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Blue Grass Stakes

Dateline: 04/08/99

This Saturday is a banner day for Kentucky Derby preps with the Blue Grass at Keeneland, the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct, and the Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn. These races will have a big impact on the eventual field for the Kentucky Derby as this will be the last pre-Derby race for most of these horses and is a make or break point for many. This set of three races will also be part of a national wager called the "Big Three Pick Three" and all will be televised on ABC or ESPN starting at 5pm EDT.

In the Wood at Aqueduct, you have a field of 11 with the best being Badge, winner of the Gotham. Other hopefuls include Adonis, Cliquot, The Groom is Red, and Machine to Tower. A good performance here is necessary for any of these to have any real chance in the Derby. The full list of entries is available here.

The Arkansas Derby's main contender is probably Answer Lively, last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner. He hasn't done quite as well as they had hoped this year but he has made good placings in several preps. Also in the field of 7 are Ecton Park, Saint's Honor, and Certain who need too show something here to advance farther along the Triple Crown trail. The full list of entries is available here.

I will be at Keeneland for the Blue Grass so will give it a more coverage than the other two races, including photos on Saturday night. A strong field of 8 was entered today with almost every horse being a legitimate Derby contender which should make for the most exciting Derby prep so far this year. It will be especially interesting to see how the horse from Dubai, Prado's Landing, does since top prospect Worldly Manner will be coming direct from there to the Derby. Here are the entries in post position order (all carry 123 lbs.):

PPHorseJockeyTrainerM/L Odds
1PineaffJ.A. SantosKen McPeek15-1
2VicarS.J. SellersCarl Nafzger3-1
3Kimberlite PipeR.J. AlbaradoDallas Stewart15-1
4Prado's LandingC.J. McCarronSaeed bin Suroor30-1
5Lemon Drop KidJ.R. VelazquezScotty Schulhofer9-2
6Cat ThiefM.E. SmithD. Wayne Lukas4-1
7WondertrossJ.D. BaileyNick Zito5-2
8MenifeeP. DayElliott Walden4-1

Winner of the Florida Derby
If you are not able to catch the races on your local ABC station, you can watch the Blue Grass online with Real Video from Keeneland and listen to the Wood online with Real Audio from Aqueduct. If you don't have ESPN available, you can watch the Arkansas Derby online with Real Video from Oaklawn.

I will be at the race taking photos and will post results and pictures here on Saturday night, so be sure to check back then.

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Photo by author. Blue Grass Stakes logo courtesy of Keeneland

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