Tom LaMarra and Claire Novak take an early look at the potential Kentucky Derby contenders. Watch to see which contenders to keep a closer watch on as they work this weekend. watch video
Mike Smith likely saved multiple grade I winner Shared Belief from additional injury by pulling him up in the April 18 Charles Town Classic (gr. II), as diagnostic work revealed a non-displaced fracture of his right hip.
Trainer Wesley Ward needed the April 18 season debut of Hootenanny to help gauge the 2014 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (gr. IT) winner's conditioning levels. It took just over a minute at Keeneland to find out good to go.
Whiskey Ticket came off the one and only start of his career -- a March 19 maiden special weight victory at first asking at Santa Anita -- and bravely held off Conquest Curlinate to win the $400,000 Illinois Derby (gr. III).
The longest price on the board delivered a game performance at Keeneland April 18, 30-1 shot Dramedy putting pressure on frontrunner My Afleet all the way around and then just holding off the late charge of Dynamic Sky.
Lady Sheila Stable's La Verdad returned to the races and to her winning ways April 18, galloping by 5 1/4 lengths over three rivals in the $200,000 Distaff Handicap (gr. II) at Aqueduct.
Trainer Todd Pletcher discusses the works of Carpe Diem, Materiality, Stanford, and Itsaknockout on April 18. Watch Video
Todd Pletcher started his morning well before daylight April 18, breezing his three Kentucky Derby (gr. I) hopefuls in Florida before catching a private plane to Lexington to supervise the work of Carpe Diem.
Sam-Son Farm's homebred Deceptive Vision just held over traffic-troubled Lunar Surge in the $100,000 Doubledogdare Stakes (gr. III) April 17 at Keeneland, winning her first graded stakes race on the dirt.
Mubtaahij has never raced on the anti-bleeding medication Lasix, and he will run without it in the Kentucky Derby, becoming the first horse in 10 years to do so.
Claire Novak and Tom LaMarra preview the Charles Town Classic featuring Shared Belief. Watch Video
Defending U.S. Horse of the Year California Chrome had Robbie Mills aboard for the first time April 15 at Newmarket, getting acquainted with the rider who will be his regular partner in the Rae Guest yard.
The 3-year-old son of Quality Road is finally ready for his first start of 2015, and will make that outing at Keeneland in the fourth race on the April 18 card.
It looked like a two-horse battle coming down to the wire in the $100,000 Transylvania Stakes (gr. IIIT) April 15 at Keeneland, but Night Prowler was lurking and unleashed a furious rally to get up just in time.
Zayat Stables' homebred American Pharoah continued his tour de force of the Oaklawn Park 3-year-old prep series April 11, blowing away seven in the $1 million Arkansas Derby (gr. I) with an impressive eight-length score.
Divining Rod came into the $250,000 Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. III) at Keeneland with the best credentials in the seven-horse field, and did not disappoint April 11.
Will Farish and Steve Mooney's Ball Dancing, making her second start off the layup, returned to the Keeneland course she seems to enjoy and posted a solid victory in the $300,000 Jenny Wiley Stakes (gr. IT) April 11.
- By Claire Novak
The transcript from the Live Chat is now available. Read Transcript
Claire Novak and Tom LaMarra handicap the final 100 point Kentucky Derby prep race of the year, the Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park. watch video
Champion Untapable will get another chance at Oaklawn Park and should be sharper in her second start of the season against unlikely rival Gold Medal Dancer in the $600,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) April 10.
Barry Schwartz's homebred Princess Violet held off a late run from Stopchargingmaria to win the $350,000 Madison Stakes (gr. I) April 4 at Keeneland.
Carpe Diem won for fun in the $1 million Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) April 4 at Keeneland, living up to his 2-5 favoritism and the hype that surrounded him leading into the race.
Dubai Sky, winner of the March 21 Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati Spiral Stakes (gr. III), is off the Triple Crown trail after sustaining a cannon bone fracture in his left hind leg April 4.
As a heavy deluge of rain hit Keeneland and the Lexington area April 3, racetrack officials called off the last four races on the opening-day card.
- By Claire Novak
The transcript for the chat is now available. Read Transcript
California Chrome arrived in Newmarket April 1 and is settling in at the yard of trainer Rae Guest, who will supervise the U.S. Horse of the Year's preparations for a tilt at Royal Ascot.
Claire Novak and Tom LaMarra are on location at Keeneland, handicapping the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes. The Blue Grass Stakes is a Kentucky Derby prep race worth 100 points to the winner. Hear about contender Carpe Diem. watch video
The Big Beast, a ginormous long-striding runner with a penchant for peppermints, will return to the big leagues April 4 in the $400,000 Carter Handicap (gr. I) at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Carpe Diem won the Claiborne Breeders' Futurity (gr. I) by 6 1/4 lengths during the fall meet in his graded debut and returns to Lexington after winning the March 7 Tampa Bay Derby (gr. II) in his first start of 2015.
- By Claire Novak
Trainer Olly Stevens talks about Ashland Stakes (gr. I) contender Peace and War, who runs April 4 at Keeneland. watch video
After missing the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) with a slight ligament tear at the base of her fetlock, the Olly Stevens trainee is back with an eye on the April 4 Central Bank Ashland (gr. I).
Ken & Sarah Ramsey's International Star capped a trio of 3-year-old prep wins at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots March 28 with a game victory in the $750,000 Louisiana Derby (gr. II).
The 5-year-old gelded son of Candy Ride, a former claimer, is now 3-for-3 at the 1 1/8-mile distance on the Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots lawn, having aced the $300,000 Mervin H. Muniz Jr. Handicap (gr. IIT) March 28.
WinStar Farm's Commissioner put away stubborn rival Sr. Quisqueyano March 28 at Gulfstream Park, winning the $150,000 Skip Away (gr. III) by a head after a prolonged battle.
The 4-year-old filly Dolniya beat the boys March 28, taking the $6 million Dubai Sheema Classic Presented by Longines (UAE-I) at Meydan over Flintshire while American champion Main Sequence finished seventh.
Secret Circle powered home March 28 in the $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen Sponsored by Gulf News (UAE-I), holding off the late-closing Super Jockey after running down a determined Rich Tapestry.
Champion Groupie Doll delivered her first foal on March 5, about a week before her original March 11 due date. The colt was rushed immediately to Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital near Lexington.
Two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan is progressing well since he returned to tack-walking, but the chestnut gelding will require 30 more days in his recovery from a non-displaced fracture before he can go to the track.
Claire Novak and Tom LaMarra handicap two Kentucky Derby prep races this week. The Louisiana Derby featuring International Star and the Besilu Stables Florida Derby featuring Upstart. watch video
WinStar Farm's Commissioner returned in 2015 with his connections hopeful of a trip to Dubai, but after he ran sixth in the Donn Handicap (gr. I), they shifted gears to the March 28 Skip Away (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park.
Timothy Snyder, a trainer based at Finger Lakes Race Track and the owner of stakes winner Lisa's Booby Trap, died March 24 at his home near Camillus, N.Y. He was 59 years old.
Ranked second on the leaderboard for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and winner of two local preps, International Star will attempt to ace the $750,000 Louisiana Derby (gr. II) at Fair Grounds on March 28.
The transcript for the chat is now available. Read Transcript
A compact but experienced field will go out March 22 in the $100,000 Stymie Stakes at Aqueduct Racetrack, as Evening Attire Stakes winner North Slope looks to fend off Micromanage and Vyjack.
Pine Bluff, winner of the 1992 Preakness Stakes (gr. I) and a multiple graded stakes winner for breeder Loblolly Stable, has been confirmed dead by his final owner, Danny Fred Duncan of Duncan 21 and Change Farm in Texas.
Zayat Stables' Mr. Z, pointing for the March 28 Louisiana Derby (gr. II), after training March 15 at Oaklawn Park. watch video
Champion American Pharoah March 15 at Oaklawn after winning the Rebel (gr. II) by 6 1/4 lengths. watch video
American Pharoah bobbled at the break but never looked back, galloping gate-to-wire to win the $750,000 Rebel Stakes (gr. II) by 6 1/4 lengths in his season debut March 14 at Oaklawn Park.
Trainer Steve Asmussen said champion Untapable exited her runner-up effort in the $300,000 Azeri Stakes (gr. II) March 14 in good condition and will remain in training at Oaklawn Park until early April.
Untapable wasn't unstoppable in her season debut March 14, missing the victory by half a length to gate-to-wire winner Gold Medal Dancer in the $300,000 Azeri Stakes (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park.
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