Lexington, KY (SportsNetwork.com) – Tampa Bay Derby winner Carpe Diem will
lead a field of eight 3-year-olds into Saturday’s 92nd Blue Grass Stakes on
Keeneland’s new dirt main track.
Winning the $1 million, 1 1/8-mile race is worth 100 points to the first-place
3-year-old as part of the Kentucky Derby points system which determines the
20-horse field for the Run for the Roses on May 2.
“The enhancements we made to this year’s race have generated excitement among
horsemen and fans alike,” Keeneland Vice President of Racing W. B. Rogers
Trained by Todd Pletcher, Carpe Diem is the even-money morning line favorite
and will leave from post 5 with Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez. The Blue
Grass is just the second start of the year for the chestnut colt.
Carpe Diem, owned by Stonestreet Stable and WinStar Farm, registered a
five-length win in last month’s Tampa Bay Derby. The colt earned 50 points
with the victory for a possible place in this year’s Kentucky Derby at
“We were delighted with the way he ran,” Pletcher said immediately after the
Tampa Bay Derby. Pletcher saddled the winners of the 2005 and 2008 renewals of
the Blue Grass with Bandini and Monba.
Carpe Diem won his first two starts as a 2-year-old, including the Breeders’
Futurity at Keeneland. The chestnut colt was the 9-5 favorite for the
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita but finished second to Texas Red by 6
1/2 lengths. The 3-year-old has three wins from four starts for $919,800.
Here is the field for the Blue Grass in post position order: Ocho Ocho Ocho,
Santiago Gonzalez, 6-1; Gorgeous Bird, Brian Hernandez Jr., 8-1; Pepper Roani,
Miguel Mena, 12-1; Unrivaled, Robby Albarado, 12-1; Carpe Diem, John
Velazquez, even; Frammento, Gary Stevens, 8-1; Classy Class, Junior Alvarado,
6-1 and Danzig Moon, Julien Leparoux, 8-1.
Post time for the Blue Grass is set for 6 p.m. ET. NBC Sports Network will
provide live coverage of the Blue Grass from 5-7 p.m. ET as part of NBC Triple
Crown Prep Day, which includes the Wood Memorial and Santa Anita Derby.