- A filly by first year sire Came Home (Gone West) won at Keeneland today. The eight-time graded stakes winner (SA Derby, Pacific, Hopeful were the Grade 1s) stands for $40,000 at Lane’s End, and on average, that was a bargain for breeders, as his 2005 yearlings averaged over $147,000 at sale (36 sold). In fact, his Stallion Register page proclaims The Leading First-Crop Yearling Sire at the 2005 Sales (3 or more sold). I believe this is his first winner; Beautiful Venue is out of a mare by the Seattle Slew mare Avenue of Flags. This is a half to the nice turf filly Laurafina.
- Barclay Tagg seems determined to get Showing Up to the Derby despite the fact that he’s had only two starts, and had a setback when he missed the Wood due to a bruised foot. Fitted with a metal plate to protect the injury, the son of Strategic Mission (Mr. Prospector) worked five furlongs in 58.48 seconds at Belmont, and is now being pointed to the Last Chance Stakes, aka the Lexington. Tagg admitted to the Thoroughbred Times that “it's probably not the smartest thing in the world to try and push him into something like the Derby.”
"But we'll put him in [the Lexington] and see how he does around two turns. If anything, it should set him up nicely for the Preakness [Stakes (G1) at Pimlico Race Course on May 20.]"But why would they ship him to Keeneland for the Lexington if they weren’t seriously thinking (dreaming) about the Derby; c’mon, really. Though it’s just a one-turn race, the Withers, at a mile at the Big A, is run on April 29th, and that race worked pretty well as a Preakness prep for Scrappy T last year.
- The Kentucky General Assembly adjourned with no action being taken in the Senate on the worker’s comp bill there; the bill passed the House handily 83-12 and had the support of Governor Fletcher. But the Senate Presiden, Republican David Williams said "Jockeys are independent contractors…..Independent contractors are not the responsibility of their employers."
- This is not my official Blue Grass preview, but I can tell you right now that I’m all over Strong Contender if he goes off at his morning line of 4-1. As you probably know, it will be his first race around two turns, and his first stakes race. The last Derby winner to race in only one previous stakes was Proud Clarion in 1967. [Louisville Courier-Journal]