In a Derby season that has presented more questions than answers, this weekend was no different. The only exception was Pants on Fire, who proved he could rate behind a solid pace to win the Louisiana Derby. Steve Asmussen trained maiden winner Nehro was a game second while heavily favored Mucho Macho Man came with a run but seemed to hang, not wanting to pass. After the race it was reported that he lost a shoe coming out of the gate. Would he have passed Pants on Fire had he not lost the shoe? We’ll never know. In the Vinery Spiral at Turfway Park maiden winner Animal Kingdom looked great stepping up for the win. He’ll make his first start on dirt in the Kentucky Derby, unless he he doesn’t train well at Churchill. Second place finisher Decisive Moment is pointing to Derby as well. In the Sunland Derby, Twice the Appeal upset favorite Astrology and moved up to seventh on the Graded Earnings list.
The Kentucky Oaks scene was another story with three, and potentially four promising fillies emerging! Daisy Devine put herself on the map with an emphatic win in the Fair Grounds Oaks while favored Inglorious didn’t fire, coming in fourth. Her connections said they’d wait to see how she came of out of the race before deciding on the Oaks but with a record of 5-4-1-0 she’s a solid contender. In the Bourbonette Oaks at Turfway Park the Larry Jones trained Summer Soiree dominated the field going wire to wire to win by almost eleven lengths (replay). According to her connections the next stop is the Kentucky Oaks for this daughter of red hot sire War Front. Trainer Bob Baffert shipped Pretty Plum to the Sunland Oaks for another romp. She annihilated the field by over 20 lengths (replay) without even being asked. While not likely for the American classics, Godolphin owned Khawlah became the first filly to win the UAE Derby. And while it’s unclear if Arienza will be pointing to the Oaks, she brought her record to 2-2 stretching out to two turns in an allowance at Oaklawn Park (replay). Her next stop might be the Fantasy at Oaklawn Park. We profiled her dam, 2002 Horse of the Year Azeri a few weeks ago.
Mission Impazible, who won last year’s Louisiana Derby as a 3-year-old, ended Giant Oak’s winning streak in the New Orleans Handicap. Last out in the Mineshaft Handicap, Mission Impazible ran second to Demarcation, but Demarcation was off the board today. In the long distance department Worth Repeating stretched out to 1 1/2 miles beautifully, repelling the bid of Honour and Deputy to win the Tokyo City Handicap at Santa Anita Park. At Gulfstream Park 7-year-old turfer Rahy’s Attorney took the 1 1/2 mile Pan American Stakes, making only his second start at the distance. Trainer Ian Black, who trains primarily in Canada said, “He’s seven years old and we thought we’d try him in the longer races this season.” Now there’s a mentality we could use more of in American racing!
With only one exception, the Dubai World Cup was an uncharacteristic string of favorites with home team Godolphin scoring three wins. The American shippers performed miserably with the exception of Euroears, who ran second in the Golden Shaheen. The highlight of the card was the emotional first and second place finishes by Japanese horses in the Classic. Upset winner Victoire Pisa benefited from an unorthodox move by jockey Marco Demuro, who brought his mount from second last to first coming down the backstretch. While it may have looked like he was moving too early, he was compensating for the how the track was playing and it was a move that put his colt in the position to win. Japanese longshot Monterosso was a game second while Japanese Horse of the Year Buena Vista had a bad trip and ended up 14th, her only time off the boar. America’s best hope Gio Ponti was rank throughout most of the race but hung in for fourth place. Also in international racing, Australian sprinting sensation Black Caviar remained undefeated bringing her record to 11-11 on Friday winning the G1 William Reid at Moonvee Valley. Find out more about the undefeated mare at at Raceday 360!
This week marks the third and final pool of the Kentucky Derby Future Wagers. Our Back to the Futures post will have a link to the free past performances plus will pays and final odds when they’re available. In Ten Things You Should Know, we’ll take a look at one of the Florida Derby.
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Arienza Allowance Replay
Arienza, daughter of 2002 Horse of the Year Azeri, makes it 2-2 under a handride.
Check probable starters at Horse Racing Nation’s Stakes Tracker
See you at the track!