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Tuesday, April 19, 2005

50/50 for Full Derby

- Churchill’s racing secretary Doug Bredar says it’s 50/50 that they’ll be a full field of 20 for the Derby.

At least 17 horses who have completed their final preps are considered definite. And as many as six horses who are running in Saturday's $325,000, Grade II Coolmore Lexington at Keeneland are being considered for the Derby, which will offer a $2 million purse for the first time.

"The Lexington, I think, will determine if we have 20 or not," Bredar said. [Courier-Journal]
While Bobby Frankel voiced support for the supplemental entry Greeley’s Galaxy being considered equally with the others (“It shows how archaic racing is”), Roger Stein, the trainer of General John B, the 64-1 Santa Anita Derby runner-up, who initially said that Bellamy Road’s performance would keep him away, now says he’s “80-20” for the Derby, and that he hopes that Greeley’s Galaxy is denied entry by a full field. "That's just one more monster we don't need to run against," Stein said. 1-800-NO-DERBY for this one.

- Oaklawn’s just concluded meet showed gains in attendance and on-track handle, and, especially, the Instant Racing machines, whose handle increased by 134% over last year. One area that was down was off-track wagering, which was attributed to the track’s decision to discontinue signals to rebate shops. "We simply turned off some sites that we didn’t want to get our signal and wagering into our pools, with our customers here." [Arkansas Democrat Gazette] It's nice, of course, that they do well enough to have that option.