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HomeHorse RacingKey Takeaways You Must Know From Kentucky Derby Weekend

Key Takeaways You Must Know From Kentucky Derby Weekend

Tom Pedulla presents a half-dozen takeaways from the $5 million Kentucky Derby Offered by Woodford Reserve, the $1.5 million Longines Kentucky Oaks, and different main developments at Churchill Downs this weekend.

TWO FOR THE RECORD BOOKS: Coach Ken McPeek completed a feat that had been accomplished solely thrice beforehand in 149 years by sweeping the 2024 Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby. With Churchill Downs celebrating the 150th operating of each races, it’s notable that the final coach to finish an Oaks-Derby double did so greater than 70 years in the past when Ben Jones gained the Kentucky Oaks with Actual Delight and the Derby with Hill Gail in 1952. McPeek secured the sweep when Thorpedo Anna gained the Longines Kentucky Oaks on Friday by 4 ¾ lengths and Mystik Dan held on to win the Kentucky Derby by a nostril Saturday in entrance of a crowd of 156,710. Jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. grew to become the eighth jockey to attain an Oaks-Derby double and the primary since Calvin Borel did so aboard Rachel Alexandra and Mine That Chicken in 2009.

COSTLY MISTAKE: Sierra Leone, who missed successful the Kentucky Derby by lower than the official nostril as a part of a three-horse photograph with victorious Mystik Dan and Japan’s Without end Younger, gave jockey Tyler Gaffalione all he had bodily. From a psychological standpoint, it seems the $2.3 million yearling remains to be missing. “I felt like I had loads of horse,” Gaffalione mentioned. “He needed to lean in [Saturday in the stretch] and made it a bit of tough. I had a tough time holding him straight and that undoubtedly value us. He offers you every little thing, very responsive, however he loses focus.” The son of Gun Runner, despatched off because the second selection within the wagering after Fierceness, suffered solely his second loss in six begins.

FALLING SHORT: Iowa-based Albaugh Household Stables although it’d lastly have the fitting horse when Catching Freedom, winner of the 1 3/16-mile Louisiana Derby, grew to become its eighth Derby starter since 2016. The son of Structure seemed to be in excellent putting place for coach Brad Cox and jockey Flavien Prat. “I used to be touring properly and had an opportunity to chop each nook and save all the bottom,” Prat famous. Catching Freedom took fourth for Albaugh, which settled for third final 12 months with Angel of Empire. “Total I used to be very proud of Catching Freedom’s effort, I actually was and the trip Flavien gave him,” Cox mentioned.

AWFUL TRIP: With a 20-horse discipline and the desperation jockeys really feel to succeed in the primary flip in a great place, the Derby could be over for some horses nearly earlier than it begins. That was the case with Honor Marie, the well-regarded Louisiana Derby runner-up. “My race was over popping out of the gate,” jockey Ben Curtis mentioned. “I bought speared from either side. I misplaced an iron and needed to put it again in. He was almost down on his head, however I gave him time to select himself up. He didn’t get the smoothest first quarter of a mile and I simply let him float round a bit after that.” Beneath the circumstances, the son of Honor Code did properly to complete seventh.

PREAKNESS NEXT?: Though he rated the probabilities at “lower than 50%,” coach Ken McPeek shouldn’t be ruling out the Could 18 Preakness Stakes as the following begin for Thorpedo Anna, commanding winner of the one hundred and fiftieth Longines Kentucky Oaks Friday. “We’re going to take a look at the Preakness, however she’s going to have to point out us. Within the subsequent three or 4 days, we’ll get some readability,” McPeek mentioned. There are no less than a few components working in opposition to having her tackle the boys within the center jewel of the Triple Crown. Since she shouldn’t be nominated to the spring classics, the connections can be taking a look at $150,000 in charges. Past that, Thorpedo Anna didn’t fairly clear her feed tub after the completion of the 1 1/8-mile race, a sign of fatigue that’s hardly shocking. McPeek captured the Preakness with the filly Swiss Skydiver after she positioned second within the Oaks in 2020.

CHAMP IS BACK: Idiomatic, 2023 Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff winner and champion older feminine, seems to be sitting on an enormous 5-year-old season. She kicked off her marketing campaign with a formidable 3 ¾-length victory within the $1 million Fasig-Tipton La Troienne Stakes Friday for coach Brad Cox and jockey Florent Geroux. The end result was by no means in severe doubt. She accomplished the mile and a sixteenth on a sloppy monitor in 1:43.24 for her sixth consecutive victory. She improved her general report to 10 wins, one second, and two thirds by means of 13 begins whereas her earnings ballooned to $3,076,840. “You would inform she was wanting round a bit of bit. She will get a bit of distracted generally,” mentioned Geroux. “However she seems like she’s again to her outdated self.” It will likely be fascinating to see whether or not Cox checks the Juddmonte homebred in opposition to males sooner or later this season in a bid for Horse of the 12 months honors. The dearth of such a matchup stored her from receiving severe consideration for that honor final 12 months.



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