He is known as "Little Bill," a nickname given to him by older riders in recognition of a riding style matching that of Hall of Famer Bill Shoemaker.
On Nov. 1 Take Charge Brandi won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I). It was her first score for Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas since breaking her maiden in June, but launched her championship season.
On a night when they could win multiple Eclipse Awards, Ken & Sarah Ramsey found their first potential contender for the 2015 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) with International Star in the Lecomte (gr. III).
Louisiana-bred String King put away tough pacesetter Gentleman's Kitten and carried on to a well-earned victory Jan. 17 at Fair Grounds, taking the $125,000 Col. E. R. Bradley Handicap (gr. IIIT) to become a graded winner.
Albano was expected to ace the Louisiana Handicap in his Jan. 17 return to the races, but it was longshot Hard Aces who notched his first stakes score at odds of 9-1 in the $75,000 Fair Grounds event.
The road to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) at Oaklawn Park will begin Jan. 19 with the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes, a one-mile test for 3-year-olds which drew a group of nine.
Daniel Dougherty's Ride On Curlin returned to the races in winning fashion Jan. 15, taking a six-furlong allowance optional claimer at Oaklawn Park by a head in his season debut.
- By Claire Novak
Claire Novak and Tom LaMarra preview the Lecomte Stakes at Fair Grounds on January 17, 2015. Watch Video
- By Claire Novak
Champion Blind Luck walks at Hill 'n' Dale's Keeneland January sale consignment. She sells as hip No. 207. watch video
This time last year, Hoppertunity still had 20 days to go before breaking his maiden. On Jan. 10, the colt who became a grade I winner at the end of the season continued his rise with a solid San Pasqual (gr. II) score.
Al Shaqab Racing's Mshawish earned his first graded victory on North American soil Jan. 10, spinning wide off the final turn but still managing a neck decision in the $200,000 Ft. Lauderdale Stakes (gr. IIT) at Gulfstream.
WinStar Farm's Commissioner, runner-up to Tonalist in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) last June, will make his first start since the classic in a 1 1/16-mile optional claimer at Gulfstream Park Jan. 10.
- By Claire Novak
Illinois-bred son of Dynaformer, a multiple graded stakes winner who raced for Team Block, walks at Haras La Concordia in Uruguay. The 2012 Illinois Horse of the Year is at stud there. watch video
A WWII veteran and Chicago business tycoon continues to influence Arlington International Racecourse -- despite his advanced age and the political challenges faced by the Illinois racing community. read longform
Claire Novak and special guest Ellis Starr of Equibase preview the Los Alamitos Futurity (gr. I) featuring Dortmund, Mr. Z, and Firing Line. Watch Video
Repole Stable's Micromanage returned to the dirt Dec. 13 and overpowered Vyjack in the $100,000 Queens County Stakes at Aqueduct Racetrack, rallying five wide before securing the victory by 1 1/4 lengths.
Frankel's full brother shows for the media at a press event at Lane's End Farm, where he has entered stud for 2015. watch video
Claire Novak and Tom LaMarra preview the Starlet Stakes (gr. I) at Los Alamitos featuring Take Charge Brandi. Watch Video
Pick Six Racing's Vyjack will get one more start of 2014, and his connections hope to make it a win in the $100,000 Queens County Stakes at Aqueduct Dec. 13.
Recovering from a minor non-displaced fracture at the bottom of the cannon bone of his right front fetlock, Wise Dan has been powering along down the shedrow -- and trainer Charlie Lopresti fully expects him to run in 2015.
Catholic Cowboy recovered from two lackluster efforts at Keeneland in the fall to grind out a victory in the $200,000 Claiming Crown Jewel Stakes Dec. 6 at Gulfstream Park, upsetting a group of 14 at odds of 17-1.
Sylvia Heft's Eighttofasttocatch put away his rivals in impressive fashion Dec. 6, cruising to an unprecedented fourth victory in the $125,000 Jennings Handicap at Laurel Park while passing the million-dollar mark.
Claire Novak and Tom LaMarra handicap the Jewel Stakes and Canterbury Stakes from the Dec. 6 Claiming Crown event at Gulfstream Park. watch video
- By Claire Novak
Champion Will Take Charge gets his photo taken by Anne M. Eberhardt at Three Chimneys for an upcoming article on new stallions. watch video
Champion Silver Charm was bright-eyed and settling in well at Old Friends Farm Dec. 2 following a long journey home to Kentucky from Japan.
Listen to Old Friends founder Michael Blowen as newly returned Kentucky Derby winner Silver Charm greets fans Dec. 2. The 20-year-old champion returned to the U.S. after standing in Japan. watch video
Private Zone, runner-up to Flat Out in the 2013 edition of the Cigar Mile Handicap (gr. I), returned Nov. 29 to claim victory going wire to wire in the $753,750 event at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Twin Creeks Racing Stable's Red Rifle delivered the latest in a line of satisfying stakes scores for jockey Florent Geroux Nov. 29, winning the $250,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup Handicap (gr. II).
Zayat Stables' El Kabeir went to the front and kept on going Nov. 29 at Churchill Downs, just holding off Imperia to win the $233,000 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II) by a head.
Hoppertunity made the most of his chance to finally run at Churchill Downs, grinding out his greatest career victory Nov. 28 in the $500,000 Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (gr. I).
Mona Hour's Longacres Mile (gr. III) winner Stryker Phd heads a group of nine entered for the $100,000 Berkeley Handicap (gr. III) Nov. 30 at Golden Gate Fields.
Chris' Brew rides a three-race win streak into the co-featured $125,000 Sir Barton Stakes Nov. 30 at Woodbine, while South Ocean Stakes victress Galina Point tops the $150,000 Ontario Lassie Stakes.
A solid field will line up Nov. 29 for the $500,000 Cigar Mile (gr. I) at Aqueduct Racetrack, as grade I winners Secret Circle and Itsmyluckyday face off amongst a cast that includes Private Zone, Vyjack, and Bourbon Courage.
Claire Novak and Tom LaMarra look at the Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs Friday. Watch Video
Many count the two top 3-year-olds in the field of nine among those who could have made some noise before heading to the sidelines earlier this season.
Courtlandt Farms' homebred Strike Charmer broke through at the graded level with a good rally Nov. 22, claiming the $119,700 Cardinal Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs.
Proving her Nov. 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) victory was no fluke, Willis Horton's Take Charge Brandi returned Nov. 22 to claim the $400,000 Delta Downs Princess Stakes (gr. III) as the favorite at Delta Downs.
Daring Kathy picked up her first graded stakes score with a solid wire-to-wire effort Nov. 22, taking the $115,000 My Charmer Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Gulfstream Park West.
Claire Novak and Tom LaMarra handicap the Delta Downs Jackpot Stakes at Delta Downs this weekend. This is a 2-year-old race that kicks off the Kentucky Derby trail. watch video
Lane's End Racing and Dell Ridge Farm's Honor Code will make his first start since March on Nov. 22 at Aqueduct Racetrack, returning from the injury that knocked him off the road to the Kentucky Derby.
Zayat Stables' Mr. Z, coming off a fifth-place finish in the Sentient Jet Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I), heads a group of 10 plus two also-eligibles for the $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot (gr. III) Nov. 22.
Edward Seltzer and Beverly Anderson's Sparkling Review kicked into gear late and charged to victory to remain undefeated since breaking her maiden, taking the $237,800 Mrs. Revere Stakes (gr. IIT) at Churchill Downs.
Terry Hamilton's Heart to Heart put together a three-race win streak and collected his second straight grade III victory Nov. 15 when he wired a field of 12 sophomores in the $115,300 Commonwealth Turf Stakes at Churchill.
Every morning in the black before sunrise, Raymond Handal swings a leg over a 4-year-old filly and heads out to the main track at Belmont Park.
- By Claire Novak
Claire Novak and Tom LaMarra handicap the Mrs. Revere Stakes at Churchill Downs this weekend. With an overflow field of 18 contenders, who do you think will win? watch video
The Brian Lynch trainee has won two in a row and comes into the Nov. 15 Commonwealth Turf Stakes (gr. IIIT) well rested after his wire-to-wire victory in the Jefferson Cup (gr. IIIT).
Claire Novak and Tom LaMarra handicap the $100,000 River City Handicap, which will be run on Saturday, November 8 at Churchill Downs. watch video
Hip 842, the only War Front weanling in session 3, consigned by Nursery Place. This colt, out of Stone Hope, by Grindstone, is a half brother to stakes winner Street Life. Watch Video
Silver Max returns to his favorite track Nov. 8, getting a bit of class relief while looking for a rebound in the $100,000 River City Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs.
Flaxman Holdings' homebred Main Sequence put the cap on a brilliant season Nov. 1 at Santa Anita Park, charging to victory over Flintshire in the $3 million Longines Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT).
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