It was a great month of racing, with many graded stakes races run all across the country, as well as, the last prep races and weeks leading up to the Kentucky Derby on May 5th.
We welcomed the following Horses to the multiple graded stakes list for 2012:
Jackson Bend, trained by Nick Zito won the Carter Handicap (G1) at Aqueduct on April 7 defeating Caleb’s Posse by a mere nose. It was his second career Grade 1 victory and second graded stakes win of 2012. He won the Grade 3 Hal’s Hope Stakes at Gulfstream Park on January 14.
The three year old filly Broadway’s Alibi, trained by Todd Pletcher, won the Grade 2 Comely Stakes at Aqueduct on April 7. That made it back to back graded wins with her win on January 29 in the Grade 2 Forward Gal Stakes at Gulfstream. That was her fourth win overall dating back to her maiden win on September 10 at Delaware Park.
The speedster Trinniberg won second graded win by capturing the Grade 3 Bayshore Stakes at Aqueduct on April 7. He won the Grade 3 Swale Stakes prior to that on March 10 at Gulfstream Park.
Nates Mineshaft was named Horse of the Meet at Fairgrounds this season after going for 4 for 4 in the meet including wins in the Grade 3 Mineshaft Handicap and Grade 2 New Orleans Handicap. He set a new track record of 1:47.64 for 1 1/8 miles in the New Orleans. An incredible rise considering he started the meet winning a claiming $30,000 race on December 28, then an Allowance race before taking the two graded races.
Another horse went undefeated during a meet. At Oaklawn Park, the Donnie Von Hemel trained Alternation won 3 of 3 races including the Grade 3 Razorback Handicap and Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap. His other victory was the Essex Handicap on February 4. He now has 3 graded stakes win in his career as he took the Peter Pan Stakes (G2) at Belmont Stakes as a three year old last May.
After finishing 4th in the Grade 2 San Marcos Stakes at Santa Anita on February 11, Bourbon Bay finished the meet in style posting victories in the Grade 2 San Luis Rey Stakes and Grade 2 San Juan Capistrano Handicap. The San Luis Rey Stakes was his first win since last July at Del Mar where he won the Grade 2 Cougar II Handicap (4 races). He now has seven career graded stakes wins. Very impressive.
Chad Brown got his filly Dayatthespa on the list after her wins in the Grade 3 Herecomesthebride Stakes at Gulfstream Park on March 11 and Grade 3 Appalachian Stakes at Keeneland on April 19. It was her third consecutive win as she took the Sweetest Chant Stakes on January 22 as well. She has 4 wins in 6 career races with just one of the board effort. That coming 9th in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf last November.
OTHER KEY WINS BY HORSES IN APRIL
Bodemeister destroys the field by 9 1/4 lengths in the Arkansas Derby (G1), putting himself into contention as the favorite for the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby.
Last year’s Kentucky Oaks winner Plum Pretty returned to action with a win. She cruised to a 2 1/4 lengths victory in the Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) at Oaklawn Park. It was her first race since coming 5th in the Breeders’ Cup Ladie’s Classic.
I’ll Have Another wins the Santa Anita Derby (G1) showing his win in the Robert B. Lewis (G2) on February 4th wasn’t a fluke. That made it 2 for 2 after missing 5 months.
Dullahan got back into the win column after his come from behind effort to defeat Hansen in the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland. Sandwiched in between this win and his win in the Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity on October 8 was a 4th in the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and 2nd in the Palm Beach Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream.
Hero of Order shocks the Nation with his huge upset win in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby at odds of 109/1.
TOP 3 TRAINERS IN APRIL
Bob Baffert: 3 graded wins
Todd Pletcher: 3 wins
Claude McGaughey: 2 wins
Donnie Von Hemel: 2 wins
TOP 3 TRAINERS OVERALL (as of April 30, 2012)
Todd Pletcher: 15 graded wins
Bob Baffert: 10 wins
Chad Brown: 6 wins
George Arnold gets his first graded win of 2012 with Karlovy Vary in the Grade 1 Central Bank Ashland Stakes at Keeneland.
William Bradley wins his first graded race with Groupie Doll taking the Vinery Madison (G1) at Keeneland.
Chris Richard gets his first win in the Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (G3) with Outta Tune at Oaklawn Park.
Hamilton Smith takes the Grade 3 Illinois Derby at Hawthorne with Done Talking and punches a ticket to the Kentucky Derby.
TOP JOCKEYS IN ARPIL
Javier Castellano: 5 graded wins
Mike Smith: 4 wins
John Velasquez: 3 wins
James Graham: 3 wins
Joel Rosario, Mario Gutierrez, Robby Albarado and Rajiv Maragh: 2 wins
* Interesting to note, Ramon Dominguez was held without a graded win. He did miss some time from an injury suffered on March 17.
TOP JOCKEYS OVERALL (as of April 30)
Javier Castellano: 14 graded wins
John Velasquez: 13 wins
Julien Leparoux: 8 wins
Joel Rosario and Rafael Bejarano: 6 wins
It was the 1st graded stakes win of 2012 for the following jockeys:
Eddie Martin Jr. on Hero of Order in Louisiana Derby (G2) at Fair Grounds
Sheldon Russell on Done Talking in the Illinois Derby (G3) at Hawthorne
Terry Thompson on Outta Tune in Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (G3) at Oaklawn Park
Jesus Rios on Imperial Czar in Miami Mile Handicap (G3) at Calder Race Course
Juan Hernandez on Hudson Landing in San Francisco Mile at Golden Gate Fields
Make sure to stay up to date with all the graded stakes action by consistently viewing this page.