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2011 Kentucky Derby Prep Race Previews

The Road to the Kentucky Derby – January 26th

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It is a New Year and a whole new season for horse racing as a number of quality Thoroughbreds just celebrated their third birthday on January 1st and are ready to start their journey on the 2011 Triple Crown Trail.

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 prep races from last weekend.

Lecomte Stakes- Saturday January 22 from Fair Grounds

The Lecomte is a Grade III stakes race for three year olds with a prize purse of $100,000. It is contested over a distance of 1 mile.

Jockey Garrett Gomez was able to pull off the mild upset last Saturday as he rode Wilkinson along the rail to a victory over second favorite Pants On Fire by a head in a field of five three-year olds in the Lecomte. Even money favorite, Justin Phillip never got on track and finished a disappointing last.

Wilkinson, who is trained by Neil Howard went off at 3/1 and was the third favorite. He has never finished worse than third in five starts and won his maiden race at Fair Grounds last season. The Louisiana Derby could be the next race on his Derby Trail.

Pepsi Cola Stakes- Saturday January 22 from Sunland Park

The Pepsi Cola is a non-graded stakes race for three year olds with a prize purse of $120,000. It is contested over a distance of six Furlongs. Beau Wizer may have went off as a 19/1 longshot but he certainly did not run like one with a narrow victory over It’s Tera by a head in the Pepsi Cola this past Saturday.

Ridden by jockey Casey Lambert, Beau Wizer broke clean and stayed near the front of the pack before taking over down the stretch to hold on for the win. Capital Guy managed to finish third while Russian Lane, who went off as a 9/10 favorite finished a distant eighth in the field of 10.

This was Beau Wizer’s second victory in eight starts after coming off a seventh-place finish in the $120,000 Red Hedeman Stakes at Sunland on Dec. 30. Trained by H. Ray Ashford, there were no definite plans as for his next outing.

Next Weekend’s big races include the Dancing Count Stakes from Laurel and the Holy Bull Stakes from Gulfstream.

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. David wants to hear from you so please comment below.

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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.


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