Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Layoff could benefit Read the Footnotes

Kentucky Derby notes

The Associated Press

LOUISVILLE - Read the Footnotes trainer Richard Violette says a seven-week break from competition is just what his colt needed before the Kentucky Derby.

The Kentucky Derby

• Kentucky Derby news from The Louisville Courier-Journal

Sunday stories:
Horse racing's dirty little secret
Adding to family's grief are the debts
'Jockey' moving but lacking in context

Coming this week:

Thursday: A look at the post-position draw, which is Wednesday night.

Saturday: The Derby isn't just about horses. It's about fashion, tradition, parties and celebrities. The Derby is who we are. Also, a complete preview of Saturday's race.

The son of Smoke Glacken last raced March 13, finishing fourth in the Florida Derby. Violette decided not to press him into another Derby prep, choosing to condition him at Palm Meadows before coming to Louisville last week. "Even in hindsight, I'm glad we did it," he said. "He's trained wonderfully."

Read the Footnotes breezed a half-mile in 47.6 seconds Monday.


TOUGH CRITIC: The new $26 million addition to the north end of the Churchill Downs grandstand doesn't impress Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel. "It looks like a prison. Each one of those windows is like a cell," Frankel said as he viewed the renovated section from the backstretch.

The addition is the first phase of a $121 million renovation of the 130-year-old track. The ongoing second phase will include a new and expanded Turf Club and Skye Terrace, home to Millionaire's Row. The project is to be completed in April 2005.

NOT SO BAD: Trainer Todd Pletcher says he's heard two explanations for why no odds-on Kentucky Derby favorite has emerged. "Some people are saying it's wide-open because there aren't any good horses in it and some people say it's wide-open because there are a number of good horses in it," said Pletcher, who trains Derby hopefuls Limehouse and Pollard's Vision. "I would tend to agree with the latter. There are some very solid horses in here."

Pletcher, a former assistant to D. Wayne Lukas, said the year's top 3-year-old may not appear until long after the Triple Crown season. "To this point, it's an underrated crop," he said. "I usually reserve my opinion until the fall, when they start running against some older horses."

Pletcher will saddle at least one Derby starter for the third time in four years. His best finish came in 2001, with runner-up Invisible Ink.

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Layoff could benefit Read the Footnotes
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