Jan. 17 (UPI) — The street to the Kentucky Derby dips all the way down to Louisiana this weekend with Scabbard liked within the Lecomte Stakes at Honest Grounds, whilst some heavyweights slug it out in Sunshine Thousands and thousands races in Florida and California.

At the global scene, Attractiveness Technology tries to get again to his best possible — and earn a shuttle to Dubai — because the Hong Kong Jockey Membership hosts a couple of Staff 1 occasions. Already within the books, two extra exciting finishes in Dubai.

And in Saudi Arabia, the listing of nominations for the Feb. 29 Saudi Cup and its undercard races reads like a “Who is Who” of global horse racing.

Here is the “what is what”:

The Highway to the Roses

This week’s authentic Kentucky Derby prep is the $200,000 Grade III Lecomte at Honest Grounds in New Orleans, a 1 1/16-miles tournament providing 10 Derby qualifying issues to the winner. The favourite on Mike Dilibero’s morning line is Scabbard, a Extra Than In a position colt educated via Eddie Kenneally.

Scabbard, as soon as referred to as Noose, gained in the beginning asking in June at Churchill Downs, after which completed 2nd in each the Grade II Saratoga Particular and the Grade III Iroquois at Churchill Downs ahead of a fourth-place appearing within the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita.

“He did not deal with the outside an excessive amount of,” Kenneally mentioned of the Breeders’ Cup effort. “He is a better and that monitor wasn’t taking part in nicely to closers that day.”

On paper, Scabbard would not appear to have a lot to fret about Saturday rather then the layoff for the reason that Breeders’ Cup. However that is why they run the races and there are some others within the 14-horse box who may just compete with a modest step ahead.

And, may just there be a filly at the Highway to the Roses? Possibly. Teacher Brad Cox says Taraz, his Juddmonte Farms homebred daughter of Into Mischief, may just take a swing on the 3-year-old men if she presentations nicely within the Martha Washington Stakes Feb. 1 at Oaklawn Park.

“Glance, she’s particular,” Cox mentioned this week. “The whole thing has to line up. The whole thing has to move proper. The best way she trains, she provides you with that quantity of self belief to consider such things as that, base line.”

The filly gained her first two begins via 7 1/2 and 11 1/Four lengths, the latter within the Letellier Memorial on the New Orleans monitor. The Martha Washington is 1 mile round two turns.

Kentucky Oaks preps

Finite is a resounding 6-Five favourite at the morning line for the $150,000 Silverbulletday Stakes on Saturday at Honest Grounds. The Munnings filly, educated via Steve Asmussen, broke her maiden at the Kentucky Downs turf in September, then gained the Rags to Riches and the Grade III Golden Rod, each at Churchill Downs. Some of the others within the Silverbulletday, Portrait, a Tapizar filly, were given into the win column with a 12 1/2-lengths rating at Ellis Park and was once 0.33 within the Grade II Pocahontas at Churchill. The winner will get 10 issues towards a get started within the Kentucky Oaks with 4, 2 and 1 issues to the following 3.

In different U.S. weekend racing motion:


Saturday’s $150,000 Grade III Toboggan Stakes, 7 furlongs at the primary monitor, drew a box of 9. Thoughts Keep watch over, the early favourite, were given gate No. eight with the opposite well-regarded duo of Sunny Ridge and American Anthem parked No. 1 and No. 2 so a just right damage and early techniques might be essential.

Honest Grounds

Saturday’s $100,000 Grade III Louisiana Stakes at 1 1/16 miles drew some helpful types. Amongst them, Silver Mud was once 2nd in remaining 12 months’s operating and adopted that with a victory within the Grade III Mineshaft Handicap; Combined Citizen gained the Grade III Peter Pan at Belmont Park two years in the past, fell on laborious instances on each grime and turf and could also be at the rebound; and previous Mexican champion Kukulkan exits a 6-lengths victory at Gulfstream Park that can set him immediately once more. N.B. — Silver Mud and Combined Citizen are each cross-entered within the Col. E.R. Bradley at the turf later in the similar program.

Saturday’s $100,000 D.F. Kenner at 6 furlongs isn’t graded and drew simplest 5 entries. However the ones come with Hog Creek Hustle, a detailed 6th within the Breeders’ Cup Dash remaining day trip and a Grade I winner at Belmont Park this spring, and Bobby’s Depraved One, 2nd within the Grade I Churchill Downs Stakes on Derby weekend and maximum not too long ago winner of the Thanksgiving Vintage over the direction and distance.

Gulfstream Park

Saturday’s Sunshine Thousands and thousands program contains the $200,000 Vintage, the $150,000 Turf, the $150,000 Filly & Mare Turf and the $100,000 Dash — enthusiastic about state-breds. The standout on all of the card is Starship Jubilee within the Filly & Mare Turf. The 7-year-old Indy Wild mare is a a couple of graded stakes winner and took the Grade I E.P. Taylor at Woodbine two begins again. She, understandably, is the 3-Five favourite at the morning line. The opposite occasions are well-subscribed and aggressive.

Santa Anita

State-breds take heart level Saturday at The Nice Race Position, too. The Gulfstream program is complemented via the $150,000 Sunshine Thousands and thousands Filly/Mare Dash. Additionally at the card are the $200,000 California Cup Derby at the grime and $200,000 California Cup Oaks at the turf (I do know, what?) in addition to the $200,000 Peculiar Warmth Turf Vintage and the $150,000 California Cup Dash.

There are a pair within the Derby who may just transfer as much as open corporate with a just right appearing, particularly Giant Returns, a Mr. Giant colt making his first get started after transferring to Doug O’Neil’s barn, and Bettor Shuttle Nick, making his first get started on grime after going 4-for-Five at the Golden Gate all-weather. Take a look at again to peer what occurs on this one.

Sunday it is the $100,000 Grade III Astra Stakes for fillies and mares at 1 1/2 miles at the turf.

At the global scene:


The exciting finishes simply stay coming within the Dubai International Cup Carnival. In Thursday’s bankruptcy, it was once Magic Lily, below James Doyle, edging Nisreen and Pierre-Charles Boudot via a brief head after a moderately determined stretch run within the Staff 2 Cape Verdi. Past Reason why was once a quite unfortunate 0.33, any other 2 1/2 lengths again. Magic Lily, after saving flooring early, introduced a bid early within the stretch run and took each and every step of get the process executed, completing the 1 mile on just right turf in course-record time of one:34.84.

“I had my head all the way down to trip and did not assume we might were given up,” Doyle mentioned. “However she’s tricky and really sport. It did not pass totally our method. The plan was once to guide or, if now not, be very shut, which is what came about. When (Dubai Blue) went via me, it kind of set her alight. She was once over-racing a bit of bit. She’ll indisputably be higher going any other furlong. We predict she’s a 9 or ten-furlong filly.”

Magic Lily, a 5-year-old New Manner mare racing for Godolphin, was once coming off a sixth-place end at the Lingfield all-weather direction in England however, previous to that, made the body in 3 turf affairs. Amongst the ones was once a 3rd, overwhelmed just one/2 period in the back of Laurens and September, within the Staff 1 guess365 Fillies Mile at Newmarket in October. Magical was once fourth in that race, and then Magic Lily went to the sidelines for simply wanting two years with accidents.

Suedois, making his 2nd get started in two weeks, additionally eked out a slim win in Thursday night time’s finale, a 1-mile handicap at the grass, rising from the pack to attain via a nostril over Epic Hero. The 9-year-old son of Le Havre, reported in 1:35.54 with Daniel Tudhope within the kip.

Suedois was once 0.33 in his seasonal debut at Meydan Jan. 2 — his first race since a third-place end within the Grade I Shadwell Turf mile at Keeneland in October.

Hong Kong

A couple of Staff 1 races on Sunday’s program at Sha Tin will lend a hand decide the longer term direction of a few of Hong Kong’s stars, together with two-time Horse of the 12 months Attractiveness Technology.

Attractiveness Technology, after 3 immediately third-place finishes, faces the query whether or not he’s over the hill at age 7. If that is so, his occupation may just wind down over the following couple of months. But when he steps up once more in Sunday’s 1,600-meters Stewards’ Cup — nicely, he’s entered for the Staff 1 Dubai Turf at the International Cup program March 25 at Meydan.

Teacher John Moore, bringing up a a success barrier trial every week in the past below Zac Purton and a pleasing gallop Thursday, mentioned Attractiveness Technology turns out to have a minimum of a few of his mojo again.

“He is leaping out of his pores and skin at present second in order that’s a just right signal,” the teacher mentioned. “We have now modified a couple of issues — paintings patterns and the like — so allowing for the barrier trial remaining week and the comments after the trial from Zac, we are happy.”

The opposite six within the Stewards’ Cup come with Furore, who cuts again from a fourth-place end within the 2,000-meters Staff 1 Longines Hong Kong Cup, and Waikuku, who was once 2nd in the back of Eastern victor Respect Mars and Attractiveness Technology within the Longines Hong Kong Mile.

The opposite Staff 1 warmth on Sunday, the Centenary Dash Cup, unearths outdated foes Beat the Clock and Mr Shocking at each and every different once more over 1,200 meters. Final month, Beat the Clock denied Mr Shocking a 3rd consecutive victory within the Staff 1 Longines Hong Kong Dash. Beat he Clock additionally beat Mr Shocking in remaining 12 months’s Centenary Dash Cup.

Teacher Frankie Lor mentioned this week he thinks his 7-year-old Exceed and Excel gelding nonetheless has what it takes to show the tables on Beat the Clock now that he is totally recovered from a hairline fracture in his shoulder. “We will see him with reference to his best possible on this race,” Lor mentioned. “I believe he can win.”

Lor mentioned Hugh Bowman, who jets in from Australia to trip Mr Shocking in his Staff 1 races, additionally sees a rosy image. “Hugh mentioned after his remaining race that he was once significantly better than his first run, he was once pleased with him and mentioned he’d feel free to trip him this time,” Lor mentioned.

8 are set to move within the Centenary Dash Cup.


Rainbow Dreamer prolonged his all-weather list to 4 wins from 4 begins with a dominant show within the Betway Stipulations Stakes at Wolverhampton Monday. The exended 2-miles affair was once a Speedy-Traqck qualifier for the Betway All-Climate Marathon Championship at Lingfield Park on Just right Friday, April 10.

Rainbow Dreamer tracked pacesetter Raymond Tusk to the half-mile marker, surged to the lead and was once nicely in command. Humorous Child fastened a problem however settled for 2nd, Three 1/2 lengths in arrears. Deal A Buck ran 0.33 with Raymond Tusk fading to record fourth.

Educated via Alan King and ridden via Hollie Doyle, the 7-year-old now has victories on all 3 UK all-weather surfaces, previous scoring at Kempton Park and Southwell.

“That was once nice,” Doyle mentioned after Monday’s effort. “Rainbow Dreamer goes the proper method and turns out to like the All-Climate.

Saudi Arabia

In a while after the Jockey Membership of Saudi Arabia introduced the introduction of the Saudi Cup as the arena’s richest horse race, American teacher Bob Baffert mused, “In case you publish $20 million, you’ll be able to get just right horses for your beginning gate.”

The listing of nominations to the Feb. 29 race, launched Tuesday, proved him proper as 143 horses had been nominated to the 12-horse box, together with Baffert’s personal McKinzie. The listing additionally contains, as anticipated, Grade 1-winning mare Middle of the night Bisou, educated via Steve Asmussen, and Grade I Cigar Mile (G1) winner and four-time Grade I celebrity, Most Safety, conditioned via Jason Servis.

Whilst the massive names are American, the 143 nominations to the Saudi Cup constitute greater than 60 running shoes from 16 international locations unfold over 4 continents. Most effective 14 might be selected to run within the first version of the race with $10 million going to the winner.

The winner of the Grade I Pegasus International Cup Invitational at Gulfstream Park in Florida Jan. 25 additionally good points automated access to the Saudi Cup. And there is a chance for supplemental nominations — at a price of $200,000 — on Feb 18. Authentic entries had been unfastened.

The undercard races at King Abdulaziz Racecourse in Riyadh, together with 3 to be run on a brand new turf direction, drew an similarly robust contingent, with illustration from world wide together with Investec Derby and Melbourne Cup winners.

The featured turf tournament is the $2.Five million Neom Turf Cup, to be run at 10 1/2 furlongs or simply greater than 1 1/Four miles. The entries for that come with 2019 Derby winner Anthony Van Dyck and Magic Wand. Each are educated in Eire via Aidan O’Brien and the latter, a showed globetrotter, captured the Staff 1 Mackinnon Stakes in Australia in November.

The Neom Turf Cup additionally attracted Eastern celebrity Deirdre, winner of the Staff 1 Nassau Stakes at Goodwood remaining 12 months. Benbatl, representing Dubai’s ruler, Sheik Mohammed Bin Rashid al Maktoum, is cross-entered within the Neom Turf Cup and The Saudi Cup.

The $2.Five million Purple Sea Turf Handicap for stayers at 1 7/eight miles drew 2018 Melbourne Cup winner, Go Counter, additionally from Sheik Mohammed’s Godolphin operation, in addition to Prince of Arran and O’Brien’s Kew Gardens.

“The reaction to the Saudi Cup from the global racing neighborhood has been incredible,” mentioned Tom Ryan, Director of Technique and World Racing for the Jockey Membership of Saudi Arabia. “We could not be happier with the entries that now we have gained and we at the moment are totally inquisitive about striking on a impressive first Saudi Cup race day to are living as much as the caliber of those entries.”

Entries will now be whittled all the way down to ultimate fields according to rankings allotted via former British Horseracing Authority senior handicapper Phil Smith.

Information and notes:

The deadly damage sustained via Mongolian Groom within the 2019 Breeders’ Cup Vintage resulted from pre-existing prerequisites in each hind legs which escaped realize regardless of in depth new protection protocols, in step with a record launched Wednesday via Breeders’ Cup’s Board of Administrators.

The record, compiled via Dr. Larry Bramlage, mentioned pre-existing pressure fractures to each hind legs compromised the pony and ended in his damage down however had been so minor that it’s comprehensible the had been overpassed pre-race. He mentioned, on the other hand, extra can also be executed to forestall long term accidents and Breeders’ Cup pledged to appear into that.

The record additionally mentioned drug use was once now not an element within the breakdown.

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