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Kentucky Derby Card Preview

Horse Racing Radar
Frisco Bash
Frisco Bash is a Staff writer for Horse Racing Radar
Thursday, April 29, 2021

We've got a whopping 14-race card on Saturday! Races 7 to 12 are graded stakes, which combine for a total of $6.5 million. The rest of the races are all pursed at six figures, no less.


Keep a reminder of the following times so you're not late to the action:


First Post Time: 10:30 AM ET / 7:30 AM PT


First Stakes Post Time: 1:14 PM ET / 10:14 PM PT


Kentucky Derby Post Time: 6:57 PM ET / 3:57 PM PT


Let us preview the card:


The $500K Churchill Distaff Turf Mile Stakes (G2) — 1 mile, Turf, Fillies and Mares, Four-years-old and Upward. Post Time 1:14 PM ET.


GOT STORMY for trainer Mark Casse is the 8-5 morning favorite and breaks from the fifth slot. She was last seen winning the Honey Fox Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park back on February 27th, over this one mile trip. The two-time Grade 1 winning Mare ran in this event in 2019 but finished second. Rider Tyler Gaffalione will try to make her victorious this year. 


ZOFELLE is the second choice at 2-1 for trainer Brendan Walsh. She gave the above favorite, GOT STORMY, a run for her money in the Honey Fox Stakes, chasing her down the stretch only to lose by a nose. It was an impressive effort considering the relatively slow pace for that race. Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. is back onboard, and they'll break from post four. 


BLOWOUT is the third choice at 7-2 for trainer Chad Brown. We have to go back five months for her last race where jockey Flavien Prat guided her to a runner-up finish at the Matriarch Stakes (G1) at Del Mar. They'll team up again here and note that Chad Brown does quite well with his horses coming off long layoffs. She's been knocking on the door for the win, finishing second in her last four races by an average margin of a neck! 


Rounding out the field are: JAKARTA, SHE'S GOT YOu, NEW YORK GIRL and ABSCOND.

 

The $500K Derby City Distaff Stakes (G1) — 7 furlongs, Dirt, Fillies and Mares, Four-year-olds and upward. Post Time is 1:56PM ET.


GAMINE for trainer Bob Baffert is the heavy 1-5 favorite from post five. She is our Breeder's Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) heroine and returned from it a winner in the Las Flores Stakes (G3) at Santa Anita back on April 4th. This marks her second start off a layoff, and jockey John Velazquez may very well send her from the start to run this field off their feet.


BELL'S THE ONE for trainer Neil Pessin is the 6-1 second-choice. We last saw her running second to KIMARI in the Madison (G1) back at Keeneland on April 3rd. She ran superb considering it was her first start of 2021. She's got 2 wins and 2 seconds out of 4 tries on this Churchill Downs surface. Note her 4F bullet work on April 23rd at Keeneland, going :46.2 as the fastest of 88 works at that distance. Regular rider Corey Lanerie is back in the saddle. 


SCONSIN from the two-hole is the third choice at 8-1. Trainer Gregory D. Foley puts Irad Ortiz Jr. on the saddle, as the daughter of INCLUDE goes for her third victory at Churchill Downs in what will be her fourth start. She fired a 4F bullet on April 22nd at Churchill Downs, going :47.2 as the fastest of 39 works at that distance.


Rounding out the field are: ESTILO TALENTOSO, HIBISCUS PUNCH, and UNIQUE FACTOR.


The $500K Pat Day Mile Stakes (G2) — 1 mile, Dirt, Three-year-olds. Post Time is 2:48 PM ET.


JACKIE'S WARRIOR is the 3-1 morning-line favorite for trainer Steve Asmussen. He'll cut back to one turn as he makes his first start in two months. Note that he broke his maiden here at Churchill Downs and is a Grade 1 winner at the one mile trip. Regular rider Josel Rosario is in the irons.


DREAM SHAKE for trainer Peter Eurton makes the trip from Southern California and is the 7-2 second-choice. He'll cut back in distance with jockey Flavien Prat onboard. He gets a class break from having to chase down LIFE IS GOOD and ROCK YOUR WORLD in his previous two starts.


STARRININMYDREAMS from post position six is the 5-1 third favorite. He achieved his highest speed figure last time out in the Lexington Stakes (G3) when he finished third to KING FURY. In preparation for this race, he delivered a sharp 5F workout on April 23rd at Churchill Downs, going 1:00.40 as the 5th fastest of 50 works at that distance. Jockey Luis Saez returns for the ride.


Rounding out the field are: THREE TWO ZONE, ULTIMATE BADGER, DEFUNDED, PREVALENCE, WHISKEY DOUBLE, SITTIN ON GO, DREAMER'S DISEASE, NOBLE REFLECTION, and JOE FRAZIER.



The $500K American Turf Stakes (G2) — 1 1/16th miles, Turf, Three-year-olds. Post Time is 3:40 PM ET.


ANNEX is the 7-2 morning line favorite for trainer Bill Mott. He's won three consecutive races and gets Irad Ortiz Jr. on the saddle for the first time. He is already a winner at this one mile distance, but will step up to graded stakes company for the first time. 


SCARLETT SKY is the second choice at 4-1 for trainer Claude McGaughey III. The son of SKY MESA enters off a win in the Transylvania Stakes (G3), which was half a furlong longer than this distance in question. Jockey Joel Rosario rode him to victory last time out and is back again for the task, which involves breaking from post position thirteen.


DU JOUR for trainer Bob Baffert is 5-1 on the morning-line and is the third betting choice. Jockey Flavien Prat gets the call and they'll break from the fifth slot. DU JOUR has strung together two consecutive wins, though is tasked with making his first start outside of California and stepping up to face graded stakes horses for the first time. 


Rounding out the field are: EXCELLENT TIMING, WINFROMWITHIN, CHESS'S DREAM, ROYAL PRINCE, DYN O MITE, BARRISTER TOM, HOLY VOW, NEXT, HIDDEN ENEMY, LUCKY LAW, and PALAZZI.


The $500K Churchill Downs Stakes (G1) — 7 furlongs, Dirt, Four-year-olds and upward. Post TIme is 4:31 PM ET.


FLAGSTAFF is the 3-1 morning line favorite for trainer John Sadler. He was last seen capturing the Commonwealth Stakes (G3) at Keeneland earlier this month. He makes his first at Churchill Downs and has a new rider in Luis Saez, who aims to give this 7-year-old son of SPEIGHTSTOWN his first Grade 1 win. Note FLAGSTAFF's bullet work on April 24th at Oaklawn Park, going 5F in :59.6 as the fastest of 13 works at that distance.


Breeder's Cup Sprint (G1) Champion WHITMORE is the 7-2 second choice for trainer Ron Moquett. He's put together two-consecutive runner-up finishes to start his 2021 campaign. Both times he was defeated by the talented CZ ROCKET, who incidentally is not here to compete. WHITMORE has not fared too great in this event, finishing fourth in 2018, and fifth in 2019. But he did break his maiden over this Churchill Downs dirt. Note WHITMORE's bullet work on April 26th indicating his readiness to compete: four furlongs in :48 flat, the fastest of 26 works at that distance. He and rider Ricardo Santana JR. will break from post nine.


MIND CONTROL from post two is the 6-1 third choice for trainer Gregory Sacco. The son of STAY THIRSTY will be piloted for the first time by Irad Ortiz Jr., as he aims for his first win in over a year. The last time we saw MIND CONTROL was in the Carter Handicap (G1) where he finished a solid second to MISCHIEVIOUS ALEX. In preparation for this contest, he fired a 5F bullet on April 24th, going :58.6 as the fastest of five works at that distance. 


Rounding out the field are: PHAT MAN, BASIN, FLAGSTAFF, TAP IT TO WIN, ATTACHMENT RATE, SHASHASHAKEMEUP, GET THE PRIZE, WHITMORE, BANGO, HOG CREEK HUSTLE, ENDORSED, and LEXITONIAN.


The $1,000,000 Turf Classic Stakes (G1) — 1 1/8 miles, Turf, Four-year-olds and upward. Post Time is 5:27 PM ET.


Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1) Champion COLONEL LIAM is the 3-1 morning-line favorite for trainer Todd Pletcher. He'll be piloted by regular rider Irad Ortiz Jr., and they'll break from post three as they attempt their fourth consecutive win together. His victory last time out in the Muniz Memorial Classic Stakes (G2) was over this one mile and one-eighth trip, and he earned his highest speed figure to date.


SMOOTH LIKE STRAIT for trainer Michael McCarthy is the 4-1 second choice. Regular rider Umberto Rispoli returns for the task and they'll break from post position seven. SMOOTH LIKE STRAIT comes off an impressive runner-up effort in the Frank Kilroe Mile (G1) at Santa Anita. To his credit, he already has a win over this Churchill Downs turf, back in May of last year. 


IVAR from the Paulo Lobo barn is pegged at 5-1, and will be making his first start in almost six months. He is affectionately remembered for his explosive win in the Shadwell Keeneland Turf Mile (G1), to which he followed with a decent fourth-place finish in the Breeder's Cup Mile (G1). Regular rider Joe Talamo returns on the saddle and they'll break from post position four.


Rounding out the field are: MASTEROFFOXHOUNDS, COUNTAGAIN, DOMESTIC SPENDING, DIGITAL AGE, CROSS BORDER, and RIDE A COMET.


The $3,000.000 Kentucky Derby (G1) — 1 1/4 miles, Dirt, Three-year-olds. Post Time is 6:57 PM ET.


ESSENTIAL QUALITY for trainer Brad Cox is the 2-1 morning-line favorite, and will break from post position fourteen with Luis Saez onboard. He is our Breeder's Cup Juvenile (G1) winner and 2020 Two-year-old Champion. He broke his maiden here at Churchill Downs and is undefeated in all five starts. We last saw him victorious in a fierce stretch battle with HIGHLY MOTIVATED in the Blue Grass Stakes (G1). 


ROCKY YOUR WORLD is the second choice at 5-1 for trainer John Sadler. He'll be ridden by Joel Rosario and they'll break from post position fifteen. ROCKY YOUR WORLD was last seen demolishing his rivals in the Santa Anita Derby (G1), earning his highest speed figure to date. To indicate his readiness, he turned in a sharp 5F workout on April 24th at Santa Anita, going :59.2 as the 3rd fastest of 68 works at that distance.


KNOWN AGENDA is the third choice at 6-1 for trainer Todd Pletcher, and will break from the rail under jockey Irad Ortiz JR. We last saw the son of CURLIN winning the Florida Derby (G1) in dominant fashion, posting his own highest speed figure to date, and also achieving the highest Late Speed rating out of all of today's rivals. A win here will give his trainer a third Kentucky Derby victory. 


Rounding out the field are: LIKE THE KING, BROOKLYN STRONG, KEEPMEINMIND, SAINTHOOD, O BESOS, MANDALOUN, MEDINA SPIRIT, HOT ROD CHARLIE, MIDNIGHT BOURBON, DYNAMIC ONE, HELIUM, HIDDEN STASH, KING FURY, HIGHLY MOTIVATED, SUPER STOCK, SOUP AND SANDWICH, and BOURBONIC.


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