Tags ‘kentucky derby’

Hovdey: Espinoza thinking encore

DRF | 2 months ago
The images of Victor Espinoza’s 2014 Derby victory aboard California Chrome remain vivid, and the colt’s exploits since then have done little to erase the glow. Now the page has turned, though, and Espinoza is right back in Louisville firmly attached to a second straight Derby favorite. Read More...

Juleps, Show Bets, And Heels: Kentucky Derby Do’s And Don’ts

Churchill Downs has a couple of new rules for Kentucky Derby 141 that reflect the changing times, including bans on selfie sticks and remote controlled aircraft. But aside from the official list of... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]] Read More...

Beyer: Deconstructing the UAE Derby figure

DRF | 2 months ago
When the United Arab Emirates Derby was run at Meydan Racecourse on March 28, racing fans on both sides of the Atlantic had the chance to watch it live because it was part of the telecast of the rich Dubai World Cup. Most viewers were impressed by the performance of Mubtaahij, who ran away with the $2 million event by eight lengths. Read More...

Mike Welsch’s Derby analysis

DRF | 2 months ago
I came to town with the intention of trying to beat the favorite, but after watching AMERICAN PHAROAH work and train subsequent to that work, it’s hard to side against the smooth-moving 3-year-old, even in such a talented field as the one set to contest this year’s Derby. He has enough natural speed to put himself in perfect striking position from his outside post and perhaps even get the lead if his rider so chooses, and he gives the impression that he’s a cut above the rest of these at his best. Read More...

Dave Litfin’s Derby analysis

DRF | 2 months ago
Just like his sire, Big Brown, DORTMUND comes into the Kentucky Derby undefeated, and it is difficult to find any chinks in his armor. While it’s true that the big-framed horse needs to avoid getting stopped in traffic, he has gained valuable seasoning through a number of different situations and has proven capable of making his own luck. Read More...

Kentucky Derby: Pedigree profiles

DRF | 2 months ago
A closer look at the pedigrees of the entrants for the 141st running of the $2 million Kentucky Derby, to be contested Saturday at Churchill Downs. Read More...

Brad Free’s Derby analysis

DRF | 2 months ago
UPSTART enters with a long list of attributes. He is battle-hardened against the cream of the crop, having placed in the Champagne, Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, and Florida Derby. He is fast, one of just three entrants who earned triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures three times. Upstart is versatile; he can press the pace or rally from behind. Post 19 is fine. Upstart has run well on four surfaces (Saratoga, Belmont Park, Santa Anita, and Gulfstream Park). Read More...

Crist: Materiality may have enough talent to meet challenge

DRF | 2 months ago
I find it impossible to draw the very fine lines needed to separate American Pharoah from Dortmund and the other top contenders, so I’ll take the one who could be just as good as the two favorites and at a much bigger price. Read More...

Byron King’s Derby analysis

DRF | 2 months ago
More so than any other horse race, the Kentucky Derby is handicapped by many based on historical rules. And one of those chief rules, “The Curse of Apollo,” says that MATERIALITY is highly unlikely to win the Derby because no unraced 2-year-old has won the race since, guess who, Apollo in 1882. Read More...

Mike Watchmaker’s Derby analysis

DRF | 2 months ago
I’ve been on DORTMUND’s bandwagon since his win in the Robert B. Lewis Stakes in his first start this year, and I am not getting off now. Read More...

Kentucky Derby: American Pharoah draws post 18

DRF | 2 months ago
Champion American Pharoah drew post 18, toward the outside of a bulky field, and was installed as the 5-2 morning-line favorite for the 141st running of the Grade 1, $2 million Kentucky Derby on Wednesday evening at Churchill Downs. Read More...

Analyzing the Kentucky Derby’s history

DRF | 2 months ago
It’s a bit of an understatement to say that the Kentucky Derby is unlike any other race in North America. Even the most casual of fans have their Derby horse, and it’s the one day of the year that can get even non-racing fans to watch horse racing. Read More...

Violette’s work speaks loudly, both on and off the track

DRF | 2 months ago
When it comes to issues involving racing, trainer Rick Violette knows the importance of speaking up. Violette, who began training horses in 1977, has been a vocal advocate for horses, horsemen and the industry as a whole, and on Saturday he will saddle Upstart in the Kentucky Derby. Read More...

Soumillon has done his homework for first Derby

DRF | 2 months ago
The jockey Christophe Soumillon never has ridden in the Kentucky Derby. He will do so for the first time Saturday when he gets astride Mubtaahij. Do not expect Soumillon to be overwhelmed. Do not expect mistakes. Read More...

Soumillon has done his homework for first Derby

DRF | 2 months ago
The jockey Christophe Soumillon never has ridden in the Kentucky Derby. He will do so for the first time Saturday when he gets astride Mubtaahij. Do not expect Soumillon to be overwhelmed. Do not expect mistakes. Read More...

El Kabeir enjoys calm before storm

DRF | 2 months ago
There was finally an El Kabeir sighting on the track Wednesday at Churchill Downs, but even that didn’t quell whispers that the gray colt might not be running in Saturday’s Kentucky Derby. Read More...

El Kabeir enjoys calm before storm

DRF | 2 months ago
There was finally an El Kabeir sighting on the track Wednesday at Churchill Downs, but even that didn’t quell whispers that the gray colt might not be running in Saturday’s Kentucky Derby. Read More...

Birdatthewire, Puca sitting on big races

DRF | 2 months ago
The following is a brief assessment of some of the Kentucky Oaks contenders based on impressions from their workouts and gallops here over the past 10 days. Read More...

Statebred standard-bearers have big Derby presence

DRF | 2 months ago
While a majority of the runners in this year’s Kentucky Derby will indeed be returning to “My Old Kentucky Home” when they step onto the track for the post parade, a handful of colts serve as standard-bearers for state and regional breeding programs looking to add to their history or add international flavor to America’s most storied race. Read More...

At 52, Stevens still a big-race rider

DRF | 2 months ago
The remarkable comeback of Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens continues on Saturday, when he rides in the Kentucky Derby for the 21st time, seeking his fourth win. Read More...

Mubtaahij and de Kock take the long road to Louisville

DRF | 2 months ago
Mubtaahij and his trainer Michael de Kock have spanned the globe on their way to the 141st Kentucky Derby. Read More...

22 horses entered for Kentucky Derby; Tale of Verve a surprise entrant

DRF | 2 months ago
Twenty-two horses were entered Wednesday morning for the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, with just one surprise, the entry of recent maiden winner Tale of Verve. Read More...

Gaines tries to make history with Bolo in Kentucky Derby

DRF | 2 months ago
Carla Gaines has a chance to achieve racing history. An upset win by Bolo would make Gaines the first woman trainer to win the Kentucky Derby. Read More...

Bolo finds himself in pretty good company

DRF | 2 months ago
Bolo holds the distinction of being the only horse in this Kentucky Derby field who has yet to win on dirt. Bolo, winner of the Eddie Logan Stakes by 4 1/2 lengths on the Santa Anita turf in December, has run creditably on dirt, finishing third to Dortmund in both the San Felipe and Santa Anita Derby. Read More...

Kentucky Derby: Litfin on trips

DRF | 2 months ago
Derby Angles features DRF handicappers looking at individual handicapping factors and how they may play out in this year’s Kentucky Derby. Read More...

Kentucky Derby PR Special: Derby Numbers, Spelling Errors, And Longshots

With all of the anticipation around this year’s talented Kentucky Derby field, the annual Derby Trainers’ Dinner did not disappoint. Bob Baffert, D. Wayne Lukas, Todd Pletcher, Mike de Kock, and... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]] Read More...

Turf runners train for weekend stakes

DRF | 2 months ago
The turf course was open for training and attracted eight workers on Tuesday morning. Many of them are expected to run on Friday’s Kentucky Oaks and Saturday’s Kentucky Derby undercards. Read More...

Callback, Honor Code among Oaks Day stakes stars

DRF | 2 months ago
The five undercard stakes were drawn Tuesday for Friday’s stakes-laden Kentucky Oaks Day at Churchill Downs. Read More...

Jones a one-man band training Oaks fillies

DRF | 2 months ago
Even after all these years, the sight of trainer Larry Jones galloping a horse arrests the eye. Read More...

Kentucky Derby: Firing Line impresses with high-energy gallop

DRF | 2 months ago
With the majority of the Kentucky Derby starters finally on the grounds, Tuesday was a busy morning during an Oaks/Derby session dominated by gallopers, many of whom were stretching their legs for the first time over the Churchill Downs main track. Read More...

Hovdey: Hard measuring up to horsepower of ’57 model

DRF | 2 months ago
While this year’s crop of the 3-year-olds have been lauded as one of the best in many years, it has some performing to do to measure up to some of the classes of the past. Read More...

Almost down to the felt, McLaughlin roars back with Frosted

DRF | 2 months ago
As a poker player, Kiaran McLaughlin appreciates the feeling of having a strong hand. After nearly losing with his entire stack of Kentucky Derby contenders, McLaughlin went “all in” with Frosted for the April 4 Wood Memorial, a race he won by two lengths. Now, on Saturday at Churchill Downs, McLaughlin will participate in the World Series of horse racing, the Kentucky Derby. Read More...

Kentucky Derby: Pletcher pair looms large, too

DRF | 2 months ago
His two best 3-year-olds have combined to win all their races save one, and both come off victories in important final preps for the Kentucky Derby. Yes, that outline obviously applies to American Pharoah and Dortmund, the Bob Baffert-trained duo that has dominated the talk of this year’s Derby. But it also applies to trainer Todd Pletcher’s best prospects, Carpe Diem and Materiality. Read More...

Catalano enjoying good health, good horses

DRF | 2 months ago
Wayne Catalano is just happy to be here at Churchill Downs – and not in the usual sense that the trainer of a Kentucky Oaks filly feels fortunate. Read More...

Danzig Moon means business

DRF | 2 months ago
Assistant trainer Norman Casse doesn’t like using the word “mean” to describe strong-willed Derby hopeful Danzig Moon. Read More...

Kentucky Derby angles: Jerardi on Beyer Speed Figures

DRF | 2 months ago
Derby Angles features DRF handicappers looking at individual handicapping factors and how they may play out in this year’s Kentucky Derby. Read More...

Andrew Beyer: Kaleem Shah living the American dream

DRF | 2 months ago
An immigrant from India to the U.S., Kaleem Shah embraced the opportunities in his new country, gave up his old citizenship to become a nationalized American, and – when he had the resources to operate a racing stable – chose red, white, and blue silks for his horses to carry. Now he has a chance to make his mark on one of the most distinctive American institutions. He could win the Kentucky Derby on Saturday. Read More...

Homeister in elite company with Oaks ride

DRF | 2 months ago
Rosemary Homeister Jr. became part of Kentucky Derby lore 12 years ago when she became just the fifth woman to ride in the race, and now she’s poised to make more Churchill Downs history. Read More...

Lukas fingerprints all over this Kentucky Derby

DRF | 2 months ago
Hall of Fame trainer Wayne Lukas has saddled 47 Kentucky Derby starters, winning four editions of the classic along the way. He has just one shot at his fifth Derby victory on Saturday, sending out longshot Mr. Z. However, don’t think the Lukas influence isn’t all over this Derby. Read More...

Materiality looking to overcome ‘Rule of 2’

DRF | 2 months ago
In the Kentucky Derby, one rule approaches the status of founding principal: To win, a horse must have started as a 2-year-old. Materiality is the latest horse to try and break that rule. Read More...

Cruguet casts his vote for American Pharoah

DRF | 2 months ago
Some have compared both of Bob Baffert’s Kentucky Derby hopefuls, American Pharoah and Dortmund, to Seattle Slew, who won the Triple Crown in 1977, 38 years ago. Read More...

Kentucky Derby: California invaders get feel for track

DRF | 2 months ago
The first sightings of the recently arrived California contingent – DORTMUND, FIRING LINE, and BOLO – were among the highlights of Monday’s Kentucky Derby-Oaks training session, which also featured a five-furlong work by BOLD CONQUEST, who still needs help to crack the Derby’s starting lineup. Read More...

Itsaknockout promotion adds punch to Derby Day

DRF | 2 months ago
As if Saturday’s championship fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao needs any more publicity, along comes the aptly named Itsaknockout, who’ll provide fans one last reminder of the bout four hours before the fight starts as one of the 20 starters in this year’s Kentucky Derby. Read More...

Romans expecting top effort from Keen Ice

DRF | 2 months ago
Though his form suggests he will be overmatched in what looks to be one of the toughest fields in years, Keen Ice gives trainer Dale Romans a good feeling heading into Saturday’s 141st Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. Read More...

No lack of strength – or horses – in this Kentucky Derby

DRF | 2 months ago
The consensus is that the field for this Kentucky Derby, to be run on Saturday at Churchill Downs, is shaping up as the strongest in years. The consensus is that American Pharoah is the horse to beat, with many other worthy contenders meriting strong looks. And yet that won’t stop a full field – likely an overflow field – from being entered on Wednesday. Read More...

Homespun Ramsey has International Star in Derby

DRF | 2 months ago
Ken Ramsey says he was approached recently by a biographer from New York who wanted to chronicle how Ramsey has become one of the most successful people in the modern era of American racing. “He said he wanted to call the book, ‘From the Outhouse to the Penthouse,’ ” Ramsey said with his familiar cackle. “I don’t believe he realizes how true to life that is.” Read More...

Callaghan achieves childhood dream by reaching Derby

DRF | 2 months ago
Trainer Simon Callaghan’s journey to Saturday’s Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs with Sunland Park Derby winner Firing Line has been almost 20 years in the making, a circuitous route that began in his hometown of Newmarket, England, with stops on the East Coast and California. Read More...

Derby Angles: Illman on pedigree

DRF | 2 months ago
Derby Angles features DRF handicappers looking at individual handicapping factors and how they may play out in this year’s Kentucky Derby. Read More...

Clocker: American Pharoah goes fast effortlessly

DRF | 2 months ago
They saved the best for last Sunday morning at Churchill Downs, the much anticipated final work for Kenetucky Derby favorite American Pharoah, who did not disappoint with an eye-catching five-furlong breeze which took place shortly after the renovation break during the special session reserved for Derby and Oaks horses. Read More...

Watchmaker: Several live longshots in Kentucky Oaks

DRF | 2 months ago
Unlike the Kentucky Derby, which could easily produce a chalk result, this Kentucky Oaks looks to me like a potentially rewarding betting race. With no strong group at the top to overwhelm everyone else in the field, there are some price horses who have very live shots in this Oaks. Read More...