Un Ojo

Un Ojo Out of Preakness

Un Ojo (Laoban), upset winner of the GII Rebel S. earlier this year, will not be running in Saturday's GI Preakness S. as he continues to deal with a foot bruise which kept him out of the GI Kentucky Derby. "This morning his foot was a little warm again," trainer Ricky Courville told the Preakness media team. "The vets went over him, and he's not 100%. I'm dealing with the same thing. I guess the work [Saturday] kind of re-aggravated it." In addition to the defection of Un Ojo, Pimlico...

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Un Ojo Defection Allows Ethereal Road to Draw Into Derby

According to a tweet from Churchill Downs' Senior Director of Communications and Media Services Darren Rogers, Un Ojo (Laoban), who registered a 75-1 upset in the GII Rebel S. at Oaklawn Park Feb. 26, was not entered for Saturday's GI Kentucky Derby. The Wayne Lukas-trained Ethereal Road (Quality Road), who missed by a half-length in the Rebel and exits a fourth in the GIII Stonestreet Lexington S. at Keeneland Apr. 16, will take the 20th spot in the field when entries are drawn Monday afternoon. "It's a little bit unexpected,"...

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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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Filly Is No 'Secret' In Arkansas Derby

Having proven heads and shoulders above the local 3-year-old filly contingent, Briland Farm homebred Secret Oath (Arrogate) takes on the boys in Saturday's $1.25-million GI Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park. The chestnut figures a warm favorite to become the first of her gender to win the race since her Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas saddled Althea (Alydar) to score by seven lengths in the 1984 renewal, with future GI Belmont S. runner-up Pine Circle (Cox's Ridge) and GI Preakness S. hero Gate Dancer (Sovereign Dancer) noses apart in...

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Laoban Co-Owner Sues Mortality Insurers Over Alleged 'Wrongful Denial'

A co-owner of the deceased stallion Laoban (Uncle Mo) is suing a collective of insurance providers in an alleged wrongful denial of coverage case for failing to pay out on mortality policies in the aftermath of the 8-year-old's sudden death 10 months ago. The civil complaint was filed Mar. 22 in Kentucky's Fayette Circuit Court. Paulick Report first broke the story. According to the court filing, Cypress Creek Equine, LLC, wants the defendants--North American Specialty Insurance Company, XL Specialty Insurance Company and Underwriters at Lloyd's, London and Lloyd's Kentucky, Inc.--to...

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Ricky Courville Joins the TDN Writers' Room

Heading into the GII Rebel S. a lot of people may not have known the name Ricky Courville, but they know him now. Courville pulled off the upset of the year when winning the Rebel with 75-1 shot Un Ojo (Laoban). This week he joined the TDN Writers' Room to share his story.

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Ricky Courville Joins TDN Writers' Room

Heading into the GII Rebel S. a lot of people may not have known the name Ricky Courville. That's the way it is when you're a small-time trainer based in Louisiana who, going into the Rebel, had never had a graded stakes winner, let alone one in a $1-million race. They know who he is now. Courville pulled off the upset of the year when winning the Rebel with 75-1 shot Un Ojo (Laoban), a one-eyed horse who now has enough points to make it into the field for the...

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'Oath' No Secret, But Measuring Her Talent a Pleasant Conundrum

The Week in Review by T.D. Thornton Secret Oath (Arrogate)'s big winning move despite trip trouble in Saturday's GIII Honeybee S. at Oaklawn Park launched the 3-year-old filly to the forefront of conversation just at the precise time the sport needs a little diversion from anything having to do with lawsuits, trainer banishments, and the GI Kentucky Derby. There is no question that the D. Wayne Lukas trainee looms large atop the leaderboard for the GI Kentucky Oaks and that her 86-year-old conditioner isn't crazy for at least considering running...

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Un Ojo Rallies Late To Cause Rebel Boilover

A one-eyed horse, as his name would imply, Un Ojo (Laoban) took the shortest way around over an increasingly rain-affected Oaklawn main track, and found his best stride in the final 50 yards, outfinishing an unlucky Ethereal Road (Quality Road) to cause a 75-1 upset of Saturday's GII Rebel S. in [not-so] Hot Springs. Ridden for pace from his inside draw, Kavod (Lea) dueled inside of heavily favored GIII Southwest S. hero Newgrange (Violence) passing under the wire for the first time and made the running just off the inside...

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Newgrange Faces Familiar Foes in Rebel

Bob Baffert trainee Newgrange (Violence), last seen taking Oaklawn's GIII Southwest S. Jan. 29 to up his record to three-for-three, faces 10 rivals including the next four Southwest finishers in Saturday's $1-million GII Rebel S. back in Hot Springs. Campaigned by the stallion-making conglomerate nicknamed The Avengers, the handsome dark bay was a debut winner sprinting at Del Mar in November before stretching out to a mile to annex Santa Anita's GIII Sham S. Jan. 1. He seemed to be spinning his wheels for much of the Southwest, but leveled...

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