Keepmeinmind

Keepmeinmind Scratched from PA Derby

Keepmeinmind (Laoban) has been scratched from Saturday's $1-million GI Pennsylvania Derby after an abscess was discovered in his left front foot. "It's just bad timing," trainer Robertino Diorodo said. "He trained like a monster [Thursday] and we needed the pony to get him off the track, he was feeling so good. This is definitely disappointing, but the main thing is the horse is going to be ok. Terrible timing." GSW Keepmeinmind was last seen finishing fourth in the Aug. 28 GI Runhappy Travers S.

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'Spirit'-less PA Derby Weekend's Main Event

The decision to withdraw GI Kentucky Derby first-past-the-post Medina Spirit (Protonico) from Saturday's $1-million GI Pennsylvania Derby is certainly a disappointing development, but eight of the nine remaining entrants already have at least one stakes win to their credit, six of those at the graded-stakes level, with a couple of new shooters that have earned their chance to contest a race of this magnitude. Hot Rod Charlie (Oxbow) is a deserving favorite based on his body of work, one that could look dramatically more sparkling with a few different bounces...

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Champ Tops 'Quality' Travers Field

Eclipse winner Essential Quality (Tapit) headlines a strong field of seven in Saratoga's prestigious GI Runhappy Travers S. Saturday evening. Should he succeed he would be the second colt in as many as years to complete the GI Belmont S./Travers double and the first juvenile champion to take the Midsummer Derby since Street Sense won the 2007 renewal. Opening his sophomore account with wins in the GIII Southwest S. Feb. 27 and GII Toyota Bluegrass S. Apr. 3, the Godolphin homebred was fourth as the favorite in the GI Kentucky...

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Essential Quality Leads Runhappy Travers Breezers

It was a busy morning at Saratoga for 3-year-olds headed towards next Saturday's $1.25-million GI Runhappy Travers S. at Saratoga, headed by GI Belmont S. hero and reigning champion juvenile Essential Quality (Tapit). The 'TDN Rising Star,' ridden by leading jockey Luis Saez, worked outside of stablemate Bonny South (Munnings) and the duo covered five furlongs in 1:01.58 (10/18). The Godolphin homebred was caught in fractions of :11.40, :23.22 and :47.81 before galloping out three-quarters of a mile in 1:15 flat. Juddmonte's enigmatic Bonny South is also scheduled to race...

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Masqueparade Preps for Jim Dandy

FTGGG Racing's graded stakes-winner Masqueparade (Upstart) breezed a half-mile in :47.59 in company over a fast main track Friday in preparation for Saratoga's GII Jim Dandy S. July 31. The bay enters this year's Jim Dandy off a trio of wins for trainer Al Stall, Jr., including the GIII Ohio Derby most recently June 26. "We're happy with the breeze. He's right on track," Stall, Jr. said. "We'll give him a chance to see how far he can take his talent. We were patient getting to where we got to...

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King Fury Returns in Ohio Derby

Well regarded before being knocked out of the GI Kentucky Derby after spiking a temperature on the eve of the big race, Fern Circle Stables and Three Chimneys Farm's King Fury (Curlin) looks to bolster his sophomore resume in Saturday's GIII Ohio Derby at Thistledown. Last season's Street Sense S. victor came home seventh in the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile before finishing fifth in the Nov. 28 GII Kentucky Jockey Club S. at Churchill Downs. Let go at 18-1 for his seasonal reappearance in the Apr. 10 GIII Lexington S....

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Keepmeinmind to Skip Belmont

Cypress Creek Equine, Arnold Bennewith, and Spendthrift Farm's Keepmeinmind (Laoban), who worked a half-mile in :46.92 (1/6) over a sloppy Belmont dirt training track Monday, will skip Saturday's GI Belmont S. and could make his next start over the turf in the July 10 GI Belmont Derby. "He worked great this morning, but thinking about it some more, I think he needs a little more time," trainer Robertino Diodoro said. "We were always 50-50 for the race, but I think as soon as we arrived at Belmont people got the...

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This Side Up: Mourning Two Exceptions, Lamenting the Rule

The shocking loss this week of the young gun Laoban, preceded just days earlier by that of the venerable Malibu Moon, could not fail to renew the kind of questions we should all keep asking themselves about how a stallion can make an enduring reputation. Both had started out in a regional program, having shown only marginal eligibility for a stud career on the racetrack, before quickly earning migration to Kentucky. If that was just about all they had in common, then their different roles on two of the biggest...

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The Show Continues in Preakness

BALTIMORE, MD--Immediately after the May 1 GI Kentucky Derby, it appeared that the GI Preakness S. two weeks hence would be a routine affair. Trainer Bob Baffert would be heading to Pimlico with a record seventh Derby victory under his belt and he would be in the enviable position of trying to collect his eighth win in the second jewel of the Triple Crown. And then the unthinkable happened. The Derby winner, Medina Spirit (Protonico), tested positive for Betamethasone, a substance banned on race day. That single event sparked a...

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Blue Grass Homecoming for Cox, Essential Quality

'TDN Rising Star' Essential Quality (Tapit) looks to maintain a spotless record as he stretches out to nine furlongs for the first time while facing a field of nine in this Saturday's GII Toyota Blue Grass S. at Keeneland. If this 3-5 morning line favorite were to score a win this weekend, he would, by most accounts, be considered a top choice heading into the GI Kentucky Derby as an undefeated dual Grade I winner. And yet, history would still be working against the Godolphin homebred come the first Saturday...

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Concert Tour, Caddo River Head 3yo Worktab Saturday

Heading the likely cast of contenders in the Apr. 10 GI Arkansas Derby, undefeated Concert Tour (Street Sense) worked five furlongs in 1:00.80 under Juan Ochoa at Santa Anita Saturday morning. "He went great; he looked fantastic," said trainer Bob Baffert. "He couldn't have looked any better. He just cruised around there in a minute and change." Taking over as top dog in the Baffert barn following the injury of Life Is Good (Into Mischief), Concert Tour a perfect three-for-three this season, including wins in the GII San Vicente S....

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Keepmeinmind Likely for Arkansas Derby

Though he has an option for the $800,000 GII Toyota Blue Grass S. Apr. 3, Keepmeinmind (Laoban) is more likely to remain at trainer Robertino Didoro's Oaklawn base and await the $1-million GI Arkansas Derby Apr. 10, the conditioner told the Oaklawn notes team Thursday. "It could change, but right now I'm pointing towards the Arkansas Derby," Diodoro said. "Just being here, not having to ship." Second in the GI Claiborne Breeders' Futurity last October and third in the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile as a maiden, Keepmeinmind rallied from last...

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