Smile Happy

TDN Kentucky Derby Top 20 for May 5

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) ZANDON (c, Upstart--Memories Prevail, by Creative Cause) O-Jeff Drown. B-Brereton C. Jones (KY). T-Chad C. Brown. Sales History: $170,000 ylg '20 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: GISW, 4-2-1-1, $713,000. Last Start: 1st GI Toyota Blue Grass S. KY Derby Points: 114. Post 10, 3-1. Zandon enters the Derby having rightfully earned kingpin status. A...

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Backside Learning Center Has Vested Interest in Derby

Edited Press Release The Backside Learning Center at Churchill Downs stands to gain anywhere between $200,000 and $400,000 based on the results of Saturday's GI Kentucky Derby beneath the Twin Spires. In January, Brook Smith--a longtime supporter of the BLC--placed a $10,000 Kentucky Derby Future Wager on Tiz the Bomb (Hit It a Bomb), pledging any winnings to the center. A Derby victory would be worth $114,000. Smith's wager was a friendly challenge to Texas-based businessman and famed sports bettor "Mattress Mack" Jim McIngvale's Future Wager bet for the same...

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Busy Saturday Morning for Kentucky Derby and Oaks Workers

It was an action-packed Saturday morning at Churchill Downs for GI Kentucky Derby and GI Kentucky Oaks workers. At 5:15 a.m., the Brad Cox-trained duo of GI Arkansas Derby winner Cyberknife (Gun Runner) and GII Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby runner-up and 'TDN Rising Star' Zozos (Munnings) worked six furlongs together in 1:11.20 (1/4) and 1:11.40 (2/4), respectively. At 7:30 a.m., GIII Stonestreet Lexington S. winner Tawny Port (Pioneerof the Nile), with newly named jockey Ricardo Santana, Jr., worked five furlongs for Cox in 1:01.60 (30/57). "There's a lot of excitement leading...

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TDN Kentucky Derby Top 20 for Apr. 26

These rankings are in "likeliest winner" order, and they are different from the points leaderboard Churchill Downs uses to determine starting berths. Access that list here. The GI Kentucky Derby can have a field of 20 with four also-eligibles. 1) ZANDON (c, Upstart--Memories Prevail, by Creative Cause) O-Jeff Drown. B-Brereton C. Jones (KY). T-Chad C. Brown. Sales History: $170,000 ylg '20 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: GISW, 4-2-1-1, $713,000. Last Start: 1st GI Toyota Blue Grass S., KEE, Apr. 9. KY Derby Points: 114. Right after the final nine-furlong preps were complete,...

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Classic Hopefuls Turn It Up a Notch

With two weeks remaining until the first weekend of May, several chief protagonists for the GI Kentucky Derby and GI Longines Kentucky Oaks turned in some key breezes in Kentucky and California. Jeff Drown's Zandon (Upstart), who cemented his spot in the Derby field with an eye-catching victory in the GI Toyota Blue Grass S. at Keeneland Apr. 9, has remained in Lexington to train up to the big race and went a half-mile in :48.60 (see below). The $170,000 Keeneland September graduate covered his opening furlong in :12.80, then...

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TDN Kentucky Derby Top 20 For Apr. 12

All the nine-furlong preps for the GI Kentucky Derby are in the books, but Saturday's GIII Lexington S. still offers 20 points to the winner, so there could be some shakeout in the bottom tier of the Top 20. The rankings below are independent from the "Road to the Derby" points leaderboard Churchill Downs uses to determine starting berths. Access that list here.  1) ZANDON (c, Upstart--Memories Prevail, by Creative Cause) O-Jeff Drown. B-Brereton C. Jones (KY). T-Chad C. Brown. Sales History: $170,000 ylg '20 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: GISW, 4-2-1-1,...

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Rising Stars Square Off in the Blue Grass

'TDN Rising Stars' Smile Happy (Runhappy) and Emmanuel (More Than Ready) face off Saturday as they try to secure their spots in the GI Kentucky Derby starting gate at Keeneland in the GI Toyota Blue Grass S. Smile Happy rallied past rivals with ease to take his career bow in style going two turns at Keeneland Oct. 29 and followed suit with a decisive victory in the GII Kentucky Jockey Club S. Nov. 27. Splitting foes, the dark bay closed from well back to be second to next-out GII Louisiana...

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Ken McPeek Talks Derby Hopefuls Tiz the Bomb, Smile Happy On Writers' Room

Housing as many as three GI Kentucky Derby starters in his barn, trainer Kenny McPeek joined the TDN Writers' Room presented by Keeneland as the Green Group Guest of the Week Tuesday to discuss Tiz the Bomb (Hit It a Bomb)'s dirt prospects and potential summer European campaign, his plan for likely GI Toyota Blue Grass S. favorite Smile Happy (Runhappy) to run in all three Triple Crown races, his thoughts on the continuing phase-out of Lasix in American racing and more. Tiz the Bomb, a dual stakes winner and...

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Kenny McPeek Joins the TDN Writers' Room

With one colt, Tiz the Bomb, joining the list of Kentucky Derby hopefuls after a win in the GIII Jeff Ruby S. and another trainee, Smile Happy, set to make his final Kentucky Derby prep in the GI Blue Grass S. this weekend, trainer Kenny McPeek joins this week's TDN Writers' Room to talk about his current roster of stable stars.

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TDN Kentucky Derby Top 12 for Mar. 22

We now enter the demanding segment of the GI Kentucky Derby prep schedule when most of the important stakes stretch to nine furlongs and are worth 100 qualifying points to the winners. This Saturday's GII Louisiana Derby is the focal point of the weekend, and it's also the lone 1 3/16-mile prep in North America. 1) CLASSIC CAUSEWAY (c, Giant's Causeway--Private World, by Thunder Gulch) O/B-Kentucky West Racing LLC & Clarke M. Cooper Family Living Trust (KY). T-Brian A. Lynch. Lifetime Record: MGSW & GISP, 5-3-1-1, $511,100. Last Start: 1st...

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Simplification, Smile Happy Highlight Saturday Gulfstream Worktab

Tami Bobo's Simplification (Not This Time) returned to the Gulfstream Park worktab Saturday morning for the first time since scoring a dominant 3 1/2-length victory in the GII Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth S. Mar. 5 in Hallandale. The Antonio Sano trainee breezed five furlongs in 1:01.81 (15/28) under jockey Jose Ortiz before galloping out six furlongs in 1:14.85. "It was a very good work. The horse worked in hand. He went very easy," Sano said. "The gallop was good. The horse came back very good. That's what's important for me."...

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Smile Happy Possible for Florida Derby

Lucky Seven Stable's Smile Happy (Runhappy) is among possible candidates for Gulfstream's GI Curlin Florida Derby Apr. 2, according to trainer Ken McPeek. Lucky Seven Stable also owns McPeek-trained Rattle N Roll (Connect), who is scheduled to make his 2022 debut in the GII Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth S. Mar. 5 at Gulfstream. Smile Happy had been expected to make his second start of the year in either the GI Toyota Blue Grass S. at Keeneland Apr. 9 or the GII Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds Mar. 26. "You may...

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