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2011 Kentucky Derby Prep Race Previews – Feb. 10th

The Road to the Kentucky Derby- February 10th – VOLUME 3

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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 mid-April that determine this year’s field. These prep races also provide some solid insight into which horses have the best chance 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 a couple of key prep races from last weekend.

The Whirlaway Stakes at Aqueduct Racetrack- Saturday, Feb. 5

The Whirlaway is an ungraded stakes race for three year-old Thoroughbreds with a total prize purse of $100,000. It is contested on a dirt track over a distance of 1 1/16 mile. A slow start appeared to all but end Toby’s Corner chances in this race, but jockey Eddie Castro rallied the chestnut colt to pull off a dramatic two-length victory over the odds-on-favorite J J’s Lucky Train on a muddy track at Aqueduct in the 32nd running of the Whirlaway Stakes. Toby’s Corner went off at 9/2 as the fourth favorite in the five horse field.

Trained by H. Graham Motion, it was the third straight victory and first stakes race win for this horse. Previously at Laurel Racetrack, he won a one-mile maiden race as a juvenile and a one-mile optional claimer earlier this month. Next up for Toby’s Corner could be a run in the grade III Gotham Stakes in early March.

The Hallandale Beach Stakes at Gulfstream Pack- Sunday, Feb.6

The Hallandale is an ungraded stakes race for three year-old Thoroughbreds with a total prize purse of $100,000. It is contested on a turf track over a distance of 1 1/16 mile. It required an official steward’s review, but when all was said and done Master Dunker was awarded first place in the Hallandale Beach Stakes when the 5/2 favorite King Congie was dropped to third for repeatedly veering out down the stretch.

It was determined that both horses were guilty of drifting out, but King Congie’s actions were deemed to have impeded the progress of Brilliant Speed, who was then elevated to second. Master Dunker went off 12/1 in the field of six.

This was the third victory in seven starts for this horse which boosted his career earnings to close to $110,000. Master Dunker finished third his last time out, in the Dania Beach Stakes on Jan.16 at Gulfstream.

Trainer David Fawkes now has his sights set on the grade III Palm Beach Stakes from Gulfstream on March 12 as the possible next step on the Derby trail.

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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Next Weekend’s big races include the Robert B. Lewis Stakes from Santa Anita, the Sam F. Davis Stakes from Tampa Bay Downs, and the El Camino Real Derby from Golden Gate.

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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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