Horse Racing News by Jay Privman
J P's Gusto on Tuesday joined The Factor as horses who were not expected to run in the Kentucky Derby and whose connections finally made that news official.
The Factor, who disappointed as the heavy favorite in the Arkansas Derby in his last start, on Tuesday morning was officially withdrawn from consideration for the May 7 Kentucky Derby, co-owner George Bolton said.
Jaycito was not among the six 3-year-olds entered to run Saturday at Keeneland in the Coolmore Lexington Stakes, but trainer Bob Baffert said he is hopeful the colt still will be able to run in the 137th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs.
In the case of Liberian Freighter on Saturday, good things came to those who waited, and waited, and waited some more.
The draw for the Santa Anita Derby had just taken place Wednesday morning when trainer Bob Baffert came barreling into the Santa Anita racing office and found out that, only seconds earlier, Jaycito had drawn the far outside post in the field of 11.
Jockey Anna Napravnik put herself in position to become the first female rider to win the Kentucky Derby by guiding Pants On Fire to a mild upset victory on Saturday at Fair Grounds in the Grade 2, $1 million Louisiana Derby.
Daisy Devine ($11) was prominent throughout, and responded to the energetic handling of jockey James Graham to prevail by a half-length in this key prep for the May 6 Kentucky Oaks.
Mission Impazible returned to the scene of his greatest victory on Saturday and captured the Grade 2, $400,000 New Orleans Handicap at Fair Grounds, one year after taking the Louisiana Derby.
Seeking a change of fortune, his trainer, Greg Fox, has brought Battle of Hastings here to Fair Grounds, hoping that a new turf course and a switch in riders will bring out the best Saturday in the Grade 2, $400,000 Mervin Muniz Memorial Handicap.
Snow Fall, one of the 3-year-old fillies entered in the Grade 2, $500,000 Fair Grounds Oaks on Saturday, will be scratched from the race after seeing her temperature spike to 104 degrees.