Caddo River

Veterans Would Have An Instant Solution

Coming from a culture where most wagering stipulates a fixed dividend, in the startling event that your horse happens to see through his part of the deal, I tend to view the morning line on American races as named for the hangover evidently being suffered by its compiler.

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Saturday Insights: GISW Max Player Makes 2023 Debut At Oaklawn

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency 3rd-OP, $106K, OC, 4yo/up, 1 1/16m, 2:03 p.m. Last seen checking in fourth in last July's GII Suburban S. at Belmont, MAX PLAYER (Honor Code) makes his 6-year-old debut Saturday in an optional claimer at Oaklawn. The picture of consistency throughout his career, the Steve Asmussen trainee was a Triple Crown contender in 2020, placing third behind Tiz the Law (Constitution) in both the rescheduled GI Belmont S. and the GI Runhappy Travers S. before finishing fifth behind future Horse of the Year Authentic (Into...

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Cutbacks Coming and Going in Woody Stephens

There are only six runners signed on for Saturday's GI Woody Stephens S. on the GI Belmont S. undercard, but any one of them can win. Saffie Joseph, Jr. trainee Drain the Clock (Maclean's Music) will be one of a few likely to have his eyes on the lead. A dominant winner of the Limehouse S. and GIII Swale S. at Gulfstream, he was second in the two-turn GII Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth S. there Feb. 27 before cutting back to annex the GIII Bay Shore S. going this distance...

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Mandaloun, 'Caddo' to Skip Preakness, 'Bourbon' Gets Green Light

GI Kentucky Derby runner-up Mandaloun (Into Mischief) and stakes winner Caddo River (Hard Spun) will both pass on a run in next Saturday's GI Preakness S., trainer Brad Cox reported Thursday, significantly thinning the group of potential upsetters for Derby hero Medina Spirit (Protonico) in the Triple Crown's Middle Jewel. "We made the decision in the last hour to bypass the Preakness and point for Grade I's throughout the rest of the season," said trainer Brad Cox said of the Juddmonte homebred. "He has responded really well. We actually took...

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Essential Quality to Bypass Preakness; Belmont Possible

Trainer Brad Cox told Steve Byk on At the Races Tuesday morning that champion Essential Quality (Tapit), fourth in the GI Kentucky Derby as the 29-10 favorite, will skip the GI Preakness S. May 15. The grey could be considered for the GI Belmont S. June 5, with Godolphin's Jimmy Bell telling TVG's Alicia Hughes that the Belmont is "part of the conversation, but that's not definitive at all. We're skipping the Preakness, that's for sure. Our primary goal is to run in the [Aug. 28 GI] Travers and we'll...

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Caddo River Targeting Kentucky Derby

Trainer Brad Cox confirmed Tuesday morning that Shortleaf Stable's GI Arkansas Derby runner-up and 'TDN Rising Star' Caddo River (Hard Spun) is being aimed at a start in the GI Kentucky Derby. "If all goes well after his work on Saturday, we'll run in the Derby," Cox said. "He came out of the Arkansas Derby in great shape. He's a sound horse who is training well." The speedy Caddo River, a blowout front-running winner of the Smarty Jones S., was fifth as the favorite after conceding the early lead to...

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Liam's Map Filly Puts in Bullet Work for Flying Fish at OBS

A Liam's Map filly (Hip 1188) from the Flying Fish consignment looks to become the next star to come out of Art Fisher's training center after being one of eight juveniles to work a bullet in :9 4/5 during the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's Spring Sale under-tack show Saturday. The start of the sixth and final session was delayed until 9:30 a.m. due to storms in the forecast. "The third time I breezed her, I called the guy who owns her and said, 'This filly is diseased with speed.' So,...

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Baffert Looking for 'Concert' Encore in Arkansas Derby

After losing presumptive GI Kentucky Derby favorite Life Is Good (Into Mischief) to injury for several months, Bob Baffert may still have the Derby chalk in his barn if his undefeated 'TDN Rising Star' Concert Tour (Street Sense) can follow up his dominant GII Rebel S. score with a similar performance against just five rivals in Saturday's $1-million GI Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn. Unveiled as an even-money favorite going six furlongs Jan. 15 at Santa Anita, the Gary and Mary West homebred scored a good-looking wire-to-wire victory and repeated with...

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Concert Tour, Caddo River Head 3yo Worktab Saturday

Heading the likely cast of contenders in the Apr. 10 GI Arkansas Derby, undefeated Concert Tour (Street Sense) worked five furlongs in 1:00.80 under Juan Ochoa at Santa Anita Saturday morning. "He went great; he looked fantastic," said trainer Bob Baffert. "He couldn't have looked any better. He just cruised around there in a minute and change." Taking over as top dog in the Baffert barn following the injury of Life Is Good (Into Mischief), Concert Tour a perfect three-for-three this season, including wins in the GII San Vicente S....

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Essential Quality to Blue Grass, Arkansas Derby Next for Caddo River

Defending juvenile champion Essential Quality (Tapit) is expected to make his next start in the Apr. 3 GII Toyota Blue Grass S. at Keeneland, according to trainer Brad Cox Tuesday. The Godolphin homebred, who is slated to post his final major work this Saturday, most recently won the GIII Southwest S. at Oaklawn Feb. 27. "The Blue Grass is what we have zeroed in on," confirmed Cox. "He's done extremely well [since the Southwest]. We breezed him last Saturday [Mar. 13], and we clocked him at a half in :48.20,...

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Concert Tour Runs Away From Rebel Rivals

The further we get down the GI Kentucky Derby trail, the more evident it becomes that Bob Baffert will saddle the favorite on the First Saturday in May. The only question is which of his super star colts it will be. 'TDN Rising Star' Life is Good (Into Mischief) kept his unbeaten record in tact with a dominant score in the GII San Felipe S. last weekend with barnmate Medina Spirit (Protonico) in second. On Saturday, Baffert sent out another undefeated colt to a sensational victory in a Derby prep...

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This Side Up: River Levels Rising

They used to say that when you think you have two Epsom colts in your stable, you don't have any. The axiom has long since been decommissioned, however, by the skills of Aidan O'Brien and his patrons, albeit with the inane complicity of a commercial market that is disastrously diluting competition. And it looks as though it no longer transfers to the GI Kentucky Derby, either. Having (eventually) landed running with champion Essential Quality (Tapit), and with Caddo River (Hard Spun) and Mandaloun (Into Mischief) testing their own credentials over...

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