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Strong Fields Shaping Up For Kentucky Derby Week Stakes Races
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.
In addition to the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks, 12 stakes will be run over the course of the first seven days of the meet and fields for those races are taking shape according to Donnie Richardson, Senior Vice President, Racing.
In addition to Street Car, other probables for the Derby Trial include Starlight Partners’ Checklist, Barry Butzow and Westrock Stables’ Hamazing Destiny, Heiligbrodt Racing Stable, Gary Barber and Team Valor International’s Hull, Jerry Hollendorfer, George Todaro and Team Green’s Rendezvous and Clarence Scharbauer Jr.’s Silver City.
Entries will be drawn Wednesday for the Derby Trial.
The first graded stakes of the year for 2-year-olds, the Kentucky Juvenile (Grade III), will be run on Thursday, April 30. Probables for the five-furlong sprint are Steven Michael Bell’s Aegean, Robert Abrams, Mitch Dutko and Wesley Ward’s Jealous Again, Heiligbrodt Racing Stable’s Kinsolving and Midst, Elizabeth and Patrick Everard’s Kitty in the Bag and J. Kirk Robison’s Western Smoke.
G. Watts Humphrey Jr.’s undefeated One Caroline tops a list of nine probables for the 24th running of the $350,000-added Louisville Distaff (Grade II). Unbeaten in five starts, One Caroline is expected to face the likes of Town and Country Farm’s Bear Now, Dawn and Ike Thrash’s Dawn After Dawn, Domino Stud of Lexington’s Miss Isella, Nancy Cole and Charles Kidder’s Stealin’ Kisses, William Deburgh’s Sugar Mint (IRE), Mark Stanley’s Swift Temper, Team Valor International’s Unbridled Belle and Robert Adams’ Unforgotten. Reigning older filly and mare champion Zenyatta is also nominated to the race.
West Point Thoroughbreds’ Macho Again, winner of the New Orleans Handicap (Grade II) in March and runner-up in last year’s Preakness (Grade I), tops a list of seven probables for the Alysheba (Grade III) to be run at a mile and a sixteenth on May 1.
Other probables include William Bennett and Carl Bowling’s Acting Zippy, John Oxley’s Dr. Pleasure, Millard Seldin Revocable Trust’s Golden Yank, Lanni Family Trust and Joel Barish’s Limestone Edge, Brittlyn Stable, Inc.’s Star Guitar and Zayat Stables’ Z Fortune.
The 18th running of the $150,000-added American Turf (Grade III) has five probables, headed by Darley Stable’s Stormalory, winner of the Grade III Transylvania at Keeneland on April 3. Others under consideration for the mile and a sixteenth event for 3-year-olds are Werthheimer and Frere’s Affirmatif, Michael House’s Battle of Hastings (GB), James Scatuorchio and John Iracane’s Bittel Road and Jack Spratt, owned in partnership by Sand Dollar Stable, Skychai Racing, Golden Goose Stable, Thomas Conway and Mike Maker.
Five horses are considered as probable for the Aegon Turf Sprint (Grade III) at five furlongs. They are Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Accredit, Balkrisna Sukharan’s Castles in the Sky, Richard, Bertram and Elaine Klein’s Due Date, Westrock Stables’ Jazz Nation and Thomas Van Meter and Phillip Maloof’s Silver Edition.
The only non-graded Oaks Day stake is the $100,000-added Edgewood for 3-year-old fillies going a mile and a sixteenth on the turf. Probables include Dolphus Morrison’s Abbott Hall, A. Stevens Miles Jr.’s Banker’s Choice and Marylou Whitney Stable’s Stone Legacy.
Highlighting the Kentucky Derby Day undercard is the 23rd running of the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at a mile and one-eighth. Einstein (BRZ), winner of the 2008 renewal, is expected to seek a repeat win in the race against the likes of Court Vision, owned by IEAH Stables and WinStar Farm, Robert and Janet McNair’s Cowboy Cal and Juddmonte Farms’ Zambesi Sun (GB).
Derby Day’s other Grade 1 race, the 23rd running of the $300,000-added Humana Distaff at seven furlongs, is expected to attract Patti and Hal Earnhardt’s champion Indian Blessing. Other probables include Zabeel Racing International’s Game Face, Augustin Stable’s Informed Decision, Richard Hills and John Kuehl’s Secret Gypsy, Darley Stable’s Seventh Street and William Wahl’s Tiz to Dream.
The 75th running of the $250,000-added Churchill Downs (Grade II) has nine probables: Brian Prichard’s How’s Your Halo, Valene Farms’ Ide Like a Double, Vinery Stables and Fox Hill Farm’s Kodiak Kowboy, B. Wayne Hughes’ My Pal Charlie, Jerry Hollendorfer and George Todaro’s Paul’s Hope, Zayat Stables’ Riley Tucker, Savorthetime Stables’ Sok Sok, Robert Yagos’ Spotsgone and Michael Tabor’s The Roundhouse.
A trio of West Coast invaders tops the probables for the 24th running of the $200,000-added Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (Grade II). They are Ron Beegle’s Lemon Chiffon, William Deburgh’s Sugar Mint (IRE) and the David Lanzman Racing Stable’s Sweeter Still (IRE). Also “probable” is Mrs. Paul Shanahan’s Rustic Flame (IRE).
Eight 3-year-old fillies are considered probable for the $100,000-added Eight Belles (Grade III) at 7 ½ furlongs. Topping the probables are the Larry Jones-trained duo of Just Jenda, owned by his wife Cindy, and Russell Welch’s Warrior Maid. Other likely starters are William Pacella, George Bonomo and Fred Barbara’s C.S. Silk, David Rippey’s Dave’s Revenge, D. and E. Racing’s Diamond Tags, Adele Dilschneider and Claiborne Farm’s Luster, Destiny Oaks’ She’s Our Annie and Marylou Whitney Stable’s Tweeter.