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About.com Poll
Who will win the Blue Grass Stakes?

Settlement
Deputy Warlock
Bare Outline
High Yield
Wheelaway
Hal's Hope
More Than Ready
Mighty


Current Results

Big Weekend of Derby Preps

Dateline: 04/13/00

The final round of major Kentucky Derby preps is this weekend as most of the major contenders and some looking for a last shot at a trip to Louisville will be racing. The Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park, the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct, and the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland will all be contested on Saturday April 15th. In addition to all three being major Triple Crown preps with long histories, the three races have also spawned a new wagering tradition, the Big 3 Pick 3 which is back again this year.

Past performances for all three races are available for free online from the Daily Racing Form here (should be up by Friday). The races will also be televised on ABC from 5:00-6:00 p.m. EST. I will be at the Blue Grass so check back on Saturday night for photos and results.

The Blue Grass Stakes

Here is the field in post position order. Distance is 1 1/8 miles and all entrants carry 123 lbs. The purse is $750,000.
PPHorseJockeyTrainerM/L Odds
1Settlement St. Julien Hennig 12-1
2Deputy Warlock Guidry McPeek 15-1
3Bare Outline Coa Zito 20-1
4High Yield Day Lukas 5-2
5Wheelaway Migliore Kimmel 12-1
6Hal's Hope Velez Rose 3-1
7More Than Ready Velazquez Pletcher 4-1
8Mighty Sellers Brothers 2-1


Mighty
winning the Louisiana Derby
First run in 1911, the Blue Grass Stakes has yielded 22 Kentucky Derby winners as well as many others who did well in the Triple Crown races. This year it has attracted a stellar field with many of the top Derby contenders entered, making it the best of the three races today. Four of the entrants are in the top 10 three year olds poll with Mighty being in position #3 behind The Deputy and Fusaichi Pegasus. This race is so competitive that it will be quite difficult to pick a winner. Maybe just pick the one at the longest odds among the top 4 and bet him or hope that Wheelaway can live up to some of his hype and take a chance on him.

More articles and info:

The Arkansas Derby

Here is the field in post position order. Distance is 1 1/8 miles and all entrants carry 118 lbs except Afternoon Affair, Ronton, Elite Mercedes, Snuck In, and Scottish Halo who carry 122 lbs. The purse is $500,000.
# / PPHorseJockeyTrainerM/L Odds
1 / 1Afternoon Affair Judice Holthus 20-1
1A / 3Here Comes Rocket Quinonez Holthus 20-1
2 / 2Ronton Gomez Cerin 10-1
3 / 4Fan The Flame Court Morse 20-1
4 / 5Country Coast Borel Amoss20-1
5 / 6Elite Mercedes Bailey Walden 4-1
6 / 7Impeachment Perret Pletcher 20-1
7 / 9Snuck In Asmussen Asmussen 2-1
8 / 10Graeme Hall Albarado Pletcher 10-1
9 / 11Polish Miner Smith McGaughey 5-1
10 / 12Scottish Halo Turner Rizzo 12-1
11 / 13True Confidence Nakatani Lukas 6-1
12 / 8Timber Wolf Doocy Von Hemel 30-1
12 / 14Crystal Gulch Whitney Jayaraman 30-1


Elite Mercedes
at the Spiral Stakes
Horses from all over have converged on Hot Springs to take one last shot at a chance to go to the Kentucky Derby making it one of the largest fields in years. First run in 1936, the Arkansas Derby has produced some nice horses in recent years like Victory Gallop, Grindstone, Concern, and Lil E. Tee. This year it looks like late bloomer and local hero Snuck In is the logical choice, having won more races and money than anyone else. Although Elite Mercedes was unable to hold off Globalize in the Spiral Stakes, he could move forward off that start and be a contender. There are a few others who are trying to get back on the Triple Crown track after some setbacks like Polish Miner and Scottish Halo and a whole herd of long shots. I suspect one of those will get in there and make the exotics pay big but which one is a good question!

More articles and info:

The Wood Memorial

Here is the field in post position order. Distance is 1 1/8 miles and all entrants carry 123 lbs. The purse is $750,000 plus a $250,000 bonus if the winner also wins the Kentucky Derby.
PPHorseJockeyTrainerM/L Odds
1Cat's at Home Davis Hennig 50-1
2Red Bullet Solis Orseno 4-1
3Postponed Santos Schulhofer 15-1
4Aptitude Blanc Frankel 5-1
5Fusaichi Pegasus Desormeaux Drysdale 4-5
6Appearing Now Luzzi Ortiz 20-1
7Exchange Rate Chavez Lukas 5-1
8Traditionally Prado McGaughey 20-1
9Country Only CastilloBinn 12-1
10Fight for Ally Gryder Everett 30-1
11Painted Pistol Bridgmohan Campo 50-1
12Connect Velasquez Saunders 50-1


Fusaichi Pegasus
courtesy of Patty Yount
First run in 1925, 11 Wood Memorial winners have won the Kentucky Derby. This year the current Derby favorite, Fusaichi Pegasus, is making his first East coast start in the Wood. He has won impressively in California and if he is all people are making him out to be, he should easily win here. The rest of the field is mostly horses with potential that hasn't been realized yet so if he doesn't like the deeper track in New York, there could be an upset. Of course this is not the race they really want to win with him so all they may want here is a good showing for him that will put him along the right track for Kentucky and not take too much out of him. Aptitude, Exchange Rate, Red Bullet, and even Postponed could jump up here and win given luck and an off day for FuPeg.

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Photos by author except where noted.

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