Derby Points

The Two Towers Of Graded Stakes, Oaklawn And Gulfstream, Align Saturday

If you do not happen to be a Lord of the Rings devotee, then as a horse racing fan you might assume that Gandalf, Frodo, Saruman and Sauron were just names some eccentric owners concocted to toy with The Jockey Club. Well, for true disciples of Tolkein, you understand the 'Two Towers' reference is a major theme in the trilogy, but for our purposes it simply denotes coverage. This Saturday, both Oaklawn Park and Gulfstream Park are those poles of power when it comes to authoring graded stakes. Their cards...

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Kenny McPeek's Mystik Dan Upends Oaklawn's Southwest

One of four Kentucky Derby preps run Saturday, the $800,000 GIII Southwest S. at Oaklawn Park was the richest. It also promised to be the most wide-open betting contest and it didn't disappoint as a mud-splattered 11-1 MYSTIK DAN (c, 3, Goldencents--Ma'am, by Colonel John) pulled the upset for trainer Kenny McPeek. Last fall's Ed Brown S. winner Just Steel (Justify) got up for second while GIII Street Sense S. winner Liberal Arts (Arrogate) secured third. The Southwest offers points on a 20-10-6-4-2 scale for the Road to the Kentucky...

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'Rising Star' Nash Faces Track Phantom In Lecomte Rematch Headlining Saturday Graded Races

Like one of those old split-flap mechanical signs at train stations, everyone knows that in the new year the 'Run for the Roses' leaderboard will fluctuate. Week-to-week, the top points begin to compound--from 20 to the winner Saturday and going as high as 100 to the winner come April. The trail to Derby 150 begins a much steeper ascent on Saturday at Fair Grounds in New Orleans as the GIII Lecomte S. offers 3-year-old colts 20-10-6-4-2 that can be applied to Bank of Churchill. This year's edition pits a field...

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Oaklawn Shuffles Cards Due to Cancellations; Southwest Now Scheduled Feb. 3

Oaklawn Park, forced to cancel a number of race dates this month--including this coming weekend's live racing--due to winter weather, has moved the entire GIII Southwest S. card to Saturday, Feb. 3. A GI Kentucky Derby points race, the $800,000 Southwest is worth 20 points to the winner and points on a scale of 10-6-4-2 to the second- through fifth-place finishers. Although the Southwest was originally scheduled for Jan. 27 and racing is currently scheduled for that date, several stakes races have been reshuffled at the Hot Springs oval due...

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Baffert Vs. Locals In The Sunland Park Derby

Even with the expected scratch of Tim Yakteen's Bob Baffert transfer Fort Bragg (Tapit), the GIII Sunland Park Derby has plenty of new connections trying their hand at the available 50- 20-15-10-5 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby. Baffert himself brings in the non-Derby eligible Hard to Figure (Hard Spun), second to Newgate (Into Mischief) in the GIII Robert B. Lewis S. at Santa Anita Feb. 4. The local contingent is led by Henry Q (Blame)--winner of the sole local prep in the Mine That Bird Derby Feb....

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