The Run for the Roses is just around the corner! Kicking off the graded stakes action this weekend is a big Friday card at Churchill Downs, highlighted by the Longines Kentucky Oaks. Monomoy Girl and Midnight Bisou are the two top choices in the 3-year-old fillies' division at this point in the season, and will square off as East vs. West in the race for the lillies.
On Saturday, Churchill Downs has a massive card on tap with a trio of Grade 1 races. The Humana Distaff features a tough field of seven led by the Chad Brown-trained Lewis Bay, while the Old Forester Turf Classic offers a match-up between Brown's Beach Patrol and the Aidan O'Brien trainee Deauville.
Other major contenders racing across the country on Saturday include 2017 Preakness winner Cloud Computing in the G3 Westchester Stakes at Belmont Park, as well as top sprinter Imperial Hint in the G2 Churchill Downs Stakes.
In the Kentucky Derby, both Justify and Magnum Moon will try to break the “Curse of Apollo,” each having not raced as juveniles. European invader Mendelssohn will try to become the first UAE Derby winner to crack the Roses, and the battle-hardened Bolt d'Oro will be testing his mettle against the best in his division once again. Florida Derby winner Audible and Wood Memorial champion Vino Rosso give trainer Todd Pletcher a potent group in this year's running, and longshots like Combatant and Hofburg could also pose a major threat in the final quarter-mile.
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