This Side Up: Still Amending the Derby Agenda

We should have known better. The moment we deceived ourselves that we had a crossroads of perfect symmetry, with four standout colts converging inexorably on the first Saturday in May, one promptly limped off the trail and then last weekend another was beaten at odds-on. Nobody, then, will be making any assumptions when the other two complete their GI Kentucky Derby preparations, Concert Tour (Street Sense) in the GI Arkansas Derby next week and Essential Quality (Tapit) as the geographical and narrative pivot of three rehearsals staged coast to coast...

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Nine in Line for Competitive Wood

Realistic cases can be made for six or seven of the nine 3-year-old males signed on for Saturday's GII Wood Memorial S. as the New York staple GI Kentucky Derby prep returns with a competitive renewal after a one-year hiatus due to COVID-19. Given the narrowest of nods on the morning line is Klaravich Stables' Risk Taking (Medaglia d'Oro). Unable to factor in his first two outings, one sprinting on dirt and one routing on yielding turf, the $240,000 Keeneland September buy sprung to life when returned to dirt over...

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Late Triple Crown Nominees Include Helium and Weyburn

Among the nine horses who are late nominees for the 2021 Triple Crown are D.J. Stable's GII Tampa Bay Derby winner Helium (Ironicus) and Chiefswood Stables' GIII Gotham S. upsetter Weyburn (Pioneerof the Nile). They were made eligible to compete in the Triple Crown with a $6,000 payment that was due Monday. The window for late nominations was Jan. 23-Mar. 29. A total of 335 horses are now eligible to compete in the three-race series, which kicks off with the May 1 GI Kentucky Derby, continues with the May 15...

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Weyburn, Roman Centurian on Course for Wood Memorial

Chiefwood Stables' Weyburn (Pioneerof the Nile) breezed an easy half-mile in :50.93 seconds over Belmont's training track Wednesday in preparation for the Apr. 3 GII Wood Memorial at Aqueduct. A winner going seven panels in the Big A slop last December, the Ontario-bred kicked off 2021 with a nose victory in the Mar. 6 GIII Gotham S., a race in which Weyburn earned 50 qualifying points to the GI Kentucky Derby. "He just ran hard [in the Gotham] and he's not the heaviest horse in the world, so he didn't...

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Pioneerof the Nile Colt Lights Up Tote Board in Gotham

Chiefswood Stables homebred Weyburn (Pioneerof the Nile), last seen breaking his maiden going seven panels in the local slop Dec. 5, slipped past the bettors and into the winner's circle to post a 46-1 upset in Aqueduct's GIII Gotham S. He fended off Chad Brown trainee Crowded Trade (More Than Ready) to take the head bob, with that one's stablemate Highly Motivated (Into Mischief) a non-threatening third as the 4-5 chalk. Away well from his outside draw, Weyburn locked on to California invader Freedom Fighter (Violence) through splits of :24.29...

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