Team Asmussen Hopes to Have Huge Louisiana Derby Day; The Player Ready for New Orleans ‘Cap

From Ryan Martin / Media Team at the Fair Grounds: ASMUSSEN HOPING FOR BIG RUNS FROM SNAPPER SINCLAIR, RETIREMENT FUND IN GR. II LOUISIANA DERBY Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen has received solid efforts from his 3-year-old contingent in the Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots’ local preps on Churchill Downs’ Road to...

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McLean’s Picks for the Fair Grounds on Thursday, March 22

Gene McLeanHere is a closer look at today’s card at the Fair Grounds: 1st: 3-4-2-1-5-7…Off Cycle (3) will get back to the dirt surface today, and, by the looks of things, this may be her preferred condition.  Gets a nice drop in class, and will get back to facing LA-breds only, too. Both should help her....

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Opinion: Winners, Losers & In-Betweeners on the “Road to the Kentucky Derby”

(Magnum Moon winning the Rebel Stakes / Photo Courtesy of Oaklawn Park) With only about six weeks left before the First Saturday in May, the list of “Winners” is starting to narrow. The stockpile of “Losers” is starting to grow. And, the undefined lot cast as “In-Betweeners” is starting to not matter. In short,...

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Workouts That Just May Work Out For You: Today’s Focus On Kowboy Karma

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

The Pressbox Show Saturday March 17 The Rebel Stakes

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I was pretty darn excited when we heard the announcement and that’s when I thought it ok to come down to the Winner’s Circle. We could see clearly that there was interference. Mike was hitting left handed, driving them into Bolt.

“His last work was off the chart. We were very excited going into today. Mick is a good trainer. He might be new but he’s not fresh. He’s got some judgment about him and I give him the credit.”

WAYNE HUGHES, Owner of Spendthrift Farm Where Bold D'Oro Will Be Retired To Stud

It was a unanimous vote, yes. There were two incidences at the top of the stretch. The shots that were shown were inconclusive as to who initiated the contact at the head of the stretch. So they couldn’t be clear on any one horse. The incident inside the sixteenth pole was clear.

“McKinzie, number four, came out under a left handed whip and shifted number one, Bolt d’Oro, out, off his path and cost him a better placing. The margin of win was only a head so therefore, McKinzie was taken down.”

DARREL MCHARGUE, CHRB Chief Steward, Explanation of Stewards Inquiry

They’re taking way too long for this (before the DQ). The longer this goes it certainly isn’t good. But, after the way that horse hit McKinzie at the top of the stretch . . . give me a break. It was game over.

(After the announcement of McKinzie being disqualified) “That’s some bulls . . . Javier had a better story, I guess. I’m shocked, after the way he hit us at the top of the stretch. I don’t know what they’re looking at, but apparently he talked them into it. That’s why they should never talk to the jockeys, just watch it themselves.”

Bob Baffert, McKinzie Trainer, Second San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita

This was a steppingstone and that’s all we needed. He’ll come back good. We wanted to run a good race. I don’t think the fans and everybody else could have had a better finish from the two horses they thought were going to run like they expected.

“Bolt hadn’t run in a while. I had one three-quarter work in him; this wasn’t the race we were looking forward to. We’re looking forward to the Santa Anita Derby (April 7) and then that next race that I won’t mention yet (Kentucky Derby May 5).”

Asked is this was the best he ever felt in defeat: “Oh, yes. Coming into this race, (he dragged them)

from the receiving barn to the paddock. In the Breeders’ Cup (Juvenile Nov. 4), his head came down a little bit, he didn’t have as much life. The horse is good right now. Hopefully, we’re moving forward and he’ll be at his best in a couple months. This horse has the heart of a lion. Nine weeks ago he was undergoing a nuclear scan and here we are today. Just being within a nose of Baffert, I’m happy.

“I wasn’t even thinking about the inquiry the whole time. I was just so proud of Bolt, and if he got moved up, he did. This wasn’t the race we were really pointing for. We want to go to the Santa Anita Derby, but getting moved up is awesome; we’ve got enough (Kentucky Derby qualifying) points (50).”

Mick Ruis, Bolt D'Oro Owner/Trainer, Winner San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita

That last hit where he hit me in the ass, he turned me out. I was just trying to ride my own race and he was on top of me. At the quarter pole, after the quarter pole and through the lane he hit me and turned me out. I mean he’s got the whole racetrack and he’s on top of me on the fence.

“Anytime it takes that long and you’re the one who won, you certainly don’t like it. I didn’t feel that I did anything. I was forced out. He hit me hard behind and it took me out. It turns you out.

“Well . . . you win some that way and I guess you lose some that way.”

Mike Smith, McKinzie Jockey, DQ'd To Second
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Thought of the Day: What Does This Portray?

(The cover photo is of Stormy Daniels, as she arrives for the 49th Annual Grammy Awards on Feb. 11, 2007 in Los Angeles. Matt Sayles AP) (Footage Courtesy of Flashdubs and In a lighter moment, we are wondering if you would take part in an informal survey? We were wondering if this is footage...

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