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2011 Kentucky Derby Prep Race Previews – Mar. 24th

The Road to the Kentucky Derby- March 24th – VOLUME 7

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It is a New Year and a whole new season for horse racing as a number of quality Thoroughbreds celebrated their third birthday on January 1st and are poised to make a name for them self 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 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park- Saturday, March 19

The Rebel is a grade II stakes race for three-year old Thoroughbreds with a total prize purse of $300,000. It is contested on a dirt track over a distance of 1 1/16 miles. This year’s Rebel featured a field of nine horses including The Factor, who went off as a 7- 5 favorite, second choice Sway Away, and 7-2 third choice J.P.’s Gusto. Ridden by jockey Martin Garcia, The Factor bolted to the front of the field and never looked back as he took the Rebel by 6 ¼ lengths over Caleb’s Posse, whose late rally landed him in second, a neck ahead of Archarcharch, who finished third.

Trained by Bob Baffert, The Factor is now in position to run in next month’s Arkansas Derby as the final prep race for the Kentucky Derby in May. This was his third straight win with previous victories in a maiden and the San Vicente Stakes at Santa Anita.

The Private Terms Stakes at Laurel Park-Saturday, March 19

The Private Terms is an ungraded stakes race for three-year old Thoroughbreds with a total prize purse of $75,000. It is contested on a dirt track over a distance of one mile. Going off as a prohibitive favorite, jockey Travis Dunkelberger guided Bandbox to a 1 ½-length victory over Rush Now in Saturday’s Private Terms Stakes. Rush Now set a fast pace out of the gate but Bandbox cruised into lead just past the final turn and held off the pack to down the stretch to secure the win. No Easy Answer was able to nose out Tap Star to finish third.

This was Bandbox’s fourth career win in six starts. As a two-year old he won the Charles Town Juvenile and the Sleepy Hollow Stakes. Trainer Rodney Jenkins has already publically stated that this horse would not run in the Derby, but he did leave the door open for a possible run in this year’s Preakness.

Things start to heat up this upcoming weekend as the prep race schedule closes out the month of March with the running of the Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds and the Sunland Derby at Sunland Park.

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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