National Headlines

Trainer Abrams Takes Leave of Absence

Blood-Horse | 2 hours ago
Trainer Barry Abrams, 62, has turned in his license and is taking a leave of absence due to health problems, but he said he might return to training, Santa Anita Park reported May 4. Read More...

Byron King’s Kentucky Derby analysis

DRF | 4 hours ago
Nyquist, last year’s 2-year-old male champion, is the classiest horse in the Kentucky Derby and the likely winner. He has not run lofty speed figures or turned in particularly flashy workouts, but in seven starts, he has always found a way to win. He has exhibited the versatility to win on the lead, from a pace-pressing position, and even from as far back as eighth, as he did in taking the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile last year when hung wide in a scramble into the first turn. He also has beaten several notable Kentucky Derby contenders, such as Exaggerator, Mohaymen, and Brody’s Cause. Read More...

Mike Welsch’s Kentucky Derby analysis

DRF | 4 hours ago
Nyquist is the obvious choice, coming in undefeated in seven starts, with four Grade 1 wins on his résumé, including the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. But in what looms as an extremely wide-open race, I must demand a price in the vicinity of 4-1 on this year’s Derby favorite. Outwork has continued to improve with experience, proved his mettle under fire despite contesting an extremely fast pace in the Wood Memorial, and has made the best impression of all the Derby runners since arriving locally. This well-built colt is by Uncle Mo but is out of an Empire Maker mare, which should enhance his chances of staying the distance. He figures to trip out nicely just off the early leaders, and it’s hard to pass up double-digit odds on a horse who is seemingly peaking at just the right time. Read More...

Tough Call: For Stewards, Officiating The Derby A Tall Order

  When the stewards take their places on the seventh floor at Churchill Downs this Saturday, their goal will be to treat the day's races (including the one heading to the post just after 6 p.m.)... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]] Read More...

Mike Watchmaker’s Kentucky Derby analysis

DRF | 4 hours ago
The deep closer Creator might not get the ideal pace setup he received when he won the Arkansas Derby most recently, but he’s still my pick in the Kentucky Derby. Creator improved in dramatic fashion over his last three starts, forging Beyer Speed Figure advancements of nine, 10, and six points to a 96 in the Arkansas Derby. If Creator is able to continue that trend – and by all accounts, he has impressed in his training at Churchill Downs – it certainly would make him fast enough to win. The potential for a moderate pace is a concern, as is the need for a somewhat-clean trip for deep closers like him. But I suspect that with this field, even a moderate Derby pace might fall apart late, and Creator is the closer I prefer. Read More...

Brad Free’s Kentucky Derby analysis

DRF | 4 hours ago
Brody’s Cause has much in his favor. Among the nation’s elite 2-year-olds last fall when third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, his 3-year-old campaign is picking up steam. His Blue Grass Stakes victory last out was his second Grade 1 win, and it came in only his second start of the year. He’s worked well since and runs as if 1 1/4 miles is within range. The 3-for-6 colt is proven top class, enters with an improving pattern, and offers generous odds. His outside draw (19 of 20) is not an issue with the long run to the first turn. Read More...

Mike Beer’s Kentucky Derby analysis

DRF | 4 hours ago
This year hasn’t been one for fast-paced Derby preps. As one race after another fell apart late on the way to Churchill Downs, more of the tired speeds fell short of the points cutoff. What we are left with is a Derby field that lacks much true early speed. Now, all of a sudden, all those closers who were taking advantage during the prep season might find themselves up against it in the biggest race of their lives. Read More...

Free: How I’d play the Oaks-Derby Double

DRF | 4 hours ago
This handicapper’s Oaks-Derby double strategy will insist on an upset in either the Oaks or Derby, preferably both. If program favorites Rachel’s Valentine and Nyquist both win, it will be a losing wager. Read More...

Crist: Whittling it down to five contenders

DRF | 4 hours ago
The central question of the 2016 Kentucky Derby is whether Nyquist is simply better than his 19 opponents or a vulnerable favorite in a subpar year. He has pluses and minuses, but is among five horses who will be on my pick-whatever tickets. Read More...

Nyquist Draws Post 13, is 3-1 Derby Favorite

Blood-Horse | 4 hours ago
Champion Nyquist drew post 13 and was tabbed the 3-1 morning-line favorite for the May 7 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) during the May 4 post position draw at Churchill Downs. Read More...

Former Derby Hopefuls Meet in American Turf

Blood-Horse | 4 hours ago
Turf specialists Dressed in Hermes and Shakhimat face off against versatile 3-year-olds in American Turf on Derby underdard. Read More...

Seasoned Sprinters Fill Churchill Downs S.

Blood-Horse | 5 hours ago
Salutos Amigos facing Kobe's Back again Read More...

Nyquist draws post 13, favored at 3-1 in Kentucky Derby

DRF | 5 hours ago
The unbeaten champion Nyquist drew post 13 and was installed as the 3-1 morning-line favorite when the field was drawn and post positions established for Saturday’s 142nd running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. Read More...

Full Gate for Pat Day Mile

Blood-Horse | 6 hours ago
A full gate of 14 is set for the Pat Day Mile (gr. III) May 7, Kentucky Derby (gr. I) day at Churchill Downs. The one-turn-mile event for 3-year-olds is slated as race 10 and goes for a purse of $250,000. Read More...

Vitali Seeks to Get Florida License Restored

Blood-Horse | 6 hours ago
Trainer Marcus Vitali moved his stable from Gulfstream to Laurel, but he must deal with positive tests for Class 4 and Class 5 medications in Florida before the Maryland Jockey Club will allow him to continue racing horses. Read More...

Beholder Blows Out for Adoration

Blood-Horse | 6 hours ago
Beholder, Spendthrift Farm's three-time champion, blew out three furlongs in :37 3/5 May 4 in preparation for her 2016 debut in the May 8 Adoration Stakes (gr. III). Read More...

Barn 4 at Parx Racing out of quarantine after horses test negative; Barn 30 still locked down

DRF | 6 hours ago
All of the horses in Barn 4 at Parx Racing have tested negative for the equineherpesvirus and they have been cleared by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture to resume training and racing, effective immediately, according to Sam Elliott, the track's director of racing. Read More...

Pocono: Miss Pennsylvania no day at the beach for ‘Darlin’

DRF | 6 hours ago
Darlinonthebeach handed Pure Country the first loss of her career in last weekend’s eliminations for the $313,800 Miss Pennsylvania Stakes. Read More...

Flamboro: Confederation Cup attracts nine

DRF | 7 hours ago
With no eliminations necessary, an outstanding group of nine four-year-old pacers will compete in the 2016 Confederation Cup at Flamboro Downs. Read More...

Derby starters often getting more time between starts

DRF | 7 hours ago
The training charts hang on barn walls, whiteboard wiped clean and rewritten late each morning, and sit in desk drawers, written into ledger books ink-smudged or pristine. The charts record past exercise and sketch the future – the walks, jogs, gallops, and breezes that lead to races. Read More...

Taris Will Cut Back for Humana Distaff

Blood-Horse | 7 hours ago
Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith, and Susan Magnier's multiple graded-stakes winner Taris will cut back in distance after a strong effort in a 1 1/8-mile grade I stakes in California when she starts in the $300,000 Humana Distaff (gr. I) May 7. Read More...

Mohawk: Horse of the Year showdown Saturday

DRF | 7 hours ago
It's not every day that a pair of Horse of the Year recipients meet up, but harness racing fans will receive a rare treat Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack. Read More...

Northeast/Mid-Atlantic Regional: Cole Country

Blood-Horse | 7 hours ago
Jeff and Susan Runco fire on all cylinders at Coleswood Farm Read More...

Watchmaker: All-stakes pick four on Kentucky Oaks Day

DRF | 7 hours ago
There are four pick fours, not to mention two pick fives, on Friday’s Kentucky Oaks card at Churchill Downs. But the pick four I’m focusing on here is the late all-stakes one that concludes with the Oaks and begins in race 8. Read More...

Tepin among stars on stakes-packed Derby undercard

DRF | 7 hours ago
If the Kentucky Derby turns out to be three-quarters as good as the six stakes leading up to the main event Saturday at Churchill Downs, it should be an immensely satisfying day of high-class racing. A strong, high-end dirt-mile allowance race launches the 14-race card, and there's barely a breather until post times start stringing out late in the afternoon. Read More...

Charles Town cancels Friday and Saturday cards

DRF | 7 hours ago
Charles Town has canceled its Friday and Saturday night race cards after wet weather compromised the resurfacing of its track. Read More...

Mohawk: Friday 5/6 Analysis

DRF | 7 hours ago
Garnet Barnsdale's analysis of the Friday 5/6 card at Mohawk Racetrack. Read More...

Sheer Drama holds recency edge in La Troienne

DRF | 8 hours ago
Although seven fillies and mares were entered in the 1 1/16-mile. Grade 1 La Troienne Stakes on Friday at Churchill Downs, it could prove a two-horse race, provided Sheer Drama and Curalina run to form. Read More...

Connections Showcase Tepin on Derby Day

Blood-Horse | 8 hours ago
"On the biggest day of the year in horse racing, we’re proud to showcase the best horse we’ve ever trained,” Norm Casse said of May 7 Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (gr. IIT) contender Tepin. Read More...

Yonkers: Friday 5/6 Analysis

DRF | 8 hours ago
Brewster Smith's analysis of the Friday 5/6 card at Yonkers Raceway. Read More...

Hess high on Blue Tone’s chances in Texas Mile

DRF | 8 hours ago
Blue Tone ships in to Lone Star Park for Friday night's Texas Mile, where he will face nine others, including graded winners Jessica's Star, Shotgun Kowboy, and Carve. Read More...

Mohawk: Horses to watch from Apr. 28 – May 2

DRF | 9 hours ago
Horses to watch from Mohawk Racetrack. Read More...

Meet opens with higher purses, more stakes

DRF | 9 hours ago
Arlington got more simulcast-handle revenue the first four months this year than it did in 2015, and it's using that money to raise purses well over 2015's historically low levels for the 74-day meet that begins Friday. Read More...

TVG not authorized to show Churchill’s live races

DRF | 9 hours ago
Churchill Downs has not authorized Television Games Network to broadcast the track’s races live on its flagship network or on TVG’s website for this year’s spring meet, an official for TVG said on Wednesday. Read More...

Ohio can establish bona fides in American Stakes

DRF | 9 hours ago
How Ohio runs in the Grade 3 American Stakes on Friday will tell trainer Paulo Lobo whether the 5-year-old Brazilian-bred deserves to stay in graded stakes through the Santa Anita spring-summer meeting. Read More...

Stewart Not Making Changes in Derby

Blood-Horse | 10 hours ago
Dallas Stewart, who has saddled longshots to finish second in the Kentucky Derby, isn't making any drastic changes as he seeks classic victory with Tom's Ready. Read More...

California Chrome – The $12 Million Horse

Blood-Horse | 10 hours ago
Since 2011, Laura Donnell has been photographing for Taylor Made Farm. Since then, many champions have crossed through her lens, but none have been quite as magnificent as California Chrome. Here's a look back at Chrome's past year with Taylor Made. Read More...

Lil Allie Dancer aims to rebound from lone career loss

DRF | 10 hours ago
Lil Allie Dancer is unbeaten around two turns and she will get back to that configuration Friday night in the $75,000 Equine Sales Oaks at Evangeline Downs. Read More...

Knight Club steps up in class, seeks fourth straight win

DRF | 10 hours ago
Friday's feature at Emerald Downs is only a $10,000 claiming race for fillies and mares, but the seven horses entered in the one-mile race are a hard knocking group. With 56 wins between them, it figures to be a hotly contested battle. Read More...

Rachel’s Valentina looking to follow in mom’s footsteps in Oaks

DRF | 10 hours ago
Though Rachel's Valentina was born to run in the Kentucky Oaks, her connections claim it wasn't always their plan to be in the race. Read More...

Handle on U.S. races up 8.5 percent in April

DRF | 10 hours ago
Handle on U.S. races in April was up 8.5 percent, according to figures released Wednesday by Equibase, continuing a five-month trend in which handle has risen compared to the same months in 2015. Read More...

Last hurrah for Alberta’s 111-year-old track

DRF | 10 hours ago
Thoroughbred racing has been conducted at Northlands Park since 1905. It could end at the close of the 2016 meet, which begins with a nine-race card Friday. Read More...

Eight Belles becomes Plan B for Carina Mia

DRF | 10 hours ago
Unable to crack the field of 14 for Friday's $1 million Kentucky Oaks, Carina Mia will have to settle for a start in the Grade 2, $200,000 Eight Belles Stakes. Read More...

Owner Bryan Shares Credit for Exaggerator

Blood-Horse | 10 hours ago
Teaming with trainer Keith Desormeaux, who buys his horses at auction, Matt Bryan and his Big Chief Racing stable are riding high with Exaggerator in the Kentucky Derby. Read More...

Eagle, Noble Bird clash again in Alysheba

DRF | 10 hours ago
Round 2 of what may prove to be a season-long rivalry between Eagle and Noble Bird will take place Friday when the two locally based handicap stars square off in the Grade 2, $400,000 Alysheba Stakes at Churchill Downs. Read More...

PR Special Derby Edition: American Pharoah’s ‘Untold Story’

The Paulick Report is pleased to offer a special print publication for Kentucky Derby 142.  In this edition of the PR Special, New York Times two-time Eclipse Award-winning sports writer Joe Drape... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]] Read More...

PR Special Derby Edition: American Pharoah’s ‘Untold Story’

The Paulick Report is pleased to offer a special print publication for Kentucky Derby 142.  In this edition of the PR Special, New York Times two-time Eclipse Award-winning sports writer Joe Drape... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]] Read More...

Pletcher looking to pick up Derby win No. 2 with Destin or Outwork

DRF | 10 hours ago
Trainer Todd Pletcher on Wednesday entered Destin and Outwork in the Kentucky Derby – his 44th and 45th entrants in the race. They are part of a field of 20 for Saturday's race, with two also-eligibles ready to step in should there be scratches before 9 a.m. Friday. Read More...

Bennett, Nations among new faces

DRF | 11 hours ago
There will be some new trainers stabled at Delaware Park this season, including Gerald Bennett and Keith Nations. Read More...

Charles Town Cancels Friday, Saturday Cards

Blood-Horse | 11 hours ago
Live racing at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races on both May 6 and May 7 has been cancelled because of unforeseen circumstances with scheduled track resurfacing following the Charles Town Classic (gr. II). Read More...