Saturday’s Run for the Roses
Churchill Downs’ $2 million Kentucky Derby, celebrating its 141st renewal, is expected to attract a capacity field of 20 horses with a tentative post time of 3:24 pm. The one mile and one- quarter classic for 3-year-olds will be simulcast on track at Turf Paradise and at all 65 OTB sites throughout Arizona.
On track, gates will open at 7:15 am with Churchill Downs’ first simulcast at 7:30 am. The first live race is set for 11:30 am.
The first 5,000 fans will receive a free Kentucky Derby commemorative glass listing the names of the previous 140 Kentucky Derby winners. Free multiple bounce inflatables will be available for the kids. The traditional Derby drink, the mint julep, will be available.
Grandstand admission on Derby Day is $5.
Sunday’s Closing Day
A regular post time of 1:25 pm will be in effect closing day. Grandstand admission will be free.
Two stakes will highlight closing day’s nine-race card: The $35,000-added ATBA Spring Sales Stakes and the $25,000-added Hasta la Vista Handicap.
ATBA Sales Stakes
A field of 11 two-year-olds will line up for this 5 furlong test, which will go as the eighth race. The 11 entrants are divided among three fillies and eight colts and geldings. All 11 came out of one of two April 19 trial races which produced two winners, French General and the filly McKenzie Honey.
Trainer Dan McFarlane, who’s won this race the last two years and three years overall, will be represented by the Rocky Bar filly Spotlight Gal and Jack Mormon.
Hasta la Vista
The traditional final live race on the last day of the race meet, and one of the longest turf stakes in America at one mile and seven-eights, the Hasta la Vista, which is celebrating its 60th running, attracted a field of 10 marathoners.
The question is: Can Blue Bomber do it again?
In the April 2nd Wildcat Handicap at 1 3/8 miles (turf) Blue Bomber opened up a 20-length lead and went on to win the traditional Hasta la Vista prep by two lengths.
Also entered is Sir Searsucker, who finished second to Blue Bomber in the Wildcat.