Quenneville Jinxed by Dynamic Impact, Cairo Prince Ruled Out of Kentucky Derby

In his first try on fake turf, Mr Speaker did all the talking. And in a single weekend, Blackhawks Coach Joel Quenneville saw his NHL hockey team lose its first two playoff games in overtime, his crotch grabbing gesture earned him a $25,000 fine, and his horse got nosed out at the end to lose the Illinois Derby. Also, Game On Dude was definitely not on his game. Just another day in horse racing history. Game On Dude, winner of the Grade I Santa Anita Handicap, led most of the way but was pushed in the April 19 $1.5 million Grade III Charles Town Classic. However, Imperative took over late for the victory. Imperative went off at 26 to 1, making for a nice payday.

In the $500,000 Grade III Illinois Derby, which wasn't actually a Kentucky Derby prep race, Quenneville's partial ownership of Midnight Hawk was enough to curse the Midnight Lute colt into a late loss. Midnight Hawk was winning the race most of the way, until Dynamic Impact and jockey Miguel Mena exploded off of the rail for the win. To Midnight Hawk's credit it was a head-bobbing victory for Dynamic Impact, who took down the victory on a fast track and field. In Keeneland, Mr Speaker looked like the best horse from start to finish, taking home the $200,000 Grade III Coolmore Lexington Stakes.

Jockey Jose Lezcano was in the stirrups, and led the colt to a 4 length victory, finishing ahead of Divine Oath and Supermonic. Mr Speaker has three wins and a second place on turf, but trainer Shug McGaughey quickly stopped any Kentucky Derby talk by saying, "I think one of these days we'll try him again. But it's not going to be in two weeks (at the Derby)." Oddly, the victory by Mr Speaker showed Holy Bull finishers of 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th place coming back after underperforming in that race to place big stakes wins.

Unfortunately for Kentucky Derby and Triple Crown race fans, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin sadly reported that Cairo Prince will not be making it to The Run for the Roses. The ankle injury that horse has been battling is still unresolved at this point. That means Sheik Mohammed bin Rasheed al Maktoum will go without a Kentucky Derby victory yet again. He bought a major interest in that colt, adding him to his impressive Godolphin Racing stable. In the $100,000 Federico Tessio Stakes at Pimlico, many times a showcase of eventual Preakness Stakes hopefuls and winners, Kid Cruz came from out of nowhere to post a 3 1/2 length victory.

That makes the third victory for that colt in five races. Kid Cruz will not show up at Churchill Downs on May 3 however, but could prove to be a Triple Crown spoiler at the Preakness on May 17. In other horse racing action, Frac Daddy proved to be too much for the field as he walked away with a 4 3/4 length win in the $150,000 Grade III Ben Ali Stakes at Keeneland. And Beholder took home the Sunday $75,000 Santa Lucia Stakes by 5 1/2 lengths. The Lexington Stakes was the last Kentucky Derby Championship Series race, and next up on the important US thoroughbred race schedule is the Kentucky Derby.

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