Saturday, April 8, 2017

Derby Prep Races & the Grand National Results

One For Arthur is a horse for the ladies - and he won the Grand National Steeplechase  today for his ladies.  He and his jockey are the only guys in the group, and since the horse is an 8-year-old gelding, technically, Derek Fox is the only man about the group.  One For Arthur is trained by Lucinda Russell, and his owners are "Two Golf Widows," Deborah Thomson and Belinda McClung.  Since the owners' husbands were always golfing on the weekend, they decided to buy a horse for their own sporting enjoyment.  Derek returned to the saddle just last week after breaking a wrist and a collarbone in a fall less than 28 days ago.  Lucinda Russell became the fourth female trainer to win the Grand National in it's 170 year history; and One For Arthur became only the second horse based in Scotland to win the race.  One For Arthur started the race at odds of 14 to 1; and he won by 4 1/2 lengths.  Finishing second was Cause of Causes, third was Saint Are, and the betting favorite, Blaklion finished fourth.  If you follow American racing, you'll recognize the names in One For Arthur's pedigree:  his sire is Milan, grandsire is Sadler's Wells, and great grandsire is Northern Dancer; on his maternal side, his grandsire is Trampoline, who was by Sharpen Up.

   I'm not sure if today's Kentucky Derby prep races cleared up the view, or muddied the water...  All of the races were at 9 furlongs, with the Derby set at 10 in four weeks time.  In the Wood Memorial, in New York, Irish War Cry rebounded from a surprise loss in his last race.  The colt was the third betting favorite, going off at odds of 7 to 2.  Irish War Cry pretty much ran away from the crowd - the son of Curlin won by 3 1/2 lengths; Battalion Runner, a son of Unbridled's Song was 3 1/2 lengths in front of Cloud Computing, who was 3 1/2 lengths in front of the next finisher...
   In the Blue Grass Stakes,  in Kentucky, a 31 to1 long shot, named Irap (a son of Tiznow) won by 3/4 length over Practical Joker, a son of Into Mischief.  Practical Joker was 3 lengths in front of MsCraken, who was 2 1/2 lengths ahead of J Boys Echo, with Tapwrit running fifth.
   Out in California, in the Santa Anita Derby, each of the first four finishers were separated by 1/2 length. Gormley, went out of the gate at odds of 6 to 1, and the son of Malibu Moon won the race.  Half a length back was Smart Strike's son, Battle of Midway, followed by Royal Mo and then Reach the World.
    As usual, it looks like a wide open Kentucky Derby to me....

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