OTB Race Previews & Odds
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Las Vegas, NV - The Main Event on an insane weekend of North American Thoroughbred action - the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum Brands is finally here. Months of prep races has culminated in the Run for the Roses going this Saturday, May 2 on Churchill Downs dirt track. Some of the best three year olds in the world have been brought together go 1 1/4 miles for a lucrative purse of $2 million.
A full field of 20 plus two Alternate Entries will give it a go in the Kentucky Derby - race 11 on Churchill Downs stacked Saturday card. Post time is 6:34 PM. Let's take a peek into the past performances of all 22 possible entries for the most anticipated race of the year.
American Pharoah 5/2 - Bob Baffert will send out the champion 2-year-old male of 2014 American Pharoah for just the sixth time having posted four wins in five career starts - the only blemish coming in his debut. He enters on a four race win streak - all graded stakes. Last time out was in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby by an incredible eight lengths April 11 and before that were wins in the Graded 2 Rebel Stakes by 6 1/4 lengths in March, the Grade 1 FrontRunner Stakes September 27 and a terrific 4 3/4 length win in the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity September 3. American Pharoah finished fourth in the Derby standings and is expected to be highly competitive Saturday. Victor Espinoza has the call aboard the morning line favorite from an unfavorable post 18.
Dortmund 3-1 - finished second in the Derby Points Standings and will try to remain perfect in his career for trainer Bob Baffert - six career starts so far and six wins - all as morning line favorite. He made his stakes debut December 20 and posted a good win in the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Futurity after an Allowance Optional Claiming score by 7 3/4 lengths at Churchill Downs November 29 and a 4 3/4 length maiden score in his debut - at Santa Anita November 2. Last time out he kept the roll going with a terrific win in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby April 4 after a 1 1/4 length gate-to-wire win in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes March 7 and an incredible rally win in the Grade 3 Robert B. Lewis Stakes February 7. Martin Garcia will be aboard the second betting choice as Dortmund looks to extend his impressive perfect run.
Carpe Diem 8-1 - Todd Pletcher trained colt will race for the sixth time - the first being a 2 1/2 length wire-to-wire maiden score at Saratoga September 1 and the second being a terrific 6 1/4 length win in the Grade 1 Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland October 4 with a 100 Beyer Speed Figure in that race. Last time out he continued his impressive career - a great win in the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland April 4 which followed a five length win in the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby March 7 and a second place finish behind Texas Red as 9-5 favorite in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile - his only career loss. Carpe Diem was second in the Road to the Kentucky Derby points standings and is the third choice in the morning line. John Velazquez has the mount from post 2.
Firing Line 12-1 - Simon Callahan trained colt made his stakes debut December 20 and finished a close second behind Dortmund in the Grade 1 Los Alamito Futurity after a 6 1/2 furlong maiden score by 4 1/4 lengths in his second career start - at Del Mar November 30. Last time out was a nice win in the Grade 3 Sunland Derby which followed another respectable second behind Dortmund in the Grade 3 Robert B. Lewis Stakes - at Santa Anita February 7. He has been in there with the best so far in his career and has fared very well - two wins and three seconds in five career starts. Gary Stevens will be aboard from gate 10.
Materiality 12-1 - Todd Pletcher trained colt has three career starts and has won all. Last time out was a terrific win in the Grade 1 Florida Derby March 28 which followed an impressive 5 3/4 length score over highly regarded Stanford in the listed Islamoranda Handicap March 6 and a maiden score by 4 1/4 lengths at first asking January 11 - all results at Gulfstream. He is lightly raced but highly regarded and will leave from post 3 with Javier Castellano guiding him.
Upstart 15-1 - Richard Violette trained colt started his career with two nice wins - the minor Funny Cide Stakes at Saratoga August 24 with a 95 Beyer Speed Figure after a maiden score at first asking. Last time out was an OK second behind Materiality in the Grade 1 Florida Derby March 28 which followed a second after crossing the line first and being disqualified after it was ruled he interfered with Itsaknockout in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes February 2. That followed a dominant win by 5 1/2 lengths in the competitive Grade 2 Holy Bull Stakes January 24 and a good third behind Texas Red and Carpe Diem in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. Before that was a respectable second behind Daredevil in the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park October 4. He has placed in all five graded stakes starts - a win, three seconds and a third place finish, has certainly been very competitive ahead of this race and is a legitimate contender for the Kentucky Derby. Jose Ortiz will be in the irons from an unfortunate post 19.
Frosted 15-1 - Kiaran McLaughlin trained colt raced in stakes company for the first time November 29 and finished a respectable second behind Leave the Light On as 9-5 favorite in the Grade 2 Remsen Stakes at Aqueduct and followed that with another good runner-up finish - behind Upstart in the Grade 2 Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream January 24. Last time out he made a huge statement with a win in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct April 4 which followed a somewhat disappointing fourth after looking tremendous but tiring in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream February 21. Other results include a maiden score in his third start - by an impressive 5 1/2 lengths October 30 after a pair of seconds to begin his career. That makes two wins, and four second place finishes in seven career starts with his win last time out raising a few eyebrows. He departs from post 15 with Joel Rosario in the irons.
International Star 20-1 - Michael Maker trained colt enters as the top point getter on the Road to the Kentucky Derby thanks to three straight impressive wins at Fair Grounds this year - the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby March 28, the Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes February 21 and the Grade 3 Lecomte Stakes in January. He also looked good early in his career as well - a nice win in the Grade 3 Grey Stakes at Woodbine October 5 after a good second in the Grade 2 With Anticipation Stakes at Saratoga in August, a respectable second in the minor Rockville Centre Stakes at Belmont Park July 13 and a maiden score in his debut on that same track June 21. He did have a fourth in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes November 29 and a troubled ninth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf but International Star enters the Derby Hot! He is listed at an intriguing 20-1 odds and will line up in gate 12.
Mubtaahij 20-1 - Irish bred colt has four wins and a second place finish in his last five races - all at Meydan and enters on a two race win streak - the UAE Derby March 28 and the Al Bastakiya Stakes three weeks earlier. He also had a third in the Group 3 UAE Two Thousand Guineas in February. Mubtaahij is a somewhat unknown commodity in North America but is certainly a dangerous entry this weekend. Christophe Soumillon gets the call from gate 6 attempting to become the first Derby winner based in Dubai.
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El Kabeir 30-1 (SCRATCHED) -
hard knocking and versatile John Terranova trained colt is the most experienced of all the entries and has looked good lately. Last time out was an OK third on the Grade 1 Wood Memorial April 4 after a good win in the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes March 7. It followed a second in the Grade 3 Withers Stakes February 7, a terrific 4 3/4 length win in the Grade 3 Jerome Stakes January 3 with a Beyer Speed Figure of 95, a nice win in gate-to-wire fashion in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill Downs November 29 - with a 94 Beyer Speed Figure and a second in the Grade 2 Nashua Stakes November 2. He has four wins, two seconds and two thirds in nine career starts and has three wins, two seconds and a third in his last six starts overall - very competitive every time out. Calvin Borel will be in the saddle hoping to keep that trend going from post 7.
Far Right 30-1 - Ron Moquette pupil has placed in eight of nine career starts - three wins, three seconds and two third place finishes. He enters off a second in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby April 11 which followed a nice win in the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes in February, a win in the minor Smarty Jones Stakes in January and an OK third in the Grade 3 Delta Downs Jackpot in November. Far Right has two wins and a second in his last three starts and seems to be peeking ahead of this race. Mike Smith has been tabbed to ride from an unfortunate outside post 20.
Itsaknockout 30-1 - Todd Pletcher pupil has four career starts with three wins so far. Last time out was a disappointing fourth in the Grade 1 Florida Derby however. It followed a win in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes February 21 after a fortunate DQ of Upstart, an Allowance Optional Claiming score January 4 by five lengths and a maiden score at first asking December 7. Itsaknockout looks to bounce back this weekend from gate 13 with Luis Saez aboard.
Danzig Moon 30-1 - broke maiden February 7 in his third career start in impressive fashion for trainer Mark Casse - at Gulfstream after a second and a fourth respectively in a pair of MSW races. Last time out was a good second in the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland April 4 after a fourth in the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby March 7 - his graded stakes debut. He looks for his first stakes score Saturday.
Tencendur 30-1 - OK George Weaver trained colt made his stakes debut February 7 and finished fourth in the Grade 3 Withers Stakes and followed that with a fifth in the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes March 7. Last time out he posted his best career effort - a runner-up finish in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial April 4. He has a win, a second and a third place finish in five career starts and will be looking for his first stakes win Saturday. He departs from gate 4 with Manuel Franco in the reins with Julien Leparoux in the saddle from post 5.
Stanford 30-1 (SCRATCHED) -
Todd Pletcher pupil won his debut but was sixth in his next start - the Grade 2 Saratoga Special in August. He has been up and down since - a good second last time out in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby March 28 followed a sixth in the minor Islamorada Handicap March 6 and an Allowance Optional Claiming score in February. He now has two wins and a second place finish in five career but looks overmatched in this race. Florent Geroux gets the call from post 11.
Bolo 30-1 - has five career starts with two wins and two third place finishes for trainer Carla Gaines including a victory in his stakes debut - the minor Eddie Logan Stakes on turf December 27. Last time out was a third in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby April 4 which followed another third behind Dortmund and Prospect Park in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes - his graded stakes bow March 7. Bolo has placed in his last four career starts and has improved every time out. He departs from post 9 with Rafael Bejarano in the saddle.
War Story 50-1 - Tom Amoss trained colt has placed in all five career starts - two wins, two seconds and a third place finish but has yet to win a graded stakes race. Last time out was a third in the Grade 3 Louisiana Derby March 28 after runner-up finishes in the Grade 2 Risen Star and Grade 3 LeComte Stakes this year - all results at Fair Grounds. War Story has been competitive so far in his career but may have a difficult time against this top field. Joe Talamo has the mount from post 16.
Mr. Z 50-1 - has just one win in 12 career starts for trainer D. Wayne Lukas and has finished third in four of his last five starts including last time out in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby. He did have an ugly ninth two starts back in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby but was in contention is his three stats prior. Mr Z also had a respectable fifth in the Breeder's Cup Juvenile. He has a win, four seconds and four third place finishes in 12 career starts but looks for his first win since his debut. Ramon Vazquez has been tabbed to ride from post 17.
Ocho Ocho Ocho 50-1 - will race for the sixth time for trainer James Cassidy off an OK third in the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes which followed a career worst effort - an eighth in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita March 7. Before that were three starts and three wins including his graded stakes debut- the Grade 3 Delta Downs Jackpot November 22, in his stakes debut - by 5 3/4 lengths the minor Juvenile Turf Sprint Stakes at Santa Anita November 1 and a maiden score at first asking in October. Ocho Ocho Ocho had looked good to start his career but has fallen off a tad in his last two starts overall. He leaves from the rail looking to cure his inconsistent ways with Elvis Trujillo in the irons.
Keen Ice 50-1 - broke maiden in his second career start for trainer Dale Romans but has placed in just two of five starts since - all graded stakes. Last time out was a fourth in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby after a third in the Grade 2 Risen Star, a fifth in the Grade 2 Holy Bull Stakes and a third in the Grade 3 Remsen. He has one win and two third place finishes in seven career starts and looks overmatched in this one. Kent Desormeaux will be in the irons from gate 14.
Frammento 50-1 - Nick Zito trainee has a win, a second and a third place finish in seven career starts -a third place finish in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes February 21 being his best result. Last time out was a fourth in the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes April 4.
Tale of Verve - Also Eligible Dale Stewart trained colt has six career starts with a win, a second, and two third place finishes. He may race in stakes company for the first time Saturday - after finally breaking maiden in his seventh career start April 23.
Race 11 on Churchill Downs's Saturday card with a Post Time of 6:34 PM.
|1||Ocho Ocho Ocho||E. Trujillo||J. Cassidy|
|2||Carpe Diem||J. Velazquez||T. Pletcher|
|3||Materiality||J. Castellano||T. Pletcher|
|4||Tencendur||M. Franco||G. Weaver|
|5||Danzig Moon||J. Leparoux||M. Casse|
|6||Mubtaahij (IRE)||C. Soumillon||M. de Kock|
|8||Dortmund||M. Garcia||B. Baffert|
|9||Bolo||R. Bejarano||C. Gaines|
|10||Firing Line||G. Stevens||S. Callaghan|
|12||International Star||M. Mena||M. Maker|
|13||Itsaknockout||L. Saez||T. Pletcher|
|14||Keen Ice||K. Desormeaux||D. Romans|
|15||Frosted||J. Rosario||K. McLaughlin|
|16||War Story||J. Talamo||T. Amoss|
|17||Mr. Z||R. Vazquez||D. Lukas|
|18||American Pharoah||V. Espinoza||B. Baffert|
|19||Upstart||J. Ortiz||R. Violette, Jr.|
|20||Far Right||M. Smith||R. Moquett|
|21||Frammento||C. Nakatani||N. Zito|
|22||Tale of Verve (AE)||B. Hernandez, Jr.||D. Stewart|
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