Ethereal Road

Brown Duo Tune Up for Jim Dandy

The Chad Brown-trained duo of GI Preakness S. winner Early Voting (Gun Runner) and GI Toyota Blue Grass S. hero Zandon (Upstart) each put in their final breezes Saturday at Saratoga for next week's GII Jim Dandy S. The former breezed in company with GII Amsterdam S.-bound Accretive (Practical Joke) and was credited with five panels in 1:01.05 (12/30), while the latter covered the same distance in 1:01.95 (22/30) by himself. "Both horses did really well," said Brown. Zandon went alone. It was a nice easy work for him. I...

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Sophomore Races Lead Saturday Stakes Action

A pair of graded stakes for 3-year-olds highlight Saturday's racing action, starting with the GII Mother Goose S. at Belmont. Two of the five fillies are looking to rebound after off-the-board finishes in the May 6 GI Kentucky Oaks, 'TDN Rising Star' Shahama (Munnings) (sixth) and Venti Valentine (Firing Line) (14th). Shahama is making just her second U.S. start after starting her career with a perfect four-for-four record during her time in Dubai. Her trainer Todd Pletcher is looking for his seventh Mother Goose victory here. "It was hard to...

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Ethereal Road Out of Belmont

The D. Wayne Lukas-trained Ethereal Road (Quality Road) has a quarter crack and will not ship to New York for Saturday's GI Belmont S., the New York Racing Association announced Monday. A maiden winner in his second start around two turns this past January, the $90,000 Keeneland September graduate ran a monster race to be second in the GII Rebel S. before finishing off the board in the GI Toyota Blue Grass S. and GIII Stonestreet Lexington S. on consecutive weekends in April. Nevertheless, Ethereal Road was entered for the...

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Pompa's Legacy Lives On

When longtime owner and breeder Paul Pompa, Jr., who campaigned the likes of dual Classic winner Big Brown, passed away suddenly in October of 2020, it was a big blow to many in the industry. Some 19 months after his passing, the owner of Truck-Rite Corp.'s legacy has reached new heights. In the past two months alone, four former Pompa horses have won stakes, topped by Grade I winners Regal Glory (Animal Kingdom) and Country Grammer (Tonalist). "Mr. Pompa was a gentleman and a great sport to work for," said...

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Derby Scratch Ethereal Road Romps in Sir Barton

Ethereal Road (Quality Road) will always be remembered as the horse removed from the 2022 GI Kentucky Derby at the last moment of scratch time, paving the way for an 80-1 longshot to upset America's biggest race. However, on GI Preakness S. Day, he signified he might have something else to say about the 3-year-old picture this year. With stablemate Secret Oath (Arrogate) Preakness-bound after her GI Kentucky Oaks win, Ethereal Road was routed to the undercard Sir Barton S. at Pimlico and looked like a world-beater as he dodged...

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Oaks Finishers All Well on Saturday; Preakness Next for Oath?

More than 12 hours after winning his fifth GI Kentucky Oaks with Briland Farm's Secret Oath (Arrogate), Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas was back on his pony leading his horses out to train Saturday morning at 5:15 a.m. He reported that his star filly came out of the race well and now has several options ahead of her, including the GII Black-Eyed Susan S. and the GI Preakness Stakes May 20 and 21, respectively at Pimlico. "She bounced back very quickly last night and she's very sharp here...

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Ethereal Road Out, Rich Strike In

The feel-good story of Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas adding another GI Kentucky Derby win to his repertoire this year is not to be, as his GII Rebel S. runner-up Ethereal Road (Quality Road) has been scratched from Saturday's race, as first reported by Daily Racing Form's Marty McGee. The defection of Ethereal Road at scratch time for the Derby permitted also-eligible Rich Strike (Keen Ice), most recently third in the GIII Jeff Ruby Steaks S. at Turfway, into the field. Bred in Kentucky by Calumet Farm, Rich Strike...

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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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This Side Up: Run to Win, Not Win to Run

(Listen to this story by clicking the play button below.) [audio mp3=""][/audio] We live in a world where change is routinely mistaken for progress, draped in the cheap frills of "modernization"--a word that needs treating with extreme suspicion, implying as it does that any who challenge innovation are obstructing our species in some otherwise inexorable journey to fulfilment. Nobody can sensibly deny that a great deal of change has indeed been for the better. Few who honor her memory at Keeneland on Saturday, I'm sure, would like to have been...

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Cyberknife Fine after Arkansas Derby Win

Gold Square LLC's Cyberknife (Gun Runner) exited his win in Saturday's GI Arkansas Derby in fine shape and is expected to ship to Louisville Tuesday to continue preparations for the May 7 GI Kentucky Derby. The colt, who was making his second stakes appearance after a sixth-place effort in the Jan. 22 GIII Lecomte S., continued a trend of frisky behavior Saturday at Oaklawn when dumping jockey Florent Geroux in the post parade. "I was too far away to do anything about it, but Florent was able to jump up...

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Secret Oath Confirmed for Arkansas Derby

Briland Farm's Secret Oath (Arrogate), who soundly defeated fillies to win the Feb. 26 GIII Honeybee S., will take on the boys in the Apr. 2 $1.25-million GI Arkansas Derby, trainer D. Wayne Lukas confirmed Sunday. "We don't make these decisions, meaning the owners and myself, we don't make these decisions easily," Lukas said. "We consider all the things. First of all, you want to absolutely think that you are as good as any of the other 3-year-olds that might show up and you don't really know who is going...

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At 86, Lukas Eyes Kentucky Oaks Win With Secret Oath

Wayne Lukas has won the GI Kentucky Oaks four times, but should there be a fifth this year it would no doubt be among the most special accomplishments of this Hall of Famer's career. He's no longer able to attack the race with an arsenal of well-bred, expensive and talented horses sent his way by some of the sport's biggest owners. Those days are long gone. Instead, the 86-year-old trainer will have to overcome the odds and an inherent bias in the sport against older trainers and try to win...

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