News and STORIES

Tarantino and Spielberg Included In The Underway Kentucky Derby Preparations

Author: Don Mckee
Published: Wednesday February 03, 2021

The biggest horse racing weekend of the year is coming up, and preparations are on at the Sam Houston race park in Texas, Gulfstream Park, and at Santa Anita, CA, for the Kentucky Derby 2021. Local favorites this year include Tarantino and Spielberg among other contenders. Meanwhile, a virtual ceremony on Thursday 28th saw Authentic, winner of the Breeders' Cup Classic, and the Kentucky Derby, winning 2020's Eclipse Awards. The winner of Gulfstream Park’s $200,000 Grade III Holy Bull Stakes is awarded 10 Kentucky derby points.

Bookmaker Favorites Are All Lined Up For the Roses Weekend

This Saturday’s race is a decisive one, as the selection is up for a challenger to emerge among the one gelding and eight colts as they move forward to the test trails of Louisville, KY. For Tapit Stables colt Greatest Honor, the winner's circle took four tries to get to for his trainer Shug McGaughey. On December 26th, the Morning Line favorite got the job done, with the same distances at Gulfstream as those for Holy Bull.

A Quality Road colt, Prime Factor is right behind Greatest Honor in the estimation of the oddsmaker. The Todd Pletcher trained young horse won his only previous start at Gulfstream, starting at 6 furlongs by 8 ¾ lengths over the dirt. The Holy Bull could also feature Tarantino and Amount, albeit with a little improvement, while Papetu finished second in the Mucho Macho Man despite showing little at Saratoga last summer.

Underdogs Spielberg and Medina Spirit Signed After Santa Anita Derby

Medina Spirit and Spielberg, a duo by trainer Bob Baffert and six others signed for the key Santa Anita derby prep, chasing off from the Grade III Robert B. Lewis $100,000 stakes. This 1 1/16 mile prep is chance enough for the Baffert charges to prove they belong, and another 10 points for Kentucky. The $1 million Keeneland purchase and yearling, Spielberg, was thrown into muddy waters, coming second and third in two Grade 1 races, second in his debut, and fourth for his maiden at Del Mar. After the Fourth Grade III Bob Hope, where the Union Rags colt came 4th, went on to win the Los Alamitos Futurity, a Grade 2 stakes on December 19th. Top Kentucky derby prospect and Protonico colt Life is Good finished before stable-mate Medina Spirit, which won at first asking and then coming second.

Late Developer S Gets Chance for Kentucky Derby at Gulfstream Park

At Churchill Downs on May 1st, Tarantino vs. Spielberg will offer the stuff of movies at the 7 furlongs Kentucky derby subordinate to the Holy Bull. The $100,000 Gulfstream Park Grade III Swale Stakes is also a chance for late developer By George to hopefully get going. Trained by Christophe Clement, By George made one easy winning start, on 6th December at the 6-furlong Aqueduct race track. Having gone by Into Mischief gives him the distance-handling scope that’s needed for the derby, while Likeable and Poppy’s Pride are also looking promising for this distance.

Six candidates, among them, Drain the Clock and Likeable, who finished 13 at the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, are going for the 7 furlongs. It doesn't require too much of a vivid imagination to see any of the colts and fillies making a great Triple Crown impression.