Triple Crown

TDN Top-To-Bottom Derby Rundown

This week's Triple Crown feature examines the trips of GI Kentucky Derby runners in detail from first to last: 1) MEDINA SPIRIT (c, Protonico--Mongolian Changa, by Briliant Speed) (Predicted finish: 9th) O-Zedan Racing Stables; B-Gail Rice (FL); T-Bob Baffert; John Velazquez. Sales History: $1,000 ylg '19 OBSWIN; $35,000 2yo '20 OBSOPN. Lifetime Record: GISW, 6-3-3-0, $2,175,200. Three months ago, Medina Spirit was the fourth-best colt on his trainer's Derby depth chart, and when Bob Baffert uttered a comparison to his 1997 Derby champ Silver Charm over the winter, that praise...

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Charlatan, Gamine DQs Overturned

The disqualifications of Charlatan (Speightstown) and Gamine (Into Mischief) from May 2, 2020 wins at Oaklawn Park have been overturned, and Bob Baffert's 15-day suspension has been waived after a two-day hearing in front of the Arkansas Racing Commission. Charlatan was the winner of the GI Arkansas Derby, while Gamine won an allowance race the same day. Oaklawn announced lidocaine positives for the pair, disqualified them from the victories, and redistributed purse money last year. Tuesday, at the conclusion of the hearing, Baffert's attorney, W. Craig Robertson, said, "The ruling...

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Week in Review: Out of Nowhere, Rock Your World Emerges as Serious Derby Threat

When Rock Your World (Candy Ride {Arg}) won the Pasadena S. at Santa Anita Mar. 6, it appeared that he could develop into a quality turf horse, who, like many horses trained by John Sadler, would take a while to fully develop. But Sadler had other ideas. This was going to be his GI Kentucky Derby horse. "He had always trained well on the dirt," Sadler said. "Sometimes you run on turf when you don't think they are training well on dirt. He was training well on dirt, but we...

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Week in Review: Off-Lasix 3YOs Have Now Won 25% of This Year's Derby Preps

Besides solidifying his status as a top-tier Triple Crown threat, Saturday's win by Known Agenda (Curlin) in the GI Curlin Florida Derby bolstered the overall case that the phase-out of Lasix in this year's series of GI Kentucky Derby preps seems to be having no adverse effect on performance. Through 20 races in North America since Jan. 1 that have awarded Derby qualifying points, horses giving up Lasix after receiving it in their prior start have won five of those races. Seven others have finished second, an impressive strike rate...

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Late Triple Crown Noms Due Mar. 29

The late nomination period for all 3-year-old Thoroughbreds to compete in the races of the 2021 Triple Crown are due by Monday, Mar. 29 with a $6,000 payment. Late Triple Crown nominations can be made online at or by calling the Churchill Downs Racing Office at (502) 638-3825. This year's early Triple Crown nominations, which cost $600 and closed Jan. 23, attracted 326 horses. This season's Triple Crown begins with the May 1 GI Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs followed by the GI Preakness S. at Pimlico May 15....

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Derby March for Greatest Honour

Greatest Honour (Tapit) rides a three-race win streak heading into the GI Curlin Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park, however, the Courtlandt Farm homebred certainly hasn't scared anyone away as 10 other sophomores have also signed on in Saturday's Classic prep. A large part of the draw is that the Florida Derby will offer 170 qualifying points for the May 1 Kentucky Derby on a 100-40-20-10 basis. The 1 1/8-mile test has produced the winners of 60 Triple Crown events. The imposing bay kicked off his career with a trio of...

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MGG to Bankruptcy Judge: 'Zayat Is a Perpetual Liar Determined to Hinder and Obstruct'

On Mar. 16, Ahmed Zayat asked a federal judge not to grant the trustee in his bankruptcy case extra time that had been requested to scrutinize Zayat's finances so the trustee could make sure the owner and breeder of Triple Crown champ American Pharoah was telling the truth about not being able pay $19 million in debts because he allegedly only had $314.22 to his name. Now, one week later, MGG Investment Group, LP, the lender who is separately suing Zayat and his family members for allegedly obtaining a $24...

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The TDN Derby Top 12 for March 23

No, the world didn't tilt off its axis last Saturday. But there was a seismic shift within the Top 12 rankings. 'TDN Rising Star' Life Is Good (Into Mischief) was declared off the GI Kentucky Derby trail with a left hind ankle chip, and two other highly rated contenders failed to fire in the GII Louisiana Derby. But new shooters have filled the vacuum--as always. The cadence quickens while the plot thickens inside the six-week mark to Derby 147. 1) GREATEST HONOUR (c, Tapit--Tiffany's Honour, by Street Cry {Ire}) O/B-Courtlandt...

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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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Taking Stock: West-Bred Life Is Good and Concert Tour Top Baffert Barn

Gary and Mary West bred last weekend's hugely impressive Gll San Felipe S. winner Life Is Good (Into Mischief) and Saturday's leading Gll Rebel S. contender Concert Tour (Street Sense), both 'TDN Rising Stars', both trained by Bob Baffert and probably the two leading Classics aspirants in his barn, with five wins, three graded triumphs and no losses between them. That's quite a feat for the Wests and their racing manager Ben Glass--clients of Werk Thoroughbred Consultants--because the Baffert barn is loaded with expensive and well-bred auction purchases for a...

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The TDN Derby Top 12 for Mar. 2

   We're now past the unofficial "Justify cutoff" of Feb. 18, which represents the latest maiden-breaking date of any GI Kentucky Derby winner. That means it's extremely likely we've already seen the 2021 winner in action, but it doesn't necessarily mean the Derby winner is ranked within this edition of the Top 12. This list represents the top of the crop while leaving speculation open to longshot Derby dreamers inside the 10-week mark to the first Saturday in May. 1) GREATEST HONOUR (c, Tapit--Tiffany's Honour, by Street Cry {Ire}) O/B-Courtlandt...

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TDN Derby Top 12 for February 17

The weather-related rescheduling of Oaklawn's GIII Southwest S. to the final weekend in February will cause some havoc for downstream prep races. The GII Rebel S. on Mar. 13 will now have only a two-week spacing within the Oaklawn series and Southwest participants who figured to run back in the Mar. 20 GII Louisiana Derby also might balk at having just three weeks off between preps and then six weeks until the GI Kentucky Derby itself. But our sport has gotten quite used to unexpected schedule switches over the last...

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