Can Kentucky Derby winner American Pharoah win Saturday’s $1.5 million Preakness Stakes, the second jewel of horse racing’s Triple Crown? The Preakness will be simulcast to Turf Paradise and to all 60 in-state OTBs.
Doors at Turf Paradise will open at 7:15 am with the first Pimlico simulcast scheduled for 7:30 am. The Preakness post time is 3:18 pm. The Grandstand will be closed, since there is no live racing at Turf, but the Clubhouse, Turf Club and Players’ will be open. An A La Carte menu is offered in the Clubhouse and all day buffets are featured in the Turf Club and Players’ Club.
A field of eight has been drawn for the Preakness. Kentucky Derby winner American Pharoah and third place Derby finisher Dortmund, both trained by Bob Baffert, drew the No 1 and No 2 posts respectively. Derby runner up Firing Line will break from the eight post.
Showing that he’s just getting better, veteran rider Scott Stevens won his seventh leading jockey’s title as the 2014-2015 race meet came to a close Tuesday at Turf Paradise.Six-time leading rider, Stevens, 54, whose last title came in 1999, racked up 104 wins. Geovanni Franco finished with 97 victories.
Trainer Robertino Diodoro followed his record-setting 125 wins of last year with 101 tallies this season to take the crown.
In the competitive owners’ division, Charles Garvey and Kings River Ranch tied with 25 wins each.
Sawyer Cattle Company’s prohibitive 1-9 favorite Az Ridge ($2.10) did not disappoint, winning the $35,000 Hasta La Vista Handicap by seven lengths over Crushed It with Stoney Fleece third in the field of six older horses.
Trained by Dan McFarlane and calmly ridden by Geovanni Franco, Az Ridge, who was also voted Horse of the Meet, covered the marathon 1 7/8 miles over firm turf in 3:12.72. The 6-year-old Az Ridge, who was winning his third consecutive stakes and notching his 13th victory from 38 lifetime starts now has earnings of $379,601.
Sawyer Cattle Company and company - Franco and McFarlane - came right back in the 9thrace finale, the $51,102 ATBA Spring Sales Stakes, with a come-from-behind nose win with Ez Deluxe ($14.20) over 6-5 favorite Taste’s Secret with Chargin Bye another 3 ½ lengths back in the field of nine 2-year-olds.
Ez Deluxe covered the 5 furlongs in :59.05 and earned $25,551 for his first career win.
Simulcasting from major race tracks will continue throughout the summer. Live racing returns October 17-May 7, 2016 for a 136-day meet.
America’s most famous horse race, the Kentucky Derby, will be simulcast Saturday at Turf Paradise and at all 60 in-state OTBs. And Tuesday’s closing day will feature free Grandstand and Clubhouse admission.
Derby Day Saturday
The day gets started early with gates opening at 7:15 am to accommodate the first simulcast from Churchill Downs scheduled for 7:30 am. The first live race will take place at 11:30am. The Kentucky Derby post time is 3:24 pm. The first 4,000 fans will receive a free Kentucky Derby commemorative glass. The glass lists the names of the previous 140 winners of the historic race.
Grandstand admission Derby Day is $5. There will be live music on the grandstand apron,a free Kids’ Fun Park with multiple inflatables, pony rides and face painters and, of course, the annual Bonnet and Kentucky Derby Gents contests (prize money) which will take place immediately following the Kentucky Derby on the Grandstand apron. Mint Juleps, the Derby drink, will be plentiful.
The Clubhouse, Turf Club, Turf Club Terrace and Directors’ Suite Patio are sold out.
The Kentucky Derby
This year’s Run for the Roses spotlights on more than one horse. In fact there are probably ten horses that merit a close look. That’s how talented this year’s 3-year-old crop is.
American Pharaoh, who will break from the 18 post, was installed the 5-2 favorite. Next in line is Dortmund at 3-1 coming out of the 8 hole. Then Carpe Diem at 8-1 breaking from the 2 post. Everyone else is double digit odds. But don’t let that scare you off your horses. There’s talent in Materiality and Firing Line both at 12-1 and Frosted at 15-1. A case can even be made for Mubtaahij and International Star, each at 20-1.
After all, it’s the Kentucky Derby, where dreams do come true.
While Eyesa Famous Eagle lit up the tote board in winning the Bank of America Challenge, it was trainer Matthew Fales that had the crowd gasping Sunday at Turf Paradise Race Course.
In addition to the $70,740 Bank of America Challenge, three other Quarter Horse stakes were featured on the card.But it was Matthew Fales that stole the show. Fales won the first three stakes. But for a neck, he would have also won the Bank of America Challenge.
Fales won the opening stakes, the $11,200 Wayne Brasher Legacy, with the favorite HeatWarning ($5.40), who was up in time to get a neck victory over Jo Jo Hot Legs with Siege Rampart third in the field of ten.Ridden by Martin Bourdieu, Heat Warning, who was winning for the ninth time in 17 outings, raced the 440 yards in :21:74 and now has earnings of $92,680.
Fales and Bourdieu teamed up again with Kr Crusin Cartel ($16.20) to upset the $31,680 John Deere Juvenile Challenge.Bumped at the start and drifting out in the stretch, Kr Crusin Cartel zipped the 350 yards in :17.96. Seis Me was second a length behind the winner and Painthisroyalwagon third in the field of ten 2-year-olds.
Owned by Kyler Racing, Kr Crusin Cartel is now a perfect 2-for-2 and has earnings of $16,359,With just enough time to catch his breath, Fales then saddled another upsetter, Jess Perfect Miracle ($19.40) to post a half-length victory in the $22,140 Zoetis Distance Challenge with Mickey Ward second (also trained by Fales) and All Guns Firing in the field of eight.
Handled by Daniel Vergara for owner Las Vegas Ranch, Jess Perfect Miracle was guided to the 4-path from the eight post and went on to cover the 870 yards in :45.78. Jess Perfect Miracle has now won seven of 29 races for earnings of $38,014.Then came the featured $70,740 Bank of America Championship Challenge where the winner would not only get $32,450 but would also receive a berth in the Challenge Championship at Lone Star Park.
Overcoming bumping and shoving at the start Eyesa Famous Eagle ($49.00) and Jarell James seized the lead and held on by a neck against the fast-closing Block N Tackle (trained by Fales) with French Fry third in the field of nine.
Owned by Cesar Dabdoub and trained by Omar Lorta, Eyesa Famous Eagle covered the 440 yards in :21.81 for his fourth win in 20 efforts for earnings of $102,619.