We give you the latest news on the way to the Kentucky Derby
We are well on our way on the Road to the Kentucky Derby 2017, with contenders beginning to emerge and vie for points. In recent weeks, some major races have been run, with some stumbles, some triumphs, and the end of the road for one Derby contender. Let’s take a look at what’s happened.
February 18th: Zarkaroff wins the El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields, followed by More Power to Him, Tribal Storm, and Ann Arbour Eddie. Ann Arbour Eddie was favored to win, and initially finished second but was disqualified for interference and placed fourth instead.
February 19th: On the other side of the world, Epicharis won his way into the Kentucky Derby starting gate with his victory in the Hyacinth Stakes at Tokyo Racecourse in Japan. As of this year, horses who run in two specific races in Japan are eligible to earn their way into the Kentucky Derby, and Epicharis has earned himself that spot in the starting gate. It remains yet to be seen whether his connections will send him.
February 20th: One Liner charges home to win the Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park, ahead of Petrov, Lookin’ At Lee, and Silver Dust.
February 25th: Girvin is victorious in the Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds Racecourse, beating out Untrapped (2nd), Local Hero (3rd), Guest Suite (4th), and Mo Town (5th), with five others finishing back in the field.
March 4th: Gunnevera comes home first in the Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park. The favored Irish War Cry disappointed by finishing well back, behind 2nd place runner Practical Joke, 3rd place finisher Three Rules, and Talk Logistics, who picked up fourth. Over at Aqueduct Racetrack, J Boys Echo rolled to a win in the Gotham Stakes. Cloud Computing, favorite El Areeb, and Action Everyday rounded out the top four placings.
March 11th: In the Tampa Bay Derby at Tampa Bay Downs Racetrack, Tapwrit shone brightly with his victory over State of Honour, Wild Shot, and No Dozing. The same day at Santa Anita Park, Derby dreams were shattered after a moment of glory, when Mastery won the San Felipe Stakes decisively but was then vanned off the track in an equine ambulance. Illiad finished second, Term of Art third, Gormley fourth, and Ann Arbour Eddie fifth. Mastery is expected to recover but may wind up with a premature retirement.
Soon to be run are the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park on March 18th, the Spiral Stakes on March 25th at Turfway Park, the Sunland Derby at Sunland Park on March 26th, and more. Who will next emerge as a serious contender? Who will flail and disappoint? All will be seen, soon enough.