Kentucky Derby News & Notes: April 19, 2018

Jockey Paco Lopez was named to ride multiple graded stakes champ Firenze Fire in the May 5 Run for the Roses, his first mount in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby.

Weather permitting, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin plans to work multiple graded stakes winner Enticed at the Palm Meadows Training Center on April 19 and 26 before shipping to Churchill Downs for the Derby.



The NFL’s New England Patriots star Rob Gronkowski acquired a minority stake in Gronkowski, the 3-year-old colt named after him who earned an invitation to run for the roses by winning the European Road to the Kentucky Derby.

Conditioner Jerry Hollendorfer said Instilled Regard, fourth in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby on April 7, is a candidate for the Kentucky Derby if he can gain a berth in the field. The colt currently sits 22nd in the standings with 29 Kentucky Derby qualifying points. He can gain a spot in the gate if two runners ranked above him are removed from consideration.

Jeff Bloom, who owns Snapper Sinclair through his Bloom Racing Stable, said that his colt, now 23rd on the points leaderboard, is more likely to run at Churchill Downs in the Grade 2 American Turf Stakes or Grade 3 Pat Day Mile on May 5 even if a Kentucky Derby berth becomes available.

Turfway Park’s Grade 3 Jeff Ruby Stakes hero Blended Citizen, now 24th on the leaderboard, is also targeting the Derby if enough defections occur to allow the colt to get into the field.

Trainer Doug O’Neill said the American Turf is the back-up race for Blended Citizen, with Kyle Frey scheduled to ride in whichever race the colt enters.

High North, winner of Oaklawn Park’s Northern Spur Stakes on the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby undercard, is under consideration for the Pat Day Mile, Belmont Park’s Grade 3 Peter Pan Stakes on May 12 and Pimlico’s Grade 1 Preakness Stakes on May 19.


Kentucky Derby News & Notes: April 16, 2018


Florent Geroux will ride Arkansas Derby runner-up Quip in the Kentucky Derby.

Grade 3 Sunland Derby winner Runaway Ghost will miss the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby after coming out of April 14 work with a hairline fracture to his right front cannon bone.

Grade 1 Arkansas Derby champion Magnum Moon returned to his South Florida winter base at Palm Beach Downs on April 15 and will ship to Churchill Downs on April 23.

Luis Saez, who has ridden Magnum Moon in each of his starts, will retain the mount in the Kentucky Derby.

Florent Geroux, who has been aboard Arkansas Derby runner-up Quip in all of his races, was confirmed as the colt’s jockey in the Run for the Roses.

Arkansas Derby show finisher Solomini is scheduled to fly back to California on April 16 and will train over the next two weeks at Santa Anita before traveling to Churchill Downs on April 28 or April 30 for the Kentucky Derby.

Arkansas Derby fourth-place finisher Combatant, who currently ranks 21st on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard with 32 points, will ship to Churchill Downs this week with the rest of conditioner Steve Asmussen’s Oaklawn Park division.

Grade 3 Lexington Stakes hero My Boy Jack is likely to ship to Churchill Downs April 21.

Unbeaten Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby victor Justify is slated to have two works prior to the Kentucky Derby.

Santa Anita Derby runner-up Bolt d’Oro will have his first Kentucky Derby work on April 22 and his second on April 28 before shipping to Churchill Downs on April 30.

Irad Ortiz, Jr., the nation’s current leading rider in wins this year, will ride Grade 1 Florida Derby runner-up Hofburg in the Kentucky Derby.

Trainer Bill Mott said he is inclined to ship Hofburg to Churchill Downs prior to his next breeze.

Hofburg will be Mott’s first Kentucky Derby starter since Holding Back finished 12th in 2009.

Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks horses will have an exclusive training window at Churchill Downs beginning Saturday, April 21 through Thursday, May 3 from 7:30 – 7:45 a.m.


Kentucky Derby News & Notes: April 12, 2018

Grade 2 Rebel Stakes winner Magnum Moon was installed as the 8/5 morning line favorite in Oaklawn Park’s April 14 Grade 1 Arkansas Derby, the last qualifying points race for the 144th edition of the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby on May 5.

Machismo, who was a badly-beaten 12th of 14 runners in Keeneland’s Grade 2 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes on April 7, was entered in the Arkansas Derby in a final attempt to earn a chance to run for the roses.

Trainer Keith Desormeaux told a national teleconference audience on April 10 that Grade 2 Louisiana Derby show finisher My Boy Jack will need to win Keeneland’s April 14 Grade 3 Lexington Stakes decisively to continue on to the Kentucky Derby.

Gronkwoski, who is named after New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski and earned a berth in the Kentucky Derby by winning the new European series of qualifying races, will ship to the U.S. a week before the first Saturday in May and should clear quarantine in time to train over the Churchill Downs track the Tuesday of race week.

Five Kentucky Derby contenders are now stabled on the Churchill Downs backstretch: Bravazo (trainer D. Wayne Lukas, barn 44); Flameaway (Mark Casse, barn 36); Free Drop Billy (Dale Romans, barn 4); Lone Sailor (Tom Amoss, barn 29); and Promises Fulfilled (Romans, barn 4).

Amoss confirmed that James Graham, who rode Lone Sailor to a second-place finish in the Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds, will have the repeat call in the Kentucky Derby.