California Chrome takes the Kentucky Derby
Churchill Downs was the center of the racing world on Friday and Saturday and California Chrome proved to be the shiniest star as the favorite won the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby. Sent off as the 5/2 favorite, California Chrome (BetPTC.com Top Selection) was put into a perfect position by Victor Espinoza early on as he sat third behind Uncle Sigh and Chitu who went out to set the pace, which was only moderate, getting to the opening half mile in 47 and 1/5 seconds. Espinoza started to make his move on the far turn and at the top of the stretch he got the lead with Samraat right on his hip. Espinoza told California Chrome to go though and quickly within a few strides he opened up five lengths by mid-stretch. Long shot Commanding Curve came roaring from out of the pack, but California Chrome was long gone and held on to win by a length and three quarters over Commanding Curve who was second. Danza (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) rallied up to get third while Wicked Strong was fourth.
Wise Dan (BetPTC.com Top Selection) had to work very hard and hold off a very game Seek Again to win the $500,000 Woodford Turf Classic. Wise Dan was kind of rank early as jockey John Velazquez had to reign him out of traffic as they ran by the wire for the first time. He settled down and got into a good groove and took command into the lane. Seek Again came flying through down along the rail, but Wise Dan had plenty left and he held on bravely to win by a head. Central Banker (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) held off a late rally from Shakin It Up to win the Churchill Downs Stakes. Central Banker, Shakin It Up and third place finisher Clearly Now were all far back early on and made big closes to get up to run one-two-three.
Global View (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) and Gary Stevens had to overcome a seven wide trip on the turn to get up late to win the American Turf Stakes. Storming Inti grabbed the lead early on and opened up a two length lead in mid-stretch. But Global View came flying down the center of the track to get up and grab the win at 6/1 odds. Midnight Lucky (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) made her comeback to the races after an extended layoff and turned in a huge run to win the Humana Distaff. She went right to the front and never looked back as she won the 7 furlong event by four lengths over Street Girl who rallied up for second. In the Distaff Turf Mile it was Coffee Clique and Javier Castellano who knifed his way through traffic to get up and win by a half length, catching Dame Marie in the final yards.
Untapable is uncatchable in the Kentucky Oaks
Untapable was a big favorite in the Kentucky Oaks and she proved why when she poured it on down the stretch to win the Grade 1 event by four and one half lengths. Sent off as the even money favorite, Untapable (BetPTC.com Top Selection) had to travel on the outside in fourth early on due to her being marooned out in post thirteen. She settled nicely under Rosie Napravnik as Sugar Shock and My Miss Sophia (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) went out to set the early pace. Untapable came up after the lead at the top of the lane and drew off down the lane. My Miss Sophia kept battling on and held second, but she was never going to get Untapable who won by almost five lengths. My Miss Sophia was second ahead of Unbridled Forever (BetPTC.com Longshot) who ran third.
Moonshine Mullen pulled off an upset in the Alysheba Stakes as he battled back after surrendering the lead in mid-stretch. Moonshine Mullen went out and set the pace but turning for home Golden Ticket came up and grabbed the lead and even put a half length on Moonshine Mullen. But Moonshine Mullen re-rallied under Calvin Borel to get the win. A Little Bit Sassy (BetPTC.com Top Selection) came from just off the early pace of Istanford (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) to get up and win the Edgewood Stakes on the grass.
Fiftyshadesofgold (BetPTC.com Top Selection) lived up to her favorite billing as she took home the Grade 3 Eight Belles Stakes, coming from just off the pace to hold off Milam (BetPTC.com Longshot) who got up to run second. Marchman (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) and Robby Albarado utilized a perfect trip to get up and win the Twin Spires Turf. On Fire Baby (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) won the Grade 1 La Troienne Stakes in impressive fashion. She was second early on as Devil’s Cave (BetPTC.com Top Selection) went off to the early lead. Jockey Joe Johnson made his move at the top of the lane though and they edged away to win by almost three lengths over Molly Morgan who rallied up to get second, just ahead of Devil’s Cave who was third.