He was upset in the last major weekend in Kentucky Derby preparations

ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) — Chaos erupted on the Kentucky Derby trail Saturday, upending the stretch and ending the final coast-to-coast weekend of major prep races before the Triple Crown begins next month.

The winners were separated by a quarter of a length.

Practical Move edged Japan’s Mandarin Hero by a nose to win the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby in California. In Keeneland, Tapit Tris He won the $1 million Blue Grass by the neck on Confirmation. In Aqueduct, 59-1 shot Lord Miles survived the challenge to win the $750,000 Wood Memorial in New York by a nose.

Each of the winners earned 100 registration points for the Kentucky Derby, which puts the three in a 20-horse field on May 6.

Trainer Tim Yakte won the Santa Anita Derby for the second year in a row, this time with a horse he grew up with.

“It’s a great feeling to be back in this tournament,” Yaktin said. “As fast as you rush, that’s why you’re in the game.”

Last year, he won against Taiba, who was trained by the Hall of Famer Bob Baffert. But he was moved to Yakteen’s barn because Baffert was serving a two-year suspension at Churchill Downs Inc.

But Practical activity It all belongs to Yakten. The colt was coming off a decisive win in the San Felipe Stakes last month. He had a lot to do on Saturday.

Practical Movement was third after half a mile and drifted a bit over the final furlong, but battled back with Mandarin Hero.

“I thought we had it at the wire,” said Mandarin Hero jockey Kazushi Kimura. Today he was a completely different horse. He was very powerful in the company. Looks like we’re going to the Kentucky Derby.

Ridden by Ramon Vazquez, Practical Move ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.69. Sent off as the 4-5 favorite, the 3-year-old colt paid $4, $3 and $2.20.

Mandarin Hero returned $6.60 and $4. Skinner was another half-length in third.

At Keeneland, Tapit Tries and Proof battled the final wagons. The stewards did not change the finishing order.

“I feel like he (Proof) came out and touched my horse badly,” said winning jockey Luis Saez.

Tapit Trice, trained by Todd Pletcher, ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.00 for his fourth straight win. The colt paid $5.28 to win. Pletcher probably has the Derby favorite. Forte.

Blazing Sevens was another 5 3/4 lengths back in third.

In Aqueduct, Lord Miles, 8-5 favorite Hit Show and Dreamlike were going head-to-head, with second-placed jockey Manny Franco saying it was a mistake to go with the stewards’ interference request. But no changes were made.

Winning jockey Paco Lopez said: “That one (Dreamlike) went out and Franco (on Hit Show) was looking for a place and he got on my horse.” “My horse always stayed in line and fought for the line. It was a tight race.”

Franco believes the relationship cost him the win.

I was like a ping pong ball between those horses. They hit me on both sides.

Lord Miles ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:51.17 and paid $120.50 to win. The colt, trained by Safi Joseph Jr., is a son of two-time Horse of the Year Curlin.

“On the eighth pole, I was thinking, go second and then, wait a minute, and there it was,” Joseph said. “He’s a horse we think a lot about and he looked like he counted a lot today.”

The remaining Derby prep is next weekend’s Lexington Stakes at Keeneland, which will award 20 points to the winner.


Gary B., AP sports writer in Lexington, Kentucky. Graves contributed to this report.


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