Known Agenda

Known Agenda Retired to Spendthrift

St. Elias Stables' Known Agenda (Curlin--Byrama {GB}, by Byron {GB}), winner of this year's GI Florida Derby, has been retired from racing and will take up stud duty at Spendthrift Farm in 2022. The chestnut, who will stand for an introductory fee of $10,000 S&N, will be offered through the farm's "Share The Upside" program on a limited basis. He is available for inspection by appointment. "Any time you can add a Florida Derby winner by Curlin with his looks and pedigree, you jump at the opportunity," said Ned Toffey,...

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'Quality' Over Quantity in Triple Crown Finale

ELMONT, NY -- What a difference a year makes. Back in its traditional spot on the calendar and 1 1/2-mile distance after the COVID-19 pandemic turned the world-and Triple Crown-completely upside down in 2020, Saturday's GI Belmont S. will feature a showdown between last year's champion 2-year-old colt Essential Quality (Tapit) and GI Preakness S. upsetter Rombauer (Twirling Candy). The Godolphin homebred was unstoppable in his first five career starts, headed by a win in the 2020 GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile. Sent off as the 5-2 favorite in the GI...

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TDN Belmont Preview

The trend of skipping the GI Preakness S. after a losing run in the GI Kentucky Derby has evolved as a standard 21st Century preparation for the GI Belmont S. This Saturday, five of the eight entrants follow that pattern. Over the past 20 years (not counting the pandemic-altered 2020), the Belmont has been won by nine horses that ran in Louisville then opted out of Baltimore. During that same time frame, seven horses won the Belmont after not having run in either the Derby or Preakness (only one entrant...

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Friday's Belmont Stakes Update

• John and Diane Fradkin's GI Preakness S. winner Rombauer (Twirling Candy) worked a half-mile in company Friday on the Belmont Park main track in preparation for the GI Belmont S. Rombauer, trained by Michael McCarthy, was clocked in :50.01 (53/86) beneath John Velazquez over the fast main track. "I was very happy with the work," McCarthy said. "I just wanted him to go ahead and get familiar with Johnny. It seemed like he was well in hand at all times. Johnny asked him to gallop out a little bit going...

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Pletcher Colts Work for Belmont

Three-time GI Belmont S.-winning conditioner Todd Pletcher sent out a trio of colts to breeze Friday morning at Big Sandy in preparation for this year's running of the final leg of the Triple Crown June 5. GI Curlin Florida Derby winner and GI Kentucky Derby ninth-place finisher Known Agenda (Curlin) breezed in company with GI Hill 'n' Dale Metropolitan H. contender Dr Post (Quality Road). The duo went in 1:02.54 (8/18). Irad Ortiz, Jr. was aboard Known Agenda, with Hall of Famer John Velazquez on last year's Belmont S. runner-up...

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The TDN Derby Top 20 for Apr. 29

by T.D. Thornton The last couple of anticipatory days prior to the GI Kentucky Derby can seem like a longer wait than the six-month prep season that preceded it. Here are the final TDN rankings, listed in "likeliest winner" order: 1) ESSENTIAL QUALITY (c, Tapit--Delightful Quality, by Elusive Quality) O/B-Godolphin (KY); T-Brad Cox; J-Luis Saez. Lifetime Record: Ch. 2yo Colt & MGISW, 5-5-0-0, $2,265,144. Last Start: 1st GII Toyota Blue Grass S., KEE, Apr. 3 Accomplishments: 'TDN Rising Star', 1st GI TVG Breeders' Cup Juvenile, KEE, Nov. 6, 1st GI...

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Wednesday's Trackside Derby Report

LOUISVILLE, KY - With the Churchill Downs backstretch and apron buzzing with socially distanced and mask-wearing fans, you could feel the excitement building during training hours on a steamy Wednesday morning. Cloudy skies and humid conditions greeted the GI Kentucky Derby and Oaks contenders during the special, 15-minute training period beginning at 7:30 a.m. Hall of Famer Bob Baffert held court by the main gap and posed for a quick photo-op holding the lead shank of his overachieving $35,000 OBS July 2-year-old Medina Spirit (Protonico) as the main track was...

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Early Impressions: Kentucky Derby 147–Part II

LOUISVILLE, KY - With the first Saturday in May just days away, TDN Senior Editor Steve Sherack caught up with the connections of leading GI Kentucky Derby contenders to get some of their 'Early Impressions.' In this edition, we check in with Hermitage Farm General Manager Bill Landes and Ocala, Florida, horseman Eddie Woods. Hot Rod Charlie (Oxbow) found another gear in the stretch to punch his ticket to Louisville in the GII Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby. Last year's 94-1 GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile runner-up, a $17,000 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky February yearling...

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Unbeaten Champion Essential Quality Favored for Kentucky Derby

LOUISVILLE, KY - Unbeaten champion Essential Quality (Tapit) was assigned post 14 in a full field of 20 assembled for Saturday's GI Kentucky Derby at Tuesday's post position draw held at Churchill Downs. The Godolphin homebred and 'TDN Rising Star,' tabbed as the 2-1 favorite on Mike Battaglia's morning line, made it a perfect five-for-five for trainer Brad Cox with a hard-fought, neck decision over Highly Motivated (Into Mischief) in the GII Blue Grass S. at Keeneland Apr. 3. Luis Saez, disqualified from first aboard Maximum Security in 2019, has...

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The TDN Derby Top 20 for April 20

We've entered that fun phase of microscopic scrutiny that accompanies the GI Kentucky Derby waiting game. The rankings below are independent from the "Road to the Derby" points leaderboard that Churchill Downs will use to determine starting berths; that list can be accessed here. 1) ESSENTIAL QUALITY (c, Tapit--Delightful Quality, by Elusive Quality) O/B-Godolphin (KY). T-Brad Cox. Lifetime Record: Ch. 2yo Colt & MGISW, 5-5-0-0, $2,265,144. Last Start: 1st GII Toyota Blue Grass S., KEE, Apr. 3 Accomplishments: 'TDN Rising Star', 1st GI TVG Breeders' Cup Juvenile, KEE, Nov. 6,...

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Pletcher Works Derby Quartet at Churchill

On a busy Friday morning at Churchill Downs, GI Kentucky Derby contenders Bourbonic (Bernardini) (five furlongs, 1:01.60), Dynamic One (Union Rags) (five furlongs, 1:01), Helium (Ironicus) (five furlongs, 1:01.80), Known Agenda (Curlin) (five furlongs, 1:00.40) and Sainthood (Mshawish) (five furlongs, 1:00.40) all recorded published workouts in preparation for the 147th running of the "Run for the Roses" Saturday, May 1. All five horses worked at 7:30 a.m. and D J Stable's unbeaten GII Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby winner Helium was the first of the quintet to work. "The most...

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The TDN Derby Top 20 For April 13

The long prep season is over, but some jostling for a starting spot remains among the horses on the cusp of the qualifying points cutoff. Please note the rankings below are independent from the "Road to the GI Kentucky Derby" points leaderboard Churchill Downs uses to determine starting berths. That list can be accessed here. 1) ESSENTIAL QUALITY (c, Tapit--Delightful Quality, by Elusive Quality) O/B-Godolphin (KY). T-Brad Cox. Lifetime Record: Ch. 2yo Colt & MGISW, 5-5-0-0, $2,265,144. Last Start: 1st GII Toyota Blue Grass S., KEE, Apr. 3 Accomplishments: 'TDN...

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