The Pressbox’s Derby Rankings: Copper Bullet Now Climbs to Top As Others Falter

(Copper Bullet ran off to an impressive win in the Saratoga Special) It was an interesting weekend for the “Road to the Kentucky Derby.” Not for the horses that impressed you, so much. For the horses that depressed you, very much. Instead of “Road Race to the Top,” it was more like a “Pit...

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McLean’s Picks for the Fair Grounds on Saturday, Feb. 24

Gene McLeanWe can only hope that the rains slow down sometime in 2018. Right now, I could jump on a raft at Kentucky Lake and be in New Orleans in about an hour. And, speaking of Kentucky Lake — which is where I have been this week — that is exactly what the racetrack looked...

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Road to KY Derby: Winners, Losers & In-Betweeners

(The late, great Scat Daddy is the sire of Justify, Mendelssohn & Other Contenders / Photo Courtesy of It may be hard to justify — especially considering that there were several key Stakes events held all over North America, and in Japan — but the biggest, most important, most electrifying, most impressive performance...

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Workouts That Just May Work Out for You: Today’s Focus On Forever Unbridled, Take Charge Paula, Midnight Bisou

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Each week Gene and Buzz will walk through the important stake races and provide inside handicapping tips.


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It’s tough. Johnny thought maybe he wished he went on with her a little bit but we did that last time and it didn’t work. The winner did everything wrong and was impressive. We’ll see what happens. She’s a Canadian bred. She’s got a lot of options.”

Mark Casse, Trainer, Wonder Gadot

Classy Act:

“One thing that cost Classy Act a little bit is she broke a little tardy and she usually breaks sharp. The main thing you want to do is just don’t touch her, don’t smooch at her, or take a big hold. Because she did break tardy, he had to kind of shove on her a little bit and when he did she jumped into the bridle a little harder than he wanted. She got a little too keen. If she breaks like she’s supposed to, he probably never has to touch her and she’s probably a little more relaxed. I was happy with it, I wish she would’ve broke a little sharper. I think that would’ve helped us a little bit but I don’t know it would’ve changed the outcome.”

Coming back for the Fair Grounds Oaks?

“I think so. If she looks good after this and bounces back good, I think we will come back.”

Patrona Magarita

“I thought I had her really ready and really fit, but to come off the bench in these kind of races is very difficult. She looked like she was going to be third and flattened out, she just got a little tired. I was happy her race overall too.”

Calhoun indicated the Fair Grounds Oaks is likely for her too.

Bret Calhoun, Trainer of Classy Act and Patrona Margarita

(I felt good) at the three-eighths pole, when I went by Wonder Gadot. I was fully loaded and the horse on the lead was coming back to me fairly easily, she goofs around a little bit at the end, she’s pretty much done that in all of her starts, I don’t think she’s a big fan of the whip, if she keeps on running and winning, I don’t need to use it. I think there are a couple things we can work with Brad (trainer Cox) and his team and I think she can overcome that. The main thing is we know she can run fast. She spooks around a little bit, sometimes the whip or a little mark on the ground. She’s very aware of what’s going on in front of her.

Florent Geroux, Winning Rider, Monomoy Girl

I wasn’t thinking good thoughts. I was shocked she got away like that, although she had gate trouble earlier before she ever run. That’s why I decided to run her long first time on the turf. Her last three works her at the Fair Grounds have been phenomenal. I was a little worried that some of the other fillies had a race on her over the last month. She showed us a lot. Overcoming things, dirt in her face, passing horses, stuff like that. She’s becoming a big girl.”

Brad Cox, Winning Trainer, Monomoy Girl

I thought she ran super today. She got a good position and when Drayden asked her, she responded nicely.”

Michael McCarthy, Winning Trainer, Paved
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Churchill Downs Announces The Start of “Derby City Gaming” Operation

It was supposed to be a ground breaking ceremony. It turned into an “earth shaking” announcement. You know the drill, although one of those could have come in handy on Wednesday morning, what with the cold ground that made shovels obsolete. A few dignitaries get together. Someone hands them a bright, shiny, silver spaded...

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