Kentucky Derby Contender News & Notes


After a dismal showing in the Fountain of Youth Stakes, Irish War Cry is slated to return in the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct on April 8 (photo by Jonathan Stettin).

  • Trainer Mark Casse confirmed the April 15 Grade 1 Arkansas Derby as the next start for Champion 2-year-old Male Classic Empire.
  • Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes hero Practical Joke will have his final Kentucky Derby prep in Keeneland’s Grade 2 Blue Grass Stakes on April 8 with jockey Joel Rosario at the controls.
  • Mo Town, winner of the Grade 2 Remsen Stakes at Aqueduct last year, will ship to that track from his Florida winter base at Payson Park on April 3 to run in the April 8 Grade 2 Wood Memorial.
  • Trainer Todd Pletcher entered both Always Dreaming and Battalion Runner in Gulfstream Park’s Grade 1 Florida Derby on April 1, but only the former is expected to run in that race due to common ownership.
  • Battalion Runner is under consideration for both the Wood Memorial and Arkansas Derby.
  • Pletcher’s unbeaten Grade 3 Southwest Stakes victor One Liner is possible for both the Wood Memorial and Arkansas Derby.
  • Malagacy, who also sports a perfect record in three starts for Pletcher, is confirmed for the Arkansas Derby.
  • Pletcher’s Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby hero Tapwrit will have his final prep for Kentucky in the Blue Grass Stakes under jockey Jose Ortiz.
  • Grade 2 Rebel Stakes show finisher Untrapped remains on course for the Arkansas Derby and will be equipped with blinkers for his next work.
  • Lookin At Lee, the third-place finisher in the Southwest, will return in the Blue Grass Stakes or Arkansas Derby.
  • Co-owner and trainer Ron Moquett said Petrov, currently 23rd on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard with 13 qualifying points, is being pointed to the Arkansas Derby with a rider to be named soon.
  • Comebacking jockey Rajiv Maragh will have the mount on Grade 2 Holy Bull Stakes winner Irish War Cry when Graham Motion’s charge runs in the Wood Memorial.
  • Skychai Racing purchased a minority interest from owner Dr. Kendall Hansen in Turfway Park’s Grade 3 Spiral Stakes champion Fast and Accurate, who will be supplemented to the Kentucky Derby.
  • Spiral Stakes runner-up Blueridge Traveler is possible for the Arkansas Derby.
  • Grade 3 Sunland Derby champ Hence will target the Kentucky Derby but may have a final prep, according to conditioner Steve Asmussen.
  • The connections of Sunland Derby runner-up Conquest Mo Money tried to make the horse a late nominee to the Triple Crown on March 24, but missed the deadline four days earlier and the nomination was rejected.
  • Owners Sandra and Tom McKenna will have to pay a $200,000 supplemental fee in order for Conquest Mo Money to enter the Kentucky Derby should the colt have sufficient qualifying points to run for the roses.
  • Conquest Mo Money earned 20 qualifying points in the Sunland Derby and may try to add to that total and his bankroll in the Arkansas Derby.
  • The connections of Thunder Snow, who punched his ticket to Louisville with a victory in Meydan’s  Group 2 UAE Derby on March 25, are considering the Kentucky Derby, as well as several other options.
  • UAE Derby (G2) runner-up Epicharis, who was guaranteed a spot to run for the roses as the points leader on the separate Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby, has been removed from consideration by his connections.
  • Mont Saint Legame, who is now assured a spot in the Kentucky Derby with the second-highest points total on the Japan Road, is reportedly targeting the April 8 grassy Group 2 New Zealand Trophy Stakes at Tokyo for his next start.
  • Adirato, third on the Japan Road leaderboard, returned to that country following his 12th-place finish in the UAE Derby and is reportedly out of Kentucky Derby consideration.
  • Trainer Gustavo Delgado confirmed via Twitter (@GDS_Racing) that surprise Florida Derby hopeful Coleman Rocky will be supplemented to the Run for the Roses if he earns his way into the race.
  • Santa Anita maiden winner Kimbear, who was scratched from the Sunland Derby, is now expected to remain home and enter the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby on April 8.
  • After Gulfstream Park scrapped its listed Spectacular Bid Stakes slated on March 25, Grade 3 winner Theory may now make his seasonal debut in the six-furlong listed Bachelor Stakes at Oaklawn Park on April 13.
US Racing Team
The writing team at US Racing is comprised of both full-time and part-time contributors with expertise in various aspects of the Sport of Kings.
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