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2011 Kentucky Derby Prep Race Previews – Apr. 21st

The Road to the Kentucky Derby – April 21st – VOLUME 11

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Leading up to the running of horse racing’s premier event; the 137th Kentucky Derby on May 7, close to 60 prep races will have been run starting from the beginning of the year and ending this upcoming weekend. The outcome of these races will have ultimately determined the 20-horse field for this year’s ‘run for the roses’.

These prep races also provide some solid insight into which horses have the best chance to win the Derby and possibly go on to make a run at winning the elusive Triple Crown of horse racing with a win in the Preakness and the Belmont as well. It is crunch time on the Derby Trail with the final two weekends of racing before this year’s contenders head to Kentucky to begin training for the big race. The following is a brief re-cap of two of the biggest prep races from last weekend.

The Bluegrass Stakes at Keeneland-Saturday, April 16

The Bluegrass is a grade I stakes race for three-year old Thoroughbreds with a total prize purse of $750,000. It is contested on a dirt track over a distance of 1 1/8 mile. Santiva went to the post as the favorite for this race but it was Brilliant Speed, ridden by jockey Joel Rosario who took home first place with a dramatic win by a nose over Twinspired in Saturday’s Bluegrass. Brilliant Speed got off to a poor start and was last in the field of 12 around the first turn. He was able to move to sixth by the eighth pole and put on the after-burners down the stretch to squeeze out the win. King Congie came in third place; a head in back of Twinspired.

Trained by Tom Albertrani, Brilliant Speed won for just the second time in eight starts, but increased his career earnings to $515,750 to secure a spot in the field for the Kentucky Derby.

The Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn-Saturday, April 16

The Arkansas Derby is a grade I stakes race for three-year old Thoroughbreds with a total prize purse of $1 million. It is contested on a dirt track over a distance of 1 1/8 mile. The Factor went to post as the 4-5 favorite in the field of 13 with two more Derby contenders; Sway Away as the second choice at 6-1 and Elite Alex third at 13-2 as his primary competition. Unfortunately for all three of these horses, it was 25-1 Archarcharch that stole the show by holding off Nehro by a neck to win the Arkansas Derby. Dance City was another 1 ½ lengths back in third as the favorites were nowhere to be seen. Archarcharch ran in 10th-place and wide for a good part of the race before jockey Jon Court was able to move him to the front of the pack to put him in position to win the race.

This was trainer William “Jinks’ Fires first Arkansas Derby victory and Archarcharch’s first victory since winning the Southwest Stakes earlier in the year. It is now off to Kentucky to begin training for the Derby.

There is just one more major stakes race on the Derby Trail schedule; the Lexington Stakes from Keeneland. It will be run this upcoming Saturday, April 23.

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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