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Kentucky Derby Prep Race Preview (Mar. 11th)

2010 Kentucky Derby Handicapping – Road to the Derby – VOL. 7

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The Road to the Kentucky Derby- March 11th

Leading up to horse racing’s premier event; the Kentucky Derby this May, there are close to 60 prep races between the beginning of the year and the end of April that will not only shape this year’s field, but give us a good idea which horses will go off as the favorite to win the Derby and possibly go on to earn the Triple Crown by winning the Preakness and the Belmont as well.

Here is a brief re-cap of the key races from last weekend.

The Gotham Stakes- Saturday March 6th from Aqueduct

The Gotham Stakes is a grade III stakes race for three year olds with a total prize purse of $250,000. It is contested on a dirt track over a distance of 1 1/16 mile. The main story in this race was the return to action of Awesome Act, who had not run a race since finishing fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf last November. In his first ever start on dirt he did not disappoint, blowing away the field with an impressive 1 ¼ length victory. After hanging back in the pack for most of the race he showed exceptional closing speed, pulling away down the stretch. Bet on the Kentucky Derby Yawanna Twist, in his stakes race debut tried to challenge but finished second, Nacho Friend took third, and Turf Melody finished fourth.

Awesome Act is trained by Jeremy Noseda out of Vinery Stables in England. His next step on the Derby Trail will most likely be in the grade I Wood Memorial on April 3rd.

The Sham Stakes-Saturday March 6th from Santa Anita

The Sham Stakes is a grade III stakes race for three year olds with a total prize purse of $150,000. It is contested over a distance 1 1/8 mile. This race had to be postponed for a week due to heavy rains at the track, but under perfect conditions this past Saturday Alphie’s Bet had no problem breaking away from the field to win by 2 ¼ lengths over 5-2 favorite Setsuko. The Program finished third followed by Outlaw Man. Trained by Alexis Barba, this horse was winless as a juvenile but turned in an impressive second place finish in the California Breeders’ Championship Stakes to another Derby hopeful, Caracortado back on December 26th.

In his first start as a three year old, he won a January 15th maiden claiming race by 1 ¼ lengths. It has yet to be determined when he will race again.

The trail to the Derby action continues this weekend with a couple of major stakes races on tap for Saturday, March 13th including the $300,000 Rebel Stakes from Oaklawn Park and the $250,000 grade II San Felipe Stakes from Santa Anita.



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About Dave Schwab

David Schwab is a regular contributor to the Cappers Picks Blog. While not cheering for his beloved Philadelphia Eagles David can be found working on his blog at www.eaglesinc.com. David wants to hear from you so please comment below.



  1. I have no idea who is going to win. Truth be told, after reading this I am even more uncertain.