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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Baffert Seeks Eighth Rebel Win

Bob Baffert is dangerous at any track he runs at, but he seems to have a special affinity for Oaklawn, especially in the GII Rebel S. The Hall of Famer has won that event seven times, saddling the likes of Lookin at Lucky (2010), The Factor (2011), Secret Circle (2012), Hoppertunity (2014), Triple Crown hero American Pharoah (2015), Cupid (2016) and Nadal (2020). All of those horses went on to be Grade I winners and stallions and undefeated Concert Tour (Street Sense) looks to add his name to that illustrious...

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Laoban Receives Warm Bluegrass Welcome

The buzz started around this time last year. The first crop of 2-year-olds from Sequel New York's Laoban were fast. In a TDN series last spring polling various juvenile consignors and buyers, the son of Uncle Mo was on several shrewd observers' lists as a predicted under-the-radar stallion. "Laoban is a sneaky one that I'm not sure if a lot of people will notice," Brandon Rice had said last March. "I can see that there's guaranteed speed, and I could see him having a break out year...They all have a...

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Keepmeinmind Staying Put for Southwest

Despite the weather-enforced postponement of the GIII Southwest S., Keepmeinmind (Laoban) will remain in his stall at Oaklawn Park and will pass this weekend's GII Risen Star S. at the Fair Grounds, trainer Robertino Diodoro confirmed Wednesday. "In the end, I feel better running him out of his own stall," Diodoro said. The bay colt, who was third in the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile before breaking his maiden in the GII Kentucky Jockey Club S. Nov. 28, turned in his sixth breeze of the year Monday in Hot Springs, going...

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Spendthrift Acquires interest in Keepmeinmind

B. Wayne Hughes's Spendthrift Farm has acquired a 50% ownership interest in graded stakes winner Keepmeinmind (Laoban). The 3-year-old colt was second behind Essential Quality (Tapit) in the GI Claiborne Breeders' Futurity and third behind that subsequent champion in the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile before concluding his 2-year-old campaign with a win in the GII Kentucky Jockey Club S. He currently sits second on the GI Kentucky Derby leaderboard with 18 points. "We are delighted to be a part of such an exciting young racehorse as Keepmeinmind, and thankful to...

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Keepmeinmind, Shedaresthedevil Work at Oaklawn for '21 Debuts

Keepmeinmind (Laoban) worked five furlongs in a bullet :59 at Oaklawn Tuesday morning in preparation for a start in the GIII Southwest S. Feb. 15. The fastest of 17 works published at the distance, the 3-year-old completed the final quarter-mile in a sharp :22.80, galloping out six furlongs in 1:11.80, seven furlongs in 1:25.40 and a mile in 1:40.40, according to local clockers. Accompanied by David Cohen, the winner of the GII Kentucky Jockey Club S. last November worked over a fast track following the second break to renovate the...

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Laoban Colt Graduates in Kentucky Jockey Club

Keepmeinmind (Laoban) entered Saturday's GII Kentucky Jockey Club S. a maiden, but with board finishes in each of his three previous appearances, including two at Grade I level. The bay colt, last for the opening 6 1/2 furlongs, came with a barnstorming finish to graduate in style, earning 10 points towards next year's GI Kentucky Derby in the process. Favored at 2-1, Keepmeinmind was clearly last into stride and was taken in hand by David Cohen, as Smiley Sobotka (Brody's Cause) set the pace at the fence from Oncoming Train...

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'Fury' Looking For Redemption in Kentucky JC

Fern Circle Stables and Three Chimneys Farm's King Fury (Curlin) is undefeated in two prior starts at Churchill Downs and tries to annex his first graded victory in Saturday's GII Kentucky Jockey Club S. A debut winner at the Louisville oval in September, the chestnut was eighth in Keeneland's GI Breeders' Futurity S. Oct. 3 before bouncing back to score in the Oct. 25 Street Sense S. Last time out, the 2-year-old finished seventh under Brian Hernandez Jr. in the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Nov. 6. "He's 2-for-2 at Churchill...

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