Churchill Downs

Pletcher Works Derby Quartet at Churchill

On a busy Friday morning at Churchill Downs, GI Kentucky Derby contenders Bourbonic (Bernardini) (five furlongs, 1:01.60), Dynamic One (Union Rags) (five furlongs, 1:01), Helium (Ironicus) (five furlongs, 1:01.80), Known Agenda (Curlin) (five furlongs, 1:00.40) and Sainthood (Mshawish) (five furlongs, 1:00.40) all recorded published workouts in preparation for the 147th running of the "Run for the Roses" Saturday, May 1. All five horses worked at 7:30 a.m. and D J Stable's unbeaten GII Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby winner Helium was the first of the quintet to work. "The most...

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Derby and Oaks Works Open to Public

Between Saturday, Apr. 17 and Wednesday, Apr. 28, Churchill Downs will be open free-of-charge daily from 7-10 a.m. for fans to watch the GI Kentucky Derby and GI Kentucky Oaks contenders work. Horses train on Churchill Downs' main track daily from 5:15-10 a.m. Beginning Saturday, April 17, there will be an exclusive training window only for Derby and Oaks participants from 7:30-7:45 a.m. following the 7-7:30 a.m. renovation break. Those horses will be identified by special saddle towels which include their names:  yellow saddle towels for Derby horses and pink...

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The TDN Derby Top 20 For April 13

The long prep season is over, but some jostling for a starting spot remains among the horses on the cusp of the qualifying points cutoff. Please note the rankings below are independent from the "Road to the GI Kentucky Derby" points leaderboard Churchill Downs uses to determine starting berths. That list can be accessed here. 1) ESSENTIAL QUALITY (c, Tapit--Delightful Quality, by Elusive Quality) O/B-Godolphin (KY). T-Brad Cox. Lifetime Record: Ch. 2yo Colt & MGISW, 5-5-0-0, $2,265,144. Last Start: 1st GII Toyota Blue Grass S., KEE, Apr. 3 Accomplishments: 'TDN...

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Mandaloun, Helium Record Churchill Breezes

'TDN Rising Star' and GII Risen Star S. hero Mandaloun (Into Mischief) and D J Stable's Helium (Ironicus), upset winner of the GII Tampa Bay Derby, each tuned up for their upcoming starts in the GI Kentucky Derby May 1 with Saturday morning drills over the Churchill Downs main track. Working in the company of his fellow graded-stakes winning Juddmonte colorbearer Bonny South (Munnings), Mandaloun went five furlongs in :58.80 in splits of :23.40 and :46.60 before galloping out three-quarters of a mile in 1:11.40 and seven-eighths in 1:25.60, according...

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MSW Purses to Top $100K During Derby Week and at KY Downs

Purse levels for maiden special weight (MSW) races on the Kentucky circuit are projected to push past the $100,000 mark both during GI Kentucky Derby week at Churchill Downs and in September at the Kentucky Downs all-turf meet. In addition, Kentucky Downs plans to expand its stakes program to include two new $1 million races in 2021, giving the venue a total of three stakes at that level. (Read more details here). Ben Huffman, the director of racing at Churchill Downs, confirmed during a video meeting of the Kentucky Thoroughbred...

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TRF to Open Chestnut Hall, a New Sanctuary Farm Near Louisville

The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (TRF) will open a first-of-its kind farm designed to give the Louisville community and fans from around the world a direct connection to the horses at the heart of horse racing. The new TRF Sanctuary Farm at Chestnut Hall will be the permanent home of 11 horses from the organization's national herd of 500 retired Thoroughbred racehorses. These "herd ambassadors" will serve as educators to tell the story of the long life and diverse second careers that await these equine athletes when their racing days are...

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Derby, Oaks Infield Tickets on Sale Wednesday

A limited number of infield-only general admission tickets for the Apr. 30 GI Longines Kentucky Oaks and May 1 GI Kentucky Derby day cards at Churchill Downs will go on sale Wednesday at noon at kentuckyderby.com/tickets/2021-derby-week-tickets. "The Kentucky Derby experience is synonymous with fun and excitement and we're thrilled to welcome fans back to our infield," said Churchill Downs Racetrack President Mike Anderson. "We remain committed to relying on the most recent scientific evidence we have surrounding COVID-19, and with Kentucky Derby week three weeks away, we are encouraged by...

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'Kid' Returns Home, Maxfield Possible for Alysheba

DARRS Inc.'s Extravagant Kid (Kiss the Kid), winner of last Saturday's G1 Al Quoz Sprint at Meydan, is scheduled to return home this week, according to trainer Brendan Walsh. "He will quarantine in Chicago for 48 hours and then should be down [at Keeneland] Sunday or Monday," Walsh confirmed Thursday morning. An astute $75,000 claim by the current connections in January 2018, the 8-year-old gelding landed his first graded stakes score of his career in Dubai, as Walsh looked on flying from Miami to New Orleans. "I was trying to...

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Turfway Park Meet Concludes with 36.5% All Sources Handle Increase

A stout 36.5% increase of all sources handle, along with a rise in starters per race, topped Turfway Park's 38-day Winter/Spring meet that opened Jan 1. and concluded Saturday. Turfway Park's meet saw overall handle grow to $81.7 million, a $21.9-million increase from 2020. All sources handle per day was up 32.9%. The average field size topped 9.8 horses per race compared to 2020's 9.7 starters per race. "We can't thank our owners, trainers, jockeys and horseplayers enough for supporting our meet," Turfway Park's General Manager Chip Bach said. "Our...

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Godolphin Wields Rising Star Duo in Saturday's Derby Preps

Godolphin has been riding a high since annexing last weekend's GI Dubai World Cup with homebred Mystic Guide (Ghostzapper) and the operation looks to assert its dominance in the sophomore division Saturday with a pair of TDN Rising Stars, defending juvenile champion Essential Quality (Tapit), slated to run in Keeneland's GII Toyota Blue Grass S. and Aqueduct's GII Wood Memorial contender Prevalence (Medaglia d'Oro). Essential Quality earned his Rising Star status courtesy of a four-length victory sprinting six panels at Churchill Downs last September before handling his step up to...

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Second Stride Ky Derby Fundraiser Set for Apr. 25

In tandem with this season's Kentucky Derby, Second Stride will host its annual fundraiser Sunday, Apr. 25 at 6:00p.m. EST. Heading into this year's fundraiser, a silent auction will open Tuesday, Apr. 20. Silent auction items will include: A day in the announcer's booth at iconic Churchill Downs A round of golf at the historic Valhalla Golf Club A halter worn by American Pharoah, winner of the 2015 Triple Crown and Breeder's Cup Classic A VIP Tailgate at a University of Kentucky or University of Louisville football game A tour...

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Larry Melancon: A Remembrance

LOUISVILLE, Ky.--Larry Melancon might not have been the top jockey at Churchill Downs during his long career, though he ranks among the winningest riders at the historic Louisville track even a decade after his retirement. But no Churchill Downs jockey can match the resilience and longevity of Melancon, whose tenure of riding full-time under the Twin Spires for 36 consecutive years is unprecedented. Melancon, whose first official race was in 1971, arrived at Churchill Downs for the 1974 spring session. Up through his retirement on July 4, 2010 at Churchill...

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