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L and M Partners' brilliant Rachel Alexandra, who closed 2008 with a dominating victory in the Golden Rod (Grade II) beneath the Twin Spires of Churchill Downs, will put a four-race win streak on the line Friday when she faces seven rivals in the 135th running of the $500,000-added Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) at the legendary Louisville track.
Joseph Sutton’s Valtrus collared Faithope in deep stretch to win Tuesday’s $52,700 allowance feature over the Matt Winn Turf Course by three-quarters of a length.
Unbeaten Eclipse Award champion Zenyatta, a finalist for ‘Horse of the Year’ honors in 2008, is scheduled to arrive at Churchill Downs on Monday, April 27 to run in the $350,000-added Louisville Distaff (Grade II) on Friday’s Kentucky Oaks Day program at Churchill Downs.
Don Benge’s Wise River survived an early pace duel with Dubious Miss and then fended off a challenge from favored Inca King to win Sunday’s $56,640 allowance feature at Churchill Downs by 3 ¼ lengths.
Six debut winners at Keeneland, a record-setting filly from Maryland and a West Coast invader highlight a field of nine 2-year-olds entered Sunday for Thursday’s 21st running of the $100,000-added Kentucky Juvenile (Grade III) at Churchill Downs.
Heiligbrodt Racing Stable and Team Valor International and Gary Barber’s undefeated Hull ran his winning streak to three with a four-length victory over Kensei in the 85th running of the $112,000 Derby Trial (Grade III) on opening day of the 52-day Churchill Downs Spring Meet.
Saturday’s 85th running of the Grade III $100,000-added Derby Trial, the featured race on the opening day of the April 25-July 5 Spring Meet at Churchill Downs, will have a distinct Kentucky Derby flavor as several of the eight 3-year-olds entered in the race hail from barns that will seek success in 135th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) a week later.
George Krikorian’s Street Car worked five furlongs in 1:01 over a “sloppy” track Monday morning in preparation for an expected start in Saturday’s 85th running of the $100,000-added Derby Trial (Grade III), the opening-day feature of the 52-day spring meet that runs through July 5.
BE FAIR – Thomas Van Meter and Charles Kidder’s Be Fair breezed five-eighths of a mile in a move that trainer D. Wayne Lukas described as “fantastic” on Monday morning over a track rated as “sloppy” with exercise rider Omar Golon up.
“She was flying through the lane,” Lukas said. “I got her in :23 in the lane.”
KENTUCKY DERBY 135 NOTES -- Giant Oak Out of Consideration For Derby 135; Three, Perhaps Four, Workers Set for Tuesday
CHOCOLATE CANDY – The Sid and Jenny Craig Trust’s Chocolate Candy visited the paddock and then galloped a mile and a half over a muddy Churchill Downs track Monday morning with exercise rider Lindsey Molina up.
Galen May, assistant to trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, said Chocolate Candy would work Tuesday morning, most likely after the break.