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Kentucky Derby Prep Race Preview (Apr. 9)

2010 Kentucky Derby Handicapping – Road to the Derby – VOL. 10

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The Road to the Kentucky Derby- April 6th

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 middle of this month 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 two of the key races from last weekend.

The Santa Anita Derby- Saturday April 3rd from Santa Anita Race Track

The Santa Anita Derby is a grade I stakes race for three year olds with a total prize purse of $750,000. It is contested on a Pro Ride surface over a distance of 1 1/8 mile. Bob Baffert’s prized three year old, Lookin at Lucky came into this race as a 4-5 odds-on-favorite to win this race but got involved in a bit of an incident heading into the final turn with Who’s Up and ended up finishing third.

This opened the door for the second favorite at 7-2, Sidney’s Candy to come away with an impressive 4 ½ length victory. This was his third straight graded stakes race win, making him one of the early favorites for the Kentucky Derby. A late charge by Setsuko down the stretch was good enough to take second place.Bet on the Kentucky Derby

Sidney’s Candy was ridden by Joe Talamo and is trained by John Sadler. His two earlier wins this year were in the grade II San Vincente Stakes in February and the grade II San Felipe Stakes in March. He will now head out to Kentucky to begin training for the Derby.

The Wood Memorial-Saturday, April 3rd from Aqueduct

The Wood Memorial is a grade I stakes race for three year olds with a total prize purse of $750,000. It is contested on a dirt track over a distance of 1 1/8 mile. After running away with the Fountain of Youth Stakes by 8 ½ lengths back in February, Eskendereya went off as a prohibitive 1-2 favorite in this race.

Trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by John Velazquez, this chestnut colt did not disappoint, winning this race by an even more dominating 9 ¾ lengths against a fairly solid field of five other Derby contenders.

This win should firmly plant Eskendereya as the early odds-on-favorite to win the May 1st Crown Jewel in Kentucky. Jackson Bend, ridden by Calvin Borel finished second and has now earned enough graded stakes prize money to qualify for the Derby.

Awesome Act was able to come in third and should also have enough to make it into the field of 20 for the first leg of this year’s Triple Crown. All three of these horses will be headed to Kentucky to begin training for the Derby.

In one of the final weekends for Derby prep races; this Saturday’s races include the Bluegrass Stakes from Keeneland and the Arkansas Derby from Oaklawn Park.



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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.