Kentucky Derby Contender News & Notes: April 12, 2017

  • Brian Hernandez, Jr.

    Brian Hernandez, Jr.

    Jockey Brian Hernandez, Jr. was confirmed to ride McCraken in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 6.

  • With Hernandez committed to McCraken, Hall of Famer Mike Smith accepted the mount on multiple graded stakes champ Girvin for the Kentucky Derby.
  • Girvin is slated to breeze on April 15 at Churchill Downs’ Trackside Training Facility.
  • Keeneland’s Grade 2 Blue Grass Stakes fourth-place finisher J Boys Echo returned to trainer Dale Romans’ Barn 4 at Churchill Downs following the April 8 race and is expected to breeze two or three more times prior to running for the roses.
  • Grade 1 Florida Derby runner-up State of Honor is settled in at Mark Casse’s Churchill Downs barn 36 and scheduled to breeze on April 16.
  • Conditioner Doug O’Neill plans to take blinkers off — a strategy that was successful for Irap in the Blue Grass Stakes — Rockin Rudy when his charge runs in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby on April 15 at Oaklawn Park.
  • O’Neill plans to point Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby beaten favorite Iliad to Pimlico’s Grade 1 Preakness Stakes on May 20.
  • Triple Crown nominee Arklow, an impressive maiden winner on the Keeneland turf, is targeting the Grade 2 American Turf Stakes at Churchill Downs on Derby Day.
  • One Liner, the undefeated winner of the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park, was taken off the Kentucky Derby trail and will be freshened at WinStar Farm.
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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