope with the step up in trip from 1600 meters. We expect her to run very well."

Local Time's stablemate Good Place (Street Cry), who chased her home in the UAE One Thousand Guineas and finished second by 3 1/4 lengths, could be her main danger.

"She will appreciate the step up in trip," bin Suroor said. "She is in good shape at home and will run a big race."

Appleby relies on Yodelling (Medaglia d'Oro), fourth behind Local Time in the UAE One Thousand Guineas.

"This is more her kind of trip," Appleby stated. "It will be tough to reverse the form with Saeed's pair though."

Eleven have been declared for the listed Meydan Classic, a 1600 meter turf contest restricted to three-year-olds, including the de Kock-trained Mastermind (Var) who made all to win the 1400 meter trial for the contest. Owned by HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the bay gelding was ridden by the owner's first jockey, Paul Hanagan, but he is the mount of second jockey, Dane O'Neill, here with Hanagan electing to ride Tashbeeh (Commands).

Trained in Australia by David Hayes and making his local debut, Hanagan's mount won his last two starts, most recently six weeks ago at Flemington.

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Safety Check seeks third DWCC win in Zabeel Mile; Local Time tops UAE Oaks

Safety Check set a new course record while earning his first stakes score in the Al Fahidi Fort (Andrew Watkins/Dubai Racing Club)

Thursday's eighth meeting of the 2015 Dubai World Cup Carnival at Meydan Racecourse is arguably the best with three feature races, highlighted by the Zabeel Mile (UAE-G2).

Eleven have been declared for the 1600 meter turf feature, including Godolphin's Safety Check (Dubawi), trained by Charlie Appleby and seeking a third 2015 Carnival victory having won a 1400 meter handicap in his seasonal debut and the Al Fahidi Fort (UAE-G2) over the same course and distance.

The mount of William Buick, who was aboard when he won the Al Fahidi Fort, will be penalized for that victory and have to contend with an extra 200 meters this week.

"He has really thrived since arriving in Dubai and remains in great form," Appleby said. "The Meydan turf course really suits him and he should run another big race but the penalty obviously makes life harder for him.

"The 1400 meters has really suited him for his two wins this year and has to prove himself as effective over 1600 meters but he has won over the trip at Newmarket as a juvenile."

Appleby also saddles Outstrip (Exceed and Excel), winner of the 2013 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) and Champagne S. (Eng-G2), in the same race with James Doyle in the saddle. He will make his second start of the campaign having been well beaten in the opening round of the Al Maktoum Challenge (UAE-G2).

"He was disappointing last time," Appleby admitted. "He had been working well but just did not face the kickback. He continues to please us at home and will appreciate the return to turf."

South African Mike de Kock won the inaugural running of the Zabeel Mile in 2007 with Kapil and has saddled two subsequent winners. Seeking a fourth win in the race, he has three shots at the target with last year's Al Fahidi Fort (UAE-G2) victor Anaerobio (Catcher in the Rye), Group 1 runner-up Johann Strauss (High Chaparral) and Group 3 scorer Darwin.

Christophe Soumillon rides the last named, with Pat Dobbs aboard Johann Strauss, as he was when a close second at Abu Dhabi in his first start for the yard. Johnny Geroudis will ride Anaerobio.

Like Safety Check, the Brendan Powell-trained Dark Emerald (Dakr Angel), described by his handler as "the best horse I have ever trained," is also seeking a third Meydan win this year. He has already won handicaps going 1200 and 1400 meters, but stays 1600 meters well.

Local Time stepped up big time to give Saeed bin Suroor his ninth U.A.E. One Thousand Guineas win (Andrew Watkins/Dubai Racing Club)

The main support race on Thursday at Meydan is the UAE Oaks (UAE-G3) with only six declared for the 1900 meters dirt contest, headed by Godolphin's Local Time (Invincible Spirit). The bay lass captured the UAE One Thousand Guineas last out and has gone 5-0-0 from six starts thus far in her career, including victory in the Oh So Sharp S. (Eng-G3) last October at Newmarket.

Doyle rides for trainer Saeed bin Suroor and the pair look certain to be hard to beat.

"She won the Guineas very well," noted bin Suroor who is seeking a 10th win in this race. "Her work has been very good and she should cope with the step up in trip from 1600 meters. We expect her to run very well."

Local Time's stablemate Good Place (Street Cry), who chased her home in the UAE One Thousand Guineas and finished second by 3 1/4 lengths, could be her main danger.

"She will appreciate the step up in trip," bin Suroor said. "She is in good shape at home and will run a big race."

Appleby relies on Yodelling (Medaglia d'Oro), fourth behind Local Time in the UAE One Thousand Guineas.

"This is more her kind of trip," Appleby stated. "It will be tough to reverse the form with Saeed's pair though."

Eleven have been declared for the listed Meydan Classic, a 1600 meter turf contest restricted to three-year-olds, including the de Kock-trained Mastermind (Var) who made all to win the 1400 meter trial for the contest. Owned by HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the bay gelding was ridden by the owner's first jockey, Paul Hanagan, but he is the mount of second jockey, Dane O'Neill, here with Hanagan electing to ride Tashbeeh (Commands).

Trained in Australia by David Hayes and making his local debut, Hanagan's mount won his last two starts, most recently six weeks ago at Flemington.

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Breeders' Cup announces 2015 ticket information

The Breeders' Cup has released detailed ticketing information for the 2015 Breeders' Cup World Championships at Keeneland on October 30-31. Bringing the world-class racing event to one of the most prestigious tracks in the country, Breeders' Cup's 2015 event will mark the first time that the World Championships will be held at Keeneland, the iconic track located in the heart of the Bluegrass region in Lexington, Kentucky.

To meet the strong demand from fans who want to be a part of this historic event, tickets will go on sale to the general public on, March 4, which is an unprecedented three months earlier than the normal release date for tickets. Ticket offerings will include a wide range of seating options located across the Keeneland campus.

Beginning March 4 at noon (EST), fans will be able to purchase tickets online at BreedersCup.com or by calling the ticketing office at 877-TIX-4CUP. The general public will have access to purchase approximately 50 percent of the available tickets for this year's event. Detailed information on all available seating options can be viewed now on BreedersCup.com.

Breeders' Cup and Keeneland are investing $5 million to create more premium seating options that will enhance the on-site experience for fans and participants. The new hospitality offerings are highlighted by '84 Club, a 50,000 square foot, glassed-in and climate-controlled lounge that offers incredible views of the Championships along with lounge seating, private concessions, a cash bar, restrooms and mutuel tellers. More information on available seating options can be found at BreedersCup.com.

"While this is the first time that Keeneland has hosted the Breeders' Cup World Championships, many of our Thoroughbred champions have raced at Keeneland or passed through its renowned sales pavilion so it feels like a homecoming for us," said Craig Fravel, Breeders' Cup President and CEO. "Combining our enhanced programming for this year's World Championships with the rich history and classic elegance of Keeneland and the Bluegrass region presents an incredible opportunity for us to showcase the best our sport has to offer."

Over the past 70 years, Keeneland has established itself as one of the most storied and illustrious thoroughbred sales and racing venues. Its partnership with the Breeders' Cup for this annual international event is both a milestone for the brand and a historic moment for fans.

"Being able to host the 2015 Breeders' Cup World Championships is an incredible honor," said Bill Thomason, President and CEO of Keeneland. "The Breeders' Cup has established itself as one of the most competitive and impressive racing events in the world. Keeneland and the Breeders' Cup share a goal to provide our guests with extraordinary customer service, which, coupled with Keeneland's iconic setting and rich racing tradition will make for a truly unique patron experience."

Single-day ticket prices range from $35 to $375 on Friday, and $50 to $475 on Saturday. Two-day packages ranges from $295- $1,225. All tickets will be sold in advance of the event -- there will be no walk up sales available for either day of the Breeders' Cup.

In order to provide the best possible transportation experience at Keeneland, the Breeders' Cup will offer shuttle service for a nominal fee to the track from two local park-n-ride destinations -- the Kentucky Horse Park and Whitaker Bank Ballpark. Parking on-site at Keeneland will be limited and only available to those with official parking credentials. More information on transportation to and from Keeneland for the 2015 Breeders' Cup World Championships will be announced at a later date.

Bet Horseracing Free Online at TwinSpires.com

Breeders' Cup announces 2015 ticket information

The Breeders' Cup has released detailed ticketing information for the 2015 Breeders' Cup World Championships at Keeneland on October 30-31. Bringing the world-class racing event to one of the most prestigious tracks in the country, Breeders' Cup's 2015 event will mark the first time that the World Championships will be held at Keeneland, the iconic track located in the heart of the Bluegrass region in Lexington, Kentucky.

To meet the strong demand from fans who want to be a part of this historic event, tickets will go on sale to the general public on, March 4, which is an unprecedented three months earlier than the normal release date for tickets. Ticket offerings will include a wide range of seating options located across the Keeneland campus.

Beginning March 4 at noon (EST), fans will be able to purchase tickets online at BreedersCup.com or by calling the ticketing office at 877-TIX-4CUP. The general public will have access to purchase approximately 50 percent of the available tickets for this year's event. Detailed information on all available seating options can be viewed now on BreedersCup.com.

Breeders' Cup and Keeneland are investing $5 million to create more premium seating options that will enhance the on-site experience for fans and participants. The new hospitality offerings are highlighted by '84 Club, a 50,000 square foot, glassed-in and climate-controlled lounge that offers incredible views of the Championships along with lounge seating, private concessions, a cash bar, restrooms and mutuel tellers. More information on available seating options can be found at BreedersCup.com.

"While this is the first time that Keeneland has hosted the Breeders' Cup World Championships, many of our Thoroughbred champions have raced at Keeneland or passed through its renowned sales pavilion so it feels like a homecoming for us," said Craig Fravel, Breeders' Cup President and CEO. "Combining our enhanced programming for this year's World Championships with the rich history and classic elegance of Keeneland and the Bluegrass region presents an incredible opportunity for us to showcase the best our sport has to offer."

Over the past 70 years, Keeneland has established itself as one of the most storied and illustrious thoroughbred sales and racing venues. Its partnership with the Breeders' Cup for this annual international event is both a milestone for the brand and a historic moment for fans.

"Being able to host the 2015 Breeders' Cup World Championships is an incredible honor," said Bill Thomason, President and CEO of Keeneland. "The Breeders' Cup has established itself as one of the most competitive and impressive racing events in the world. Keeneland and the Breeders' Cup share a goal to provide our guests with extraordinary customer service, which, coupled with Keeneland's iconic setting and rich racing tradition will make for a truly unique patron experience."

Single-day ticket prices range from $35 to $375 on Friday, and $50 to $475 on Saturday. Two-day packages ranges from $295- $1,225. All tickets will be sold in advance of the event -- there will be no walk up sales available for either day of the Breeders' Cup.

In order to provide the best possible transportation experience at Keeneland, the Breeders' Cup will offer shuttle service for a nominal fee to the track from two local park-n-ride destinations -- the Kentucky Horse Park and Whitaker Bank Ballpark. Parking on-site at Keeneland will be limited and only available to those with official parking credentials. More information on transportation to and from Keeneland for the 2015 Breeders' Cup World Championships will be announced at a later date.

Bet Horseracing Free Online at TwinSpires.com

The Jockey Club of Canada releases Media Sovereign Award finalists

The Jockey Club of Canada has announced the finalists for the Media Sovereign Award categories for 2014. The winner in each of the three media categories will be announced at the 40th Annual Sovereign Awards on April 10, 2015, at Woodbine in Toronto.

Judging for the 2014 Media Sovereign Award categories was performed by Professors of the Journalism Program at the School of Media Studies & Information Technology, Humber Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Listed in alphabetical order, the finalists are:

Writing Category

Dave Briggs, "Ontario's Cautionary Tale," ThoroughbredRacing.com

Jay Hovdey, "Best Pal could be cure for Casse's duck," Daily Racing Form

Kayla Urbasik, "Admit Nothing," BloodHorse.com

Digital Audio/visual and Broadcast Category

Horse Racing Alberta, "2014 Canadian Derby," Canadian Television Network

Scott Jagow, "Woodbine Diaries," Paulick Report

Woodbine Entertainment Group Broadcast Department, "The 2014 Queen's Plate," TSN

Photograph Category

Michael Burns Jr., "David Moran," Toronto Sun

Santino Di Paola, "Foal's First Snowfall," Horse-Canada.com Thoroughblog

Cindy Pierson Dulay, "Big Bazinga," Horse-Races.net and Horse-Canada.com

Tickets are now on sale for the 40th Annual Sovereign Awards. The cocktail-attire celebration will include an opportunity to walk the Sovereign Award Red Carpet upon arriving at the champagne reception followed by a buffet-style gourmet dinner and the presentation of the Sovereign Award Trophies to the Media category winners as well as Canadian racing's champions of 2014 and Canada's 2014 Horse of the Year.

Tickets are $250 each and tables of 10 are slightly discounted at $2,400.

All tickets are plus applicable taxes and must be reserved in advance by contacting Stacie Roberts at The Jockey Club of Canada at 416-675-7756 or email jockeyclub@bellnet.ca.

Bet Horseracing Free Online at TwinSpires.com

The Jockey Club of Canada releases Media Sovereign Award finalists

The Jockey Club of Canada has announced the finalists for the Media Sovereign Award categories for 2014. The winner in each of the three media categories will be announced at the 40th Annual Sovereign Awards on April 10, 2015, at Woodbine in Toronto.

Judging for the 2014 Media Sovereign Award categories was performed by Professors of the Journalism Program at the School of Media Studies & Information Technology, Humber Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Listed in alphabetical order, the finalists are:

Writing Category

Dave Briggs, "Ontario's Cautionary Tale," ThoroughbredRacing.com

Jay Hovdey, "Best Pal could be cure for Casse's duck," Daily Racing Form

Kayla Urbasik, "Admit Nothing," BloodHorse.com

Digital Audio/visual and Broadcast Category

Horse Racing Alberta, "2014 Canadian Derby," Canadian Television Network

Scott Jagow, "Woodbine Diaries," Paulick Report

Woodbine Entertainment Group Broadcast Department, "The 2014 Queen's Plate," TSN

Photograph Category

Michael Burns Jr., "David Moran," Toronto Sun

Santino Di Paola, "Foal's First Snowfall," Horse-Canada.com Thoroughblog

Cindy Pierson Dulay, "Big Bazinga," Horse-Races.net and Horse-Canada.com

Tickets are now on sale for the 40th Annual Sovereign Awards. The cocktail-attire celebration will include an opportunity to walk the Sovereign Award Red Carpet upon arriving at the champagne reception followed by a buffet-style gourmet dinner and the presentation of the Sovereign Award Trophies to the Media category winners as well as Canadian racing's champions of 2014 and Canada's 2014 Horse of the Year.

Tickets are $250 each and tables of 10 are slightly discounted at $2,400.

All tickets are plus applicable taxes and must be reserved in advance by contacting Stacie Roberts at The Jockey Club of Canada at 416-675-7756 or email jockeyclub@bellnet.ca.

Bet Horseracing Free Online at TwinSpires.com

Mutuel field 3-1 favorite in third Kentucky Derby Future Wager

With just over nine weeks remaining until the 141st running of the Kentucky Derby (G1), uncertainty surrounds some of the Derby's major contenders and it is reflected in the morning line odds for this week's third of four pools of Churchill Downs' Kentucky Derby Future Wager (KDFW), which launches its three-day run on Friday and concludes on Sunday.

The Mutuel Field, or "All Others," which includes all three-year-olds other than the 23 individual horses among Pool 3's 24 wagering interests, is the 3-1 favorite in Churchill Downs' handicapper Mike Battaglia's morning line. That's a customary, though not exclusive spot for that wagering interest in the next-to-last pool of the wager that was introduced in 1999. Battaglia's 3-1 odds reflect increased interest in individual horses in the pool, but given, late starts on pre-Derby racing campaigns by some of the pool's individual stars, "All Others" should emerge as a clear fan's choice in Pool 3.

Three-time Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Bob Baffert appears to be in an enviable spot with nine weeks remaining before Kentucky Derby 141 as he conditions both of the 8-1 co-second choices in KDFW Pool 3: reigning champion juvenile American Pharoah (Pioneerof the Nile) and unbeaten Dortmund (Big Brown).

While the latter has run off four wins since his November 2 racing debut that include the Los Alamitos Futurity (G1) and the recent Robert B. Lewis (G3) at Santa Anita, American Pharoah is one of the wagering interests with some questions to answer. He has not raced since September 27, when he rolled to victory in the FrontRunner (G1) at Santa Anita. American Pharoah missed a planned start in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) at Santa Anita because of injury, and is now training toward a planned return to competition in the $750,000 Rebel (G2) on March 14 at Oaklawn Park.

The other major player in KDFW Pool 3 that is surrounded by a bit of mystery is Texas Red (Afleet Alex), who romped to an easy victory in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile and was the 9-1 favored individual horse in early February's second Derby Futures pool. He made his three-year-old debut in a strong runner-up finish to Lord Nelson (Pulpit) in the seven-furlong San Vicente (G2) on February 1 at Santa Anita, but Texas Red suffered a foot abscess following that race. Trainer and co-owner Keith Desormeaux still has the May 2 Kentucky Derby as the colt's target, but Texas Red has not worked since the ailment was discovered. Battaglia placed his Pool 3 odds at 12-1.

The Kentucky Derby Future Wager enables fans to wager on the Kentucky Derby well in advance of the race at odds that could be much more attractive than those offered on the day of the race. Winning payouts in all KDFW pools are determined by the odds that are in place at the end of each respective betting pool. Those winning mutuel payouts for the $2 minimum win and exacta wagers placed in each Kentucky Derby Future pool will be made following the running of the Kentucky Derby on May 2.

Pool 3 of the Derby Future Wager will run concurrent to the only Kentucky Oaks Future Wager pool of 2015. Wagering on both pools is set to open at noon (EST) on Friday. Betting on the Kentucky Derby pool will close at 6 p.m. on Sunday, while the Kentucky Oaks pool will remain open for an addition 30 minutes before closing at 6:30 p.m.

Wagering on Pool 3 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager will be offered at Churchill Downs and racetracks throughout North America; on the web via TwinSpires.com, the official online wagering site of the Kentucky Derby and Churchill Downs Inc., and other advance deposit wagering sites; and at other simulcast centers and off-track wagering sites. No scratches or betting refunds are permitted in the Kentucky Derby Future wager, but betting will be suspended immediately on a wagering interest in any KDFW pool if Churchill Downs determines that injury, illness or other circumstance revealed during a pool would prevent a horse from competing in the race.

Wagering was brisk in the second KDFW pool that ran from February 6-8. A total of $448,598 in win and exacta wagers was placed during the three days of betting, which was an 18 percent increase in betting from the same pool in 2014. The "All Others" interest was the odds-on 3-5 favorite in November 28-30 opening KDFW pool, which attracted total wagering of $234,574.

Dortmund (right) is the co-second choice in the third KDFW along with stablemate American Pharoah (Benoit Photos)

Total wagering in the earlier two pools of this year stands at $683,172. Total betting in the 2014 Kentucky Derby Future Wager, the first to feature four wagering pools, was $1,324,466.

Todd Pletcher, who saddled Super Saver to a Kentucky Derby win in 2010, is the trainer of five of the 23 individual horses on the Pool 3 betting roster. The Pletcher group includes Carpe Diem (Giant's Causeway), the winner of Keeneland's Breeders' Futurity (G1) and runner-up to Texas Red in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. Carpe Diem is another colt who has yet to make his racing debut in 2015, but is scheduled to compete in the Tampa Bay Derby (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs on March 7.

Pletcher, who trained six of the 23 individual horses in KDFW Pool 2, also trains the unbeaten Itsaknockout (Lemon Drop Kid), who won last week's Fountain of Youth (G2) at Gulfstream Park via disqualification; Champagne (G1) winner Daredevil (More Than Ready); unbeaten Withers (G3) winner Far From Over (Blame); and unbeaten Khozan (Distorted Humor), who won an allowance race at Gulfstream Park on Sunday.

Another horse expected to attract strong support in the upcoming pool is Ralph M. Evans' Upstart (Flatter), the winner of Gulfstream Park's Holy Bull (G2) who was disqualified from first to second in last week's Fountain of Youth. Trainer Rick Violette's New York-bred has a record of 3-2-1 in six career races. Another New York-bred star likely to garner increased support in the pool is International Star (Fusaichi Pegasus), who won last week's Risen Star (G2) at Fair Grounds after winning the Lecomte (G3) over the New Orleans track in his previous outing.

Other prominent players heading into Pool 3 include Ocean Knight (Curlin), the Kiaran McLaughlin-trained winner of Tampa Bay Downs' Sam F. Davis (G3) and a 15-1 risk in Battaglia's morning line odds; Ocho Ocho Ocho (Street Sense), winner of the $1 million Delta Jackpot (G3) and listed at 20-1 as the James Cassidy trainee prepares for his 2015 debut; and Far Right (Notional), winner of the Southwest (G3) and Smarty Jones at Oaklawn Park for trainer Ron Moquett.

KDFW Pool 3 wagering interests that were not a part of Pool 2 include Bolo (Temple City), winner of the Eddie Logan on turf at Santa Anita; recent maiden winner Danzig Moon (Malibu Moon), Far From Over, Keen Ice (Curlin), third in the Risen Star; and War Story (War Front), runner-up to Far Right in both the Southwest and Smarty Jones.

Wagering interests for the Kentucky Derby Future Wager were chosen by Churchill Downs committee that included Racing Secretary Ben Huffman, Senior Director of Communications and Media Services Darren Rogers, Director of Programming and Senior Racing Analyst Jill Byrne, Player Services Manager Gary Palmisano and Vice President, Racing Communications John Asher.

After the closing of KDFW Pool 3, one Derby Futures pool will remain on the schedule prior to Kentucky Derby 141. The fourth and final KDFW pool is set for five weeks before the Derby and will run from March 27-29.

Real-time odds during the three-day run of KDFW Pool 3 and other information the wager and the Kentucky Derby are available at the official event Web site at http://www.kentuckyderby.com/racing-wagering/future-wager/pool-3-final-odds.

Free Brisnet Ultimate Past Performances for wagering interests in Pool 2 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager are available at http://www.brisnet.com/brisnet_promos/KDFW2.pdf. Brisnet also has complimentary past performances for all Triple Crown nominees at http://www.brisnet.com/brisnet_promos/TC15noms.pdf.

Bet Horseracing Free Online at TwinSpires.com

Mutuel field 3-1 favorite in third Kentucky Derby Future Wager

With just over nine weeks remaining until the 141st running of the Kentucky Derby (G1), uncertainty surrounds some of the Derby's major contenders and it is reflected in the morning line odds for this week's third of four pools of Churchill Downs' Kentucky Derby Future Wager (KDFW), which launches its three-day run on Friday and concludes on Sunday.

The Mutuel Field, or "All Others," which includes all three-year-olds other than the 23 individual horses among Pool 3's 24 wagering interests, is the 3-1 favorite in Churchill Downs' handicapper Mike Battaglia's morning line. That's a customary, though not exclusive spot for that wagering interest in the next-to-last pool of the wager that was introduced in 1999. Battaglia's 3-1 odds reflect increased interest in individual horses in the pool, but given, late starts on pre-Derby racing campaigns by some of the pool's individual stars, "All Others" should emerge as a clear fan's choice in Pool 3.

Three-time Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Bob Baffert appears to be in an enviable spot with nine weeks remaining before Kentucky Derby 141 as he conditions both of the 8-1 co-second choices in KDFW Pool 3: reigning champion juvenile American Pharoah (Pioneerof the Nile) and unbeaten Dortmund (Big Brown).

While the latter has run off four wins since his November 2 racing debut that include the Los Alamitos Futurity (G1) and the recent Robert B. Lewis (G3) at Santa Anita, American Pharoah is one of the wagering interests with some questions to answer. He has not raced since September 27, when he rolled to victory in the FrontRunner (G1) at Santa Anita. American Pharoah missed a planned start in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) at Santa Anita because of injury, and is now training toward a planned return to competition in the $750,000 Rebel (G2) on March 14 at Oaklawn Park.

The other major player in KDFW Pool 3 that is surrounded by a bit of mystery is Texas Red (Afleet Alex), who romped to an easy victory in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile and was the 9-1 favored individual horse in early February's second Derby Futures pool. He made his three-year-old debut in a strong runner-up finish to Lord Nelson (Pulpit) in the seven-furlong San Vicente (G2) on February 1 at Santa Anita, but Texas Red suffered a foot abscess following that race. Trainer and co-owner Keith Desormeaux still has the May 2 Kentucky Derby as the colt's target, but Texas Red has not worked since the ailment was discovered. Battaglia placed his Pool 3 odds at 12-1.

The Kentucky Derby Future Wager enables fans to wager on the Kentucky Derby well in advance of the race at odds that could be much more attractive than those offered on the day of the race. Winning payouts in all KDFW pools are determined by the odds that are in place at the end of each respective betting pool. Those winning mutuel payouts for the $2 minimum win and exacta wagers placed in each Kentucky Derby Future pool will be made following the running of the Kentucky Derby on May 2.

Pool 3 of the Derby Future Wager will run concurrent to the only Kentucky Oaks Future Wager pool of 2015. Wagering on both pools is set to open at noon (EST) on Friday. Betting on the Kentucky Derby pool will close at 6 p.m. on Sunday, while the Kentucky Oaks pool will remain open for an addition 30 minutes before closing at 6:30 p.m.

Wagering on Pool 3 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager will be offered at Churchill Downs and racetracks throughout North America; on the web via TwinSpires.com, the official online wagering site of the Kentucky Derby and Churchill Downs Inc., and other advance deposit wagering sites; and at other simulcast centers and off-track wagering sites. No scratches or betting refunds are permitted in the Kentucky Derby Future wager, but betting will be suspended immediately on a wagering interest in any KDFW pool if Churchill Downs determines that injury, illness or other circumstance revealed during a pool would prevent a horse from competing in the race.

Wagering was brisk in the second KDFW pool that ran from February 6-8. A total of $448,598 in win and exacta wagers was placed during the three days of betting, which was an 18 percent increase in betting from the same pool in 2014. The "All Others" interest was the odds-on 3-5 favorite in November 28-30 opening KDFW pool, which attracted total wagering of $234,574.

Dortmund (right) is the co-second choice in the third KDFW along with stablemate American Pharoah (Benoit Photos)

Total wagering in the earlier two pools of this year stands at $683,172. Total betting in the 2014 Kentucky Derby Future Wager, the first to feature four wagering pools, was $1,324,466.

Todd Pletcher, who saddled Super Saver to a Kentucky Derby win in 2010, is the trainer of five of the 23 individual horses on the Pool 3 betting roster. The Pletcher group includes Carpe Diem (Giant's Causeway), the winner of Keeneland's Breeders' Futurity (G1) and runner-up to Texas Red in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. Carpe Diem is another colt who has yet to make his racing debut in 2015, but is scheduled to compete in the Tampa Bay Derby (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs on March 7.

Pletcher, who trained six of the 23 individual horses in KDFW Pool 2, also trains the unbeaten Itsaknockout (Lemon Drop Kid), who won last week's Fountain of Youth (G2) at Gulfstream Park via disqualification; Champagne (G1) winner Daredevil (More Than Ready); unbeaten Withers (G3) winner Far From Over (Blame); and unbeaten Khozan (Distorted Humor), who won an allowance race at Gulfstream Park on Sunday.

Another horse expected to attract strong support in the upcoming pool is Ralph M. Evans' Upstart (Flatter), the winner of Gulfstream Park's Holy Bull (G2) who was disqualified from first to second in last week's Fountain of Youth. Trainer Rick Violette's New York-bred has a record of 3-2-1 in six career races. Another New York-bred star likely to garner increased support in the pool is International Star (Fusaichi Pegasus), who won last week's Risen Star (G2) at Fair Grounds after winning the Lecomte (G3) over the New Orleans track in his previous outing.

Other prominent players heading into Pool 3 include Ocean Knight (Curlin), the Kiaran McLaughlin-trained winner of Tampa Bay Downs' Sam F. Davis (G3) and a 15-1 risk in Battaglia's morning line odds; Ocho Ocho Ocho (Street Sense), winner of the $1 million Delta Jackpot (G3) and listed at 20-1 as the James Cassidy trainee prepares for his 2015 debut; and Far Right (Notional), winner of the Southwest (G3) and Smarty Jones at Oaklawn Park for trainer Ron Moquett.

KDFW Pool 3 wagering interests that were not a part of Pool 2 include Bolo (Temple City), winner of the Eddie Logan on turf at Santa Anita; recent maiden winner Danzig Moon (Malibu Moon), Far From Over, Keen Ice (Curlin), third in the Risen Star; and War Story (War Front), runner-up to Far Right in both the Southwest and Smarty Jones.

Wagering interests for the Kentucky Derby Future Wager were chosen by Churchill Downs committee that included Racing Secretary Ben Huffman, Senior Director of Communications and Media Services Darren Rogers, Director of Programming and Senior Racing Analyst Jill Byrne, Player Services Manager Gary Palmisano and Vice President, Racing Communications John Asher.

After the closing of KDFW Pool 3, one Derby Futures pool will remain on the schedule prior to Kentucky Derby 141. The fourth and final KDFW pool is set for five weeks before the Derby and will run from March 27-29.

Real-time odds during the three-day run of KDFW Pool 3 and other information the wager and the Kentucky Derby are available at the official event Web site at http://www.kentuckyderby.com/racing-wagering/future-wager/pool-3-final-odds.

Free Brisnet Ultimate Past Performances for wagering interests in Pool 2 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager are available at http://www.brisnet.com/brisnet_promos/KDFW2.pdf. Brisnet also has complimentary past performances for all Triple Crown nominees at http://www.brisnet.com/brisnet_promos/TC15noms.pdf.

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Take Charge Brandi the early individual choice in Oaks Future Wager

Streaking juvenile filly champion filly Take Charge Brandi (Giant's Causeway) is a narrow choice as the favored individual horse, but the ever-popular Mutuel Field (#24), or "All Other Three-Year-Old Fillies," will again be a solid favorite in the morning line odds for Churchill Downs Racetrack's Kentucky Oaks Future Wager (KOFW), which opens a three-day run on Friday and concludes on Sunday.

Bettors were on target in 2014 when they tabbed Winchell Thoroughbreds' Untapable as the 5-1 KOFW favorite to win the Kentucky Oaks (G1), America's premier race for three-year-old fillies. The Steve Asmussen-trained star rolled to a dominant Oaks win and became just the third Oaks winner to also take the $2 million Breeders' Cup Distaff (G1) during a campaign in which she was unbeaten against her gender and suffered her only loss in a fourth-place finish against males in the Haskell Invitational (GI) at Monmouth Park. Untapable earned the 2014 Eclipse Award for America's outstanding three-year-old filly.

The pre-race picture is murkier heading into this year's 141st running of the Kentucky Oaks on May 1 at Churchill Downs, and handicapper Mike Battaglia has installed the Mutuel Field, or "All Others," as the 5-2 favorite in the Oaks Future pool. "All Others" includes all three-year-old fillies other than the 23 individual horses listed among the KOFW's 24 wagering interests.

Willis D. Horton's Take Charge Brandi, riding a streak of four consecutive stakes triumphs that began with her 61-1 upset in the $2 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) on Nov. 1 at Santa Anita, is the 6-1 favored individual in lone Kentucky Oaks Future Wager Pool of 2015. The string of stakes wins by the D. Wayne Lukas-trained Take Charge Brandi also includes the Starlet (G1) at Los Alamitos, Delta Downs' Delta Princess (G3) and the Martha Washington at Oaklawn Park. Her career record stands at 5-1-0 in nine races with earnings of $1,680,125.

Despite her successful run, Take Charge Brandi is far from an overwhelming choice among the individual Oaks contenders in the pool. Close behind are 8-1 co-third choices Condo Commando (Tiz Wonderful), a romping winner of Saratoga's Spinaway (G1) and Aqueduct's Demoiselle (G2) at two; and I'm A Chatterbox (Munnings), who earned back-to-back wins in the Rachel Alexandra (G3) and Silverbulletday at Fair Grounds since she joined the stable of two-time Kentucky Oaks-winning trainer Larry Jones.

The Kentucky Oaks Future Wager enables racing fans to wager on contenders for the Kentucky Oaks weeks in advance of the 2015 renewal of the 1 1/8-mile race for three-year-old fillies at odds that could be more attractive than those available on Oaks Day.

The wager permits $2 minimum win bets and $2 exactas, which are available in $1 minimum increments in boxes and other multiple number configurations. The KOFW pool runs concurrent to the third of four pools of the 2015 Kentucky Derby Future Wager. Wagering in both the Oaks and Derby pools is scheduled to open at noon (ET) on Friday. Betting in the Kentucky Derby Future Wager pool will conclude at 6 p.m. on Sunday, March 1 and Kentucky Oaks Future betting will continue for 30 minutes before the pool closes at 6:30 p.m.

No scratches or betting refunds are permitted in the Kentucky Oaks Future Wager. Betting on any individual filly in the pool will be suspended immediately should Churchill Downs determine during the pool that injury, illness or some other circumstance would prevent that horse from competing in the Oaks.

Total wagering on the 2014 Kentucky Oaks Future Wager (including win and exacta betting) was $81,234. The betting total for the three-day pool in 2013 totaled $126,039.

Other fillies expected to attract solid support in the KOFW pool include Callback (Street Sense), who is listed at 12-1 following a win in the Las Virgenes (G1) at Santa Anita; Davona Dale (G2) heroine Ekati's Phaeton (Tale of Ekati); Forward Gal (G2) winner and Davona Dale runner-up Birdathewire (Summer Bird); Davona Dale third-placer Eskenformoney (Eskendreya); Starlet runner-up Feathered (Indian Charlie); and Puca (Big Brown), who exits a late-running fourth in the Davona Dale.

Two-time Kentucky Oaks winners Bob Baffert and Todd Pletcher each train three of the Oaks Future Wager betting interests. Baffert conditions Callback, Fantastic Style (Harlan's Holiday) and Luminance (Tale of the Cat), while Pletcher trains Angela Renee (Bernardini), Eskenformoney and Feathered.

The wagering interests for the Kentucky Oaks Future Wager are selected by a committee that consists of Churchill Downs Racing Secretary Ben Huffman, Senior Director of Communications and Media Services Darren Rogers, Director of Programming and Senior Racing Analyst Jill Byrne, Player Services Manager Gary Palmisano and Vice President of Communications John Asher.

Real time odds and other information on the Kentucky Oaks Future Wager is available at http://www.kentuckyderby.com/racing-wagering/future-wager/pool-3-oaks-odds.

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Take Charge Brandi the early individual choice in Oaks Future Wager

Streaking juvenile filly champion filly Take Charge Brandi (Giant's Causeway) is a narrow choice as the favored individual horse, but the ever-popular Mutuel Field (#24), or "All Other Three-Year-Old Fillies," will again be a solid favorite in the morning line odds for Churchill Downs Racetrack's Kentucky Oaks Future Wager (KOFW), which opens a three-day run on Friday and concludes on Sunday.

Bettors were on target in 2014 when they tabbed Winchell Thoroughbreds' Untapable as the 5-1 KOFW favorite to win the Kentucky Oaks (G1), America's premier race for three-year-old fillies. The Steve Asmussen-trained star rolled to a dominant Oaks win and became just the third Oaks winner to also take the $2 million Breeders' Cup Distaff (G1) during a campaign in which she was unbeaten against her gender and suffered her only loss in a fourth-place finish against males in the Haskell Invitational (GI) at Monmouth Park. Untapable earned the 2014 Eclipse Award for America's outstanding three-year-old filly.

The pre-race picture is murkier heading into this year's 141st running of the Kentucky Oaks on May 1 at Churchill Downs, and handicapper Mike Battaglia has installed the Mutuel Field, or "All Others," as the 5-2 favorite in the Oaks Future pool. "All Others" includes all three-year-old fillies other than the 23 individual horses listed among the KOFW's 24 wagering interests.

Willis D. Horton's Take Charge Brandi, riding a streak of four consecutive stakes triumphs that began with her 61-1 upset in the $2 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) on Nov. 1 at Santa Anita, is the 6-1 favored individual in lone Kentucky Oaks Future Wager Pool of 2015. The string of stakes wins by the D. Wayne Lukas-trained Take Charge Brandi also includes the Starlet (G1) at Los Alamitos, Delta Downs' Delta Princess (G3) and the Martha Washington at Oaklawn Park. Her career record stands at 5-1-0 in nine races with earnings of $1,680,125.

Despite her successful run, Take Charge Brandi is far from an overwhelming choice among the individual Oaks contenders in the pool. Close behind are 8-1 co-third choices Condo Commando (Tiz Wonderful), a romping winner of Saratoga's Spinaway (G1) and Aqueduct's Demoiselle (G2) at two; and I'm A Chatterbox (Munnings), who earned back-to-back wins in the Rachel Alexandra (G3) and Silverbulletday at Fair Grounds since she joined the stable of two-time Kentucky Oaks-winning trainer Larry Jones.

The Kentucky Oaks Future Wager enables racing fans to wager on contenders for the Kentucky Oaks weeks in advance of the 2015 renewal of the 1 1/8-mile race for three-year-old fillies at odds that could be more attractive than those available on Oaks Day.

The wager permits $2 minimum win bets and $2 exactas, which are available in $1 minimum increments in boxes and other multiple number configurations. The KOFW pool runs concurrent to the third of four pools of the 2015 Kentucky Derby Future Wager. Wagering in both the Oaks and Derby pools is scheduled to open at noon (ET) on Friday. Betting in the Kentucky Derby Future Wager pool will conclude at 6 p.m. on Sunday, March 1 and Kentucky Oaks Future betting will continue for 30 minutes before the pool closes at 6:30 p.m.

No scratches or betting refunds are permitted in the Kentucky Oaks Future Wager. Betting on any individual filly in the pool will be suspended immediately should Churchill Downs determine during the pool that injury, illness or some other circumstance would prevent that horse from competing in the Oaks.

Total wagering on the 2014 Kentucky Oaks Future Wager (including win and exacta betting) was $81,234. The betting total for the three-day pool in 2013 totaled $126,039.

Other fillies expected to attract solid support in the KOFW pool include Callback (Street Sense), who is listed at 12-1 following a win in the Las Virgenes (G1) at Santa Anita; Davona Dale (G2) heroine Ekati's Phaeton (Tale of Ekati); Forward Gal (G2) winner and Davona Dale runner-up Birdathewire (Summer Bird); Davona Dale third-placer Eskenformoney (Eskendreya); Starlet runner-up Feathered (Indian Charlie); and Puca (Big Brown), who exits a late-running fourth in the Davona Dale.

Two-time Kentucky Oaks winners Bob Baffert and Todd Pletcher each train three of the Oaks Future Wager betting interests. Baffert conditions Callback, Fantastic Style (Harlan's Holiday) and Luminance (Tale of the Cat), while Pletcher trains Angela Renee (Bernardini), Eskenformoney and Feathered.

The wagering interests for the Kentucky Oaks Future Wager are selected by a committee that consists of Churchill Downs Racing Secretary Ben Huffman, Senior Director of Communications and Media Services Darren Rogers, Director of Programming and Senior Racing Analyst Jill Byrne, Player Services Manager Gary Palmisano and Vice President of Communications John Asher.

Real time odds and other information on the Kentucky Oaks Future Wager is available at http://www.kentuckyderby.com/racing-wagering/future-wager/pool-3-oaks-odds.

Bet Horseracing Free Online at TwinSpires.com

The Great War looms as heavy favorite in Battaglia

The Great War ran away from overmatched rivals last month in the 96Rock (Turfway Park/Coady Photography)

The battle for Kentucky Derby (G1) eligibility is still several weeks away for The Great War (War Front), but the Wesley Ward-trained colt will participate in a preparatory skirmish on Saturday in the $125,000 John Battaglia Memorial at Turfway Park.

The Battaglia, at 1 1/16 miles on Polytrack, is not part of the Road to the Kentucky Derby series and thus does not offer qualifying points for entry to the Run for the Roses. However, it has long-served as the leading prep for Turfway's Spiral S. (G3), which will be run March 21 at nine furlongs and offers 50 qualifying points to its winner.

A $1 million yearling purchase by Coolmore, The Great War was trained at two by Aidan O'Brien. Winner in three of seven starts in Ireland, including the Blenheim Stakes at The Curragh, the bay was a commendable fourth in his U.S. and dirt debut, the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) at Santa Anita.

Staying stateside with Ward, The Great War was dazzling in Turfway's $69,000 96Rock on January 31. Pressing the early pace, the bay seized control turning for home and drew off to win by 7 1/4-lengths as the prohibitive 1-10 favorite.

The Great War will be heavily favored to repeat in the Battaglia, but has not yet won beyond the 96Rock distance of 6 1/2 furlongs. Among those who have shown aptitude around two turns over the Turfway oval are maiden scorer Milwaukee Mist (Milwaukee Brew) and allowance winner Candy Charger (Candy Ride), fifth and sixth in the 96Rock when cutting back in distance. Another local who might do well is Pepper Roani (Broken Vow), an impressive 3 1/2-length maiden winner last time for trainer Mike Maker.

Maker will also saddle Firespike (Flower Alley), a stakes winner on turf and synthetic, and Task Force Glory (Badge of Silver), a maiden winner on turf at Churchill Downs in November and second against allowance foes at Gulfstream last out.

Also expected to garner some wagering support are the Todd Pletcher-trained Royal Son (Tiznow), who adds blinkers following a nondescript stakes debut at Tampa Bay Downs last time. Graham Motion, who landed the Spiral four years ago with eventual Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom, is represented by Midnight Trace (Scat Daddy), who won his debut over the turf at Tampa Bay Downs and was most recently third in allowance company over the same course.

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The Great War looms as heavy favorite in Battaglia

The Great War ran away from overmatched rivals last month in the 96Rock (Turfway Park/Coady Photography)

The battle for Kentucky Derby (G1) eligibility is still several weeks away for The Great War (War Front), but the Wesley Ward-trained colt will participate in a preparatory skirmish on Saturday in the $125,000 John Battaglia Memorial at Turfway Park.

The Battaglia, at 1 1/16 miles on Polytrack, is not part of the Road to the Kentucky Derby series and thus does not offer qualifying points for entry to the Run for the Roses. However, it has long-served as the leading prep for Turfway's Spiral S. (G3), which will be run March 21 at nine furlongs and offers 50 qualifying points to its winner.

A $1 million yearling purchase by Coolmore, The Great War was trained at two by Aidan O'Brien. Winner in three of seven starts in Ireland, including the Blenheim Stakes at The Curragh, the bay was a commendable fourth in his U.S. and dirt debut, the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) at Santa Anita.

Staying stateside with Ward, The Great War was dazzling in Turfway's $69,000 96Rock on January 31. Pressing the early pace, the bay seized control turning for home and drew off to win by 7 1/4-lengths as the prohibitive 1-10 favorite.

The Great War will be heavily favored to repeat in the Battaglia, but has not yet won beyond the 96Rock distance of 6 1/2 furlongs. Among those who have shown aptitude around two turns over the Turfway oval are maiden scorer Milwaukee Mist (Milwaukee Brew) and allowance winner Candy Charger (Candy Ride), fifth and sixth in the 96Rock when cutting back in distance. Another local who might do well is Pepper Roani (Broken Vow), an impressive 3 1/2-length maiden winner last time for trainer Mike Maker.

Maker will also saddle Firespike (Flower Alley), a stakes winner on turf and synthetic, and Task Force Glory (Badge of Silver), a maiden winner on turf at Churchill Downs in November and second against allowance foes at Gulfstream last out.

Also expected to garner some wagering support are the Todd Pletcher-trained Royal Son (Tiznow), who adds blinkers following a nondescript stakes debut at Tampa Bay Downs last time. Graham Motion, who landed the Spiral four years ago with eventual Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom, is represented by Midnight Trace (Scat Daddy), who won his debut over the turf at Tampa Bay Downs and was most recently third in allowance company over the same course.

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In brief

Officials at Mahoning Valley canceled the live racing card on Wednesday...

Grade 1 hero Wicked Strong (Hard Spun) continued preparations for his four-year-old bow in the $300,000 Gulfstream Park H. (G2) on March 7 by spending part of his Wednesday afternoon schooling in Gulfstream Park's walking ring. The Kentucky-bred bay has not raced since clipping heels and losing rider Rajiv Maragh in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) last September 27 at Belmont Park. "We wanted to bring him over and try to keep him from getting too nervous when he runs," trainer Jimmy Jerkens explained. "I didn't really want to wait much longer than this to get him started. It probably isn't ideal, a flat mile against horses that have been running in tip-top shape. It's a good spot to get him in and set him up for the rest of the year." A total of 26 horses were nominated to the one-mile Gulfstream Park 'Cap, including fellow four-year-old debuter Honor Code (A.P. Indy). One of the leading Triple Crown contenders last year off a win in the Remsen S. (G2) and second in the Champagne S. (G1) at two, that dark bay ridgling was injured after finishing second in a Gulfstream allowance last March. He returned from an 8 1/2-month layoff to capture a November 22 allowance at Aqueduct in his most recent start...

Street Babe (Street Sense), surprise 21-1 winner of the Mineshaft H. (G3) at Fair Grounds last Saturday, has exited his second lifetime victory in three career starts no worse for the wear, according to conditioner Michael Dilger. "The horse got back to Palm Meadows (Training Center) on Monday, traveled back fine and came out in good condition," Dilger said. "Right now we're leaning toward the New Orleans H. (G2), Charles Town Classic (G2) or maybe even the Oaklawn H. (G2) for his next race. He's easily 17 hands and always showed he had some talent but also showed he needed some time to develop. Coming to (the Mineshaft) was more than just the horse that beat him -- it was more of a reflection of his breezes and his run-up to the race. He was working very well and we thought that while it was taking a chance we thought he had a big chance. The longer stretch run was a factor, too. He's a big horse; it gives him time to straighten."...

Trainer Ron Moquett said multiple Grade 1-placed stakes winner Gentlemen's Bet (Half Ours), third in his February 14 allowance/optional claimer comeback race from a 15-month layoff, is a "possibility" for the $100,000 Hot Springs S. on March 7 at Oaklawn Park. "We're going to see what the weather does between now and then," Moquett said Wednesday morning. "It will either be an allowance race or the Hot Springs." Gentlemen's Bet hadn't started since finishing third in the 2013 Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1) because of a foot injury. According to  Moquett, the Breeders' Cup Sprint is the ultimate 2015 goal for the dark bay six-year-old...

King of Kings (Sadler's Wells), who provided trainer Aidan O'Brien with his first British classic victory in the 1998 Two Thousand Guineas (Eng-G1), has died at age 20 of heart failure in South Africa, according to Racing Post. Raced by Sue Magnier, King of Kings was beaten just once in five juvenile outings, taking the Railway S., Tyros S. and National S. (Ire-G1) at The Curragh. King of Kings won the Guineas in his first sophomore outing the following May, and was seen only once thereafter, when last of 15 in the Epsom Derby (Eng-G1). King of Kings served at Coolmore's Irish and U.S. bases and later stood at Ashwell Stud in New Zealand before relocating to The Fort Stud in South Africa. King of Kings's progeny include New Zealand Horse of the Year King's Chapel and Australian Group 1 winners Ike's Dream and Reigning to Win, as well as the 2004 San Clemente (G2) winner Sweet Win. Jill Fox, the owner of The Fort Stud, told Racing Post Wednesday, "He passed away two nights ago and I was very privileged to have had a horse like him in my care. He was super intelligent and loved his work when covering mares. The main thing about him was his intelligence. He was the most lovely horse. He got some more mares in foal last year so we have a few more babies to come and he always produces horses with lovely minds."...

Gulfstream Park and Fasig-Tipton have announced that a $1 million bonus will be paid to the owner of the 2016 Florida Derby (G1) winner if that horse is a graduate of the 2015 Fasig-Tipton Florida Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale to be conducted at Gulfstream Park on March 4. "This bonus is a unique way to celebrate Gulfstream Park's partnership with Fasig-Tipton," said The Stronach Group's COO and Gulfstream President Tim Ritvo. "Gulfstream is known for its world-class racing and by the many classic and Grade 1 champions produced by the Florida Derby, and Fasig-Tipton's March sale is the premier two-year-old sale. We think this initiative will also be fun for fans as they follow the horses through the sales ring and throughout their racing careers." In order to be eligible for the $1 million bonus, the horse must be offered for sale on March 4, 2015. Horses withdrawn or scratched from the sale will not be eligible for the bonus. In the unlikely event of a dead heat between multiple sale graduates, the bonus will be divided equally between the owners of the eligible horses...

Saturday's $60,000 Black Gold S. at Fair Grounds drew a field of 10 sophomores to go 7 1/2 furlongs on the turf. Lucky Player (Lookin at Lucky) has yet to compete on grass but is one of the top draws in the race from trainer Steve Asmussen's shedrow. The bay colt captured last year's Iroquois S. (G3) at Churchill Downs but was uanble to capitalize on that score when well beaten in his next three, including the Smarty Jones S. at Oaklawn Park on January 19. Robby Albarado has the call on Lucky Player as he faces dual stakes-placed Bourbon Cowboy (Cowboy Cal) and Another Lemon Drop (Lemon Drop Kid), who was fourth in the Lecomte S. (G3) in mid-January. Earlier on the card, 12 Louisiana-breds were entered in the $60,000 Dixie Poker Ace S. at a mile on the turf, including the top three from last year's off-the-turf running...

Albano (Istan), last year's Pegasus S. (G3) winner and Risen Star S. (G2) runner-up, makes his second start of the season Saturday in the $100,000 Maxxam Gold Cup at Sam Houston. The Brereton Jones homebred kicked off his four-year-old campaign January 17 in the Louisiana S. at Fair Grounds, where he ran third as the 3-5 favorite. Kerwin Clark will again ride the Larry Jones-trained colt. C J's Awesome (Awesome Again), fourth in the Indiana Derby (G2) and Pennsylvania Derby (G2) last fall, appears to be the main threat on paper for trainer Ken McPeek. Others of note in the 1 1/8-mile test are F J Uncle Vic (Uncle Abbie), a two-time stakes winner on Sam Houston's main track, and multiple Grade 3-placed Hattaash (Strong Hope)...

Thoroughbred Charities of America (TCA) has announced the recipients of its Award of Merit to be honored at state breeders associations' awards ceremonies in February. Launched last month, in celebration of its 25th anniversary, TCA will honor nearly 20 recipients throughout the year. Recipients are nominated by the leadership of various state Thoroughbred owners and breeders associations. On February 21 Russ Rhone, who manages a training center near Canterbury Park and frequently cares for retiring Thoroughbreds until they are transferred to an aftercare facility, was honored at the Minnesota Thoroughbred Association's Awards Banquet; Bowman Second Chance Thoroughbred Adoption was named the recipient at the North Dakota Thoroughbred Association's Horsemen's Awards Banquet also on February 21; and The Prodigious Fund will be recognized at the Washington Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association's annual Awards Ceremony on February 28. The nominees consist of individuals or organizations working to provide a better life for Thoroughbreds or the people who work with them, either on the backstretch or on the farm. Last month, Kip Elser was honored at the South Carolina Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association awards dinner; Elizabeth MacDonald at the North Carolina Thoroughbred Association; and Patti Shirley at the annual meeting and awards banquet of The New Mexico Horse Breeders Association. Subsequent award winners will be announced monthly.

In brief

Officials at Mahoning Valley canceled the live racing card on Wednesday...

Grade 1 hero Wicked Strong (Hard Spun) continued preparations for his four-year-old bow in the $300,000 Gulfstream Park H. (G2) on March 7 by spending part of his Wednesday afternoon schooling in Gulfstream Park's walking ring. The Kentucky-bred bay has not raced since clipping heels and losing rider Rajiv Maragh in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) last September 27 at Belmont Park. "We wanted to bring him over and try to keep him from getting too nervous when he runs," trainer Jimmy Jerkens explained. "I didn't really want to wait much longer than this to get him started. It probably isn't ideal, a flat mile against horses that have been running in tip-top shape. It's a good spot to get him in and set him up for the rest of the year." A total of 26 horses were nominated to the one-mile Gulfstream Park 'Cap, including fellow four-year-old debuter Honor Code (A.P. Indy). One of the leading Triple Crown contenders last year off a win in the Remsen S. (G2) and second in the Champagne S. (G1) at two, that dark bay ridgling was injured after finishing second in a Gulfstream allowance last March. He returned from an 8 1/2-month layoff to capture a November 22 allowance at Aqueduct in his most recent start...

Street Babe (Street Sense), surprise 21-1 winner of the Mineshaft H. (G3) at Fair Grounds last Saturday, has exited his second lifetime victory in three career starts no worse for the wear, according to conditioner Michael Dilger. "The horse got back to Palm Meadows (Training Center) on Monday, traveled back fine and came out in good condition," Dilger said. "Right now we're leaning toward the New Orleans H. (G2), Charles Town Classic (G2) or maybe even the Oaklawn H. (G2) for his next race. He's easily 17 hands and always showed he had some talent but also showed he needed some time to develop. Coming to (the Mineshaft) was more than just the horse that beat him -- it was more of a reflection of his breezes and his run-up to the race. He was working very well and we thought that while it was taking a chance we thought he had a big chance. The longer stretch run was a factor, too. He's a big horse; it gives him time to straighten."...

Trainer Ron Moquett said multiple Grade 1-placed stakes winner Gentlemen's Bet (Half Ours), third in his February 14 allowance/optional claimer comeback race from a 15-month layoff, is a "possibility" for the $100,000 Hot Springs S. on March 7 at Oaklawn Park. "We're going to see what the weather does between now and then," Moquett said Wednesday morning. "It will either be an allowance race or the Hot Springs." Gentlemen's Bet hadn't started since finishing third in the 2013 Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1) because of a foot injury. According to  Moquett, the Breeders' Cup Sprint is the ultimate 2015 goal for the dark bay six-year-old...

King of Kings (Sadler's Wells), who provided trainer Aidan O'Brien with his first British classic victory in the 1998 Two Thousand Guineas (Eng-G1), has died at age 20 of heart failure in South Africa, according to Racing Post. Raced by Sue Magnier, King of Kings was beaten just once in five juvenile outings, taking the Railway S., Tyros S. and National S. (Ire-G1) at The Curragh. King of Kings won the Guineas in his first sophomore outing the following May, and was seen only once thereafter, when last of 15 in the Epsom Derby (Eng-G1). King of Kings served at Coolmore's Irish and U.S. bases and later stood at Ashwell Stud in New Zealand before relocating to The Fort Stud in South Africa. King of Kings's progeny include New Zealand Horse of the Year King's Chapel and Australian Group 1 winners Ike's Dream and Reigning to Win, as well as the 2004 San Clemente (G2) winner Sweet Win. Jill Fox, the owner of The Fort Stud, told Racing Post Wednesday, "He passed away two nights ago and I was very privileged to have had a horse like him in my care. He was super intelligent and loved his work when covering mares. The main thing about him was his intelligence. He was the most lovely horse. He got some more mares in foal last year so we have a few more babies to come and he always produces horses with lovely minds."...

Gulfstream Park and Fasig-Tipton have announced that a $1 million bonus will be paid to the owner of the 2016 Florida Derby (G1) winner if that horse is a graduate of the 2015 Fasig-Tipton Florida Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale to be conducted at Gulfstream Park on March 4. "This bonus is a unique way to celebrate Gulfstream Park's partnership with Fasig-Tipton," said The Stronach Group's COO and Gulfstream President Tim Ritvo. "Gulfstream is known for its world-class racing and by the many classic and Grade 1 champions produced by the Florida Derby, and Fasig-Tipton's March sale is the premier two-year-old sale. We think this initiative will also be fun for fans as they follow the horses through the sales ring and throughout their racing careers." In order to be eligible for the $1 million bonus, the horse must be offered for sale on March 4, 2015. Horses withdrawn or scratched from the sale will not be eligible for the bonus. In the unlikely event of a dead heat between multiple sale graduates, the bonus will be divided equally between the owners of the eligible horses...

Saturday's $60,000 Black Gold S. at Fair Grounds drew a field of 10 sophomores to go 7 1/2 furlongs on the turf. Lucky Player (Lookin at Lucky) has yet to compete on grass but is one of the top draws in the race from trainer Steve Asmussen's shedrow. The bay colt captured last year's Iroquois S. (G3) at Churchill Downs but was uanble to capitalize on that score when well beaten in his next three, including the Smarty Jones S. at Oaklawn Park on January 19. Robby Albarado has the call on Lucky Player as he faces dual stakes-placed Bourbon Cowboy (Cowboy Cal) and Another Lemon Drop (Lemon Drop Kid), who was fourth in the Lecomte S. (G3) in mid-January. Earlier on the card, 12 Louisiana-breds were entered in the $60,000 Dixie Poker Ace S. at a mile on the turf, including the top three from last year's off-the-turf running...

Albano (Istan), last year's Pegasus S. (G3) winner and Risen Star S. (G2) runner-up, makes his second start of the season Saturday in the $100,000 Maxxam Gold Cup at Sam Houston. The Brereton Jones homebred kicked off his four-year-old campaign January 17 in the Louisiana S. at Fair Grounds, where he ran third as the 3-5 favorite. Kerwin Clark will again ride the Larry Jones-trained colt. C J's Awesome (Awesome Again), fourth in the Indiana Derby (G2) and Pennsylvania Derby (G2) last fall, appears to be the main threat on paper for trainer Ken McPeek. Others of note in the 1 1/8-mile test are F J Uncle Vic (Uncle Abbie), a two-time stakes winner on Sam Houston's main track, and multiple Grade 3-placed Hattaash (Strong Hope)...

Thoroughbred Charities of America (TCA) has announced the recipients of its Award of Merit to be honored at state breeders associations' awards ceremonies in February. Launched last month, in celebration of its 25th anniversary, TCA will honor nearly 20 recipients throughout the year. Recipients are nominated by the leadership of various state Thoroughbred owners and breeders associations. On February 21 Russ Rhone, who manages a training center near Canterbury Park and frequently cares for retiring Thoroughbreds until they are transferred to an aftercare facility, was honored at the Minnesota Thoroughbred Association's Awards Banquet; Bowman Second Chance Thoroughbred Adoption was named the recipient at the North Dakota Thoroughbred Association's Horsemen's Awards Banquet also on February 21; and The Prodigious Fund will be recognized at the Washington Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association's annual Awards Ceremony on February 28. The nominees consist of individuals or organizations working to provide a better life for Thoroughbreds or the people who work with them, either on the backstretch or on the farm. Last month, Kip Elser was honored at the South Carolina Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association awards dinner; Elizabeth MacDonald at the North Carolina Thoroughbred Association; and Patti Shirley at the annual meeting and awards banquet of The New Mexico Horse Breeders Association. Subsequent award winners will be announced monthly.

Features

HANDICAPPING INSIGHTS

FEBRUARY 27, 2015

by Dick Powell

Lots of ways to approach last Saturday's Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) and any conclusions one might draw going forward. In no apparent order:

The track was extremely dry and with a brisk wind blowing, it produced very slow running times. After six furlongs were contested in 1:11.65, they took 34.63 seconds to run the final five-sixteenths of a mile. The main track played slow all day and even on Sunday, when Khozan (Distorted Humor) crushed allowance foes going a mile by 12 lengths, taking 51.50 seconds to run the last half-mile.

Upstart (Flatter) is for real. He has shown that he can handle any surface and can handle the classic distances. On Saturday, he raced wide throughout and Trakus showed that he covered 20 feet more than Itsaknockout (Lemon Drop Kid) and 54 feet more than third place finisher Frammento (Midshipman). His bearing out in the stretch was the result of Jose Ortiz's left-hand whip than any sign of unsoundness.

Rick Violette, who did a great job last year with Samraat (Noble Causeway) getting ready for the first Saturday in May, can come back in the Florida Derby (G1) on March 29, which gives him five weeks before Kentucky. Or, he could wait another week for the Wood Memorial (G1) at Aqueduct, but that would only give him four weeks. Look for Upstart to stay down in Florida and contest the Florida Derby.

Turning for home, Frosted (Distorted Humor) looked like he might be an easy winner. Irad Ortiz Jr. had a strong hold on him and hadn't even asked him to go at the top of the stretch. When the moment of truth came, Frosted came up completely empty with no apparent excuse.

To make it even worse for the Boys in Blue from Godolphin, Imperia (Medaglia d'Oro) was dreadful as the 3-to-2 favorite in the Risen Star Stakes (G2) at the Fair Grounds. He was far back early, made a nominal middle move before offering nothing coming home.

Itsaknockout just keeps getting the job done for Starlight Stables, who always seems to develop a promising three-year-old this time of year. The colt raced between horses down the backstretch, moved up on the turn then looked like a winner until Ortiz steered Upstart into his path. His win in the Fountain of Youth was a backwards move off his fast win going a mile on January 4 against allowance foes, but it should set him up well down the road.

That blur in the homestretch was Frammento, trained by none other than Nick Zito who is back on the Triple Crown trail. The colt added blinkers and Johnny Velazquez for the Fountain of Youth and made up nine lengths on the leaders from the far turn to the wire. With Zito at the helm, expect more improvement.

Don't know how to compare these horses with their California counterparts. Have no idea how Dortmund (Big Brown) and American Pharoah (Pioneerof the Nile) compare to Upstart, but these are some solid horses racing in the East.

I would have disqualified Upstart for bearing out in the stretch into Itsaknockout's path. Ortiz was making no effort to keep him straight. The final margin of 2 1/2 lengths might indicate that it did not affect the outcome but the foul occurred when Itsaknockout pulled to within a half-length and had a ton of momentum.

Elsewhere, Main Sequence's (Aldeberan) final surge in the deep stretch to win the Mac Diarmida Stakes (G2) was sensational. He covered his last furlong in 11.20 seconds and lengthened his enormous stride with ease.

After a modest pace, it looked like Twilight Eclipse (Purim) might pull off the mile upset when he had a length cushion at the sixteenth pole but Main Sequence devoured him; just like he had the previous four times they faced each other. Considering Main Sequence was not fully cranked up, it was an awesome finish and now he goes on to the $6 million Sheema Classic (UAE-G1) at 1 1/2 miles at Meydan in Dubai.

Results

NORTH AMERICAN ALLOWANCE RESULTS

GP, 10TH, AOC, $48,800, 4YO/UP, 7F, 2-25.
4—SAM SPARKLE, r, 7, Too Much Bling--La Carina, by Silver Deputy. ($25,000 '09 OBSAUG; $55,000 2010 OBSAPR). O-Two Tone Farms, B-Thoroughbred Management, LLC (FL), T-David A. Cannizzo, J-Joel Rosario, $30,600.
3—Goodtimehadbyall, g, 7, Quiet American--Miss Brickyard, by A.P. Indy. ($20,000 '09 KEESEP). O-Richard Ravin, B-John D Gunther (KY), $8,800.
6—Monty Haul, g, 6, With Distinction--Freddy Fenter, by Fenter. O-Dawghouse Stable, B-Jonnie Hall (FL), $5,000.
Winning Time: 1:23 3/5 (ft)
 
TAM, 3RD, ALW, $20,300, 4YO/UP, F/M, 1 1/16MT, 2-25.
2—MISS MELINDA, f, 4, Malibu Moon--Black Escort, by Southern Halo. ($100,000 '12 KEESEP). O-Fager Stable, B-Grapestock LLC (KY), T-William I. Mott, J-Fernando De La Cruz, $12,000.
4—Queenie's Song, f, 4, Unbridled's Song--Queen of Money, by Corporate Report. ($225,000 '12 KEEJAN; $340,000 '12 KEESEP; $350,000 2013 KEEAPR). O-Baumann Stables, B-Mueller Farms, Inc & Taylor Made Stallions, Inc (KY), $4,000.
9—Babe's Ruler, f, 4, Roman Ruler--Leo's Gypsy Dancer, by Leo Castelli. ($75,000 2013 OBSAPR). O-Alifyfe Racing, B-Bryan Hicks (FL), $2,300.
Winning Time: 1:44 (fm)

North American Maiden Winners
Evansville Slew--Ta Ta Moro by Moro; CENTERVILLE SLEW, g, 3, HOU, Mcl 50000, 2-24, 1 1/16mT, 1:44 4/5. B-Martha N. Heidelberg (OK.).
Mass Media--J Lo on the Go by Swedaus; ROCKEMAGAIN, g, 3, GP, Mcl 25000, 2-25, 5fT, :56 . B-Chester A. Bishop (FL.).
Da Stoops--Inlet Moon by Malibu Moon; EL GRAN TITO, g, 4, GP, Mcl 12500, 2-25, 6f, 1:14 . B-Kleinubing Racing (FL.).
Empire Maker--Camanoe by Gone West; ATLANTIC ISLAND, f, 4, GP, Msw, 2-25, 1 1/16mT, 1:42 3/5. B-Juddmonte Farms Inc. (KY.). *1/2 to Rob Roy (G2$566,396).
Formal Gold--Doc's Lil' Angel by Doc's Leader; ANGEL OF GOLD, g, 4, TUP, Mcl 5000, 2-25, 6 1/2f, 1:17 1/5. B-Laura Ann Franklin (CA.).
Mo Mon--Fife by Souvenir Copy; MO MON'S COPYCAT, f, 4, TAM, Mcl 16000, 2-25, 6f, 1:11 3/5. B-Dianne Boyken (NJ.).
Fairbanks--Simply Complicated by Malibu Moon; FAIRLY COMPLICATED, m, 5, PEN, Mcl 12500, 2-25, 6f, 1:16 . B-Cleon Cassel (PA.).
With Distinction--You Know It's True by Yes It's True; RUN IT BACK, g, 5, TAM, Mcl 8000, 2-25, 5 1/2f, 1:05 . B-The Big Stable Inc (FL.).

Spot Plays/Highlights/Weather

SPOT PLAYS

For Thursday

TRACK   (RACE) HORSE, MORNING LINE
Aqueduct   (3rd) Appearance, 4-1
    (8th) Don't Blame Her, 7-2
Charles Town   (3rd) Red Hot Revenge, 4-1
    (7th) Castle Road, 5-1
Delta Downs   (2nd) Miss Devil Dog, 7-2
    (6th) Commodore Way, 3-1
Fair Grounds   (5th) Lloyd, 9-2
    (8th) Go Poppa Go, 5-1
Golden Gate Fields   (2nd) Peppered Pro, 8-1
    (5th) Supercabras, 10-1
Gulfstream Park   (1st) Wonderfully Wild, 6-1
    (2nd) White Legend, 7-2
Oaklawn Park   (4th) Stonecrusher, 6-1
    (6th) Star Tour, 9-2
Penn National   (2nd) May Day Cash, 9-2
    (6th) Victor's Tuition, 8-1
Santa Anita   (5th) Kristinite, 4-1
    (7th) Long Hot Summer, 4-1
Tampa Bay Downs   (2nd) Awe Zoom, 9-2
    (9th) Lady Fog Horn, 3-1

HANDICAPPER'S EDGE is compiled by Bloodstock Research Information Services. This newsletter may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without the prior written permission of the copyright owner. Copyright 2011, Bloodstock Research Information Services. Information as to the races, race results and earnings was obtained from Equibase Company LLC and is utilized herein with the permission of the copyright owner, Equibase Company LLC.

Announcements

Help Wanted

A horse racing website is currently hiring for part-time positions as a Customer Service Representative in Lexington, Kentucky. Must be available nights and weekends. Some weekdays may also be available. Computer literacy required, horse racing knowledge and customer service experience a plus. To schedule an interview, email or send your résumé to the following: Nancy.Kanaval@brisnet.com, P.O. Box 4097, Lexington, KY 40544.

Features

HANDICAPPING INSIGHTS

FEBRUARY 27, 2015

by Dick Powell

Lots of ways to approach last Saturday's Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) and any conclusions one might draw going forward. In no apparent order:

The track was extremely dry and with a brisk wind blowing, it produced very slow running times. After six furlongs were contested in 1:11.65, they took 34.63 seconds to run the final five-sixteenths of a mile. The main track played slow all day and even on Sunday, when Khozan (Distorted Humor) crushed allowance foes going a mile by 12 lengths, taking 51.50 seconds to run the last half-mile.

Upstart (Flatter) is for real. He has shown that he can handle any surface and can handle the classic distances. On Saturday, he raced wide throughout and Trakus showed that he covered 20 feet more than Itsaknockout (Lemon Drop Kid) and 54 feet more than third place finisher Frammento (Midshipman). His bearing out in the stretch was the result of Jose Ortiz's left-hand whip than any sign of unsoundness.

Rick Violette, who did a great job last year with Samraat (Noble Causeway) getting ready for the first Saturday in May, can come back in the Florida Derby (G1) on March 29, which gives him five weeks before Kentucky. Or, he could wait another week for the Wood Memorial (G1) at Aqueduct, but that would only give him four weeks. Look for Upstart to stay down in Florida and contest the Florida Derby.

Turning for home, Frosted (Distorted Humor) looked like he might be an easy winner. Irad Ortiz Jr. had a strong hold on him and hadn't even asked him to go at the top of the stretch. When the moment of truth came, Frosted came up completely empty with no apparent excuse.

To make it even worse for the Boys in Blue from Godolphin, Imperia (Medaglia d'Oro) was dreadful as the 3-to-2 favorite in the Risen Star Stakes (G2) at the Fair Grounds. He was far back early, made a nominal middle move before offering nothing coming home.

Itsaknockout just keeps getting the job done for Starlight Stables, who always seems to develop a promising three-year-old this time of year. The colt raced between horses down the backstretch, moved up on the turn then looked like a winner until Ortiz steered Upstart into his path. His win in the Fountain of Youth was a backwards move off his fast win going a mile on January 4 against allowance foes, but it should set him up well down the road.

That blur in the homestretch was Frammento, trained by none other than Nick Zito who is back on the Triple Crown trail. The colt added blinkers and Johnny Velazquez for the Fountain of Youth and made up nine lengths on the leaders from the far turn to the wire. With Zito at the helm, expect more improvement.

Don't know how to compare these horses with their California counterparts. Have no idea how Dortmund (Big Brown) and American Pharoah (Pioneerof the Nile) compare to Upstart, but these are some solid horses racing in the East.

I would have disqualified Upstart for bearing out in the stretch into Itsaknockout's path. Ortiz was making no effort to keep him straight. The final margin of 2 1/2 lengths might indicate that it did not affect the outcome but the foul occurred when Itsaknockout pulled to within a half-length and had a ton of momentum.

Elsewhere, Main Sequence's (Aldeberan) final surge in the deep stretch to win the Mac Diarmida Stakes (G2) was sensational. He covered his last furlong in 11.20 seconds and lengthened his enormous stride with ease.

After a modest pace, it looked like Twilight Eclipse (Purim) might pull off the mile upset when he had a length cushion at the sixteenth pole but Main Sequence devoured him; just like he had the previous four times they faced each other. Considering Main Sequence was not fully cranked up, it was an awesome finish and now he goes on to the $6 million Sheema Classic (UAE-G1) at 1 1/2 miles at Meydan in Dubai.

HANDICAPPER'S EDGE is compiled by Bloodstock Research Information Services. This newsletter may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without the prior written permission of the copyright owner. Copyright 2011, Bloodstock Research Information Services. Information as to the races, race results and earnings was obtained from Equibase Company LLC and is utilized herein with the permission of the copyright owner, Equibase Company LLC.

Announcements

Help Wanted

A horse racing website is currently hiring for part-time positions as a Customer Service Representative in Lexington, Kentucky. Must be available nights and weekends. Some weekdays may also be available. Computer literacy required, horse racing knowledge and customer service experience a plus. To schedule an interview, email or send your résumé to the following: Nancy.Kanaval@brisnet.com, P.O. Box 4097, Lexington, KY 40544.