With the Kentucky Derby less than a month away, this Saturday's Blue Grass Stakes will serve as an excellent first look at some of the top thoroughbreds set to compete for the Triple Crown this spring.
Dullahan won the annual one-and-an-eighth mile synthetic race a year ago and went on to finish third at the 2012 Kentucky Derby behind I'll Have Another and Bodemeister. That said, you can bet 2013's winner will be a favorite heading into next month's Kentucky Derby.
Here we'll get you set with everything you need to know for this weekend's much-anticipated race.
Where: Keeneland Race Course, Lexington, Ky.
When: Saturday, April 13, 2013
Post Time: 5:40 p.m. ET
Watch: NBC Sports Network
The odds-on favorite in Saturday's race will be Uncaptured, who will start from post No. 7.
Uncaptured has won six of his eight career races, including four first-place finishes at Woodbine last summer. He finished second at the Spiral Stakes last month; his only race this year.
With 7-2 odds of winning this weekend, consider it a shock if Uncaptured doesn't finish toward the top. He's benefiting from a solid post number and should have no problem pulling to the front of the pack.
Jockey Miguel Mena will be atop Uncaptured at Keeneland Race Course on Saturday.
Following a second-place finish at the Tampa Bay Derby last month, Java's War enters this weekend's Blue Grass Stakes as one of the favorites to win.
Java's War hasn't won since the Sunday Silence Stakes last September but has been consistently running toward the top. Trainer Ken McPeek is certainly confident in Java's War's chances on Saturday (h/t Claire Novak via ESPN):
His race at Tampa was fantastic and he has trained fantastic since he got here. He flew in [April 8]. His female family says grass, and I think that kind of transcends well into the synthetics. I think he'll run great; this colt has a lot of class.
Java's War will be ridden by Julien Leparoux, who has never won the Blue Grass Stakes.
Another contender to watch for on Saturday is Rydilluc, who will start from way outside on post No. 13. Although Rydilluc may not be receiving nearly as much attention as Uncaptured or Java's War, momentum is certainly on his side.
Rydilluc has won three straight races on turf, including two in 2013. Most recently he won the Palm Beach Stakes last month at Gulfstream Park.
He will be ridden by Hall of Fame jockey Edgar Prado this weekend. Prado is famous for having rode Barbaro to victory at the 2006 Kentucky Derby. He has two career wins at the Blue Grass Stakes, winning here in 2002 and 2003 atop Harlan's Holiday and Peace Rules respectively.
Post Positions and Odds
|2||My Name Is Michael||15-1|
|11||Balance the Books||15-1|
|12||West Hills Giant||20-1|
|14||Fear the Kitten||30-1|
*Odds information according to Claire Novak via ESPN.com.
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