No Kentucky Derby for Timberlake

'TDN Rising Star' Timberlake (Into Mischief), fourth as the favorite in last Saturday's GI Arkansas Derby, will not be pointed to the GI Kentucky Derby, according to a report in Daily Racing Form. The GI Champagne S. winner and GII Rebel S. winner is currently ranked fifth with 81 points for the Kentucky Derby. "Based on the performance over the weekend, we are not going to run in the Kentucky Derby," trainer Brad Cox told DRF. "We are thinking about cutting him back in distance." Cox added, "He came out...

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The Two Towers Of Graded Stakes, Oaklawn And Gulfstream, Align Saturday

If you do not happen to be a Lord of the Rings devotee, then as a horse racing fan you might assume that Gandalf, Frodo, Saruman and Sauron were just names some eccentric owners concocted to toy with The Jockey Club. Well, for true disciples of Tolkein, you understand the 'Two Towers' reference is a major theme in the trilogy, but for our purposes it simply denotes coverage. This Saturday, both Oaklawn Park and Gulfstream Park are those poles of power when it comes to authoring graded stakes. Their cards...

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Brad Cox Joins TDN Writers' Room Podcast

Brad Cox won four stakes races over the weekend, including the GII Louisiana Derby and the GII Fair Grounds Oaks. But such a run of success has almost come to be expected from a trainer who never seems to have a bad week. Cox will arrive at Churchill Downs with an army of stakes-caliber horses, including threats for the GI Kentucky Derby and the GI Kentucky Oaks. The multiple Eclipse Award winning conditioner was our special guest on this week's TDN Writers' Room podcast presented by Keeneland. He was this...

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Brad Cox Joins the TDN Writers' Room

On this week's TDN Writers' Room, trainer Brad Cox reviews a long list of weekend winners, plus Arkansas Derby-bound Timberlake.

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'Rising Stars' Muth, Timberlake Lead Arkansas Derby Field

In a field of 10, 'TDN Rising Stars' GISW Muth (Good Magic) and GISW Timberlake (Into Mischief) have drawn the seven and two gate spots, respectively, and lead the charge in Oaklawn's feature GI Kentucky Derby prep race, the GI Arkansas Derby. Muth, 8-5 on the morning line, will attempt to give Bob Baffert his fifth win in the contest, but hasn't started since finding the winner's enclosure in the GII San Vicente S. Jan. 6 at Santa Anita. The colt is ineligible for the Derby points and to run...

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Mystik Dan Readies for Arkansas Derby

Lance Gasaway, 4G Racing and Daniel Hamby III's Mystik Dan (Goldencents) worked five furlongs in 1:01.80 (20/34) over a fast track at the Fair Grounds Saturday morning. Trained by Ken McPeek, the winner of the Feb. 3 GIII Southwest S. is expected to ship to Oaklawn Wednesday in advance of a tilt at the $1.5-million GI Arkansas Derby Mar. 30. McPeek opted to train Mystik Dan up to the Arkansas Derby, which could award as many as 200 qualifying points to its top five eligible finishers (100-50-25-15-10, respectively) for Kentucky...

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Timberlake Confirmed for Arkansas Derby

WinStar Farm and Siena Farm's Timberlake (Into Mischief), winner of the Feb. 24 GII Rebel S., will return to Oaklawn Park for the Mar. 30 GI Arkansas Derby, trainer Brad Cox confirmed Wednesday. "I like the timing," Cox said. "Obviously, he has the experience there now, that one run under him. I kind of thought the Rebel was the spot when we were getting started. At the beginning of the winter, we thought the Rebel was the spot. It worked out." Timberlake worked five furlongs in 1:02.00 (18/30) at Cox's...

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Risen Star Winner Sierra Leone Made 5-1 Favorite In Pool 5 Of KY Derby Future Wager

GII Risen Star S. winner Sierra Leone (Gun Runner) was named the favorite for Pool 5 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager. The 'TDN Rising Star' is the 5-1 morning-line choice in the pool that opens Friday, March 15, per a release from CDI. Other top interests in the pool include GII Rebel S. winner Timberlake (Into Mischief), GII Fountain of Youth S. victor Dornoch (Good Magic) and Eclipse champion 2-year-old Fierceness (City of Light). The lone future wager for the GI Kentucky Oaks also begins Friday with 'TDN Rising...

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Unbeaten Nysos Remains Top 3-Year-Old In NTRA Poll

GIII Robert B. Lewis S. winner and 'TDN Rising Star' Nysos (Nyquist) remains atop the leaderboard for week 7 as the NTRA's top 3-year-old in a poll released Tuesday. GII Risen Star S. winner Sierra Leone (Gun Runner) edged out Dornoch (Good Magic) for second with Timberlake (Into Mischief), Track Phantom (Quality Road) and Muth (Good Magic) also receiving votes. For the older horses, recent G1 Saudi Cup hero Senor Buscador (Mineshaft) took top honors ahead of National Treasure (Quality Road), Saudi Crown (Always Dreaming) and Newgate (Into Mischief).

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Breeding Digest: Another Week Full of Mischief

The racing year is only just doing up its laces, but already Into Mischief is on the march. Last week we examined the GI Kentucky Derby candidature of his son Timberlake and now, with a little help from the evergreen Dettori, he has a 19th Grade I scorer in Newgate. I must admit that my heart went out to connections of Subsanador (Arg) (Fortify), who led every step bar the last, and would have been John Sadler's fourth winner of the storied Santa Anita Handicap-still dearly cherished by some of...

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The Week in Review: In Wake of Triple Crown Purse Increases Sophomore Horsepower Missing in Action

Within the past three months, the purses for all three Triple Crown races have been raised. Paradoxically, this increase in prize money has coincided with a 2024 prep race season that is uncharacteristically light on emphatic, leap-off-the-page contenders for the GI Kentucky Derby, GI Preakness S., and GI Belmont S. The first weekend in March has traditionally served as a launch pad for sophomores who figure to excel in the spring Classics and beyond. Of all the prep stakes currently carded at 1 1/16 miles, the two that have historically...

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Breeding Digest: Timberlake Bred to Stretch Mischief Speed

By now we're long familiar with the key transition that sealed the hegemony of Into Mischief. The moment of "Authentication" came in 2020, with a Horse of the Year from the first book of mares the Spendthrift phenomenon had covered even at $45,000; while the next crop, conceived at $75,000, produced a second consecutive GI Kentucky Derby winner in Mandaloun. While the latter was indebted to the disqualification of the winner, the fact remains that he managed to outstay the other 17 starters. In the process, he confirmed that Into...

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