Big Points, Top Horses, Key Races

March 3, 2023

• Road To Kentucky Derby Fires Up  
• The European Road Continues

Derby Dispatch/Edited

LOUISVILLE Ky.— A quartet of key races on the Road to the Kentucky Derby will be on tap Saturday where several top contenders will take the stage, including 2-year-old Champion Forte who will make his first start of the year. 

It’s been an eventful start to the Championship Series on the Road to the Kentucky Derby where two upset winners, Angel of Empire (Risen Star) and Confidence Game (Rebel), added their names to the serious contenders for this year’s “Run for the Roses.” 

Saturday’s four stops on the Road to the Kentucky Derby feature three Championship Series events – the $400,000 Fountain of Youth (GII), the $400,000 San Felipe (GII) and the $300,000 Gotham (GIII) – that award top five points on a 50-20-15-10-5 scale. Saturday also will close the 21-race Prep Season with the $150,000 John Battaglia Memorial. 

Along with the long-awaited return of Forte in the Fountain of Youth, fans will also get to see 3-year-old debuts of Los Alamitos Futurity (GII) winner Practical Move in the San Felipe and Champagne (GI) winner Blazing Sevens in the Fountain of Youth. 

Both the Fountain of Youth and San Felipe are no stranger to producing Kentucky Derby winners. Ten years ago, Orb narrowly defeated Violence at odds of 5-1 to win the Fountain of Youth. The next year, in the San Felipe, California Chrome dominated six rivals by 7 1⁄4 lengths. And, in 2020, Authentic had a memorable 2 1⁄4-length victory in the San Felipe, just 10 days prior to Churchill Downs Incorporated’s announcement that Kentucky Derby 146 would be postponed to September due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The European Road to the Kentucky Derby also will resume Friday where Westerberg, Mrs. John Magnier, Michael B. Tabor and Derrick Smith’s Triple Crown nominated Cairo (IRE) will make his 3-year-old debut in the Patton Stakes at Ireland’s Dundalk Stadium. 

Stormy Entry leads a field of eight 3-year-olds entered in the one-mile Patton, run over the all-weather surface. The race is the fourth of six events on the European Road to the Kentucky Derby. The Top 5 finishers will be awarded points on a 20-8-6-4-2 scale. Post time for the Patton is 2:30 p.m. Eastern. Fans can watch and wager on the Patton on www.TwinSpires.com.  

While the Road to the Kentucky Derby 149 is far from over, the next several days should provide answers to questions about this year’s contenders for the $3 million Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (GI) on Saturday, May 6. 

KEY RACES TO WATCH TO WATCH – This weekend there are several races around the world that could have implications on the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks. Here are some of the key races: 

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