Kentucky Derby Contender News & Notes: March 31

El-Areeb-Withers-Annette-Jasko

El Areeb is off the Kentucky trail due to an injury (photo by Annette Jasko).

  • Multiple graded stakes winner El Areeb will miss the Triple Crown trail due to an injury in his right knee discovered after a March 29 workout at Laurel Park.
  • El Areeb will undergo surgery on April 3 at the New Bolton Center in Pennsylvania.
  • Jockey Francisco Torres, who was slated to ride late Triple Crown nominee Hollywood Handsome in the G2 Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds on April 1, underwent successful surgery to fuse a fractured C-6 vertabrae in his spine following a spill at that track on March 30.
  • Conditioner Kiaran McLaughlin’s multiple graded stakes-placed True Timber will try to earn his way into the Kentucky Derby with a final prep in Aqueduct’s April 8 Grade 2 Wood Memorial Stakes.
  • Jockey Paco Lopez will be aboard True Timber for the first time in the Wood.
  • Probables for Santa Anita’s Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby o April 8 are American Anthem, no rider; Battle of Midway, Corey Nakatani; Gormley, Victor Espinoza; Iliad, Flavien Prat; Kimbear, Joe Talamo; Midnight Pleasure, no rider; Milton Freewater, Tiago Pereira; Reach the World, no rider; So Conflated, Mario Gutierrez; Term of Art, Tyler Baze; and West Coast, no rider.
  • Trainer Bob Baffert’s West Coast will have blinkers back on in the Santa Anita Derby.
  • Co-owner/trainer Ron Moquett named Ricardo Santana, Jr. to ride Petrov in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby on April 15 at Oaklawn Park.
  • Other locally-based horses pointing for the Arkansas Derby include Untrapped, Silver Dust and Lookin At Lee.
  • Group 2 UAE Derby show finisher Master Plan arrived back in the U.S. on March 30 and will have a brief stay at WinStar Farm in Kentucky.
  • The current objective for Master Plan is to have two breezes at Churchill Downs before his connections decide whether or not to run the colt in the May 6 Kentucky Derby should he have sufficient points to start.
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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