In 2017 Oklahoma’s Remington Park arrived on the Kentucky Derby trail with its Springboard Mile for two-year-old Thoroughbreds. They will soon represent part of our three-year-old crop next year. The 144th Kentucky Derby is Saturday, May 5th, 2018. For a list of horses who have already earned points on the Derby trail visit kentuckyderby.com.
Gun Runner wins Breeders’ Cup Classic battle royale
The leading Eclipse Horse of the Year candidate is Gun Runner, wining the 10 furlong, Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Classic at Del Mar. It was the fourth win in a row for the Steve Asmussen trainee, and his fourth Grade 1 win in a row, his last defeat having been to Arrogate in the G1 Dubai World Cup this year. Bob Baffert trainees Collected and West Coast completed the trifecta. War Story was fourth. Arrogate, last year’s Classic winner, finished in a dead heat for fifth as the favorite. Gun Runner was a very close second choice in the wagering.
The 10 furlong, Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Classic is November 4th at Del Mar. Here are
handicapper Joe Kristufek’s top ten contenders including Gun Runner, West Coast, Arrogate, Cupid, Keen Ice, Collected, and Destin.
West Coast dominates Pennsylvania Derby, vies for three-year-old honors
The Grade 1, 9 furlong Pennsylvania Derby goes to West Coast, leaving foes by a clear margin of 7 ¼ lengths, and perhaps taking the lead for three-year-old champion in this most tumultuous year for the division. Irap was second, Giuseppe the Great
Ridden again by Mike Smith, it was the fifth win in a row for the Bob Baffert trained West Coast, winner of the Travers (G1), Los Alamitos Derby (G3), and the Easy Goer, all at different tracks. The colt has a 7-2 record, both losses a runner-up finish, including in the Lexington where Baffert was surprised he got beat. Could West Coast try the Breeders’ Cup Classic next? Baffert says the horse wants 1 1/8 to 1 ¼ miles. In 2016 Baffert’s Arrogate was the only three-year-old to contest the Classic.
Four-year-old Gun Runner continues to impress in his Breeders’ Cup Classic campaign. This time the Steve Asmussen trainee wins the Grade 1, 9 furlong Woodward Stakes at Saratoga by 10 ¼ lengths! It was the fourth Grade 1 win for the son of Candy Ride.
West Coast goes coast to coast and wire to wire in Travers Stakes
California shipper West Coast wins his first Grade 1 in the 10 furlong Travers Stakes at Saratoga. This is the fourth win in a row for the Bob Baffert trainee sired by Flatter (by A.P. Indy). Mike Smith was the rider, the trainer and jockey duo launching their more frequent and very successful pairing with last year’s memorable Travers Stakes featuring track record setter Arrogate. Baffert and Smith as a team have won at a 36% clip in the last 60 days alone.
Gunnevera was second, Irap third, and Tapwrit fourth. The different Kentucky Derby, Preakness, Belmont, Jim Dandy, and Haskell winners watched yet another three-year-old win the coveted Travers, and top three-year-old honors remain wide open in 2017.