Tags ‘kentucky derby’

Litfin: Hoppertunity can break curse of Apollo

DRF | 4 months ago
So, about this Apollo thing: Does that mean Hoppertunity can’t win because he debuted Jan. 4 with an educational race behind barnmate Bayern instead of running the preceding Tuesday? That seems like an illogical underestimation of a horse who has been a quick study since then. Read More...

Watchmaker: California Chrome a no-nonsense pick

DRF | 4 months ago
By any measure, California Chrome’s romps in the San Felipe and Santa Anita Derby in his last two starts were the best pair of performances any member of this Derby field has ever put together. Read More...

Welsch: Intense Holiday heading into Derby as good as any

DRF | 4 months ago
This looks like a Derby in which you have to take a stand, either for or against the favorite, California Chrome, and after watching him train here Wednesday, I’m going to stand against a short-priced favorite in a seemingly wide-open 20-horse field. Read More...

Pletcher keeping his eye on big picture

DRF | 4 months ago
Expectations for Todd Pletcher are high. Pletcher is a six-time Eclipse Award winner, trains more horses than anyone in North America and, this year, set a record for Triple Crown nominations with 41, nearly 10 percent of the 413 nominated at the early deadline in January. Read More...

Jerkens concerned about No. 20 post for Wicked Strong

DRF | 4 months ago
Trainer Jimmy Jerkens was enjoying his first Kentucky Derby experience until Wednesday’s post-position draw, where his Wood Memorial winner, Wicked Strong, was assigned post 20 for Saturday’s 140th Run for the Roses at Churchill Downs. Read More...

Free: Wood repeat makes Wicked Strong a winner

DRF | 4 months ago
Wicked Strong has much in his favor, including sharp form, proven class, and a big Beyer Speed Figure (104) earned last month scoring a visually impressive victory in the Grade 1 Wood. Read More...

Peck: Derby pace scenario favors California Chrome

DRF | 4 months ago
In this year’s Kentucky Derby, it could be the speed horses, rather than the stretch runners, who hold the aces. And California Chrome may hold them all. Read More...

Kentucky Derby rookies with a history

DRF | 4 months ago
It is a little surprising but perhaps appropriate that Centennial Farms and trainer Jimmy Jerkens will be making their Kentucky Derby debuts together when they send out Wood Memorial winner Wicked Strong in Saturday’s 140th Run for the Roses. Read More...

Spokane, the Kentucky Derby winner of 1889, a part of Montana folklore

DRF | 4 months ago
Spokane is not among the more heralded Kentucky Derby winners. By an Illinois sire, he was foaled in Montana, trained for the races in Tennessee, and won the Derby’s 15th edition on May 9, 1889, 125 years ago. Read More...

Ortiz brothers first siblings in 30 years to ride in same Derby

DRF | 4 months ago
By riding in their first Kentucky Derby together Saturday, Jose and Irad Ortiz Jr. will become the first set of brothers to ride in the same Derby since Eddie and Sam Maple did so in 1984. Read More...

Derby jockeys have wide range of experience

DRF | 4 months ago
The Kentucky Derby invariably brings together an eclectic mix, not only among horses but their jockeys as well. Read More...

Kentucky Derby works: California Chrome tests track

DRF | 4 months ago
Another series of overnight showers created a muddy racetrack for training hours Wednesday. Although the regular Derby/Oaks training session at 8:30 a.m. attracted plenty of attention, the star of the show, Derby favorite California Chrome, went out early at 6:50. Read More...

Violette savoring second Derby run

DRF | 4 months ago
Ten years ago, trainer Rick Violette Jr. sent out his first starter in the Kentucky Derby, Read the Footnotes, who finished seventh. He’s back anew at Churchill Downs with Samraat, the once-beaten runner-up in the Wood Memorial, and is savoring the moment. Read More...

Pick-six guarantees at Kentucky Derby and Oaks

DRF | 4 months ago
Churchill is teaming with its sister company, Twinspires.com, to offer pick-six pool guarantees on Oaks and Derby Days. The Oaks pool is guaranteed at $250,000 and the Derby at $1 million. Read More...

Kentucky Derby: Pablo Del Monte ready and willing

DRF | 4 months ago
Wesley Ward isn’t wishing misfortune on anyone, but that’s the only way Pablo Del Monte – the lone also-eligible in Derby 140 – can actually make the race. Read More...

Derby Angles: Jerardi on Beyer patterns

DRF | 4 months ago
We know how many Kentucky Derby contenders have earned Beyer Speed Figures that are in the vicinity of what it will take to win the race Saturday. Knowing which horse is going to earn the winning Beyer is quite a bit more complicated. Read More...

Winchell among clients standing by Asmussen

DRF | 4 months ago
About a decade ago, Ron Winchell decided that instead of parceling out each year’s horses to several trainers, he would give them all to one trainer. That trainer has trained every Winchell runner ever since. His name is Steve Asmussen. Read More...

Hovdey: Stevens not overselling Fashion Plate

DRF | 4 months ago
The book on Gary Stevens is that he tends to like every horse he’s ever ridden, describing some of them as champions in the making while others brush perilously close to being nothing less than the second coming of Man o’ War. Read More...

History Challenge: The first Triple Crown winner, Sir Barton

DRF | 4 months ago
Were it not for the fact that he was the first horse to win the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes, Sir Barton’s name most likely would be buried in the pages of history. Read More...

Non-Kentucky-breds among top 2014 Derby contenders

DRF | 4 months ago
Four of the top five horses in the 2014 Kentucky Derby field, as measured by Derby qualifying points, were foaled outside of Kentucky. Read More...

Derby works: General a Rod looking better in half-mile drill

DRF | 4 months ago
The welcome mat was out here Tuesday morning for the three latest arrivals on the Kentucky Derby scene: the favored California Chrome, Dance With Fate, and Samraat. Read More...

Hovdey: Meet the man who polishes the Chrome

DRF | 4 months ago
Art Sherman has assembled around California Chrome a troupe of low-profile talent that has taken the colt from modest little state-bred stakes to the brink of everlasting fame, led by his son and assistant, Alan Sherman, exercise rider Willie Delgado, and the colt’s groom, Raul Rodriguez. Read More...

Sherman’s Derby role far more prominent than in 1955

DRF | 4 months ago
Art Sherman was a bit player in the story of Swaps, who won the 1955 Derby. But when he left California on Monday, Sherman did so as the trainer of the horse acknowledged as the favorite for Saturday’s Kentucky Derby, California Chrome. Read More...

Jockey Club ‘Pledge’ on Vet Records Fails to Inspire

Nice try. Jockey Club chairman Ogden Mills Phipps attempted to pressure Thoroughbred owners and trainers to join him in signing a pledge to voluntarily disclose 14 days worth of veterinary records on... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my webs... Read More...

Derby Angles: Illman on pedigree

DRF | 4 months ago
Dosage index. Center of distribution. Dual qualifiers. Crosses and nicks. Paternal sire lines. Female families. Average winning distance statistics. Tomlinson Distance Ratings. The Rasmussen Factor. It’s enough to make your head spin. Read More...

Gowan living the Derby dream with Ride On Curlin

DRF | 4 months ago
In racing, the big fish often eat the small fish. That explains why Billy Gowan’s cellphone started blowing up just a few minutes after Ride On Curlin made his career debut last summer at Churchill Downs. Read More...

Letter to the editor: All qualifying races should have generic restrictions

DRF | 4 months ago
There is a practice that threatens our racing industry – that of creating non-generic restrictions to the entrance requirements for a graded race. This year's Kentucky Derby is an example. Read More...

Derby works: Hoppertunity, Tapiture ignore the bad weather

DRF | 4 months ago
Bob Baffert called an audible regarding the scheduled work times for both Kentucky Derby contender Hoppertunity and his Oaks runner, Ria Antonia, during sloppy conditions Monday at Churchill Downs. Read More...

California Chrome arrives at Churchill

DRF | 4 months ago
By the end of the week, at the end of the long prep season toward the Kentucky Derby, handicappers and horsemen alike often simply look to the heavens for some sort of inspiration or intervention, but this year they needed to look earlier, for on Monday, the heavens opened, the rains came, and then, after a dramatic morning, this year’s chosen one dropped from the sky. Read More...

Beyer: Asmussen forced to shoulder industry’s problem

DRF | 4 months ago
In a sport amply populated by rogues and cheaters, trainer Steve Asmussen has become Public Enemy No. 1. But is he a poster boy or just a convenient target? Read More...

Kentucky Derby ‘bubble’ horses worth a close look

DRF | 4 months ago
Until Golden Soul, the second-to-last horse in the Kentucky Derby, nabbed second last year, no bottom-five qualifier in the last decade had finished better than third. Read More...

We Miss Artie gets new shoes

DRF | 4 months ago
On Monday, upon more reflection, trainer Todd Pletcher said he still wasn’t happy with the way We Miss Artie worked on Sunday but did offer a few reasons why We Miss Artie wasn’t as sharp as he had hoped. Read More...

Lukas keeps watch on Medal Count

DRF | 4 months ago
There are a few story lines that trainer D. Wayne Lukas will be watching with interest as the Kentucky Derby approaches. Among them is Medal Count, set to make his third start in 30 days after winning the Transylvania Stakes on April 4 and finishing second in the Blue Grass Stakes on April 12. Read More...

Chitu re-shod with conventional shoe

DRF | 4 months ago
Chitu, who lost his special right front shoe Sunday during his final workout for the Kentucky Derby, was re-shod in a conventional shoe and will wear that for training the rest of the week as well as for the Derby itself Saturday at Churchill Downs. Read More...

Kentucky Derby runner General a Rod sold

DRF | 4 months ago
Skychai Racing and Starlight Stables have purchased Kentucky Derby contender General a Rod from his previous owner, J. Armando Rodriguez, the new ownership group announced on Monday. Read More...

Violette has faith in Jose Ortiz

DRF | 4 months ago
At age 20, Jose Ortiz, the rider of Samraat, will be the youngest jockey in this year’s Kentucky Derby. Rick Violette, the trainer of Samraat, has as much confidence in Ortiz as if he was a 20-year veteran. Read More...

Twinspires.com customers can contribute to charity competition

DRF | 4 months ago
Twinspires.com, the account-wagering company owned by Churchill Downs Inc., will offer its customers a chance to contribute to the betting action of one of two teams that will play the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby cards for profit and charity. Read More...

Tapiture braves elements in final Kentucky Derby work

DRF | 4 months ago
Braving a morning deluge, with claps of thunder and flashes of lightning adding to the scene, Tapiture worked a half-mile in 50.16 seconds on a sloppy track Monday morning at Churchill Downs in his final drill for Saturday's Kentucky Derby. Read More...

Derby works: Intense Holiday stands out Sunday morning

DRF | 4 months ago
Seven prospective Kentucky Derby starters had a chance to strut their stuff during the special Oaks/Derby training session after the renovation break Sunday morning at Churchill Downs. One, Intense Holiday, flaunted his talents considerably more than the others during an impressive half-mile work in company with stablemate We Miss Artie. Read More...

Derby: California Chrome walks the day before shipping to Kentucky

DRF | 4 months ago
California Chrome had a quiet morning Sunday at Los Alamitos, less than a day before he is scheduled to be flown to Churchill Downs for Saturday’s Kentucky Derby. Read More...

Kentucky Derby: Intense Holiday pleases Pletcher

DRF | 4 months ago
Intense Holiday may have stamped himself as this year's Kentucky Derby buzz horse with a visually impressive workout over a dull Churchill Downs main track Read More...

Lost shoe is Chitu’s latest foot problem

DRF | 4 months ago
Chitu lost the shoe on his right front foot during his workout on Sunday morning at Churchill Downs, the latest chapter in his saga to overcome issues with that foot emanating from a fungus known as seedy toe. Read More...

Kentucky Derby: Commanding Curve replaces ailing Ring Weekend

DRF | 4 months ago
Ring Weekend, who had been 14th on the points list, thanks to his Tampa Bay Derby victory, was declared from the Kentucky Derby on Sunday. That allowed Commanding Curve, who had been ranked 21st, to move into the maximum 20-horse field. Read More...

‘Big Board’ Wows Fans on Churchill’s Opening Night

The $12 million investment had its critics, but there’s little argument that Churchill Downs’ monstrous new video board is a stunner. For the nearly 25,000 fans on hand for the ‘Big... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]] Read More...

DQ knocks down Bayern in Derby Trial

DRF | 4 months ago
Bayern finished first Saturday night in the 90th running of the Grade 3, $176,700 Derby Trial at Churchill Downs, but the colt was quickly disqualified for herding Embellishing Bob, who dueled fiercely just outside the odds-on favorite for virtually the entire one-mile trip. Read More...

Chitu training in a special shoe as hoof problem heals

DRF | 4 months ago
Chitu is recovering from seedy toe, a rare but potential dangerous condition where a fungus gets into the inner hoof wall. Left untreated, it can cause significant problems. Baffert said Chitu had the condition when he arrived in his barn last fall, and it was addressed quickly by his staff. The fungus is gone, but until the damaged area of the hoof wall completely grows down, extra care is necessary. Read More...

Kentucky Derby workouts: Candy Boy looks good

DRF | 4 months ago
Candy Boy, the first of the Kentucky Derby workers to breeze on Saturday, was arguably the best of the lot by a very slim margin over Medal Count. Read More...

Derby: California Chrome looks strong in final West Coast work

DRF | 4 months ago
California Chrome was an eager colt at the start of a half-mile workout Saturday at Los Alamitos. Read More...

Kentucky Derby distance, pace suits Candy Boy

DRF | 4 months ago
Both the race shape and the pre-race preparation conspired against Candy Boy in his last start, the Santa Anita Derby, but both look to be far more in his favor for the next Saturday’s Kentucky Derby, the race for which Candy Boy had his final workout on Saturday morning at Churchill Downs. Read More...

Lanerie to ride Harry’s Holiday in Kentucky Derby

DRF | 4 months ago
Corey Lanerie was named the jockey of Harry’s Holiday Saturday morning by trainer Mike Maker, shortly the rider worked the colt five furlongs in 1:02.60. It will be Lanerie's first Derby mount. Read More...