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2011 Kentucky Derby Prep Race Previews – Mar. 30th

The Road to the Kentucky Derby- March 30th – VOLUME 8

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The New Year brings a whole new field of three-year old Thoroughbreds, whose owners and trainers dream about draping a bed of roses around their neck as the new Kentucky Derby champion. Leading up to horse racing’s premier event in early May, there are close to 60 prep races between the beginning of the year and mid-April that determine which horses will actually have a chance to make this dream a reality

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. Here is a brief re-cap of a couple of key prep races from last weekend.

The Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds- Saturday, March 26

The Louisiana Derby is a grade II 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. Saturday’s field was loaded with Kentucky Derby hopefuls including the favored Mucho Macho Man, but it was Pants on Fire that prevailed by a neck over 30-1 longshot Nehro to win this year’s Louisiana Derby. Ridden by Rosie Napravnik, Pants on Fire went off at 10-1 in a field of 12 horses. He was stuck in the middle of the pack out of the gate but took the lead for good after passing the early pacesetter Liondrive. He made a valiant drive over the final furlong, holding off a charging Nehro and Mucho Macho Man to preserve the victory.

Trained by Kelly Breen, Pants on Fire has now earned $678,100 with only two wins in eight career starts. It is unclear at this time if he will race again before the Derby or simply train up until May’s race.

The Sunland Derby at Sunland Park- Sunday, March 27

The Sunland Derby is a grade III stakes race for three-year old Thoroughbreds with a total prize purse of $800,000. It is contested on a dirt track over a distance of 1 1/8 mile. All eyes in this race were on Astrology, who went off as the first choice in the 11-horse field, but it was 25-1 longshot Twice the Appeal that stole the show by finishing 1 ½ lengths ahead of the favorite with Ruler on Ice taking third. Jockey Reyes Santiago positioned his horse behind a trio of leaders for a good part of the race before breaking for lead around the final turn. Astrology put up a fierce battle down the stretch, but a final kick vaulted Twice the Appeal into the lead for good.

Trainer Jeff Bonde has given every indication that his horse will run in the Derby now that his $400,000 share of the purse in this race will probably earn him a spot in the field.

The all-important month of April opens up with one of the biggest prep races of the season, the Florida Derby from Gulfstream Park. Also on the schedule this weekend is the Transylvania Stakes from Keeneland.

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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