Week of March 28, 2011
By Dana Byerly, Hello Race Fans Co-founder

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.

Don’t forget to join our Road to the Roses League!
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And as always, keep up with all the 2011 Kentucky Derby and 2011 Kentucky Oaks commentary at Raceday 360 Wire!

Last Week’s Races

2011 Al Quoz Sprint Replay
Favored JJ the Jet Plane gets up in time to win a foggy rendition of the race.

2011 Godolphin Mile Replay
Skysurfers (GB) turns back a game Mufarrh (IRE) in deep stretch.

2011 UAE Derby Replay
Khawlah became the first filly to win the race after running down a game Master of Hounds.

2011 Golden Shaheen Replay
Rocket Man makes up for his loss last year overtaking Euroears in the stretch.

2011 Dubai Duty Free Replay
The third time is a charm for 7-year-old Presvis, who runs down River Jetez in his third start in the Duty Free.

2011 Dubai Sheema Classic Replay
Rewilding gives Godolphin their third win on the card.

2011 Dubai World Cup Replay
Victoire Pisa makes an odd move on the backstretch that turns out to be a race winner. Japan runs 1-2 in an emotional rendition of the Classic.

2011 Vinery Spiral Replay
Animal Kingom comes from behind to run down Decisive Moment.

2011 Mervin Muniz Jr. Memorial Handicap Replay
Smart Bid comes from out of the clouds to win the blanket finish.

2011 Fair Grounds Oaks Replay
Daisy Devine puts herself on the Kentucky Oaks map with a decisive win.

2011 New Orleans Handicap Replay
Mission Impazible stalks the pace and holds off Apart and Giant Oak.

2011 Louisiana Derby Replay
Pants on Fire proves he can rate and holds off a game Nehro with Mucho Macho Man third.

2011 Pan American Stakes Replay
Rahy’s Attorney gets the job done, case closed!

2011 Sunland Derby Replay
Twice the Appeal springs the upset by overtaking a tired Astrology in deep stretch.

Arienza Allowance Replay
Arienza, daughter of 2002 Horse of the Year Azeri, makes it 2-2 under a handride.

Upcoming Graded Stakes Races

Check probable starters at Horse Racing Nation’s Stakes Tracker

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