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Posted Friday, April 06, 2012 10:31 AM

Hawthorne >> Saturday, April 7 $500,000 Grade 3 Illinois Derby >> Preview

Hawthorne >> Saturday, April 7
$500,000 Grade 3 Illinois Derby >> Preview
By Full Card Reports

(Post Time: 6:46 p.m. ET) The Santa Anita Derby and Wood Memorial are scheduled for Saturday, but it is the $500k Grade 3 Illinois Derby that seems to be the most popular prep of the weekend. The Hawthorne race has attracted a full field of 14 with 3 listed as Also-Eligibles. War Emblem used the race as a springboard to Kentucky Derby glory in 2002.

Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes winner CURRENCY SWAP (4-1 ML) is the favorite. He was sidelined with an injury after his Hopeful win on September 5, but returned to racing on March 16 in a Gulfstream Park allowance race. He finished second, seven lengths behind Wood Memorial favorite. Since that effort, he has worked once, going five furlongs in 1:00 B at Gulfstream. Shaun Bridgmahon picks up the mount on this son of High Cotton for trainer Terri Pompay.

OUR ENTOURAGE (9-2 ML) has been on the verge twice in graded stakes company, finishing fifth in both the Breeders’ Futurity and Remsen Stakes last year. He was beaten a mere combined 6 ¾ lengths in those two races. In his only race as a sophomore, the Todd Pletcher trainee registered a one length win in an optional claiming race at Gulfstream. Eddie Castro is on from New York to ride the Mike Repole owned son of Street Cry.

MORGAN’S GUERRILLA (10-1 ML... [More]

Posted Friday, April 06, 2012 10:30 AM

Aqueduct >> Saturday, April 7 $1,000,000 Grade 1 Wood Memorial >> Preview

Aqueduct >> Saturday, April 7
$1,000,000 Grade 1 Wood Memorial >> Preview By Full Card Reports

(Post Time: 5:15 p.m. ET) Only the best can make the field of twenty in the Kentucky Derby. Most experts would agree that both Gemologist and Alpha are amongst the top twenty three-year-old colts right now, but one or even both could be left out of the starting gate next month as they go head to head in the $1 million Wood Memorial. The nine furlong competition is race 9 of 11 at Aqueduct on Saturday.

GEMOLOGIST (8-5 ML), winner of the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club as a juvenile, has $103,855 in graded stakes earnings. That means he will likely have to make the exacta to continue onward to Churchill Downs. Undefeated in four tries, the Winstar colt is trainer Todd Pletcher’s best three-year-old at this point. JJ Castellano will ride.

ALPHA (5-2 ML), victor in the Grade 3 Wither Stakes last out, has $180,000 in graded stakes earnings. He needs to finish third or better in order to feel good about making it to the Run for the Roses. Alpha rides a two race win streak into this race. The bay son of Bernardini is a pro at this point, having finished second in the Grade 1 Champagne last year and competing in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Ramon Dominguez, coming back from an injury, gets the call to ride for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin.

Kelly Breen’s stakes winner MY ADONIS (... [More]

Posted Friday, April 06, 2012 10:26 AM

Santa Anita >> Saturday, April 7 $750,000 Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby >> Preview

Santa Anita >> Saturday, April 7
$750,000 Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby >> Preview By Full Card Reports
(Post Time: 5:30 p.m. ET) Generally regarded as a weak Kentucky Derby prep race in 2011, the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby has produced a field of 10 in 2012 that could be regarded as highly as any we will see leading up to the Run for the Roses. The 9 furlong race has a purse of $750k.


CREATIVE CAUSE (6-5 ML) has been tabbed as the favorite. The Mike Harrington trainee will break from the rail under Joel Rosario for trainer Mike Harrington. He was last seen blasting off to victory in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes after hitting the top of the stretch five wide. The son of Giant’s Causeway beat the highly regarded Bodemeister by ¾ of a length. The colt has had a bit of a problem with wandering around in the stretch and his blinkers have been removed in an attempt to remedy the problem.

LIASON (8-1 ML) was all the rage after his win the Grade 1 CashCall Futurity last year. Trained by Bob Baffert, he started his sophomore campaign in the Grade 2 Robert Lewis Stakes, a race where he clipped heels and lost jockey Rafael Bejarano. After that, he produced a dull effort to be fourth in the San Felipe Stakes. The connections believe the extra ground that the Santa Anita Derby offers will help improve his chances. Although he is by Indian Charlie, he has Victory Ga... [More]

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User: xxzzfile
Joined: March 2008
Location: Florida
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