Kentucky Derby

Plans uncertain for Saint's Fan

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Plans uncertain for Saint's Fan

Saint’s Fan could make his next start in the $1 million Louisiana Derby here on April 1. Or he could make his next start at Keeneland in April. Or be pointed for the $75,000 Crescent City Derby for Louisiana-breds, another April 1 race at Fair Grounds.

True Timber may change tactics for rematch with El Areeb in Gotham

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True Timber may change tactics for rematch with El Areeb

True Timber set the pace after stumbling badly at the break in the Grade 3 Withers, a race in which he ultimately finished second to El Areeb.

So Conflated will scratch from Risen Star to await Gotham

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So Conflated will scratch from Risen Star to await Gotham

NEW ORLEANS – Plans for the three horses who as of Friday afternoon were going to scratch from Saturday’s Risen Star Stakes are in various states of certainty.

Road to the Derby: Southwest Stakes analysis

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Road to the Derby: Southwest Stakes analysis
Coady Photography
One Liner (left) earned a 102 Beyer Speed Figure for his win in the Southwest Stakes, improving to 3 for 3 in his career.

Grade 3, $500,000 Southwest Stakes, 1 1/16 miles, Oaklawn Park, Feb. 20, 2017

 (10 Derby qualifying points for a win, 4 for second, 2 for third, 1 for fourth)

 Winner: One Liner, by Into Mischief

 Trainer: Todd Pletcher

 Jockey: John Velazquez

 Owner: WinStar Farm LLC, China Horse Club, and SF Racing LLC

Risen Star should separate Kentucky Derby contenders from pretenders

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Risen Star should separate Kentucky Derby contenders from pretenders

NEW ORLEANS – This is Mardi Gras season in New Orleans. Beads hang from trees along the Uptown parade routes. Booze-soused crowds shuffle through the French Quarter. Locals have their costumes ready for Fat Tuesday. And when the dust settles after the Risen Star Stakes on Saturday at Fair Grounds, a lot more will be known about which horses were merely dressed up as Kentucky Derby hopefuls and which had substance underneath.

Howard's Derby temperature holds steady at 98.6

Leave it to Neil Howard to do something wacky to mark his 68th birthday on Thursday.

“I’ll be laying low,” Howard said, “doing the usual stuff – pulling manes, cleaning sheets. Anyway, it’s always good to wait until Monday morning to celebrate or not.”

And what a celebration it could be if Howard’s pair of Guest Suite and Eagle come through on Saturday in New Orleans, where the Risen Star for ambitious 3-year-olds tops a stakes-laden program at Fair Grounds.

Epicharis to run in UAE Derby

Japan Racing Association
Epicharis (right) wins the Hyacinth Stakes in Tokyo on Sunday.

Epicharis, who won the Hyacinth Stakes last Sunday in Tokyo to move to the top of the Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby points list, has accepted an invitation to the United Arab Emirates Derby on March 25 at Meydan, the Japan Racing Association said on Thursday.

This is a significant step for Epicharis, for it puts him on the same schedule now as Lani, who won the UAE Derby last year before coming to the United States for the Kentucky Derby, in which he finished ninth. Lani subsequently was third in the Belmont Stakes.

Weekend Warrior for Saturday, Feb. 25: Picks for Risen Star, Mineshaft, Busher

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Weekend Warrior for Saturday

It’s all about Fair Grounds on Saturday as the New Orleans track offers a card that includes six stakes, led by the Grade 2, $400,000 Risen Star and the Grade 2, $200,000 Rachel Alexandra. Gulfstream has three stakes on its program, topped by the Grade 3, $100,000 Gulfstream Park Sprint.

Guest Suite drills half-mile in final work for Risen Star

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Guest Suite drills half-mile in final work for Risen Star

Guest Suite, who won the Lecomte Stakes on Jan. 21 in his 3-year-old debut, had his final Risen Star workout on Tuesday, going a half-mile in 48 seconds. On a damp, drizzly morning, trainer Neil Howard did not hesitate to work Guest Suite over a wet, sealed Fair Grounds surface.

Cox loaded for stakes on Louisiana Derby Preview Day

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Cox has five quality starters lined up for Saturday takes

NEW ORLEANS – The first multistakes card of any significance at the Fair Grounds meet on Dec. 17 sounded a steady drumbeat of Brad Cox-trained stakes winners. Green Mask won the Bonapaw, Cash Control won the Blushing K. D., and Western Reserve won the Buddy Diliberto.

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