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Kentucky Derby modifies qualifying, elevates prep races Stradivarius, 3-time Ascot Gold Cup winner, retired to stud Taiba wins $1 million Pennsylvania Derby for Baffert

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LOUISVILLE, Kentucky. Churchill Downs changed the paths to the Kentucky Derby and the Oaks by awarding points to the top five finishers in qualifying races and increasing the value of Junior Breeders’ Cup competition and late prep seasons.

Most preparatory Derby races during the 3-year-old qualifying series will award points on a 10-4-3-2-1 sliding scale after using the 10-4-2-1 system from 2013. a run during the season-ending championships on November 4 at Keenland in Lexington, Kentucky will increase the score from 20-8-4-2 to 30-12-9-6-3 to distinguish the Tier I competition from others during the prep season. .

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Some preparatory races for the 20-horse Derby course are scoring up from 10-4-2-1 on the scale to 20-8-6-4-2 to increase their importance and motivate applicants to start their three-year campaigns earlier. in the season, circuit officials said in a press release.

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“We believe these changes are in line with and reinforce our goal of bringing the best group of 3-year-olds to the starting gate for the classic 1-mile race on the first Saturday in May,” Churchill Downs VP. said general manager Mike Ziegler.

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The 149th Kentucky Derby & Oaks for Fillies will be held May 5-6, 2023. Derby qualifying season kicks off with Saturday’s $300,000 Grade III Mohawk draw for 2-year-olds at Churchill Downs.

Point changes apply to Oaks Qualifiers.

Preparations for the Elevated Derby include Lecomte at Fair Grounds in Louisiana; Southwest at Oaklon Park in Arkansas; Withers at the New York Aqueduct; Holy Bull in Florida’s Gulfstream Park; Robert B. Lewis in Santa Anita, California; Sam F. Davis at Tampa Bay Downs; and the John Battaglia Memorial in Turfway Park in Kentucky.

LONDON. Stradivarius, one of the most famous racehorses in Britain and Ireland, having won the Gold Cup three times at Ascot, has retired.

Bjorn Nielsen, owner of Stradivarius, said he thought it would be unfair to have a horse come back next season at 9 years of age after a long absence with a bruised leg.

“It was a fairy tale from start to finish,” Nielsen told British newspaper The Racing Post.

Stradivari, who grew up in Ireland and is the son of Sea The Stars, won 20 of his 35 races, including seven Group 1 races, and earned nearly £3.5m (now $3.8m) in prize money.

Stradivari has won four Goodwood Cups, three Yorkshire Cups and two Doncaster Cups.

BENSALEM, Pennsylvania. Taiba won the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby by three lengths for Hall of Famer coach Bob Baffert.

Driven by Mike Smith, Taiba ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.67 and paid $4.80, $3, and $2.60.

This was Baffert’s fourth tier one win at Parx Racing. He also won in 2014, 2017 and 2018. Smith won the race for the third time, all on Baffert’s horses.

Zandon returned $3.80 and $2.60. Cyberknife was another 3 3/4 lengths behind and finished in third place and paid $3 to show off.

In July, Taiba placed second at the Haskell Invitational in Monmouth. The colt was 12th in the Kentucky Derby under Tim Yaktin, who took over his training while Baffert served out a 90-day suspension.

“He’s had a tough ride in the Haskell, but we’ve had time to prepare him for it,” Baffert said from his base in California. “Today he proved that he is a good horse. He’s getting better and better.”

Baffert Taiba will compete in the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic in November. This year the foal has three wins in five starts.


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