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2011 Kentucky Derby Prep Race Previews – Apr. 7th

The Road to the Kentucky Derby – April 7th – VOLUME 9

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The new horse racing season brought in a whole new field of three-year old Thoroughbreds, whose owners and trainers are dreaming about the opportunity to drape a bed of roses around their neck as they are crowned 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 the middle of this month 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. It is crunch time on the Derby Trail and the following is a brief re-cap of a couple of key prep races from last weekend.

The Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park – Sunday, April 3

The Florida 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. Soldat, who had an impressive victory earlier in the year at The Fountain of Youth Stakes enter the starting gates as 3-2 favorite, but it was second favorite Dialed In that stole the show with a narrow victory over 68-1 longshot Shackleford in Sunday’s Florida Derby. Jockey Julien Leparoux had to overcome a slow start that had Dialed In running last all the way until the far turn, but he was able to guide him past the field to run even with Shackleford down the stretch before edging him out by a nose. To Honor and Serve was a distant third; 6 ¾ lengths back.

Trainer Nick Zito is still eyeing a run in the Preakness as the next race for this horse with a $5.5 million bonus on the line if he wins, but has not completely ruled out a run in the Derby after Sunday’s impressive win

The Swale Stakes at Gulfstream Park – Sunday, April 3

The Swale Stakes is a grade II stakes race for three-year old Thoroughbreds with a total prize purse of $150,000. It is contested on a dirt track over a distance of seven furlongs. As an undercard to the Florida Derby, the Swale Stakes still had some Derby implications as far as total earnings for some of the horses in the field. The prohibitive favorite at 2-5 was Travelin Man, who got off to a slow start in this sprint but quickly found his stride to go onto a two-length victory over 5-2 second favorite Indiano. Little Drama, who went off at 9-1, finished a head back in third.

Trained by Todd Pletcher, this was just the third career start for this horse. Right now a run in the Derby seems doubtful as his next outing will most likely be in the grade III Cliff’s Edge Derby Trial on April 30.

This upcoming weekend’s action includes two of the biggest prep races of the season; the Wood Memorial from Aqueduct and the Santa Anita Derby from Santa Anita.

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.


Comments

Comments

  1. Matthew Martz says:

    Big race this weekend. The Santa Anita Derby. With Premier Pegasus scratched, it will be interesting.

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