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The day before the 137th running of the Preakness (Grade I), several trainers at Churchill Downs offered their opinions about who will win the second jewel of the Triple Crown and most are picking Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) winner I’ll Have Another or Derby runner-up Bodemeister.
The Kentucky Derby trail for Take Charge Indy ended with 3-year-old dark bay son of A.P. Indy finishing 19th of 20 in the Run for the Roses, but his connections are hoping to get right back on the Derby trail with Positively, a 2-year-old son of Distorted Humor who is scheduled to make his career debut in Friday’s sixth race at Churchill Downs.
With more than an inch of rain in the Louisville area and more coming down Sunday morning, trainer Dale Romans opted to postpone a work for Preakness (Grade I) contender Cozzetti and instead sent the colt out for a 1 ½-mile gallop after the renovation break under exercise rider Romero Cordache.
Dale Romans has been training horses for more than 25 years, he has saddled more than 1,500 winners, his runners have earned nearly $70 million and his long list of graded-stakes wins include such prestigious races as the Dubai World Cup (Grade I) and the Preakness (GI).
Donegal Racing’s Dullahan, the two-time Grade I winner and third-place finisher in this year’s Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI), will race next in the Belmont Stakes on June 9, the stable’s managing partner Jerry Crawford announced Friday.
Trainer Buff Bradley admits to not remembering the early days of every horse foaled on his Indian Ridge Farm in Frankfort, Ky.; however, Bradley certainly remembers the birthday of Humana Distaff (Grade I) winner Groupie Doll.
With the excitement of a record-breaking Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks Weekend still present on its historic grounds, Churchill Downs kicks-off the remaining 32 days of its Spring Meet on Thursday, May 10 with a nine-race program that concludes with a Super-Hi 5 race with a carryover pool from Kentucky Derby Day of $276,914.
JOHN VELAZQUEZ (Broadway’s Alibi, second) – “I think she handled the track OK but the first time over a track, she paddles a lot. She lost some momentum. The ground broke away from her. I don’t think the distance hurt her, I think the track didn’t help. She still ran a huge race.”
Brereton Jones’ homebred Believe You Can wore down pace-setting Broadway’s Alibi inside the eighth pole and drew off to win the 138th running of the $1 million Kentucky Oaks by three-quarters of a length before a crowd of 112,552 on Friday afternoon at Churchill Downs.
Mark Bacon and Dana Wells’ Silver Max went to the front early and never was threatened in winning the 21st running of the $238,200 American Turf Presented by RAM (Grade II) by 2 ¾ lengths over Travel Advisory on Friday afternoon at Churchill Downs.
Morton Fink’s Successful Dan wore down Fort Larned in deep stretch to win the ninth running of the $337,800 Alysheba Presented by Besilu Stables (Grade II) by a length in track record time Friday afternoon at Churchill Downs.
THE MODERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, jockey Mario Gutierrez, also the owner J. Paul Reddam, and trainer Doug O'Neill.
Reddam Racing's I'll Have Another provided a 15-1 upset of Kentucky Derby 138 on Saturday when running down pacesetter Bodemeister before a record crowd of 165,307 to score by 1 1/2 lengths on the wire at Churchill Downs. The Doug O'Neill trainee provided jockey Mario Gutierrez with his first Derby winner in his first try when finishing 1 1/4 miles on the fast main track in 2:01 4/5.
Priscilla Vaccarezza’s Little Mike continued a major afternoon for trainer Dale Romans by posting a front-running 2 ½-length triumph over Slim Shadey (GB) in the 26th running of the $561,500 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (Grade I) on Saturday afternoon at Churchill Downs.
Fred Bradley, trainer Buff Bradley, Carl Hurst and Brent Burns’ Groupie Doll made shambles of the field in winning the 26th running of the $334,500 Humana Distaff (Grade I) for fillies and mares by 7 ¼ lengths in track record time.
Emory Hamilton’s homebred Hungry Island collared Tapitsfly at the eighth pole and then drew off to win the 27th running of the $223,400 Churchill Distaff Turf Mile Presented by American Commercial Lines (Grade II) by a length on Saturday afternoon at Churchill Downs.
Michael Lauffer and Bill Cubbedge’s homebred Shackleford outdueled Breeders’ Cup Sprint (Grade I) winner Amazombie in a dazzling stretch duel to win the 78th running of the $441,600 Churchill Downs Presented by Navistar (GI) by a length on Saturday afternoon.
Houyhnhnm Stable’s Great Attack surged past favored Bridgetown in deep stretch to win the 18th running of the $150,350 Twin Spires Turf Sprint Presented by GE Appliances (Grade III) by a three-quarters of a length, the first of six stakes on the Kentucky Derby Day card.