Kentucky Derby News & Notes: March 5, 2019

Game Winner takes the 2018 Breeders' Cup Juvenile, 11/4/18. (Jordan Thomson Photo)

Game Winner takes the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (photo by Jordan Thomson).

All the latest happenings on the Road to the Kentucky Derby, including what Kentucky Derby preps the top contenders are pointing for.

  • Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes champ Code of Honor exited his victory in good shape and is likely to stay at Gulfstream Park for the Grade 1 Florida Derby on March 30, with the Grade 2 Wood Memorial Stakes at Aqueduct one week later also an option.
  • The Florida Derby is also the preferred final Grade 1 Kentucky Derby prep for Fountain of Youth runner-up Bourbon War and show finisher, Vekoma.
  • Hidden Scroll, fourth as the beaten favorite in the Fountain of Youth after setting a wicked pace, remains under consideration for the Florida Derby, as well as the Wood Memorial and Grade 2 Blue Grass at Keeneland on April 6.
  • Fountain of Youth fifth-place runner Global Campaign grabbed a quarter in the race and is off the Kentucky Derby trail while that heals.
  • Signalman, who lost a shoe during his seventh-place run in the Fountain of Youth and didn’t scope cleanly after the race, will be pointed to the Blue Grass Stakes.
  • Probable starters for the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby on March 9 at Tampa Bay Downs are Admire, Current, Dream Maker, Lord Dragon, Sir Winston, Tacitus, The Right Path, Well Defined, Win Win Win and Zenden.
  • Multiple Canadian stakes victor Avie’s Flatter will bypass a planned run in the Tampa Bay Derby and be pointed to another spot.
  • Juvenile Champion Game Winner is expected to face stablemate Improbable, Gunmetal Gray, Extra Hope, Easy Shot and, possibly, Nolo Contesto in Santa Anita’s Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes.
  • Trainer Richard Mandella will skip the San Felipe with recent Santa Anita maiden winner Omaha Beach and instead run him in Oaklawn Park’s Grade 2 Rebel Stakes a week later if a quarter crack heals in time for that race.
  • Probable starters for the March 9 Grade 3 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct include Call Paul, Haikal, Instagrand, Knicks Go, Mind Control, Much Better, Not That Brady, Overdeliver and Tikhvin Flew.
  • Federal Case, who had been under consideration for the Gotham Stakes, will run next in Gulfstream Park’s Grade 3 Hutcheson Stakes on March 23.
  • Horses considered probable for Turfway Park’s Grade 3 Jeff Ruby Steaks on March 9 are Baytown Jimbo, Counter Offer, Curlin Grey, Dabo, Dynamic Racer, Five Star General, Moonster, Skywire, Somelikeithotbrown, Speed App and Twelfofneverland.
  • Country House, runner-up in the Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes, will return to Fair Grounds for the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby on March 23.
  • Derma Louvre, the points leader among Triple Crown nominees in the Japanese prep races, is targeting the May 4 Kentucky Derby and expected to ship to Churchill Downs if all goes in his final prep in the March 30 Group 2 UAE Derby at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai.
  • Conditioner Bob Baffert will target Santa Anita’s Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby with Roadster, who captured his seasonal debut there in a March 1 allowance optional claiming event.
  • Ken McPeek trainee Lemniscate, who took a Gulfstream Park maiden special weight turf contest on March 3, is a candidate for Oaklawn Park’s Grade 1 Arkansas Derby on April 13.
  • Gray Attempt, winner of Oaklawn Park’s Smarty Jones Stakes in January, will miss the Rebel Stakes due to a minor setback, but his connections remain hopeful that the colt can make the Arkansas Derby.
  • Conditioner Bill Mott said that Mucho, who returned from a lengthy layoff to win a six-furlong allowance on March 1 at Gulfstream, will remain around one turn for now and make his next start in the Grade 3 Bay Shore Stakes at Aqueduct on the Wood Memorial undercard.
  • Oaklawn Park’s Grade 3 Southwest Stakes hero Grade Super Steed is off the Kentucky Derby trail due to bone bruising in a front leg and will need 60 to 90 days of recovery.
  • Courtyard, who scored in a Fair Grounds allowance optional claiming contest on March 2, exited the race with a minor issue and should return in the summer for trainer Tom Amoss.