Horse Racing Bloggers

Market Rally and the UAE Derby

The March 26 G2 UAE Derby at 1900 meters on dirt is a $2 million race and a lucrative target in its own right, but it has the added allure of conferring 100 qualifying Kentucky Derby points to the winner, too. That’s why trainer Doug O’Neill’s California invader Frank Conversation is headed to Dubai. The … Read More...

War Front’s Jack Milton

Pope McLean’s Crestwood near Lexington is the latest Kentucky farm to stand a son of Claiborne’s War Front — one of the most sought-after stallions in the world. Jack Milton, a G1 winner who joined the Crestwood roster for 2016, is the least expensive of his sire’s five sons in the state at $6,500 live … Read More...

Desert God wins Indian Turf Invitation Cup

By Major Srinivas Nargolkar (Retd.) (Ed. note: link to video of race below. Grades of races listed for informational purposes only. All Indian graded races qualify as Listed black type internationally.) The G1 Kingfisher Ultra Indian Derby winner Desert God (Burden of Proof – Running Flame) added the G1 Indian Turf Invitation Cup to his tally … Read More...

Big Saturday for Darley stallions

Darley had a weekend to remember with top stallions Medaglia d’Oro, Teofilo, Dubawi, Shamardal, Hard Spun, and Bernardini represented by notable Graded winners around the world on Saturday, March 5. Songbird remains unbeaten in the Grade III $100,000 Santa Ysabel Stakes! #SantaAnitaPark pic.twitter.com/2dZY43oYNi — Santa Anita Park (@santaanitapark) March 5, 2016 At Santa Anita yesterday, Medaglia … Read More...

Sire Watch Pedigree Focus: First-crop sires, Street Boss

The Wednesday, March 2, edition of At the Races with Steve Byk featuring ‘Sire Watch Pedigree Focus.’ Topics include first-crop sires at Fasig-Tipton and Street Boss and Street Cry, among other things. Click here to listen. Read More...

Mystical Star foals Pioneerof the Nile colt

Graded stakes winner Mystical Star produced her first foal, a bay colt by last year’s leading Third Crop sire Pioneerof the Nile, on March 4... Read More...

Treasure Beach reminiscent of Florida sire Sword Dance

At first blush, British-bred Treasure Beach, who stands for $10,000 at Pleasant Acres in Morriston, Florida, seems out of place in the state. He’s by Galileo out of Honorine, by Mark of Esteem, and is a product of the great Sadler’s Wells/Darshaan cross noted for turf stamina. He ran true to his pedigree, winning, among … Read More...

Juvenile sales can be a barometer for sire success

Recent juvenile sales have unearthed some of the best first-crop runners of new sires and can be an indicator for high placement on the year-end Freshman Sire list and also a barometer for future sire success. Last year, Nyquist sold for $400,000 at the Fasig-Tipton February sale and led the charge for Uncle Mo, who … Read More...

New sires at Fasig-Tipton

Below is a listing of new sires represented by 2-year-olds at the Fasig-Tipton Florida sale. Click on the sire for his page at the farm. Click on the works for the pedigrees of the individual horses. The fastest time recorded was :10 flat, shared by 10 horses. Algorithms (by Bernardini at Claiborne): 10.1, 10.3 Astrology … Read More...

Street Boss, sire of undefeated Cathryn Sophia

Street Boss was one of four G1 winners from the celebrated first crop of Street Cry, Darley’s flagship stallion who died in Australia in September of 2014 at the age of 16 and is the sire of more than 100 stakes winners. The star of that crop was Zenyatta, but it also included the Kentucky … Read More...

Karakontie, from Japan to USA via Europe

The number of new foreign-bred and/or primarily foreign-raced stallions standing in Kentucky keeps increasing incrementally each year, it seems. At the moment the only two active leading sires bred or raced abroad on the Top 40 General Sire list of 2015 are Lane’s End’s Candy Ride, bred in Argentina; and Ashford’s Giant’s Causeway, raced in Europe. Darley’s … Read More...

Super Saver’s Competitive Edge is speed

Competitive Edge is the “other” new sire for 2016 at Coolmore’s Ashford Stud in Kentucky after the poster boy and racing icon American Pharoah, but when he comes out of the stallion barn to pose for visitors, he’s got the swag of a rugged matinee idol instead of the look of a supporting actor. At $12,500 … Read More...

Hampton Court, fourth Aussie-bred reverse shuttler

B. Wayne Hughes’s Spendthrift Farm is traveling the road first paved by John Phillips’s Darby Dan with All American and later traversed by Darley’s Lonhro and Denman; Spendthrift is reverse shuttling Australian-bred Hampton Court from the farm’s Australian facility to Kentucky this year. (Technically, Darley’s Animal Kingdom is a reverse shuttler from Australia, too, but, … Read More...

Radio: ‘Sire Watch Pedigree Focus’

“At the Races with Steve Byk,” Byk’s daily racing radio show on Sirius satellite radio Monday through Friday from 9AM to 12 each morning, has a new sponsor for the pedigree segment where I’m a guest each Wednesday beginning the second hour at 10AM. Download the App and join @sidfernando on ATR for 'Sire Watch … Read More...

Dixie Union’s emergence as a sire of broodmares

Three highly regarded 3-year-old colts share Dixie Union as a broodmare sire, and when something like that happens it’s usually a sign that a broodmare sire is on his way up. This is a nice position in which to be if you happen to own a daughter of Dixie Union, too. Mohaymen, the pro-tem leader … Read More...

Candy Ride and sons

The recent success of Argentine-bred Candy Ride’s Gun Runner in the G2 Risen Star Stakes from the Uncle Mo runners Forevamo and Mo Tom is a snapshot of unconventional triumph. Both Candy Ride and Uncle Mo represent odd branches of significant stallions, and their success may in part be attributable to the outcross opportunities they … Read More...

Who are the Derby contenders plucked from 2-year-old sales?

The Derby preps starts to heat up concurrently with the 2-year-olds-in-training sales, and trainers, like college coaches, are on the recruiting trail for next year’s prospects while preparing this year’s athletes. It all starts in Florida (Fasig-Tipton’s sale pictured above; photo by Frances J. Karon) in late February/early March, first at Fasig-Tipton’s “The Florida Sale,” … Read More...

Airoforce: turf future if dirt doesn’t pan out

Airoforce, who makes his season debut in the G2 $400,000 Veterans Ford Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds Saturday as the 5-2 morning-line favorite, faces 12 others, including four sons of Uncle Mo and Rachel Alexandra’s half-brother Dolphus, but if he doesn’t win or take to the track like he did the dirt at Churchill … Read More...

AP wire: Suddenbreakingnews

Two of the last three Derby winners, California Chrome (Lucky Pulpit, by Pulpit, by A.P. Indy) and Orb (Malibu Moon, by A.P. Indy), are by A.P. Indy-line stallions, and this year’s crop of contenders includes several others, including Mohaymen (Tapit, by Pulpit), Greenpointcrusader (Bernardini, by A.P. Indy),  Shagaf (Bernardini), Economic Model (Flatter, by A.P. Indy), … Read More...

Can Nyquist stay?

Shortly after undefeated juvenile champion Nyquist (Breeders’ Cup Photo, above, winning the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile) had scorched the seven furlongs of the G2 San Vicente at Santa Anita in 1:20.71 on Monday, questions and comments — all legitimate, given his pedigree — surfaced on Twitter about his ability to get the Derby distance. Really, really … Read More...

New Chilean stallion standing in Kentucky

Ro Parra’s Millennium Farms in Lexington has an unusual stallion entering the ranks in 2016. He’s Chilean-bred and-raced Hakassan, initially a Green Hills Farm acquisition for racing. Hakassan came to the US after having last raced in Chile in December of 2012 and was held in high esteem as a winner of five of seven … Read More...

Clothes Fall Off runs a big one in Barbara Fritchie H. (G2)

It took a lifetime best race by Pangburn to deny victory to stablemate Clothes Fall Off in the $300,000 Barbara Fritchie S. (G2) Saturday at Laurel Park... Read More...

Songbird’s Campbell history

Fox Hill Farms’ champion Songbird (Breeders’ Cup Photo, above) made an impressive 3-year-old debut on Feb. 6 in the G2 Las Virgenes at Santa Anita — if you don’t believe the speed figures — by winning off by six and a half lengths in 1:36.84 to remain undefeated in five starts. Now, this is the … Read More...

Congrats has another stakes filly in Polar River

The conversation and observation above on Twitter on Jan. 17 was a result of the way Congrats had started off the year near the top of the General Sire List (alongside his brother Flatter and in the mix with Tapit and Candy Ride). His top runner this year is the 3-year-old filly Forever Darling, who … Read More...

Clothes Fall Off shoots for G2 success in Saturday’s Barbara Fritchie H.

Cheyenne Stables and partners’ Clothes Fall Off will try to give her owners an early Valentine’s Day present on Saturday when she faces a field of six other fillies and mares in the $300,000 Barbara Fritchie H. (G2)... Read More...

Mor Spirit and Baffert

Before he was on the Triple Crown trail for Bob Baffert, Mor Spirit was a ‘lovely looking 2-year-old’ from the consignment of Ciaran Dunne’s Wavertree, as announcer Terence Collier notes in the video above when bidding stalls at $575,000. Mor Spirit had worked an eighth in 10 1/5, but his physical maturity, athleticism, and sheer attractiveness … Read More...

Bayern as a prospect

Bayern, who will start his career at stud at Hill ‘n’ Dale Farm in a few days, is a Breeders’ Cup Classic winner (in 1:59.88), a Haskell winner (in 1:47.82 by seven-plus lengths), a G2 Pennsylvania Derby winner (in 1:46.96 by five-plus lengths), and a G2 Woody Stephens winner (in 1:20.75 by seven-plus lengths) over … Read More...

Indian Derby to Desert God

By Major Srinivas Nargolkar (Retd.) (Ed. note: link to video of race below. Grades of races listed for informational purposes only. All Indian graded races qualify as Listed black type internationally.)  Desert God (Burden of Proof – Running Flame) beat the filly Myrtlewood (Multidimensional – Adamile) by half a length to win the Kingfisher Ultra Indian Derby, Gr.1 … Read More...

Bernardinis with classic aspirations

Preakness winner Bernardini (A.P. Indy – Cara Rafaela, by Quiet American) has 13 Triple Crown nominees this year, third behind only Uncle Mo (19) and Tapit (16). Standing at Darley for $100,000 in 2016, the same as his entry fee in 2007, the stallion has been on an extended roll since last summer after a … Read More...

Trappe Shot next up for Tapit

Tapit has started off 2016 where he left off at the end of 2015, and his headliners this week are Frosted, a very impressive winner in Dubai yesterday, and Mohaymen, the pro-tem leader of the 3-year-old division. Top sons will mean stallion sons, and Tapit will have every opportunity to establish his credentials as a … Read More...

Madefromlucky draws the rail for Grade 1 Donn H.

Saturday’s $500,000 Donn Handicap (G1) at Gulfstream Park, the feature race of the meet for older males, drew a tough field of eight... Read More...

Wests’ 3-year-old prospects profiled

On Monday, the TDN ran a piece on four promising 3-year-olds owned by Gary and Mary West, each trained by Wayne Catalano and headed by “TDN Rising Star” Malibu Sunset, a 10 1/2-length maiden special winner at Fair Grounds Sunday. You can read the article here. This is the time of year when hope springs eternal … Read More...

Mohaymen and Smokey Image

Mohaymen, a $2.2 million yearling owned by the Shadwell Farm of Sheikh Hamdan al Maktoum, and Smokey Image, a California homebred for Betty Irvin’s Irvin Racing Stable, made auspicious season debuts Saturday as they begin the demanding task of securing a berth in the Kentucky Derby the first Saturday in May. Both colts are undefeated … Read More...

Cathryn Sophia’s long ties to Manfuso

The exciting Maryland-bred Street Boss filly Cathryn Sophia won the G2 Forward Gal today by five lengths and remains undefeated in three starts for owner Cash Is King LLC. However, it’s her breeder, Maryland-based Robert T. Manfuso, who is the focus here. Manfuso is associated with five generations of this pedigree. It all began with … Read More...

Seattle Slew inbreeding part of Mohaymen and Conquest Big E

The two sons of Tapit (pictured, photo courtesy of Frances J. Karon), Mohaymen and Conquest Big E, who clash Saturday in the G2 Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream at 1 1/16 miles, have pedigrees that contain inbreeding to Seattle Slew, and so do the following Graded stakes winners by Tapit, all at a mile or above: G1 … Read More...

Kingmambo and Arch

Kingmambo and Arch, both influential sires, died recently, and I had occasion to speak about them Wednesday on the Steve Byk show. You can listen to it below, at the end of the post. Also included here is the link to the post I wrote about Kingmambo on Sept. 29, 2010, the day after he … Read More...

Myrtlewood Completes a Stylish Double in Indian Oaks

By Major Srinivas Nargolkar (Retd.) (Ed. note: link to video of race below. Grades of races listed for informational purposes only. All Indian graded races qualify as Listed black type internationally.) Myrtlewood (Multidimensional – Adamile) added the Villoo Poonawalla Indian Oaks, Gr.1 to her Eat India Company Indian 1000 Guineas, Gr.1 to bag a splendid […] Read More...

Kinsley Kisses off to a great start in Gulfstream debut

Cheyenne Stables latest unveiling came early Saturday afternoon at Gulfstream Park when Kinsley Kisses lived up to the pre-race hype... Read More...

Finding a Great Riding Instructor

There’s something about little girls and horses that just go together. It’s rather like peanut butter and jelly. Most girls go through a phase where it seems like all they do is beg their parents for a pony of their very own. Instead of breaking down and getting your daughter the cute little pony you […] Read More...

Aqueduct’s Ladies H. on tap for Sustainable

Sustainable will try to get her first stakes win on Sunday at Aqueduct when she faces a field of five fillies and mares in the $100,000 Ladies H... Read More...

Madefromlucky entered in Saturday’s Fort Lauderdale S. (G2)

Cheyenne Stables and Mac Nichol’s Madefromlucky was installed the 8-5 favorite for Saturday’s $200,000 Fort Lauderdale S. (G2) at Gulfstream Park... Read More...

Sallisaw boosts black type resume

Cheyenne Stables’ multiple stakes-placed colt Sallisaw earned his second straight black type of his young career on New Year’s Day... Read More...

Sallisaw to start 2016 in Lost in the Fog S.

Cheyenne Stables’ stakes-placed 2-year-old Sallisaw will make his first start as a 3-year-old in the $125,000 Lost in the Fog S. on New Year’s Day... Read More...

Commonwealth of the Bahamas

The Commonwealth of the Bahamas, or simply known as “the Bahamas”, is an island nation of which Nassau is the capital. There are over 700 individual Bahamian landmasses. The region of the Bahamas is located off the coast of Florida, and covers an area of approximately 180,000 square miles. The Bahamas were discovered by Christopher […] Read More...

Sons of Phoenix Tower 1-2 in Indian 2000 Guineas

By Major Srinivas Nargolkar (Retd.) (Ed. note: link to video of race is below. India is a Part II country and grades of races are listed for informational purposes only. All Indian graded races, however, qualify as Listed black type internationally.) Two dark bay sons of the Manjri Stud stallion Phoenix Tower battled at the […] Read More...

Uncle Mo latest freshman king for Ashford

Irish-based Coolmore’s Ashford division in Kentucky began collecting domestic 2-year-old champions with Lookin at Lucky (2009 champ), followed by Uncle Mo (2010), Hansen (2011), Shanghai Bobby (2012), and most recently American Pharoah (2014) — with whom they hit the bonanza at 3, too. The only other juvenile champ during these range of years was the […] Read More...

Society’s Chairman leading in Canada

I’ve tweeted this story-in-the-making as it’s developed throughout the season, but perhaps it’s time for a longer format, because, frankly, it’s dumbfounding in this age of commercial breeding. Imagine this: a little-known stallion who didn’t make his racetrack debut until age 5 — and, for the record, he’s by an unraced stallion — goes to […] Read More...

Myrtlewood wins first Indian Classic Sunday

By Major Srinivas Nargolkar (Retd.) (Ed. note: link to video of race is below. India is a Part II country and grades of races are listed for informational purposes only. All Indian graded races, however, qualify as Listed black type internationally.) Myrtlewood  (b f 2012 Multidimensional[IRE] – Adamile by Razeen [USA]) won the Eat India […] Read More...

Madefromlucky adds to stakes tally in Harlan’s Holiday S.

Madefromlucky’s powerful stretch rally in Saturday’s 1 1/16-mile Harlan’s Holiday S. at Gulfstream Park may have come up a half-length short, but could set up the 3-year-old colt perfectly for the 1 1/8 mile Donn H... Read More...