Medaglia d’Oro holds solid Kentucky Derby cards

Handicapper Art ParkerBy ART PARKER

His greatest runners have been fillies. Names such as Songbird, Rachel Alexandra and last year’s Alabama winner Elate. The successful sire, Medaglia d’Oro, has two of the current Kentucky Derby favorites and their prospects look good.

Bolt D’Oro leads most Kentucky Derby polls as the top three year old in the nation. He is a true blue blood coming from a dam by the great A.P. Indy. You put the dam side along with his sire, which is El Prado, and you have the makings of a classic champion. The most impressive part of his sire line contains names such as Sadler’s Wells and Northern Dancer. One thing about Bolt d’Oro – distance should be no problem.

Bolt d’Oro won the San Felipe Stakes, the biggest three year old race on the west coast prior to the Santa Anita Derby. It is important to note that Bolt d’Oro didn’t make it to the finish line first, that honor belonged to McKinzie, a Bob Baffert trainee that many considered to be the top Derby prospect in the nation. Bolt d’Oro won with a controversial disqualification. If he and McKinzie both return in the Santa Anita Derby the issue of superiority should be resolved, at least until the first Saturday in May.

As of now Bolt d’Oro is atop the Derby list and his pedigree makes him a genuine classic distance horse.

copyright DarbyAmerica

On the east coast another son of Medaglia d’Oro captured a Kentucky Derby prep the same day Bolt d’Oro was victorious in California. Enticed, a colt with the cool one word name, romped in the Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct. Enticed left the impression that he was a plodder and had to be encouraged to go. When he did get down to business in the Aqueduct stretch, he turned the Gotham into an easy win.

Enticed has strong ties to A.P. Indy on the dam side since his broodmare sire is former Horse of the Year Mineshaft. His dam was no slouch either. It’s Tricky defeated two-time Champion Royal Delta and Oaks winner Plum Pretty in the Grade 1 Coaching Club of America Oaks over 9 furlongs.

Medaglia d’Oro has been a great sire and he was also a great runner. His record from 17 starts is 8-7-0. He won The Travers Stakes and The Whitney at Saratoga as well as the Strub Stakes, the Oaklawn Handicap and the Donn Handicap. He finished second in the Pacific Classic and the Belmont Stakes and twice finished in the Breeders’ Cup Classic and the Dubai World Cup.

Medaglia d’Oro currently has a lofty stud fee $250,000.

Now 19 years old, Medaglia d’Oro only needs a winner on the first Saturday in May in Louisville to round out a great stud career. In 2018 he looks to be at the Derby poker table holding some strong cards. His popularity as a prospective Derby winning sire was displayed in the November future sire pool when he was heavily bet to 5-1.

Javier Castellano will continue to ride Bolt D’Oro

churchill downs ky derby dayJockey Javier Castellano will ride Bolt D’Oro in the Santa Anita Derby on April 7, trainer-owner Mick Ruis told the Los Angeles Times on Monday. Ruis had given the three-time Eclipse Award winning jockey until Monday afternoon to declare his intention to ride the horse. A top jockey such as Castellano will get many offers to ride… [Read more…]

Bolt d’Oro wins San Felipe after McKinzie is disqualified

Bolt d’Oro wins San Felipe after McKinzie is disqualified

Lexington Herald Leader Kentucky Derby 2018 Future Pool 3: The Field And The Odds Forbes Road to Kentucky Derby | Bolt d’Oro wins San Felipe after McKinzie disqualified The Courier-Journal Racing!

Source: Bolt d’Oro wins San Felipe after McKinzie is disqualified

Trainer Brad Cox has a Sleeper for the Kentucky Derby

Press Release

Trainer Brad Cox said it’s “very possible” unbeaten Exclamation Point will run again this year at Oaklawn, but it won’t be in the $900,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) for 3-year-olds March 17.

Cox said the 1 1/16 Rebel, Oaklawn’s final major prep for the closing-day $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) April 14, comes up “too quick” for the lightly raced Exclamation Point, a 1 ¼-length winner of Saturday’s fifth race, a first-level allowance/optional claimer at a mile, under Fernando De La Cruz.

Regarding being wheeled back in the Rebel, Cox said, “No shot,” adding Exclamation Point could be considered for the Arkansas Derby or the $150,000 Northern Spur Stakes April 14 at Oaklawn.

“Work in progress, nice horse, tons of talent,” Cox said following Saturday’s ninth race. “Hopefully, he’ll take us where we want to go.” 

Making his second career start, and first around two turns Saturday, Exclamation Point stalked front-running Inge on the outside through splits of :22.93 for the opening quarter and :47.18 for a half-mile.

De La Cruz began pushing on Exclamation Point around the second turn and the half-brother to champion and 2017 Arkansas Derby winner Classic Empire, under left-handed urging, took the lead on the outside turning for home. The colt began drifting out approaching the wire, prompting De La Cruz to go to a right-handed stick. Mile races at Oaklawn begin and end at the sixteenth pole.

“I thought he ran well,” Cox said. “It looked like he got a little lost at the top of the lane, and then also down the lane. With nothing to run at him, he was kind of looking at maybe a tire track from the gate. Overall, for him to step up and run against winners for the first time, first time around two turns – we asked a lot of him. I thought he sat off somewhat of a hot pace today. He did well. He’s very athletic. The horse has a ton to learn. Moving forward, I don’t know where we’ll go with him. We’ll probably give him a little time.”

Exclamation Point, the 3-5 favorite, covered a mile over a fast track in 1:38.80.

Exclamation Point was coming off a front-running 2 ½-length victory sprinting Feb. 3. Cox noted he won his career debut despite being “a touch worked up in the post parade” with the lead pony and switching to his left lead inside the sixteenth pole after being hit right-handed.

Exclamation Point was equipped with a lip chain until he got to the gate Saturday, Cox said, adding he believed the equipment helped keep the colt more settled before the race.

“He’s got ability, he’s got talent,” Cox said. “It’s just, I guess, getting it out of him. We’re getting it out of him, but there’s a fine line you’ve got to walk as far as getting him to perform in the afternoon and doing it the right way – running straight and not jumping on the pony. It’s a work a progress.”

Exclamation Point races for his breeders, Steve and Brandi Nicholson, and Staton Flurry of Hot Springs, who purchased a half-interest in the colt late last month.

2018 Kentucky Derby Media Poll Has a New Leader

Press Release (edited)

Bolt d’Oro received more No. 1 votes, but it was this runner who earned the most points from a nationwide panel to lead Week 2 of the 2018 Kentucky Derby Media Poll: McKenzie.

The leaders will have a chance to distinguish themselves Saturday when they clash in Santa Anita Park’s Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes, one of three points-paying Kentucky Derby preps ahead along with the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby and Aqueduct’s Grade 3 Gotham Stakes.

“We’re less than nine weeks until the Kentucky Derby, and if you’re someone who likes to see an ultra-competitive, wide-open Derby, every passing prep seems to indicate that we’re in one of those years,” said America’s Best Racing’s Dan Tordjman.

Last weekend’s Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes evidenced that as Good Magic, the champion 2-year-old and top horse in last week’s poll, ran third in his season debut as an odds-on favorite. The result led to a shakeup in the rankings, with McKinzie, the Bob Baffert trainee who’s undefeated in three starts, voters’ new top choice.

“He and Firenze Fire are the only horses in this year’s crop that have won two Kentucky Derby points races,” pointed out Dick Downey, author of The Downey Profile. “McKinzie’s wins have come at two turns, and both of Firenze Fire’s wins have come at one turn.”

Grade 2 Holy Bull winner Audible, Good Magic and Solomini, another from the Baffert barn, rounded out the Kentucky Derby Media Poll’s Top 5. Gulfstream Park’s Fountain of Youth winner, the front-running Promises Fulfilled, jumped from unranked to No. 6 this week.
“A somewhat disappointing 2018 debut for Good Magic — third in the Fountain of Youth, well behind Promises Fulfilled and Strike Power—turns things topsy turvy,” said TVG’s Caton Bredar. “Hopefully the West Coast provides some clarity this weekend.”

Bolt d’Oro, who won multiple Grade 1 races at age 2, will be making his first start since the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, a race in which he took a wide trip to finish third. Jockey Javier Castellano picked up the mount in the San Felipe for owner and trainer Mick Ruis, who purchased the son of Medaglia d’Oro for $630,000.

Also this week, Solomini received a pair of No. 1 votes, while Audible, Catholic Boy and Avery Island each received one. The 2018 Kentucky Derby Media Poll panel includes representatives from the Daily Racing Form, BloodHorse, NBC Sports and other leading outlets.

There’s much left to settle on the Kentucky Derby trail, with seemingly only Promises Fulfilled and Bravazo, the Grade 2 Risen Star winner, safely in the field having earned 50 qualifying points from their recent victories.

“The first two major prep races have been won by a 21-1 shot and an 18-1 shot,” said the Louisville Courier Journal’s Jason Frakes. “Not sure which is going to be tougher: filling out an NCAA Tournament bracket or handicapping this Derby field.”

Kentucky Derby Media Poll (Week 2)
 Horse (1st-place votes)  Points Previous
 1. McKinzie (9)  499 3
 2. Bolt d’Oro (12)  495 2
 3. Audible (1)  451 4
 4. Good Magic (1)  425 1
 5. Solomini (2)  407 5
 6. Promises Fulfilled  335   N/R
 7. Catholic Boy (1)  326 6
 8. Free Drop Billy  289 8
 9. Avery Island (1)  284 7
 10. Justify  224 9
 11. Bravazo  209 12
 12. Flameaway  189 11
 13. Instilled Regard  158  10
 T14. Sporting Chance  150  14
 T14. My Boy Jack  150  13
 16. Magnum Moon  144 16
 17. Strike Power  137  N/R
 18. Vino Rosso  111 15
 19. Combatant  73 17
 20. Kanthaka  69   N/R

Next 10 receiving votes (with points): Firenze Fire (67), Snapper Sinclair (65), Noble Indy (48), Enticed (39), Tiz Mischief (35), Mendelssohn (27), Gold Town (25), Restoring Hope (22), Untamed Domain (21), Diamond King (17).

All Eyes on Good Magic in 2018 Fountain of Youth

Post Parade Gulfstream Park maiden race


The first read on how champion Good Magic has progressed comes March 3 when he and nine rivals break from the gate in the $400,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream Park.

Source: All Eyes on Good Magic in Fountain of Youth

The Kentucky Derby and More

Guest Post

Soak up a little of history when you place your wagers at some of the legendary horse races happening in North America. Horse racing is a pastime enjoyed by spectators and bettors alike for hundreds of years now. Discover the most glamorous events in North America!


The Kentucky Derby, Louisville, Kentucky 

Grab your best hat and make the most of a mint julep when you go through to take a look at the first leg of the American Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing, the Kentucky Derby. The race is held on the first Saturday every May, with more than 150 000 spectators congregating at Churchill Downs to witness the competition, a tradition formed back in 1875.

This race is only 1 and ¼ miles long, and, thanks to the time the track takes to traverse, its nickname is The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports.


The Queen’s Plate, Etobicoke, Ontario 

While many of us may associate Canada primarily with the very enjoyable CAD casino action so many sites there provide, they have their own Triple Crown too, and it is a marvel to witness.

The Queen’s Plate is the oldest Thoroughbred horse race in Canada, and was founded in 1860. This is the oldest race to be continuously run in the whole of North America, actually. It takes place over 1 and ¼ miles, and a maximum amount of 17 three-year old Thoroughbred horses foaled in Canada may take part. It happens every summer, in June or July, at the Woodbine Racetrack, and makes up the first race for the Canadian Triple Crown.


The Belmont Stakes, Elmont, New York 

Horse racing enthusiasts worldwide waits eagerly for the first Saturday in June, when the Belmont Stakes, the third and last leg of the United States Triple Crown, begins.

The Belmont Stakes is the oldest of those making up the Triple Crown races in the USA, and dates back to 1867, and it is also the longest and the most challenging one to run, with 1 and ½ miles to be covered.

This is the race that saw Secretariat surge to his legendary place on the list of the greatest horses in history. When he ran to victory during the 1973 Belmont Stakes, he broke the world record for speed: a staggering 31 lengths ahead of the competition.


The Breeders’ Cup World Championships 

The location for the Breeders’ Cup World Championships changes from one year to the next, but this annual series of Thoroughbred horse races is always a thrill that few horse racing enthusiasts would consider missing.

It’s a two-day event, and has one of the largest purses in all horse racing. It was raised from US$5 million to US$6 million, and Longines Turf’s prize took a similar leap, going from US$3 million to US$4 million. Each Breeders’ Cup race presents four trophies to the connections of the winner, and, once again, a glorious garland of flowers is draped over the winning horses’ withers.


Take Part from Wherever You Are 

What’s great about these races is, although attending them would be a wonderful experience, it is simply not possible for many of us to do so. We can still take part, however, by watching them unfold from wherever we are, and placing a bet or two at top-rated sportsbooks to increase the thrill.

The U.S. Triple Crown Explained

 Guest Post

For a very long time, the thought of the Triple Crown was viewed as impossible: during the 59 years spanning from 1919 through to 1978, only 11 horses managed to win the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes in the same year. This means an average of around one ever five to six years!

The Triple Crown Reaches Mythical Status

And then, as punters of a certain age who enjoy horse racing as part of the Australian sports betting sites becoming more and more available will remember, the drought descended, after Affirmed last managed the feat in 1978. Ten years. 20 Years. 30 years… Anyone younger than their mid-40s or so will not have any real evidence that anyone has ever managed to take the Triple Crown except for some low-quality videos, most likely taken from before they were born!

Triple Crown trophy

American Pharoah Manages to Break the Spell

And then, in 2015, American Pharoah declared impossible is nothing, and managed the feat in 2015. While horse racing does not still have the same wide range of appeal as it once did, the American imagination was once more captivated when Pharoah completed his historic run at the Belmont Stakes. People tuned in on their TVs, streamed the race online, and even viewed it on the video boards of certain stadiums.

Why We Still Care

 As expensive as it is to get into jump racing or horse racing seriously these days, as an owner or spectator if the truth be told, the Kentucky Derby, which takes place every May still stands as one of the most-viewed sporting events on the American calendar. And, if the Derby winner manages to take first place in the Preakness two weeks later, you will hear his name over and over again, everywhere.

The fact is, while horse racing no longer has the same widespread appeal as it enjoyed in the 1930s, these events make for some rather compelling drama. You may not have any connection to the sport, but the Triple Crown is still a feat to behold. It is also rather enjoyable to make a pick for the winner and then have the answer revealed!


More About the Races Making Up the Triple Crown 

The three jewels in the crown are made up of:

  1. The 1 and 1/4 mile Kentucky Derby, which takes place on the first Saturday in May of every year at the Churchill Downs, in Louisville. A maximum of 20 horses, along with four alternates that are also eligible, are able to enter.
  2. The 1 and 3/16 mile Preakness Stakes, which takes place on the third Saturday of each May at the Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. 14 horses may enter, along with 2 alternates that are eligible as well.
  3. The 1 1/2 miles Belmont Stakes take place on the third Saturday following the Preakness, at Elmont, New York’s Belmont Park. As many as 16 horses may enter.

All three of these races are listed as Grade 1 races, the highest possible level, and are only open to horses aged three-years old.

Who will try for the 2018 Kentucky Derby? The Early Nominations

2013 KY Derby contender VerrazanoBreeders’ Cup Juvenile champion Good Magic headlines a lineup of 360 3-year-old Thoroughbreds nominated early for this year’s Triple Crown series, which begins with the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 5. A son of two-time Horse of the Year Curlin and trained by Chad Brown, Good Magic won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile by… [Read more…]

3 KY Derby Prep Races Saturday

Long Beach Press Telegram

Holy Bull Preview: Enticed vs. Tiz Mischief Set for a Rematch

Thoroughbred Racing Dudes Strong Case for an Upset Pick in Holy Bull Stakes

America’s Best Racing Full coverage

Source: 3 prep races Saturday have Kentucky Derby implications