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SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2015

Racing Headlines

Oaklawn cancels, makeup dates added

Oaklawn canceled their Saturday program because of below-freezing temperatures. Temperatures were lingering around 25 degrees at 10 a.m. (CST) and not supposed to get above freezing until later in afternoon.

Meanwhile, the Arkansas Racing Commission unanimously approved a request by Oaklawn to add two Wednesdays to its 2015 racing season -- March 18 and March 25 -- to compensate for days lost to weather.

"We are simply trying to make the best of a bad situation," Oaklawn General Manager Eric Jackson said. "The last two weeks have been hard on everyone -- racing fans, horsemen, jockeys, employees, Oaklawn itself -- as well as local businesses. The two additional days means we will essentially be racing five days a week for the last month of our season. That is not ideal, but under these stressful circumstances, we believe it is the best option."

Oaklawn management presented the additional dates idea to horsemen Saturday morning, and after their receiving full support, made the request to the Racing Commission at an already scheduled meeting. Management and horsemen also agreed to bring back the $75,000 Downthedustyroad on March 6 and the $75,000 Nodouble on March 8. The two Arkansas-bred stakes were scheduled to be run Saturday.

Steve Hobby, a top trainer at Oaklawn who has been meeting with track officials daily this past week, said the horsemen recognize what Oaklawn is trying to do.

"They've been on the track night and day for almost two weeks now, trying to save racing," Hobby said. "Offering to come up with two additional race days is really appreciated, and reflects on the great working relationship horsemen have with Oaklawn management."

The two additional days will result in a 53-day race season if there are no additional cancellations.

Bet Horseracing Free Online at TwinSpires.com

Oaklawn cancels, makeup dates added

Oaklawn canceled their Saturday program because of below-freezing temperatures. Temperatures were lingering around 25 degrees at 10 a.m. (CST) and not supposed to get above freezing until later in afternoon.

Meanwhile, the Arkansas Racing Commission unanimously approved a request by Oaklawn to add two Wednesdays to its 2015 racing season -- March 18 and March 25 -- to compensate for days lost to weather.

"We are simply trying to make the best of a bad situation," Oaklawn General Manager Eric Jackson said. "The last two weeks have been hard on everyone -- racing fans, horsemen, jockeys, employees, Oaklawn itself -- as well as local businesses. The two additional days means we will essentially be racing five days a week for the last month of our season. That is not ideal, but under these stressful circumstances, we believe it is the best option."

Oaklawn management presented the additional dates idea to horsemen Saturday morning, and after their receiving full support, made the request to the Racing Commission at an already scheduled meeting. Management and horsemen also agreed to bring back the $75,000 Downthedustyroad on March 6 and the $75,000 Nodouble on March 8. The two Arkansas-bred stakes were scheduled to be run Saturday.

Steve Hobby, a top trainer at Oaklawn who has been meeting with track officials daily this past week, said the horsemen recognize what Oaklawn is trying to do.

"They've been on the track night and day for almost two weeks now, trying to save racing," Hobby said. "Offering to come up with two additional race days is really appreciated, and reflects on the great working relationship horsemen have with Oaklawn management."

The two additional days will result in a 53-day race season if there are no additional cancellations.

Bet Horseracing Free Online at TwinSpires.com

Take Charge Brandi heads list of 154 nominees for Kentucky Oaks

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Reigning juvenile champion Take Charge Brandi (Giant's Causeway) is the brightest star among 154 horses on the roster of early nominations to the $1 million Kentucky Oaks (G1), scheduled for its 141st running on May 1 at Churchill Downs.

This year's early nomination total is a 27.3 percent increase from the 121 fillies made eligible during the early nomination total in 2014, and it's the highest total since 170 fillies were nominated in 2009. The Oaks early nomination record is 192 from 2007.

To view the complete list of 2015 Kentucky Oaks nominations, please click here.

A late nomination phase is open and will continue through April 8. Late nominations require payment of a $1,500 fee. After the closing of late nominations, there will be a final opportunity to make a filly eligible for the Kentucky Oaks through the race's supplemental nomination process, which requires payment of $30,000 at the time of entry to the race on April 28.

The Oaks field is limited to 14 starters and up to four fillies designated as "also-eligible" to start. Eligibility to compete in the Oaks is determined by points amassed during the "Road to the Kentucky Oaks" series. If one of more horses should scratch from the Kentucky Oaks before 9 a.m. (EDT) on the morning of the race, fillies from the "also-eligible" list with the highest respective point totals would be allowed to compete.

The Kentucky Oaks will be telecast live on NBC Sports Network.

Bet Horseracing Free Online at TwinSpires.com

Take Charge Brandi heads list of 154 nominees for Kentucky Oaks

)

Reigning juvenile champion Take Charge Brandi (Giant's Causeway) is the brightest star among 154 horses on the roster of early nominations to the $1 million Kentucky Oaks (G1), scheduled for its 141st running on May 1 at Churchill Downs.

This year's early nomination total is a 27.3 percent increase from the 121 fillies made eligible during the early nomination total in 2014, and it's the highest total since 170 fillies were nominated in 2009. The Oaks early nomination record is 192 from 2007.

To view the complete list of 2015 Kentucky Oaks nominations, please click here.

A late nomination phase is open and will continue through April 8. Late nominations require payment of a $1,500 fee. After the closing of late nominations, there will be a final opportunity to make a filly eligible for the Kentucky Oaks through the race's supplemental nomination process, which requires payment of $30,000 at the time of entry to the race on April 28.

The Oaks field is limited to 14 starters and up to four fillies designated as "also-eligible" to start. Eligibility to compete in the Oaks is determined by points amassed during the "Road to the Kentucky Oaks" series. If one of more horses should scratch from the Kentucky Oaks before 9 a.m. (EDT) on the morning of the race, fillies from the "also-eligible" list with the highest respective point totals would be allowed to compete.

The Kentucky Oaks will be telecast live on NBC Sports Network.

Bet Horseracing Free Online at TwinSpires.com

Stars work at Santa Anita in advance of weekend rain

Juvenile champion American Pharoah worked a bullet seven furlongs in advance of the March 14 Rebel (Benoit Photos)

Workers were out in droves Friday morning at Santa Anita in an effort to overcome wet weather forecast to hit the track early Saturday morning, possibly jeopardizing scheduled works that day.

There were 302 recorded works Friday on the main track. How busy were Santa Anita clockers Friday morning?

"Even if the track's open tomorrow, I don't think there are any horses left to work," said private clocker Gary Young.

Impressive maiden winner Prospect Park (Tapit) was one of the Triple Crown hopefuls who worked, going five furlongs in company under Kent Desormeaux for next Saturday's $400,000 San Felipe (G2) at 1 1/16 miles. Prospect Park and workmate Big Tire (Candy Ride), trained by Mark Glatt, were clocked in 1:01 2/5.

"He looked good," trainer Cliff Sise Jr. said of Prospect Park. "I got him coming home the last quarter in 23 and two."

Firing Line (Line of David), runner-up by a head to unbeaten Dortmund (Big Brown) in the Robert B. Lewis (G3), went five furlongs in :59 3/5 for trainer Simon Callaghan, who is contemplating either the Sunland Derby (G3) on March 22 or the Santa Anita Derby (G1) on April 4.

"I'm really happy," Callaghan said. "He galloped out in 1:12 and he looked really fluid. So far, so good."

Under Martin Garcia, juvenile champion American Pharoah (Pioneerof the Nile) worked seven furlongs in a bullet 1:23 4/5 for his three-year-old debut in the Rebel (G2) at Oaklawn Park on March 14. It was the fastest of seven drills at the distance, the average time of which was 1:26 4/5.

"He's doing good," Bob Baffert said. "I was happy with it."

Another Baffert trainee, San Vicente winner Lord Nelson (Pulpit), worked six furlongs for the San Felipe in 1:13, in company with Chasintheaces (Indian Charlie), who was clocked in 1:12 4/5. Bolo (Temple CIty), also under consideration for the San Felipe, worked six furlongs for Carla Gaines in 1:13 4/5.

Pain and Misery (Bob and John), yet another ticketed for the San Felipe, worked five furlongs in 1:00.40 for Richard Mandella under Flavien Prat, who rides in the San Felipe.

Mandella also sent two-time champion Beholder (Henny Hughes) five furlongs in 1:00 1/5 as she gets closer to her five-year-old debut.

"She's coming along well," Mandella said.

At Los Alamitos, Horse of the Year California Chrome (Lucky Pulpit) worked five furlongs in 1:00, according to track clockers, while trainer Art Sherman caught the colt in :59 3/5 with a six-furlong gallop out time of 1:13 3/5. Exercise rider Anna Wells was aboard.

"Really nice," is how Sherman described the move. "It was just what I wanted. He'll have two more works here before leaving for Dubai on March 17."

Bet Horseracing Free Online at TwinSpires.com

Stars work at Santa Anita in advance of weekend rain

Juvenile champion American Pharoah worked a bullet seven furlongs in advance of the March 14 Rebel (Benoit Photos)

Workers were out in droves Friday morning at Santa Anita in an effort to overcome wet weather forecast to hit the track early Saturday morning, possibly jeopardizing scheduled works that day.

There were 302 recorded works Friday on the main track. How busy were Santa Anita clockers Friday morning?

"Even if the track's open tomorrow, I don't think there are any horses left to work," said private clocker Gary Young.

Impressive maiden winner Prospect Park (Tapit) was one of the Triple Crown hopefuls who worked, going five furlongs in company under Kent Desormeaux for next Saturday's $400,000 San Felipe (G2) at 1 1/16 miles. Prospect Park and workmate Big Tire (Candy Ride), trained by Mark Glatt, were clocked in 1:01 2/5.

"He looked good," trainer Cliff Sise Jr. said of Prospect Park. "I got him coming home the last quarter in 23 and two."

Firing Line (Line of David), runner-up by a head to unbeaten Dortmund (Big Brown) in the Robert B. Lewis (G3), went five furlongs in :59 3/5 for trainer Simon Callaghan, who is contemplating either the Sunland Derby (G3) on March 22 or the Santa Anita Derby (G1) on April 4.

"I'm really happy," Callaghan said. "He galloped out in 1:12 and he looked really fluid. So far, so good."

Under Martin Garcia, juvenile champion American Pharoah (Pioneerof the Nile) worked seven furlongs in a bullet 1:23 4/5 for his three-year-old debut in the Rebel (G2) at Oaklawn Park on March 14. It was the fastest of seven drills at the distance, the average time of which was 1:26 4/5.

"He's doing good," Bob Baffert said. "I was happy with it."

Another Baffert trainee, San Vicente winner Lord Nelson (Pulpit), worked six furlongs for the San Felipe in 1:13, in company with Chasintheaces (Indian Charlie), who was clocked in 1:12 4/5. Bolo (Temple CIty), also under consideration for the San Felipe, worked six furlongs for Carla Gaines in 1:13 4/5.

Pain and Misery (Bob and John), yet another ticketed for the San Felipe, worked five furlongs in 1:00.40 for Richard Mandella under Flavien Prat, who rides in the San Felipe.

Mandella also sent two-time champion Beholder (Henny Hughes) five furlongs in 1:00 1/5 as she gets closer to her five-year-old debut.

"She's coming along well," Mandella said.

At Los Alamitos, Horse of the Year California Chrome (Lucky Pulpit) worked five furlongs in 1:00, according to track clockers, while trainer Art Sherman caught the colt in :59 3/5 with a six-furlong gallop out time of 1:13 3/5. Exercise rider Anna Wells was aboard.

"Really nice," is how Sherman described the move. "It was just what I wanted. He'll have two more works here before leaving for Dubai on March 17."

Bet Horseracing Free Online at TwinSpires.com

Godolphin trio look to give bin Suroor fourth Nad Al Sheba Trophy

Cavalryman was Saeed bin Suroor's latest winner of the Nad Al Sheba Trophy (Andrew Watkins/Dubai Racing Club)

The Nad Al Sheba Trophy (UAE-G3) is the highlight of Meydan Racecourse's ninth and penultimate meeting of the 2015 Dubai World Cup Carnival with just Super Saturday to follow next week and then the $30 million Dubai World Cup fixture itself on Saturday, March 28.

The Nad Al Sheba Trophy was first contested in 2010 and has only ever been won by Godolphin trainers.

Eleven have been declared for the 2810 meter turf feature, including the last two winners, Ahzeemah (Dubawi), who won in 2013, and Cavalryman (Halling), who landed the spoils 12 months ago. Both are trained by Saeed bin Suroor and are joined by stablemate and Group 2 victor Excellent Result (Shamardal).

Seeking a fourth win in the race, bin Suroor clearly has a very strong hand this year. With stable jockey, James Doyle, in action for Godolphin in Australia, William Buick takes the mount on Cavalryman. Dane O'Neill rides Excellent Result while Harry Bentley, fresh from nine winners in Qatar this week, aboard Ahzeemah.

"All three are fit and well," bin Suroor said. "They have all won over course and distance and both Cavalryman, last year, and Ahzeemah have won this race before. Ahzeemah and Excellent Result have the benefit of a run already this season and have been working well since those runs.

"Cavalryman had a busy campaign last year, winning well at Newmarket and Glorious Goodwood. It was always the plan to wait for this race for his return to action but he runs well fresh as he showed when winning this on his seasonal debut 12 months ago.

"All three should run well and it is a race we are really looking forward to."

Mike de Kock is two handed with Star Empire (Second Empire), under Christophe Soumillon, joined in the field by Almoonqith (Dynaformer), with Paul Hanagan riding for his main employer, HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Soumillon's mount is actually running in the race for a fourth time, having chased home Cavalryman last year and finishing third in both 2011 and 2013 after missing the whole of 2012. Almoonqith is stepping up markedly in trip having won going 1600 meters three starts ago and running well over 2000 meters the last two times.

"We think Almoonqith will stay the trip," de Kock remarked. "There is every encouragement he will in his pedigree and his style of racing. We are looking forward to trying him over this kind of distance and certainly hope he can make the first four.

"Star Empire has not been in the same kind of form as his previous Dubai World Cup Carnival campaigns and his age is probably starting to catch up with him."

Trained by Doug Watson, Meandre (Slickly) is a fascinating contender having proven his stamina for this kind of trip when third in a handicap over this course and distance at the beginning of the month. A four-time Group 1 winner in Europe, the seven-year-old obviously has a touch of class and could be the one to benefit should the Godolphin trio fail to fire.

The remainder of the card consists of six ultra competitive handicaps and a lot of attention is sure to be focused on local debutant Footbridge (Street Cry), having his first start for Charlie Appleby. Previously trained in the United States by Eoin Harty, the five-year-old bay was third in last year's Awesome Again S. (G1) before finishing 10th in the Breeders' Cup Classic (G1).

Footbridge has his first start for Appleby in a 2000 meter handicap with Buick in the saddle.

Uruguayan raider High Blade (Salute the Sarge) is another interesting newcomer to the UAE and faces 12 rivals in a 1400 meter dirt handicap. Winner of his first five career starts, his only defeat was a when fourth against Group 1 company suffered in his final start in Uruguay.

Bet Horseracing Free Online at TwinSpires.com

Godolphin trio look to give bin Suroor fourth Nad Al Sheba Trophy

Cavalryman was Saeed bin Suroor's latest winner of the Nad Al Sheba Trophy (Andrew Watkins/Dubai Racing Club)

The Nad Al Sheba Trophy (UAE-G3) is the highlight of Meydan Racecourse's ninth and penultimate meeting of the 2015 Dubai World Cup Carnival with just Super Saturday to follow next week and then the $30 million Dubai World Cup fixture itself on Saturday, March 28.

The Nad Al Sheba Trophy was first contested in 2010 and has only ever been won by Godolphin trainers.

Eleven have been declared for the 2810 meter turf feature, including the last two winners, Ahzeemah (Dubawi), who won in 2013, and Cavalryman (Halling), who landed the spoils 12 months ago. Both are trained by Saeed bin Suroor and are joined by stablemate and Group 2 victor Excellent Result (Shamardal).

Seeking a fourth win in the race, bin Suroor clearly has a very strong hand this year. With stable jockey, James Doyle, in action for Godolphin in Australia, William Buick takes the mount on Cavalryman. Dane O'Neill rides Excellent Result while Harry Bentley, fresh from nine winners in Qatar this week, aboard Ahzeemah.

"All three are fit and well," bin Suroor said. "They have all won over course and distance and both Cavalryman, last year, and Ahzeemah have won this race before. Ahzeemah and Excellent Result have the benefit of a run already this season and have been working well since those runs.

"Cavalryman had a busy campaign last year, winning well at Newmarket and Glorious Goodwood. It was always the plan to wait for this race for his return to action but he runs well fresh as he showed when winning this on his seasonal debut 12 months ago.

"All three should run well and it is a race we are really looking forward to."

Mike de Kock is two handed with Star Empire (Second Empire), under Christophe Soumillon, joined in the field by Almoonqith (Dynaformer), with Paul Hanagan riding for his main employer, HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Soumillon's mount is actually running in the race for a fourth time, having chased home Cavalryman last year and finishing third in both 2011 and 2013 after missing the whole of 2012. Almoonqith is stepping up markedly in trip having won going 1600 meters three starts ago and running well over 2000 meters the last two times.

"We think Almoonqith will stay the trip," de Kock remarked. "There is every encouragement he will in his pedigree and his style of racing. We are looking forward to trying him over this kind of distance and certainly hope he can make the first four.

"Star Empire has not been in the same kind of form as his previous Dubai World Cup Carnival campaigns and his age is probably starting to catch up with him."

Trained by Doug Watson, Meandre (Slickly) is a fascinating contender having proven his stamina for this kind of trip when third in a handicap over this course and distance at the beginning of the month. A four-time Group 1 winner in Europe, the seven-year-old obviously has a touch of class and could be the one to benefit should the Godolphin trio fail to fire.

The remainder of the card consists of six ultra competitive handicaps and a lot of attention is sure to be focused on local debutant Footbridge (Street Cry), having his first start for Charlie Appleby. Previously trained in the United States by Eoin Harty, the five-year-old bay was third in last year's Awesome Again S. (G1) before finishing 10th in the Breeders' Cup Classic (G1).

Footbridge has his first start for Appleby in a 2000 meter handicap with Buick in the saddle.

Uruguayan raider High Blade (Salute the Sarge) is another interesting newcomer to the UAE and faces 12 rivals in a 1400 meter dirt handicap. Winner of his first five career starts, his only defeat was a when fourth against Group 1 company suffered in his final start in Uruguay.

Bet Horseracing Free Online at TwinSpires.com

Racing to continue at Suffolk Downs after deal reached

Officials of Sterling Suffolk Racecourse LLC and the New England affiliate of the Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association (NEHBPA) announced Friday that they have reached an agreement for the horsemen to lease the racetrack for live racing in 2015-16.

"We are optimistic that our horsemen will be able to race at Suffolk Downs and the local breeders may remain in business for the next two years. We are thankful for the wisdom, cooperation, and hard work of all the parties involved," said NEHBPA President Anthony Spadea, who represents about 900 Thoroughbred owners and trainers. "We still have several steps to accomplish to ensure that the Massachusetts Thoroughbred industry, which has an annual economic impact of $116.5 million, remains viable."

The two-year licensing deal is subject to the passage of enabling legislation to extend racing and simulcasting in Massachusetts within the next few weeks. The current law sunsets March 31.

Approval of the agreement by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission is also required.

"While we focus on the future development of Suffolk Downs, we're gratified that we have been able to reach an agreement with the New England HBPA on an interim solution that will keep people working as the horsemen pursue their long term plans and as we explore development options," said Chip Tuttle, the chief operating officer of Suffolk Downs.

The commissioners have granted the NEHBPA a one-day placeholder license to conduct live racing, and the completion of the deal with Suffolk Downs will be a major step forward in their consideration of the horsemen's subsequent application to conduct a live race meet this year.

The duration of the 2015 Thoroughbred season has yet to be determined. Based on the agreement between Suffolk Downs and the NEHBPA, it may be from one live racing day up to 50 days, depending upon the MGC's final approval as well as the distribution of funding for purses from the state.

The potential restoration of live racing at the 80-year-old landmark will protect hundreds of direct and non-direct Thoroughbred industry jobs in the Commonwealth while preserving the 62 breeding farms and 6,650 acres of open green space in the state-wide agricultural network.

Bet Horseracing Free Online at TwinSpires.com

Racing to continue at Suffolk Downs after deal reached

Officials of Sterling Suffolk Racecourse LLC and the New England affiliate of the Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association (NEHBPA) announced Friday that they have reached an agreement for the horsemen to lease the racetrack for live racing in 2015-16.

"We are optimistic that our horsemen will be able to race at Suffolk Downs and the local breeders may remain in business for the next two years. We are thankful for the wisdom, cooperation, and hard work of all the parties involved," said NEHBPA President Anthony Spadea, who represents about 900 Thoroughbred owners and trainers. "We still have several steps to accomplish to ensure that the Massachusetts Thoroughbred industry, which has an annual economic impact of $116.5 million, remains viable."

The two-year licensing deal is subject to the passage of enabling legislation to extend racing and simulcasting in Massachusetts within the next few weeks. The current law sunsets March 31.

Approval of the agreement by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission is also required.

"While we focus on the future development of Suffolk Downs, we're gratified that we have been able to reach an agreement with the New England HBPA on an interim solution that will keep people working as the horsemen pursue their long term plans and as we explore development options," said Chip Tuttle, the chief operating officer of Suffolk Downs.

The commissioners have granted the NEHBPA a one-day placeholder license to conduct live racing, and the completion of the deal with Suffolk Downs will be a major step forward in their consideration of the horsemen's subsequent application to conduct a live race meet this year.

The duration of the 2015 Thoroughbred season has yet to be determined. Based on the agreement between Suffolk Downs and the NEHBPA, it may be from one live racing day up to 50 days, depending upon the MGC's final approval as well as the distribution of funding for purses from the state.

The potential restoration of live racing at the 80-year-old landmark will protect hundreds of direct and non-direct Thoroughbred industry jobs in the Commonwealth while preserving the 62 breeding farms and 6,650 acres of open green space in the state-wide agricultural network.

Bet Horseracing Free Online at TwinSpires.com

Jockey Club buys majority share in Blood-Horse magazine

The Jockey Club and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA) have announced that The Jockey Club Information Systems Inc. has purchased a majority ownership interest in Blood-Horse magazine. The purchase also includes related digital and custom printing properties of Blood-Horse, the Stallion Register, and Blood-Horse's 50 percent interest in TrueNicks LLC.

The announcement was made jointly by Ogden Mills Phipps, chairman of The Jockey Club, and Peter S. Willmott, chairman of TOBA.

"The Jockey Club stewards believe that a publication with the history, influence and brand recognition of Blood-Horse is a considerable asset for the Thoroughbred breeding and racing industry and that there are certain synergies that will make it an even stronger entity as a result of this transaction," Phipps said.

"TOBA and its predecessor breeders organization have been the sole owner of Blood-Horse since 1935," Willmott said. "With the considerable changes underway in the publishing industry, it is our strong feeling that a partnership with The Jockey Club in ownership of Blood-Horse will enhance Blood-Horse's ability to serve its customers, especially on digital platforms."

Simultaneously with the closing, Blood-Horse announced the appointment of John K. Keitt Jr. as chief executive officer and publisher. Keitt has served as a senior executive, corporate attorney, and consultant with broad experience in the media and technology areas. He was the senior vice president of Global Business for The Associated Press in New York City from 2003-06, and he has also been a business and legal advisor to a wide range of Thoroughbred industry organizations since 1986.

Keitt will be based at the Blood-Horse offices in Lexington, Kentucky, starting Friday.

"Blood-Horse will continue to cover the issues, events and personalities in our industry in a journalistically sound manner going forward," Phipps said. "The Jockey Club and its affiliated companies have many longstanding business and editorial relationships with other media organizations in this industry, and we will strive to maintain and enhance those relationships. We are pleased to welcome aboard John Keitt as Blood-Horse's new business leader."

The purchase is effective immediately and financial details related to the transaction will not be disclosed. The transaction does not include ownership of The Horse, which will remain with TOBA and operate separately. Marla Bickel, the CEO and publisher of Blood-Horse Publications, will transition into a role as CEO and publisher of The Horse.

Bet Horseracing Free Online at TwinSpires.com

Jockey Club buys majority share in Blood-Horse magazine

The Jockey Club and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA) have announced that The Jockey Club Information Systems Inc. has purchased a majority ownership interest in Blood-Horse magazine. The purchase also includes related digital and custom printing properties of Blood-Horse, the Stallion Register, and Blood-Horse's 50 percent interest in TrueNicks LLC.

The announcement was made jointly by Ogden Mills Phipps, chairman of The Jockey Club, and Peter S. Willmott, chairman of TOBA.

"The Jockey Club stewards believe that a publication with the history, influence and brand recognition of Blood-Horse is a considerable asset for the Thoroughbred breeding and racing industry and that there are certain synergies that will make it an even stronger entity as a result of this transaction," Phipps said.

"TOBA and its predecessor breeders organization have been the sole owner of Blood-Horse since 1935," Willmott said. "With the considerable changes underway in the publishing industry, it is our strong feeling that a partnership with The Jockey Club in ownership of Blood-Horse will enhance Blood-Horse's ability to serve its customers, especially on digital platforms."

Simultaneously with the closing, Blood-Horse announced the appointment of John K. Keitt Jr. as chief executive officer and publisher. Keitt has served as a senior executive, corporate attorney, and consultant with broad experience in the media and technology areas. He was the senior vice president of Global Business for The Associated Press in New York City from 2003-06, and he has also been a business and legal advisor to a wide range of Thoroughbred industry organizations since 1986.

Keitt will be based at the Blood-Horse offices in Lexington, Kentucky, starting Friday.

"Blood-Horse will continue to cover the issues, events and personalities in our industry in a journalistically sound manner going forward," Phipps said. "The Jockey Club and its affiliated companies have many longstanding business and editorial relationships with other media organizations in this industry, and we will strive to maintain and enhance those relationships. We are pleased to welcome aboard John Keitt as Blood-Horse's new business leader."

The purchase is effective immediately and financial details related to the transaction will not be disclosed. The transaction does not include ownership of The Horse, which will remain with TOBA and operate separately. Marla Bickel, the CEO and publisher of Blood-Horse Publications, will transition into a role as CEO and publisher of The Horse.

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.

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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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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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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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

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

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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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

The racing cards at Laurel Park, Oaklawn Park, and Charles Town were all canceled Friday due to inclement weather or its effect on track conditions. Racing is scheduled to resume at all three track on Saturday...

Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) winner Texas Red (Afleet Alex), scheduled to run in the Santa Anita Derby (G1) on April 4, is now due to return to trainer Keith Desormeaux at Santa Anita on March 7 rather than March 1 after undergoing swimming rehab for an abscessed foot. "That gives us time for three works before the Derby," the trainer said...

Services will be private for former top jockey Jerry Lambert who died Monday at the age of 74. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in Lambert's name to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund...

Last year's King's Bishop S. (G1) winner The Big Beast (Yes It's True) is scheduled to make his four-year-old debut in Sunday's 8TH race at Oaklawn Park, a third-level allowance sprint for older horses. Trainer Tony Dutrow is using the race as a prep for the $300,000 Count Fleet Sprint H. (G3) April 9...

Five-time Grade 1-winning Japanese jockey Hiroki Goto, 40, was found dead at his home of an apparent suicide by local police officers Friday, according to The Tokyo Reporter. In 23 years in the saddle, Goto amassed 1,447 victories, including the 2010 Yasuda Kinen (Jpn-G1) on board Showa Modern and the Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) (Jpn-G1) with Erin Court the following year. He also suffered a number of severe injuries, notably a cracked skull and broken vertebrae in a fall in September 2012, before injuring his vertebrae again in the spring last year. Earlier this week, Goto had been receiving treatment for a sprained vertebrae, the consequence of a fall in the February 21 Diamond S. (Jpn-G3) in Tokyo when his mount fractured a leg. In spite of the injury, the jockey won two races at Kyoto two days later. Goto had rides booked on February 28 and March 1...

Hardly 24 hours ahead of the running of the A$1 million Blue Diamond S. (Aus-G1), Widden Stud revealed they had bought a 10 percent interest in leading contender Of the Brave (Straspangledbanner). The A$170,000 Magic Millions yearling purchase -- one of the highest-priced member of his sire's small first crop -- looks to maintain his perfect record going into Saturday's race, having won the listed Debutant S. going 1000 meters first time out and followed up with a wire-to-wire score in the Blue Diamond Prelude (Aus-G3), going an extra 100 meters. "We believe he is a very exciting young horse to be involved with going forward given his outstanding looks, strong pedigree and raw speed," said Anthony Thompson, owner of Widden Stud. Bought and trained by Mark Riley, Of the Brave was in the news earlier in the week as the banned conditioner fought to be allowed to saddle his charge in the Blue Diamond. A call for a Supreme Court injunction against the three-year ban -- incurred for administering Gold For Kev (Desert Sun) one of his charges with bicarbonate last July -- was rejected, but a stay was ultimately ordered by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, allowing Riley to continue doing his job until Tuesday. The Mornington trainer on Friday received confirmation by Racing Victoria stewards that another of his charges had returned a positive sample, this time to the anti-inflammatory Meloxicam. The urine swab was taken from the mare Grand Gallop (Danerich) following a December 10 win at Sandown...

John O'Shea, head of Godolphin's training operation in Australia, has reported that exciting juvenile Holler (Commands), an impressive winner of his only start on January 17, will miss the Golden Slipper (Aus-G1) and instead be sent for an Autumn spell. The colt was a late withdrawal in last Saturday's Silver Slipper S. (Aus-G2) after running a temperature and missing some training. Godolphin remains likely to hold a strong hand in the feature race on March 21, with four of their charges currently sitting in the top 10 on the ante-post betting market. Exosphere (Lonhro), a wide-margin maiden winner at Kembla last out, goes to post in Saturday's Skyline S. at Warwick Farm, and a win would earn him a ballot exemption for the Golden Slipper. The seven-runner field comprises another Godolphin colt in Mogador (Lonhro), who was second to the former in his only start to date. Furnaces (Exceed and Excel) found only his stablemate Haptic (Exceed and Excel) too good in the listed Lonhro Plate on Valentine's Day and was highly impressive when winning a trial unextended at Warwick Farm last Friday. A pair of Godolphin-owned fillies -- Italy (Domesday), winner of a Canterbury maiden in her second start, and Circular (Street Cry), who ran third in her February debut -- are in the Sweet Embrace S. on Saturday, a race whose winner will also be exempted from ballot for the Golden Slipper...

The four Japanese contenders aimed at Royal Randwick's The Championships arrived at the newly approved quarantine center at Canterbury Park racecourse, on the outskirts of Sydney, Australia. "The float arrived at the Canterbury quarantine center a shade after 9 p.m. (Thursday)" the Championships International Liaison Manager Maurice Logue told Racingandsports.com.au. "They were in excellent condition, Real Impact (Deep Impact) only lost 4kg in the whole trip. They (connections) were very pleased with the condition they arrived in." To The World (King Kamehameha), a Grade 2 winner at home last season and runner-up in both the 2000-meter Satsuki Sho (Japanese Two Thousand Guineas) (Jpn-G1) and 2500-meter Arima Kinen (Jpn-G1) -- behind the retiring Gentildonna (Deep Impact) -- is a fancied contender for the Queen Elizabeth S. (Aus-G1) on Apr. 11. Tosen Stardom (Deep Impact), winner of the Challenge Cup (Jpn-G3) going 1800 meters last out, is also expected to contest the 2000-meter race. World Ace (Deep Impact), who was last seen when fourth to Able Friend (Shamardal) in the Hong Kong Mile (HK-G1), is currently joint favorite for the Doncaster Mile (Aus-G1) on April 4, a race in which he will take on fellow citizen Real Impact. That seve-year-old became his sire's first winner at the highest level when taking the Yasuda Kinen (Jpn-G1) back in 2011 and arrives in Australia on the back of a narrow victory in a December 27 Grade 2 event going 1400 meters...

Semi-finalists for the Dr. Tony Ryan Book Award have been announced by Castleton Lyons Farm in Lexington, Kentucky. The contest, which offers a $10,000 winner's prize equal to that of the famed National Book Award, was the brainchild of the later Dr. Tony Ryan, founder of Ryanair airline and owner of Castleton Lyon. Ryan's twin passions were top flight horse racing and great literature. When he conceived the award in 2006, his intent was to honor the best full-length work published in the previous calendar year and written with a horse racing focus or backdrop. Finalists will be announced March 17, with the winner revealed at an April 15 invitation-only cocktail reception in Castleton Lyons' historic stallion barn. The semi-finalists are Canonero II: The Rags to Riches Story of the Kentucky Derby's Most Improbable Winner by Milton C. Toby; Everywhere Spirit by Stephen Halstead; Madam Belle: Sex, Money, and Influence in a Southern Brothel by Maryjean Wall; Northern Dancer: The Legendary Horse That Inspired a Nation by Kevin Chong; Offerings from a Rust Belt Jockey by Andy Plattner; and RaceLens: Vintage Thoroughbred Racing Images by Philip Von Borries...

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)...

The Breeders' Cup announced Friday that West Point Thoroughbreds near Saratoga Springs, New York, has been named an official partner of the Breeders' Cup World Championships and the presenting sponsor of the Breeders' Cup Betting Challenge (BCBC), and partners with major horseplayer tournaments across the United States in 2015. Now in its seventh year, the estimated prize money for the 2015 BCBC is $800,000. As a special bonus, the top two finishers at the Breeders' Cup Betting Challenge will receive interests in a West Point horse, with the winner receiving a $25,000 interest and the second-place finisher receiving a $10,000 interest. Last year's Breeders' Cup Betting Challenge set new records for participation and prize money. The BCBC is a $10,000 buy-in handicapping contest in a live money wagering format ($2,500 to prize pool and $7,500 betting bankroll). Contest wagers were limited to win, place, show, exacta and trifecta betting...

Due to a high probability of rain, Santa Anita Park has canceled a special screening of the 2003 movie "Seabiscuit" this Saturday, which had been scheduled to start following the races at 6:30 p.m. (PST) in the track's Paddock Gardens Area. The screening, which was planned to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the legendary Seabiscuit winning the 1940 Santa Anita H., will be rescheduled at some point later this spring or summer, according to track officials.

In brief

The racing cards at Laurel Park, Oaklawn Park, and Charles Town were all canceled Friday due to inclement weather or its effect on track conditions. Racing is scheduled to resume at all three track on Saturday...

Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) winner Texas Red (Afleet Alex), scheduled to run in the Santa Anita Derby (G1) on April 4, is now due to return to trainer Keith Desormeaux at Santa Anita on March 7 rather than March 1 after undergoing swimming rehab for an abscessed foot. "That gives us time for three works before the Derby," the trainer said...

Services will be private for former top jockey Jerry Lambert who died Monday at the age of 74. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in Lambert's name to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund...

Last year's King's Bishop S. (G1) winner The Big Beast (Yes It's True) is scheduled to make his four-year-old debut in Sunday's 8TH race at Oaklawn Park, a third-level allowance sprint for older horses. Trainer Tony Dutrow is using the race as a prep for the $300,000 Count Fleet Sprint H. (G3) April 9...

Five-time Grade 1-winning Japanese jockey Hiroki Goto, 40, was found dead at his home of an apparent suicide by local police officers Friday, according to The Tokyo Reporter. In 23 years in the saddle, Goto amassed 1,447 victories, including the 2010 Yasuda Kinen (Jpn-G1) on board Showa Modern and the Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) (Jpn-G1) with Erin Court the following year. He also suffered a number of severe injuries, notably a cracked skull and broken vertebrae in a fall in September 2012, before injuring his vertebrae again in the spring last year. Earlier this week, Goto had been receiving treatment for a sprained vertebrae, the consequence of a fall in the February 21 Diamond S. (Jpn-G3) in Tokyo when his mount fractured a leg. In spite of the injury, the jockey won two races at Kyoto two days later. Goto had rides booked on February 28 and March 1...

Hardly 24 hours ahead of the running of the A$1 million Blue Diamond S. (Aus-G1), Widden Stud revealed they had bought a 10 percent interest in leading contender Of the Brave (Straspangledbanner). The A$170,000 Magic Millions yearling purchase -- one of the highest-priced member of his sire's small first crop -- looks to maintain his perfect record going into Saturday's race, having won the listed Debutant S. going 1000 meters first time out and followed up with a wire-to-wire score in the Blue Diamond Prelude (Aus-G3), going an extra 100 meters. "We believe he is a very exciting young horse to be involved with going forward given his outstanding looks, strong pedigree and raw speed," said Anthony Thompson, owner of Widden Stud. Bought and trained by Mark Riley, Of the Brave was in the news earlier in the week as the banned conditioner fought to be allowed to saddle his charge in the Blue Diamond. A call for a Supreme Court injunction against the three-year ban -- incurred for administering Gold For Kev (Desert Sun) one of his charges with bicarbonate last July -- was rejected, but a stay was ultimately ordered by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, allowing Riley to continue doing his job until Tuesday. The Mornington trainer on Friday received confirmation by Racing Victoria stewards that another of his charges had returned a positive sample, this time to the anti-inflammatory Meloxicam. The urine swab was taken from the mare Grand Gallop (Danerich) following a December 10 win at Sandown...

John O'Shea, head of Godolphin's training operation in Australia, has reported that exciting juvenile Holler (Commands), an impressive winner of his only start on January 17, will miss the Golden Slipper (Aus-G1) and instead be sent for an Autumn spell. The colt was a late withdrawal in last Saturday's Silver Slipper S. (Aus-G2) after running a temperature and missing some training. Godolphin remains likely to hold a strong hand in the feature race on March 21, with four of their charges currently sitting in the top 10 on the ante-post betting market. Exosphere (Lonhro), a wide-margin maiden winner at Kembla last out, goes to post in Saturday's Skyline S. at Warwick Farm, and a win would earn him a ballot exemption for the Golden Slipper. The seven-runner field comprises another Godolphin colt in Mogador (Lonhro), who was second to the former in his only start to date. Furnaces (Exceed and Excel) found only his stablemate Haptic (Exceed and Excel) too good in the listed Lonhro Plate on Valentine's Day and was highly impressive when winning a trial unextended at Warwick Farm last Friday. A pair of Godolphin-owned fillies -- Italy (Domesday), winner of a Canterbury maiden in her second start, and Circular (Street Cry), who ran third in her February debut -- are in the Sweet Embrace S. on Saturday, a race whose winner will also be exempted from ballot for the Golden Slipper...

The four Japanese contenders aimed at Royal Randwick's The Championships arrived at the newly approved quarantine center at Canterbury Park racecourse, on the outskirts of Sydney, Australia. "The float arrived at the Canterbury quarantine center a shade after 9 p.m. (Thursday)" the Championships International Liaison Manager Maurice Logue told Racingandsports.com.au. "They were in excellent condition, Real Impact (Deep Impact) only lost 4kg in the whole trip. They (connections) were very pleased with the condition they arrived in." To The World (King Kamehameha), a Grade 2 winner at home last season and runner-up in both the 2000-meter Satsuki Sho (Japanese Two Thousand Guineas) (Jpn-G1) and 2500-meter Arima Kinen (Jpn-G1) -- behind the retiring Gentildonna (Deep Impact) -- is a fancied contender for the Queen Elizabeth S. (Aus-G1) on Apr. 11. Tosen Stardom (Deep Impact), winner of the Challenge Cup (Jpn-G3) going 1800 meters last out, is also expected to contest the 2000-meter race. World Ace (Deep Impact), who was last seen when fourth to Able Friend (Shamardal) in the Hong Kong Mile (HK-G1), is currently joint favorite for the Doncaster Mile (Aus-G1) on April 4, a race in which he will take on fellow citizen Real Impact. That seve-year-old became his sire's first winner at the highest level when taking the Yasuda Kinen (Jpn-G1) back in 2011 and arrives in Australia on the back of a narrow victory in a December 27 Grade 2 event going 1400 meters...

Semi-finalists for the Dr. Tony Ryan Book Award have been announced by Castleton Lyons Farm in Lexington, Kentucky. The contest, which offers a $10,000 winner's prize equal to that of the famed National Book Award, was the brainchild of the later Dr. Tony Ryan, founder of Ryanair airline and owner of Castleton Lyon. Ryan's twin passions were top flight horse racing and great literature. When he conceived the award in 2006, his intent was to honor the best full-length work published in the previous calendar year and written with a horse racing focus or backdrop. Finalists will be announced March 17, with the winner revealed at an April 15 invitation-only cocktail reception in Castleton Lyons' historic stallion barn. The semi-finalists are Canonero II: The Rags to Riches Story of the Kentucky Derby's Most Improbable Winner by Milton C. Toby; Everywhere Spirit by Stephen Halstead; Madam Belle: Sex, Money, and Influence in a Southern Brothel by Maryjean Wall; Northern Dancer: The Legendary Horse That Inspired a Nation by Kevin Chong; Offerings from a Rust Belt Jockey by Andy Plattner; and RaceLens: Vintage Thoroughbred Racing Images by Philip Von Borries...

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)...

The Breeders' Cup announced Friday that West Point Thoroughbreds near Saratoga Springs, New York, has been named an official partner of the Breeders' Cup World Championships and the presenting sponsor of the Breeders' Cup Betting Challenge (BCBC), and partners with major horseplayer tournaments across the United States in 2015. Now in its seventh year, the estimated prize money for the 2015 BCBC is $800,000. As a special bonus, the top two finishers at the Breeders' Cup Betting Challenge will receive interests in a West Point horse, with the winner receiving a $25,000 interest and the second-place finisher receiving a $10,000 interest. Last year's Breeders' Cup Betting Challenge set new records for participation and prize money. The BCBC is a $10,000 buy-in handicapping contest in a live money wagering format ($2,500 to prize pool and $7,500 betting bankroll). Contest wagers were limited to win, place, show, exacta and trifecta betting...

Due to a high probability of rain, Santa Anita Park has canceled a special screening of the 2003 movie "Seabiscuit" this Saturday, which had been scheduled to start following the races at 6:30 p.m. (PST) in the track's Paddock Gardens Area. The screening, which was planned to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the legendary Seabiscuit winning the 1940 Santa Anita H., will be rescheduled at some point later this spring or summer, according to track officials.

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

AQU, 5TH, AOC, $67,620, 4YO/UP, F/M, 1M, 2-27.
7—AMULAY, m, 5, It's No Joke--Lost Romance, by Lost Soldier. O-Roddy J Valente, B-Mary Anne Hockensmith (KY), T-Bruce N. Levine, J-Jose L. Ortiz, $41,400.
5—Jcs American Dream, f, 4, Catienus--American Passage, by Quiet American. O-Shooting Star Stable, B-Miracle Man Racing Partners LLC (NY), $13,800.
2—Agawa, m, 5, Curlin--Silver Adventure, by Silver Deputy. O-Wachtel Stable, B-Sam-Son Farm (ON), $6,900.
Winning Time: 1:37 3/5 (ft)
 
SA, 6TH, AOC, $58,000, 3YO, 1 1/16M, 2-27.
5—VERRACO, c, 3, Old Fashioned--N. Y. Friend, by Friends Lake. ($10,000 '13 FTKJUL; $40,000 2014 BESJUL). O-DP Racing, LLC, B-Sarawin Stable & Joe Mroz (KY), T-James M. Cassidy, J-Elvis Trujillo, $34,800.
4—Cyrus Alexander, c, 3, Medaglia d'Oro--Supercharger, by A.P. Indy. ($1,700,000 '13 KEESEP). O-Spendthrift Farm LLC and Stonestreet Stables LLC, B-WinStar Farm, LLC (KY), $11,600.
1—Battle of Evermore, c, 3, Scat Daddy--Maddalena, by Good and Tough. ($165,000 '13 OBSAUG; $285,000 2014 OBSMAR). O-Doubledown Stables, Inc, B-Ned Williams (NY), $6,960.
Winning Time: 1:43 3/5 (ft)
 
AQU, 7TH, ALW, $57,000, 4YO/UP, 6F, 2-27.
8—MIGHTY ZEALOUS, g, 4, Here's Zealous--Winters Bell, by Winter Glitter. ($40,000 2013 OBSAPR). O-Rice, Linda and Sacandaga Stable, B-Gerald Reid (NY), T-Linda Rice, J-Taylor B. Rice, $34,200.
3—Lulu Rocks, c, 4, Bustin Stones--Devilish Imp, by Devil's Bag. O-Valente, Roddy J and Lemme, Thomas, B-Roddy Valente & Thomas Lemme (NY), $11,400.
9—Groupthink, g, 4, Majestic Warrior--Road to Mandalay, by Sea of Secrets. ($220,000 '12 FTNAUG). O-Klaravich Stables, Inc and Lawrence, William H, B-Seth Gregory (NY), $5,700.
Winning Time: 1:11 (ft)
 
AQU, 2ND, AOC, $51,300, 3YO, F, 1M 70Y, 2-27.
4—JULES N ROME, f, 3, Dunkirk--Pretty Honoree, by Double Honor. ($19,000 '12 FTNOCT; $77,000 '13 FTKOCT). O-MeB Racing Stables LLC and Brooklyn Boyz Stables, B-Harry L Landry, Constancia Farm & Dunkirk Syndicate (NY), T-Dominick Schettino, J-Irad Ortiz, Jr., $34,200.
5—Bobby's Brickhouse, f, 3, Bob and John--Acquired Taste, by Scarlet Ibis. ($20,000 '13 FTKOCT; $30,000 2014 OBSAPR). O-Betty Jean Murphy, B-Patricia Staskowski Purdy (NY), $11,400.
6—Jackie Black, f, 3, Discreet Cat--Hollybygolly, by Old Trieste. ($5,000 '13 FTKOCT). O-Knights of the Round Stable and Perry, Andrew, B-Michael Mandara (NY), $5,700.
Winning Time: 1:43 1/5 (ft)
 
DED, 8TH, ALW, $43,240, 4YO/UP, 6 1/2F, 2-26.
2—FARMERVILLE, g, 4, Richter Scale--Very Gifted, by Gift of Gib. O-Chad White, B-Chad White (LA), T-Ray Spencer, J-Donald Edward Simington, $26,700.
7—Sonofaguska, g, 5, Yonaguska--Fraser's Joy, by Fraser River. O-Terry M Vitrano, Sr, B-Mr & Mrs Terry Michael Vitrano Sr (LA), $8,900.
8—Ella's Top Cat, c, 4, Bluegrass Cat--Makeout Session, by Cherokee Run. ($35,000 '11 KEENOV; $50,000 '12 KEESEP; $45,000 2013 FTMMAY). O-Edgar Neal Jester, B-Fred W Hertrich III & John D Fielding (KY), $3,905.
Winning Time: 1:21 (ft)
 
GP, 9TH, AOC, $42,000, 4YO/UP, F/M, 1M, 2-27.
8—PREVIOUS, m, 5, Empire Maker--Discuss, by Danzig. O-Juddmonte Farms, Inc, B-Juddmonte Farms Inc (KY), T-William I. Mott, J-Jose Lezcano, $25,200.
4—Lil Honey Badger, f, 4, Flatter--Legendary Lady, by Virginia Rapids. ($30,000 '12 KEESEP). O-Midwest Thoroughbreds, Inc, B-E H Beau Lane III (KY), $8,820.
1—Streethomealabama, f, 4, Street Sense--Servalina, by A.P. Indy. ($95,000 '12 KEESEP). O-William Heffner, B-Dr John R Cummins & John Leahy (KY), $4,200.
Winning Time: 1:39 4/5 (ft)
 
SUN, 9TH, ALW, $32,285, 4YO/UP, F/M, 6F, 2-27.
8—GNACARANO, m, 6, Your Eminence--Lord Imajones, by Prospector Jones. O-Wyona M Noel, B-Wyona Noel (NM), T-Bobby R. Noel, J-Travis Wales, $19,320.
5—Turbulent Sea, f, 4, Seacliff--Ryann, by Signal Tap. ($5,200 '12 RUIJUL). O-Bills, Larry T and Green, Greg, B-Brian K Bentley & Patsy Handcock (NM), $7,084.
2—Rollsetroll, f, 4, Roll Hennessy Roll--Setapiece, by In Excessive Bull. O-Linda Hunter, B-Charles Hunter (NM), $3,220.
Winning Time: 1:09 (ft)
 
HAW, 9TH, ALW, $30,630, 3YO/UP, 1M 70Y, 2-27.
1—ARCHYBDANCING, g, 4, Arch--Stormybdancing, by Storm Creek. O-Michael L Reavis, B-RNB Racing LLC (IL), T-Michael L. Reavis, J-Samantha Colvin, $19,404.
4—Sun Red, g, 5, Devil His Due--Cozzy Temper, by Cozzene. O-Ben Barnow, B-Ben Barnow (IL), $6,468.
5—Mr. Pumpermichael, g, 5, Latent Heat--Tizina, by Tiznow. O-American Star Racing Stable, B-Russell L Reineman Stable, Inc (KY), $2,310.
Winning Time: 1:43 (ft)
 
CT, 3RD, ALW, $27,000, 4YO/UP, F/M, 7F, 2-26.
6—MOONLIGHT RUN, f, 4, El Corredor--Sudden Desire, by Hennessy. O-Coleswood Farm Inc and Smart Angle, B-Coleswood Farm, Inc & Dan Ryan (WV), T-Jeff C. Runco, J-Arnaldo Bocachica, $16,080.
1—Spectacular Lady, f, 4, Spring At Last--Cobra Lady, by Cobra King. O-J Michael Baird, B-John Michael Baird (WV), $5,360.
5—Mommy Did It, f, 4, Luftikus--Farsi Strada, by Awesome Again. O-Kristy Petty, B-Kristy Petty (WV), $2,680.
Winning Time: 1:29 (ft)
 
SUN, 6TH, ALW, $26,685, 4YO/UP, 1M 70Y, 2-27.
6—SAILORS BROTHER, g, 4, Whatsthescript (IRE)--Sailor's Sister, by Petionville. O-Len Schermer, B-Tommy Town Thoroughbreds, LLC (CA), T-Justin R. Evans, J-Irwin J. Rosendo, $15,960.
3—Tri Chocolate, g, 5, Swiss Yodeler--Cryptoscript, by Cryptoclearance. O-Peggy B Rust, B-Lisa Rehburg (OK), $5,852.
5—Crimson Night, h, 5, Kitten's Joy--Buckeye Search, by Meadowlake. O-Kenneth Corazza, B-Kenneth L Corazza (KY), $2,660.
Winning Time: 1:41 3/5 (ft)
 
HAW, 8TH, ALW, $23,100, 3YO/UP, F/M, 6F, 2-27.
4—DOC GALORE, f, 4, Bring the Heat--Western Mindy, by Western Borders. O-William Stiritz, B-Jean White & Larry Rivelli (IL), T-Scott Becker, J-Vicente Gudiel, $13,860.
7—Cow Catcher, f, 4, Cactus Ridge--Stop a Train, by Devil His Due. O-William Stiritz, B-Nancy & Vince Letto & Carson Springs Farm (IL), $4,620.
6—Im Moneyinthebank, f, 4, Dunkirk--Costar, by Gone West. O-Young, Terry and Crooks, Sue, B-Dennis Crooks/Terry Young (IL), $2,310.
Winning Time: 1:09 3/5 (ft)

North American Maiden Winners
After Market--Drumlin by Arch; MARKET RAD, g, 3, HAW, Msw, 2-27, 6f, 1:10 3/5. B-Asiel Stable, L.C. (IL.).
Charitable Man--Early Annuity by Luftikus; CHARITABLE ANNUITY, g, 3, CT, Msw, 2-26, 6 1/2f, 1:22 4/5. B-Donald L. Duvall (WV.).
Flower Alley--Pacific Sky by Stormy Atlantic; FENERBAHCE, g, 3, GP, Mcl 12500, 2-27, 1m, 1:41 . B-Sanford R. Robertson (KY.). $17,000 '13 KEESEP.
Freud--Chicopee by Mr. Greeley; CHILDHOOD DREAM, f, 3, AQU, Mcl 25000, 2-27, 1m, 1:41 2/5. B-Windhorse Thoroughbreds LLC (NY.). $80,000 '13 FTNAUG.
Great Notion--Smart Crowd by Crowd Pleaser; WATERSIDE DREAM, f, 3, CT, Msw, 2-26, 6 1/2f, 1:22 1/5. B-Linda L. Zang (MD.).
High Cascade--Indian Braid by Eugene's Third Son; THAT'S WHAT I DO, f, 3, DED, Mcl 10000, 2-26, 5f, 1:02 . B-Dr. Rebecca Bynum (LA.).
Latent Heat--Hunting Valley by Valley Crossing; CROSSHAIRS, c, 3, TP, Mcl 15000, 2-27, 6f, 1:14 4/5. B-Kim Dionne (KY.).
Lucky Pulpit--Unusual Spirit by Unusual Heat; JAN'S SPIRIT, f, 3, SA, Mcl 30000, 2-27, 6f, 1:11 2/5. B-Fanning Family Trust, Jerry Fanning & Jan Harrison (CA.).
Olympio--Siberian Shamrock by Siberian Summer; SIBERIAN OLYMPIAD, f, 3, GG, Mcl 12500, 2-26, 6f, 1:12 4/5. B-Ellen Jackson (CA.).
Saint Anddan--Snow Sprite by Snow Ridge; FROSTY GIRL, f, 3, TAM, Mcl 32000, 2-27, 1 1/16mT, 1:44 2/5. B-Dennis Johnson (FL.).
Smoke Glacken--Brilliant Response by High Brite; PRICE OF GLORY, g, 3, SA, Mcl 30000, 2-26, 5 1/2f, 1:05 . B-Harris Farms Inc. (CA.).
Songandaprayer--Miss Angeline by Chief Seattle; DEVILKNOWSMYNAME, c, 3, PEN, Mcl 15000, 2-26, 1m 70y, 1:48 1/5. B-Dr. Stephen G. & Debbie Jackson & Flint Stites (PA.).
Where's the Ring--Cosa Rara ($259,135), by Tethra; SICK LOVE, f, 3, PEN, Msw, 2-27, 1m, 1:41 4/5. B-Hard Eight Stables Inc. & Ace Racing (ON.). *Full to Cawaja Beach (MSW $274,430) *Full to Who's Big Daddy (SW $263,756) *1/2 to Charlie Bull ($318,103).
Wildcat Heir--Starship Squaw by Cherokee Run; MOCHIMA, f, 3, GP, Mcl 40000, 2-27, 6f, 1:14 1/5. B-Laurence Leavy (FL.). $82,000 2014 OBSJUN.
Elusive Bluff--Deal With Her by Plain Dealing; BONNIEAINTBLUFFING, f, 4, DED, Mcl 10000, 2-26, 5f, 1:00 4/5. B-Terry Adcock & Don Cormier (LA.). $5,300 '12 ESLSEP.
Flatter--Crystal Lyric by El Prado (IRE); OXIDADA, f, 4, GP, Mcl 20000, 2-27, 1 1/16mT, 1:43 2/5. B-Luke Guida (KY.). $37,000 '12 FTKJUL; $200,000 2013 OBSAPR.
Hat Trick (JPN)--Simply Sapphire by Harlan's Holiday; SIMPLE TRICKS, f, 4, PEN, Mcl 7500, 2-26, 6f, 1:15 2/5. B-Xanthus Farms, Inc. (PA.).
In Summation--All Two One by Henbane; BOLD SUMMIT, g, 4, GP, Mcl 50000, 2-27, 6f, 1:13 3/5. B-Becky Bunn (FL.).
Jeffries Bay--Sheet Music by Exploit; SHEET SECRETS, g, 4, SUN, Mcl 7500, 2-27, 5 1/2f, 1:04 . B-Don & Choya Young (NM.).
Lemon Drop Kid--Moravia by A.P. Indy; SWEET SHOP, g, 4, GG, Msw, 2-27, 1m, 1:39 1/5. B-Aaron Sones & Beverly Sommer (KY.). $80,000 '12 KEESEP; $75,000 2014 KEEJAN.
Limehouse--Cukee by Langfuhr; LIMEFUHR, f, 4, FON, Mcl 5000, 2-27, 6f, 1:17 . B-Rose Hill Farm Inc. (KY.). $10,000 '12 KEEJAN. *Full to Humble and Hungry (G3 $269,967).
Luftikus--August Romance by Dance Master; ROMANTIKUS, g, 4, CT, Mcl 10000, 2-26, 4 1/2f, :53 2/5. B-Vina del Mar Thoroughbreds & Stephen Spears (WV.).
Pure Prize--Laplumas by Posse; LA PERUANA, f, 4, PEN, Mcl 5000, 2-26, 5 1/2f, 1:09 1/5. B-Highclere & Springtown Show Stables (PA.). *1/2 to Smash and Grab (SW $401,590).
Stormin Fever--Pocosin Lass by Taj Alriyadh; ADIOS PELOTA, f, 4, GG, Mcl 5000, 2-27, 5 1/2f, 1:06 1/5. B-Dexter Bergounous & Norm Hansen (CA.).
Zensational--Yankee Belle by Yankee Gentleman; BILLYPAYSTHEBILLS, c, 4, AQU, Mcl 16000, 2-27, 6f, 1:12 . B-Sean Gorman (KY.). $27,000 '11 KEENOV; $36,000 '12 FTKJUL; $75,000 2013 OBSAPR.
Atticus--Mylittletart by Strawberry Road (AUS); MIZ STRAWBERRY DEE, m, 5, GG, Msw, 2-27, 6f, 1:12 1/5. B-Cal Poly Corporation (CA.). $3,000 '11 BESOCT.
Discreet Cat--Sunday Ride by Sunday Break (JPN); RIDE A CAT, h, 5, AQU, Msw, 2-27, 6f, 1:11 . B-Edward Cohn (NY.).
Niagara Causeway--Chargers Beauty by Unbendable Charger; ON A BLACK CHARGER, g, 5, DED, Mcl 10000, 2-26, 7f, 1:29 . B-La Bahia Stud, Inc. (TX.).
Poteen--Palace Royale (IRE) by Perugino; ROYALIST, g, 5, SA, Msw, 2-27, 1mT, 1:36 2/5. B-Old English Rancho & Berumen (CA.).
City Zip--Carr Dot Com by Compliance; ZIPPY MISS ISSIE, m, 6, FON, Msw, 2-27, 4f, :47 4/5. B-Tommy Wente Jr. (IN.). $34,000 '10 INDNOV.

Spot Plays/Highlights/Weather

SPOT PLAYS

For Saturday

TRACK   (RACE) HORSE, MORNING LINE
Aqueduct   (2nd) Naught Grace, 7-2
    (5th) Brass Pear, 4-1
Charles Town   (1st) Java for Two, 8-1
    (4th) Roche, 6-1
Delta Downs   (4th) Tough Thomas, 3-1
    (8th) Dreamy Kid, 7-2
Fair Grounds   (4th) Hail to the Nile, 3-1
    (7th) Skip the Pinot, 6-1
Golden Gate Fields   (1st) Due Believe, 6-1
    (5th) Siberian Winter, 4-1
Gulfstream Park   (2nd) Silver Lucky Q, 10-1
    (10th) X Y Jet, 5-1
Hawthorne   (3rd) Miss Lucky, 5-1
    (5th) Champagne Tony, 10-1
Laurel   (4th) Aruban Truth, 6-1
    (6th) Remember the Prom, 9-2
Mahoning Valley   (4th) Brass Buckle, 9-2
    (8th) Tupelo Playboy, 3-1
Oaklawn Park   (1st) Sea of Change, 3-1
    (6th) Jan's Perfect Star, 7-2
Parx Racing   (1st) Vianney Lane, 9-2
    (9th) Irish Rose, 10-1
Penn National   (3rd) Aisle Ring, 3-1
    (6th) Magic Lion, 9-2
Santa Anita   (2nd) Pay the Debt, 4-1
    (4th) Smoove It, 4-1
Sam Houston   (2nd) Senor Smokey, 7-2
    (10th) Expect Distinction, 9-2
Sunland Park   (6th) Theplane Theplane, 8-1
    (10th) Montezuma Creek, 10-1
Tampa Bay Downs   (2nd) Drill Sergeant, 7-2
    (11th) Welcome Speech, 10-1
Turf Paradise   (1st) Sea Side Story, 7-2
    (6th) Thrills and Chills, 4-1
Turfway Park   (1st) Poblanita, 6-1
    (9th) Vanilla Man, 6-1

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.