Kentucky Derby 2022: 3 stakes, an impressive array of winners @GP, OP, and TP

The Kentucky Derby is a little over a month away, but the Prep Races are dwindling ... Here is a rundown of the results in the Florida Derby, the Arkansas Derby, and the Jeff Ruby Steaks! What a weekend it was ...
The Kentucky Derby is a little over a month away, but the Prep Races are dwindling ... Here is a rundown of the results in the Florida Derby, the Arkansas Derby, and the Jeff Ruby Steaks! What a weekend it was ...
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Derby Preps came to a boiling point on this Super Saturday with 3 "Key" races ... "Points" were aplenty, and the Leaderboard saw a major shuffle with the Top 4 finishers in each race garnering the following ... 100-40-20-10 ... to the Top 4 in each contest ...

GULFSTREAM: Race 14: 1 1/8th (Dirt), Curlin Florida Derby (G1), Purse $1 million, 3

The Grade 1 Florida Derby brought together 4 runners, in particular, with resumes that would speak to the ability to win such a contest. Saffie Joseph's White Abarrio ... Antonio Sano's Simplification ... Todd Pletcher's Charge It ... and finally, Brian Lynch's Classic Causeway, were the ones the bettors focused on. It was thought by many a turf pundit, that Lynch's colt would garner most of the "Win" Pool money. However, by race time, it was Pletcher's entry (the least experienced class-wise of the group) that was the shortest price. At the break, Irad Ortiz gave the command for Classic Causeway to make the lead ... and he did. With the rest of the 10-horse field in pursuit, it was Tyler Gaffalione and Joseph's White Abarrio that ranged up, and at the top of the lane kicked for home (now with 112 KYD "Points"). In the end, Charge It, Simplification, and Mark Casse's Pappacap were all watching Gaffalione cross the wire first. Joseph triumphed over all ... giving this conditioner his very 1st FLA Derby!

OAKLAWN: Race 12: 1 1/8th (Dirt) Arkansas Derby (G1), $1.25 million, 3

The Oaklawn crowd was brimming at 60k, and it was going to be an afternoon to remember as HOF trainer D. Wayne Lukas sent his uber-talented filly, Secret Oath up against the "boys." With several key alums drawn-in like Kavod, Barber Road, Un Ojo, Chasing Time, and Ben Diesel, it was not going to be an easy "ask" to win this Grade 1 contest. Taking money all day, Secret Oath went off as the favorite, hovering around 6/5. Right from the word "go," it was apparent that the race was going to be a street fight. Luis Contreras, Lukas' pick to ride his filly, was jostled around, and she ended up being shuffled back behind a host of runners. While Kavod, Chasing Time, and SoCal import Doppleganger fought it out on the frontend, it was Florent Geroux and Brad Cox's Cyberknife that settled into the catbird seat ... 3-4 lengths off-the-speed. Meanwhile, the filly tried to cut to the 4-path, and take the long way around. Down the backstretch, Geroux's mount wanted to go, and he almost went too quickly, moving up into 2nd, before backing off a bit. Contreras, sensing that it was time ... hit the accelerator, and Secret Oath nearly passed the entire field. Using up most of her supply of speed, that gave Barber Road, and Cyberknife the chance to make their own runs toward the rail. It was Cox's charge that had the advantage, and he sealed the deal with a signature win (now with 100 KYD "Points"). Rounding out the "minors" were John Ortiz's Barber Road (again in-the-money and the mark of consistency), Lukas' valiant filly was 3rd (who probably now is pointed for sure to the KYOaks), and Tim Yakteen's Baffert-less Doppleganger that ended up 4th. This was Brad Cox's 1st Arkansas Derby win ... probably many more to come ... Cyberknife ... to Churchill, next.

TURFWAY: Race 12: 1 1/8th (Dirt), Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3), Purse $600k, 3

The Kenny McPeek show came once again calling at Turfway, and the numbers for Tiz the Bomb spoke to the idea that his power would win out. In customary fashion, the Jeff Ruby Steaks (not the beef) drew a large field of 13. With the scratch of the Blackadder, the 12 that would contest 1 1/8th would need to combine a unique amount of speed and stamina. The Tapeta course generally promotes late-speed, and there was plenty of it in this spot. Other runners that were taking money included Mike Maker's Stolen Base, and Brad Cox's Tawny Port. Right from the beginning of the race, it was Tom Amoss' Dowagiac Chief that served as the controlling speed. By the time the 2-turn was there and gone, it was Tawny Port and Rich Strike (trained by Eric Reed) that were looking to secure the lead. However, it was woefully obvious that Brian Hernandez Jr., aboard "the Bomb" was going to run away with the race. With a number of gears left in his box, the colt was given his cue, and he was loaded. The wire arrived, and he was a 2+ length winner. That makes 110 "Points" that he has collected over the course of the Spring, and it will be interesting to see how this original turf "go-er" will handle the switch back to the dirt ... Can McPeek prepare him properly to make the switch? The Kentucky Derby looms ...

Now, with only a handful of KYD148 Preps left, we are headed towards the "1st Saturday in May" ... it is going to be a rush to the wire ... Stay tuned and do not forget to follow us on Twitter ... Horseracing_USA !!!

Kentucky Derby 2022

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