Darren Rogers

Un Ojo Defection Allows Ethereal Road to Draw Into Derby

According to a tweet from Churchill Downs' Senior Director of Communications and Media Services Darren Rogers, Un Ojo (Laoban), who registered a 75-1 upset in the GII Rebel S. at Oaklawn Park Feb. 26, was not entered for Saturday's GI Kentucky Derby. The Wayne Lukas-trained Ethereal Road (Quality Road), who missed by a half-length in the Rebel and exits a fourth in the GIII Stonestreet Lexington S. at Keeneland Apr. 16, will take the 20th spot in the field when entries are drawn Monday afternoon. "It's a little bit unexpected,"...

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No Baffert Trainees Nominated to Oaks

A total of 103 horses have been nominated to the GI Kentucky Oaks and they all have one thing in common: none are trained by Bob Baffert. According to Churchill Downs Senior Director, Media Services, Darren Rogers, it was not a case of Churchill rejecting Baffert's nominees, but a matter of Baffert failing to nominate any horses. Baffert is under suspension at Churchill and ineligible to race in the Oaks, but that doesn't mean that horses currently under his care won't be able to compete in the race. Baffert's owners...

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Churchill Has Issued Proposal for Derby Spectators, Waiting to Hear From Governor

After submitting its proposal to allow fans to attend this year's GI Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs officials are expecting to hear back from Governor Andy Beshear this week. At his press briefing Monday, Beshear said he is reviewing Churchill's proposal and would announce a decision shortly. Alluding to the GI Belmont S., where fans were not allowed in the stands, Beshear said he envisioned that the Kentucky Derby will be "different" than the Belmont. "I believe that Churchill Downs made a very good decision to move the race," the governor...

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Churchill Opener: Smooth Protocols, Robust Handle, Eerie Aura Without Fans

A live bugler played a first-race call to post that echoed and reverberated in front of a cavernously empty grandstand, and track announcer Travis Stone preceded his season-opening call with the declaration that "Better late than never, they're in the gate at Churchill Downs." But once the horses were off and running for Saturday's 11-race card, a sense of business-as-usual settled in--at least as defined by the new normalcy terms of spectator-free, pandemic-era racing in America. "It was surreal. I watched the first race of the season from the infield...

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