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By Tom Keyser and Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF | March 18, 2000
Mighty ran a Kentucky Derby-winning race when blazing from last to first in the Louisiana Derby. But that was last weekend. The horse who will win the Kentucky Derby is the one who runs a Derby-winning race May 6 at Churchill Downs. Mighty could be that horse. He could be good enough to duplicate, even improve upon, his Louisiana Derby effort seven weeks from today. But the challenge, and the beauty, of choosing the Kentucky Derby winner is trying to predict what he -- or she -- will do when racing 1 1/4 miles for the first time.
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By Allan Vought and Baltimore Sun Media Group | May 15, 2013
One of the colts entered in Saturday's 138th running of the Preakness Stakes can lay claim to a distinction not shared by seven others:  He's actually finished ahead of the expected favorite Orb in a race. Titletown Five, one of three Preakness entries trained by Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas, and Orb were both entered in a seven-furlong, maiden special weight race for 2-year-olds at Saratoga last Aug. 18. Maiden special weights are for horses that have never won a race in their career.
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April 7, 2001
Horse...... Trainer...... Jockey......Last race....... Next start......Comment.... Odds* Monarchos... John Ward Jr...Jorge Chavez... 1st Florida Derby... Wood Mem., April 14 Lost both starts at 2; he's undefeated at 3... 5-1 Point Given..Bob Baffert...Gary Stevens...1st San Felipe Stakes...Santa Anita, today......Ky. Derby, not Santa Anita Derby, is goal... 9-2 Dollar Bill... Dallas Stewart... Pat Day... 4th Louisiana Derby... Blue Grass, April 14... Probable favorite in contentious Blue Grass.
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By Chris Korman | May 7, 2013
D. Wayne Lukas continues working for that 14th Triple Crown victory, the one that would give him more than any trainer in the history of the sport. He shares the record with Sunny Jim Fitzsimmons. Having already announced that Derby starters Oxbow (sixth) and Will Take Charge (eighth) will run in the 138th Preakness on May 18, Lukas on Tuesday added Titletown Five to the mix. Titletown Five is owned by Paul Hornung, the pro football hall of fame halfback who grew up in Louisville and sold programs at Churchill Downs as a kid. Another former Green Bay Packer, defensive end Willie Davis, is a co-owner.
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By Tom Keyser and Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF | March 11, 2000
HALLANDALE, Fla. -- The roller-coaster ride along the Kentucky Derby trail dips into Florida today and soars tomorrow into Louisiana and California. Eight weeks before the May 6 Derby at Churchill Downs, 10 colts will contest the prestigious Florida Derby this afternoon at Gulfstream Park between Fort Lauderdale and Miami Beach. Tomorrow, 10 more colts and geldings will run in the Louisiana Derby at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans. Also tomorrow, Surfside, the lone filly threatening males along the Kentucky Derby and Preakness trails, will compete one last time against her own gender in the Santa Anita Oaks at Santa Anita Park before challenging males next month in the Santa Anita Derby.
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By Bill Christine and Bill Christine,LOS ANGELES TIMES | March 1, 2004
First in a weekly series of articles by Tribune Publishing horse racing writers looking ahead to Triple Crown races. The same guys who took home the horse-of-the-year title with Mineshaft in 2003 are chasing the Kentucky Derby this year. The new shooter in their barn is Gradepoint, who'll take his first major step along the trail to Churchill Downs in Sunday's $750,000 Louisiana Derby at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans. The Louisiana Derby is one of the first major steps that should help shake out the performers from the pretenders as horse racing starts heading for the Kentucky Derby on May 1. This, the first week of the Triple Crown Ratings, shows that the top names won't be racing for a couple of weeks.
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By Tom Keyser and Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF | March 10, 2001
HALLANDALE, Fla. -- In baseball, it's batting practice. In football and basketball, it's the scrimmage. In horse racing, it's the prep race. Don't confuse the preparation with the main event. On the first major weekend of the year on the road to the Kentucky Derby, 13 horses will compete today in the $1 million Florida Derby here at Gulfstream Park. Nine horses will square off tomorrow in the $750,000 Louisiana Derby at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans. Those races offer money and prestige for a horse early in his 3-year-old season.
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By Sandra McKee and Sandra McKee,SUN REPORTER | March 10, 2007
The Grade II, $600,000 Louisiana Derby seems to be bulging with fine Kentucky Derby possibilities, and it could be a wildandcrazyrace if Imawildandcrazyguy steps up the way trainer Bill Kaplan expects him to. "I know people have heard it before about bad fortune in a race or bad luck or things happening," he said. "But in most of his races there was something that caused him to have a problem. Either he got blocked, bumped, stumbled or something happened to stop him from getting to the top, and his race in [Calder, in Florida]
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By Tom Keyser | August 20, 2003
Laurel-based Toccet, racing for the first time since December, cruised to victory by three-quarters of a length in the $35,300 Widener Stakes yesterday at Philadelphia Park. Ridden by Jorge Chavez, Toccet completed the 1 1/16 miles in 1 minute, 45.20 seconds as the 1-10 favorite. He paid $2.20 to win. One of last year's top 2-year-olds, Toccet was sidelined eight months with leg injuries. Next on his schedule is the $750,000 Pennsylvania Derby on Sept. 1. Also aiming for that race is Bobby Frankel-trained Peace Rules, winner of the Haskell Invitational Handicap, Blue Grass Stakes and Louisiana Derby.
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By Tom Keyser and Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF | March 13, 2003
HALLANDALE, Fla. - Bobby Frankel, fresh from another major victory in the Louisiana Derby, and Ralph Ziadie, fresh from, well, an obscure 40-year training career, will saddle the favorites Saturday in the $1 million Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park. Empire Maker, trained by Frankel, winner of the past three Eclipse Awards as the nation's top trainer, drew post 6 yesterday and was made a 9-5 favorite in a seven-horse field. Trust N Luck, trained by Ziadie, a native Jamaican whose best horse was the veteran campaigner Sir Bear, drew post 1 and was designated the second favorite at 2-1. That's odd, because Trust N Luck has won five of nine races and dominated the Fountain of Youth Stakes, the traditional Florida Derby prep, by a lengthening 5 1/4 lengths.
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By Chris Korman and The Baltimore Sun | April 29, 2013
Last year's chase for the Triple Crown ended when trainer Doug O'Neill stepped to a microphone stand in a patch of fenced-in grass next to a barn near the Belmont Park track. Brushing back tears, he announced that a tendon injury would prevent I'll Have Another - the 12th horse to win the first two legs of the Triple Crown since Affirmed last completed the trifecta in 1978 - from going to post the next day. On Saturday, a full field of 20 is expected for the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby and to begin the quest anew.
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By Kevin Van Valkenburg, Tribune newspapers | May 1, 2011
Some years, a majestic 3-year-old thoroughbred will trot onto the scene and immediately emerge as a favorite in the weeks leading up to the Kentucky Derby. He'll look great in workouts, dominate the prep races and tantalize the sport, injecting hope into the elusive dream of seeing a horse win a Triple Crown. This is not one of those years. In fact, if you have $2 and a hunch, you might have just as good a shot as the experts at picking a winner in the 137th running of the Kentucky Derby, even if you barely know the difference between a furlong, a furlough and a fur coat.
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By Sandra McKee and Sandra McKee,Sun reporter | March 29, 2008
War Pass, the 2-year-old champion, finished last in his last Kentucky Derby prep race. Double or Nothing, a 3-year-old who won the Private Terms Stakes at Laurel Park last Saturday, earned a higher Beyer's speed figure (the scale used by many prognosticators to determine a horse's effort) than Adriano, who won the Grade II, $500,000 Lane's End at Turfway in Kentucky the same day. Elysium Fields, who could wind up the betting favorite in today's Florida Derby because of his big second-place performance in the Fountain of Youth Stakes, was 0-for-3 as a 2-year-old and couldn't break his maiden at Laurel Park in two November attempts.
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By Sandra McKee and Sandra McKee,SUN REPORTER | March 10, 2007
The Grade II, $600,000 Louisiana Derby seems to be bulging with fine Kentucky Derby possibilities, and it could be a wildandcrazyrace if Imawildandcrazyguy steps up the way trainer Bill Kaplan expects him to. "I know people have heard it before about bad fortune in a race or bad luck or things happening," he said. "But in most of his races there was something that caused him to have a problem. Either he got blocked, bumped, stumbled or something happened to stop him from getting to the top, and his race in [Calder, in Florida]
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By John Cherwa and John Cherwa,Orlando Sentinel | March 5, 2007
The annual guessing game known as "Who's going to win the Derby?" hit full stride over the weekend with no clear favorite emerging after a couple of Kentucky Derby preps in Florida and California. Over the next two months, some clear favorites likely will emerge. But there's one thing to remember: The favorite rarely wins on the first Saturday in May. Scat Daddy rallied late and beat Stormello by the smallest of margins to win the Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park in South Florida.
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By Tom Keyser and Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF | April 16, 2005
LEXINGTON, Ky. - With three weeks to go until the Kentucky Derby, one horse remains who could reach the race undefeated and join the likes of Smarty Jones, Seattle Slew and Native Dancer. Those horses added electricity to an already high-voltage event by bringing perfect records into America's most famous race. The flawless horse this year is High Limit. He is the 9-5 morning-line favorite in the $750,000 Blue Grass Stakes today at Keeneland, despite having raced only three times - and only once in the past six months.
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By Tom Keyser and Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF | March 13, 2000
NEW ORLEANS -- Mighty soared from the back of the pack to win the $750,000 Louisiana Derby yesterday at the Fair Grounds Race Course and become a major contender for the Kentucky Derby. After finishing second in his previous three races, Mighty unleashed the type of powerful late charge that often wins the longer Kentucky Derby. Last in a field of 10, he began splitting horses entering the far turn, swung wide at the top of the stretch and then wore down the courageous front-runner More Than Ready to win impressively by two lengths.
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By Bill Christine and Bill Christine,LOS ANGELES TIMES | March 14, 2005
Three fillies have won the Santa Anita Derby, just as three fillies have won the Kentucky Derby. Winning Colors, a huge filly who could have been mistaken for a colt, won both in 1988. Winning Colors was a roan, and Sweet Catomine is a deep-chocolate bay, but they have much in common. Sweet Catomine is also an enormous specimen, big enough to bully her female counterparts, and now, after winning yesterday's Santa Anita Oaks - as Winning Colors did - she'll try to take the Santa Anita route to the Kentucky Derby.
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By Tom Keyser and Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF | April 27, 2004
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Pollard's Vision was one of the best-looking yearlings at Wintergreen Farm in the spring of 2002. He was "absolutely stunning," said farm manager John Greely IV, who expected the colt to fetch as much as $400,000 at the Keeneland July yearling sale. Two months before the premier auction, however, the yearling's right eye began clouding over. Despite extensive efforts to save it, the colt lost all sight in the eye. His value plummeted. His future as a racehorse was uncertain.
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