Jace's Road

Top to Bottom: Derby Rundown

This week's Triple Crown feature examines the trips of GI Kentucky Derby runners in detail from first to last: 1) Mage (No. 12 in TDN pre-race rankings) Mage, the little horse who could, was a characteristic beat slow out of the starting gate. Javier Castellano let him roll with the flow as the field sorted itself out through the first furlong, then darted to secure the rail while fourth-last the first time under the wire. Unhurried through the turn, this son of Good Magic ($235,000 KEESEP; $290,000 EASMAY) raced several...

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Kentucky Derby 149: Early Impressions with Albaugh Family Stable's Jason Loutsch

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - TDN Senior Racing Editor Steve Sherack catches up with the connections of leading GI Kentucky Derby contenders to get their 'Early Impressions.' Albaugh Family Stables purchased a total of nine yearlings either alone or in partnership out of the 2021 Keeneland September Sale for a total of $3.37 million. Two of them have made the 20-horse field for the Kentucky Derby and a third will need a scratch to draw into the body of the field. Angel of Empire (Classic Empire) punched his ticket to Louisville following...

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TDN Derby Top 20: The Waiting is the Hardest Part

The rankings below are independent from the "Road to the Derby" leaderboard Churchill Downs uses to determine starting berths, with several horses included here who are currently below the cut. View the qualifying list here. 1) PRACTICAL MOVE (c, Practical Joke--Ack Naughty, by Afleet Alex) O-Leslie & Pierre Jean Amestoy & Roger Beasley; B-Chad Brown & Head of Plains Partners (KY); T-Tim Yakteen. Sales history: $90,000 RNA yrl '21 KEESEP; $230,000 2yo '22 OBSAPR. Lifetime Record: GISW, 7-4-1-2, $884,200. Last Start: 1st Apr. 8 GI Runhappy Santa Anita Derby. Kentucky...

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Easy Works for Cox's Derby Contenders

Two of trainer Brad Cox's four GI Kentucky Derby contenders turned in half-mile works at Churchill Downs Saturday, with GI Arkansas Derby winner Angel of Empire (Classic Empire) and GII Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby third-place finisher Jace's Road (Quality Road) both credited with working, hours apart, in :48.20 (20/99). Albaugh Family Stables' Angel of Empire worked alongside stablemate Tapit's Conquest (Tapit), who was most recently seventh in the Louisiana Derby, just as the track opened at 5:30 a.m. Sporting blinkers while working outside his stablemate through early fractions of :12.40 and...

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Echo Again Victorious In Oaklawn Debut

7th-Oaklawn, $103,000, Alw, 3-30, (NW1RX), 3yo, 1m, 1:37.94, ft, 1 1/4 lengths. ECHO AGAIN (c, 3, Gun Runner--Teardrop {SP}, by Tapit) earned 'TDN Rising Star' status with a commanding 6 3/4-length debut win at Saratoga last summer. Tested for class, he faded to seventh in the GIII Iroquois S. against a stacked field led by Curly Jack (Good Magic), Jace's Road (Quality Road), and Confidence Game (Candy Ride {Arg}). Third in the Remington Springboard Mile S. to cap his juvenile season, he returned to be sixth after setting the pace...

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Uncle Mo's Kingsbarns Stays Perfect, Wires Louisiana Derby

Spendthrift Farm's Kingsbarns (c, 3, Uncle Mo--Lady Tapit, by Tapit) made it a perfect three-for-three in a dominating, front-running performance in Saturday's GII Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds. 'TDN Rising Star' Disarm (Gun Runner) was second; 'TDN Rising Star' Jace's Road (Quality Road) was third. Well-backed at odds of 9-2 from a 6-1 morning-line quote, Kingsbarns was sent to the front by Flavien Prat from post six and led the way through easy fractions of :24.71 and :49.60 with Jace's Road shadowing in second. Kingsbarns began to shake free...

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Louisiana Derby Caps Prep Season At Fair Grounds

While the first Saturday in May is still six weeks away, the trail to the GI Kentucky Derby reaches its boiling point in New Orleans Saturday with the conclusion of the Fair Grounds prep series--the GII Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby. One of a pair of Derby points races happening within 20 minutes of one another Saturday, the Louisiana Derby offers 100-40-30-20-10 points and all but guarantees the winner a slot in the gate at Churchill Downs May 6. Currently 10th on the leaderboard--the highest of the runners in the field--Instant Coffee...

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This Side Up: For This Road, The 'Knight' Will Need Armor

No matter where you start from, the choice on Saturday is the same for everyone: do you head southeast, or Southwest? Okay, if you happen to be in Key West, you'll uniquely have to head a little way north to join the party in Miami. For many of us, however, the compass needle will instead be quivering towards to the GIII Southwest S. The big bucks are obviously at Gulfstream. But it tells you plenty about the inside-out values of this business that even a prize exceeded in the U.S....

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Cox Unveils Plans for 3-Year-Old Colts

For the Brad Cox stable, the road to the GI Kentucky Derby will make a stop Saturday at Oaklawn where Verifying (Justify) will run in an allowance race. It will be his first start since finishing sixth in the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile. Cox will also send out Judo (Street Sense), who will not be among the favorites in the race. But even if the Cox pair falters, he'll still be loaded. The trainer, whose Mandaloun (Into Mischief) was placed first in the 2021 Derby with the disqualification of Medina...

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Derby Top 12: The Point Race Begins

The first week of January doesn't have much in common with the first Saturday in May--with the exception that the inaugural TDN Top 12 has arrived to herald the coming of the seemingly far-off GI Kentucky Derby season. Get tied on and enjoy the ride. 1) ARABIAN KNIGHT (c, Uncle Mo--Borealis Night, by Astrology) 'TDN Rising Star'. O-Zedan Racing Stables, Inc.; B-Corser Thoroughbreds LLC (KY); T-Bob Baffert. Sales history: $250,000 Ylg '21 KEESEP; $2,300,000 2yo '22 OBSAPR. Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0, $86,025. Last start: 1st Keeneland Maiden Special Weight, Nov. 5....

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Quality Road 'Rising Star' Makes Amends in Gun Runner

'TDN Rising Star' Jace's Road (Quality Road) took advantage of a bit of a stumbling start from favored Determinedly (Cairo Prince) to lead past every pole for a maiden stakes success in Monday's Gun Runner S. at the Fair Grounds. Sent off the 14-5 second favorite off a forgettable and forgivable eighth-place effort as the favorite in a sloppy renewal of the GIII Street Sense S. at Churchill Downs Oct. 30, the $510,000 Keeneland September graduate found his way to the front as Determinedly--off at 4-5--bobbled slightly and though pressured,...

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Street Sense Headlines Stars of Tomorrow Card

The GIII Street Sense S.--graded for the first time in 2022--is one of 11 races for juveniles on Sunday's "Stars of Tomorrow I" card to kick off the Churchill Downs fall meeting. Winchell Thoroughbreds homebred Red Route One (Gun Runner) gets the tepid morning-line nod at 3-1. The chestnut broke through by daylight second out at Kentucky Downs Sept. 5, then switched to dirt to finish third from out of the clouds at almost 60-1 in the Oct. 8 GI Claiborne Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland. Jace's Road (Quality Road), a...

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