Sports Betting

Hard Spun has chance to silence skeptics

Only 42 days remain until the Kentucky Derby. If you haven't picked out your Derby hat -- or at the least, your Derby horse -- time is beginning to run out.

After three consecutive weekends of major-league prep action on both coasts, as well as to points south and west, the focus shifts today to Turfway Park for the $500,000 Lane's End Stakes.

Hard Spun will be the favorite, but he faces some unanswered questions. Was his first career defeat, in his previous race, a fluke because he didn't like the track? Will he race as well as he's worked on Turfway's synthetic surface?

Last weekend's racing re-established Street Sense as a hot prospect, after he won his season's debut. Curlin and Cobalt Blue jumped into the Derby picture with their prep wins.

Racing earlier in March established Scat Daddy, Stormello, Circular Quay, Cowtown Cat, and King of the Roxy as legitimate Derby prospects.

A lone filly, Rags to Riches, remains on the cusp of running against males in the Kentucky Derby, for her connections are still considering this possibility.

Here are the Derby hopefuls as they line up this week:

1. Street Sense -- he's always been our No. 1 -- and proved it last week, winning the Tampa Bay Derby. Next up: the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes April 14.

2. Circular Quay -- The Louisiana Derby winner is expected to have his final prep in the Wood Memorial April 7.

3. Scat Daddy -- Fountain of Youth Stakes winner is expected to make the Florida Derby his final prep, March 31.

4. Stormello -- He barely lost the Fountain of Youth and is expected to face the winner again next Saturday in the Florida Derby.

5. Great Hunter -- The winner of the Robert Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita also is expected at Keeneland for the Blue Grass Stakes.

6. Any Given Saturday -- Close runner-up to Street Sense in the Tampa Bay Derby will meet up again with Street Sense in the Blue Grass Stakes, according to Daily Racing Form.

7. Cobalt Blue -- This one emerged as a serious candidate upon winning the San Felipe Stakes Feb. 17. Look for this Merv Griffin-owned hopeful either in the Illinois Derby April 7 or the Arkansas Derby April 14.

8. Curlin -- The winner of the Rebel Stakes last weekend is expected to receive his final prep in the Arkansas Derby.

9. Cowtown Cat -- The Gotham Stakes winner is expected for the Wood Memorial, although the Illinois Derby also is a possibility.

10. Nobiz Like Shobiz -- His surprising upset in the Fountain of Youth, where he finished third, has not been explained. His final prep will take place either in the Florida Derby or the Wood Memorial.

In the wings -- Rags to Riches, Adore the Gold, Notional, Liquidity, King of the Roxy, Hard Spun, Bwana Bull, Zanjero, Officer Rocket, Chelokee, Song of Navarone, Air Commander

Off the trail -- Ravel, with an injured front leg.

Date Race Track Distance (Grade) Purse

Sept. 10 Washington Futurity Arlington 1 mile (III) $200,000

Finish Time: 1:36.71 Win: Got the Last Laugh/Officer Rocket (dead heat) Show: Street Sense

Oct. 7 Breeders' Futurity Keeneland 11/16 miles (I) $500,000

Finish Time: 1:44.09 Win: Great Hunter Place: Circular Quay Show: Street Sense

Oct. 14 Champagne Belmont 1 mile (I) $400,000

Finish Time: 1:36 4/5 Win: Scat Daddy Place: Nobiz Like Shobiz Show: Pegasus Wind

Nov. 4 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Churchill Downs 11/16 miles (I) $2 million

Finish Time: 1:42.59 Win: Street Sense Place: Circular Quay Show: Great Hunter

Nov. 25 Kentucky Jockey Club Churchill Downs 11/16 miles (II) $200,000

Finish Time: 1:42.84 Win: Tiz Wonderful Place: Any Given Saturday Show: Dominican

Dec. 1 Delta Jackpot Delta Downs 11/16 miles (III) $1 million

Finish Time: 1:45.42 Win: Birdbirdistheword Place: Pirates Deputy Show: Xchanger

Dec. 16 Hollywood Futurity Hollywood 11/16 miles (I) $400,000

Finish Time: 1:42.00 Win: Stormello Place: Liquidity Show: Roman Commander

Jan. 13 San Rafael Santa Anita 1 mile (II) $150,000

Finish Time: 1:36 2/5 Win: Notional Place: Tenfold Show: Grapelli

Jan. 13 Lecomte Fair Grounds 1 mile (III) $100,000

Finish Time: 1:37.87 Win: Hard Spun Place: Izzie's Halo Show: Teuflesberg

Feb. 3 Swale Gulfstream 61/2 furlongs (II) $150,000

Finish Time: 1:15 4/5 Win: Adore the Gold Place: Forefathers Show: Cowtown Cat

Feb. 3 Holy Bull Gulfstream 1 mile (III) $150,000

Finish Time: 1:35.47 Win: Nobiz Like Showbiz Place: Drums of Thunder Show: Scat Daddy

Feb. 3 Sham Santa Anita 11/8 miles (III) $100,000

Finish Time: 1:48.91 Win: Ravel Place: Liquidity Show: Song of Navarone

Feb. 10 Risen Star Fair Grounds 11/16 miles (III) $300,000

Finish Time: 1:44.18 Win: Notional Place: Imawildandcrazyguy Show: Zanjero

Feb. 11 San Vincente Santa Anita 7 furlongs $150,000 Finish Time: 1:23.12 Win: Noble Court Place: Law Breaker Show: Half Famous

March 3 Fountain of Youth Gulfstream 11/8 miles (II) $350,000 Finish Time: 1:49.11 Win: Scat Daddy Place: Stormello Show: Nobiz Like Shobiz

March 3 Hutcheson Gulfstream 71/2 furlongs (II) $150,000 Finish Time: 1:28.00 Win: King of the Roxy Place: Bold Start Show: Out of Gwedda

March 3 Robert B. Lewis Santa Anita 11/16 miles (II) $200,000 Finish Time: 1:42.89 Win: Great Hunter Place: Sam P. Show: Saint Paul

March 10 Louisiana Derby Fair Grounds 11/16 miles (II) $600,000 Finish Time: 1:43.01 Win: Circular Quay Place: Ketchikan Show: Zanjero

March 10 Gotham Aqueduct 11/16 miles (III) $200,000 Finish Time: 1:44.75 Win: Cowtown Cat Place: Wafi City Show: Summer Doldrums

March 10 El Camino Real Derby Bay Meadows 11/16 miles (III) $200,000 Finish Time: 1:43.22 Win: Bwana Bull Place: Freesgood Show: Zoning In

March 17 San Felipe Santa Anita 11/16 miles (II) $250,000 Finish Time: 1:42. 46 Win: Cobalt Blue Place: Air Commander Show: Level Red

March 17 Tampa Bay Derby Tampa Bay 11/16 miles (III) $300,000 Finish Time: 1:43:11 Win: Street Sense Place: Any Given Saturday Show: Delightful Kiss

March 17 Rebel Oaklawn 11/16 miles (III) $300,000 Finish Time: 1:14.10 Win: Curlin Place: Officer Rocket Show: Teuflesberg

Today Lane's End Turfway 11/8 miles (II) $500,000

March 31 UAE Derby Nad Al Sheba 11/4 miles (I) $2 million

March 31 Florida Derby Gulfstream 11/8 miles (I) $1 million

April 7 Santa Anita Derby Santa Anita 11/8 miles (I) $750,000

April 7 Wood Memorial Aqueduct 11/8 miles (I) $750,000

April 14 Arkansas Derby Oaklawn 11/8 miles (I) $1 million

April 14 Toyota Blue Grass Keeneland 11/8 miles (I) $750,000

April 21 Coolmore Lexington Keeneland 11/16 miles (II) $325,000

April 28 Withers Aqueduct 1 miles (III) $150,000

May 5 Kentucky Derby Churchill Downs 11/4 miles (I) $2 million

May 19 Preakness Pimlico 13/16 miles (I) $1 million

June 9 Belmont Belmont Park 11/2 miles (I) $1 million

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