Major Derby preps on tap Saturday

April 11, 2008 7:47 PM
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by Kevin Stott |

Three more Kentucky Derby prep races will be held Saturday when the Blue Grass Stakes, the Arkansas Derby and the Holy Bull Stakes all run with the Run for the Roses now just three weeks away.

In a race chock full of talent, the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky features several Derby hopefuls including Pyro (Even), Cool Coal Man (4-1), Big Truck (6-1), Visionaire (6-1), Monba (15-1) and Cowboy Cal (6-1), all of whom have been bet heavily down in the Kentucky Derby futures pools.

The Blue Grass will have its largest field – 12 horses – in 25 years with Pyro seeing if he can stay undefeated on the year. The post time for the 1 1/8-mile race is 2:15 p.m. PDT (5:15 EDT) and it will be televised live on TVG.

The 12 horses in the race with their respective post positions are: Cool Coal Man (Post 1); Kentucky Bear (2); Cowboy Cal (3); Stenvil (4); Monba (5); Big Truck (6); Pyro (7); Stone Bird (8); Medjool (9); Miner’s Claim (10); Halo Najib (11); and Visionaire (12).

The 72nd Arkansas Derby from Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs will have 14 three-year-olds entered in the $1 million race including Derby hopefuls Z Fortune (35-1 Derby futures, Palms), Blackberry Road (28-1), Gayego (40-1), Indian Sun (50-1), King’s Silver Son (100-1) and Ablaze with Spirit.

The post positions and 14 horses in the race are: Victory Pete (Post 1); Tres Borrachos (2); Shekinah (3); King’s Silver Son (4); Gayego (5); Isabull (6); My Pal Charlie (7); Blackberry Road (8); Liberty Bull (9); Golden Yank (10); Ablaze With Spirit (11); Z Fortune (12); Indian Sun (13); and Jazz in the Park (14).

Z Fortune, ridden by Robbie Albarado, was sent off as 7-10 favorite in the race which has a scheduled post time of 3:44 p.m. PDT (6:44 EDT) and will be televised on ESPN.

The $150,000 Holy Bull Stakes from Gulfstream Park also races Saturday and seven horses will see if they can make the Big Race, headed by Hey Byrn who has won three of his seven starts with two second-place finishes. The race was lengthened this year from one mile to 1 3/16ths.

The post positions and seven horses in the race are: Famous Patriot (Post 1); Hey Byrn (2); Chief Bear (3); Bipolar Express (4); Nathan Ridge (5); Dream Maestro (6) and Web Gem (7). Web Gem is a colt by Fusaichi Pegasus.

The Holy Bull Stakes will air live on ESPN as part of their coverage (3 p.m. PDT) of all three of these races with the Blue Grass Stakes being aired on tape delay.