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Churchill Downs Recap

Tom Walters’ Elite Squadron took the lead out of the gate and never looked back in posting a front-running 4 1/2-length victory in the 74th running of the $282,000 Churchill Downs (Grade II), the first of six graded stakes on the Kentucky Derby 134 card at Churchill Downs on Saturday afternoon.

Kentucky Oaks Recap

Brereton C Jones’ Proud Spell demolished a field of 10 classy three-year-old fillies by powering to a five-length victory in the 134th running of the $581,650 Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) for 3-year-old fillies at Churchill Downs on a rainy Friday afternoon before a crowd of 100,046.

Crown Royal Recap

Michael Cooper and Pamela Ziebarth’s Tizdejavu made his turf debut a winning one by holding off favored Sailor’s Cap by a neck in the 17th running of the $174,450 Crown Royal American Turf (Grade III) for three-year-olds on Friday afternoon at Churchill Downs.

Tizdejavu covered the distance over a “yielding” turf course in 1:46.14 under jockey Garrett Gomez.

Alysheba Recap

Stronach Stable’s Giant Gizmo roared from off the pace to run down dueling leaders Better Than Bonds and Wanderin Boy in the stretch en route to a 3 3/4-length victory in the fifth running of the $166,050 Alysheba Stakes (Grade III) for 3-year-olds and up on Friday afternoon at Churchill Downs.

Edgewood Recap

Zayat Stables’ Zee Zee took the lead soon after the break and maintained a clear advantage all the way around to post a 1 3/4-length victory over My Baby Baby in the 24th running of the $168,600 Edgewood Stakes for 3-year-old fillies on Friday afternoon at Churchill Downs.

Louisville Stakes Recap

Stronach Stable’s Eclipse Award-winning mare Ginger Punch showed her championship class Friday at Churchill Downs by posting a 3 3/4-length victory over Leah’s Secret in the 23rd running of the $340,200 Louisville Stakes (Grade II).

Aegon Turf Sprint Recap

Carl Moore Management and Martin Racing Stable’s Mr. Nightlinger posted a front-running one-length victory Friday afternoon in the 14th running of the $126,000 Aegon Turf Sprint (Grade III) at Churchill Downs.

Kentucky Derby Undercard

Midnight Cry Stable’s Einstein (BRZ) will be hoping the third time’s the charm Saturday when he takes on seven rivals in the 22nd running of the $400,000-added Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (GI), one of five graded stakes preceding the 134th running of the $2 million-guaranteed Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) at Churchill Downs.

Kentucky Oaks Advance

A field of 12 three-year-old fillies, headed by Grade I winners Country Star, Little Belle and Golden Doc A as well as possible Kentucky Derby starter Eight Belles, was entered Tuesday for Friday’s 134th running of the $500,000-added Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs.

Thursday Stakes Advances

The Grade III Kentucky Stakes for two-year-olds has been the exclusive property of trainer Steve Asmussen for the past five years.

On Thursday, Heiligbrodt Racing Stable’s Merkel will attempt to run the string to six when he faces seven foes in the $150,000, five-furlong race. A son of Forest Wildcat, Merkel will break from the rail under Shaun Bridgmohan.