Churchill Downs, which introduced a “Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby” last year, has expanded its international efforts, adding a “European Road” series that will earn an invitation to the 2018 race. The new series and modifications to the American and Japanese series were announced Thursday.
Hard-charging Cloud Computing won Saturday’s Preakness Stakes, narrowly edging out Classic Empire by a nose. Kentucky Derby winner and race favorite Always Dreaming faded down the stretch after dueling Classic Empire for much of the race.
Classic Empire's trainer Mark Casse was impressed with what his horse did finishing fourth in the Kentucky Derby. Classic Empire faces Derby winner Always Dreaming again in Saturday's Preakness Stakes at Pimlico.
Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming, trained by Todd Pletcher, owned by Brooklyn Boyz Stables and ridden by John Velazquez, will face nine challengers in the 142nd running of the second leg of the Triple Crown.
Preserving the 147-year-old Pimlico Race Course as the home of the Preakness likely would require rebuilding the track at a cost of $300 million to $500 million, according to its owner — which has no plans to foot the bill.
Classic Empire has recovered nicely from his distressing race at the Kentucky Derby. After being bumped and jostled early at Churchill Downs, Classic Empire finished a disappointing fourth. “Hopefully we get a cleaner trip at Pimlico,” jockey Julien Leparoux said.
Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming got a bit rambunctious as he stepped onto the track at Pimlico for a gallop ahead of this weekend’s Preakness. The dark bay colt tried to buck off exercise rider Nick Bush and stumbled a bit in doing so, putting a brief scare into trainer Todd Pletcher.
The Derby Day choice by Tampa forward Kevin Knox of Kentucky stunned North Carolina and Duke fans and gave UK’s 2017 recruiting haul an unexpected boost. But even if John Calipari’s Cats add highly regarded center Mohamed Bamba, UK next season will be lacking one thing most of its best Calipari era teams have featured: A core of capable returnees.