- By Claire Novak
Illinois Derby winner Departing on the backside of Pimlico on May 16.
Illinois Derby winner Departing on the backside of Pimlico on May 16.
Grade II winners Brushed by a Star and Summer Applause tangle with local stakes contenders in the $150,000 Allaire DuPont Distaff Stakes (gr. III) at Pimlico Race Course May 18.
Everything finally went right for Freedom Child May 11 at Belmont Park. Romping in the slop by 13 1/4 lengths to take the $200,000 Peter Pan Stakes (gr. II), he punched his ticket to the June 8 Belmont (gr. I).
Fear the Kitten will take on Bay Shore Stakes winner Declan's Warrior and Illinois Derby fourth-place finisher Abraham in the 1 1/8-mile Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont Park May 11.
A familiar name appeared on the worktab at Calder Casino & Race Course on May 5: dual grade I-winning millionaire Jackson Bend is back in training.
Jen Patterson leads the 2013 Kentucky Derby winner, followed by trainer Shug McGaughey, to a horse van bound for his base in New York. watch video
Kentucky Derby winner Orb will van to Shug McGaughey's New York base May 5 and train there until the week before the May 18 Preakness, the Hall of Fame trainer said. The colt exited his May 4 Derby victory well.
Sitting in the Churchill Downs interview room after finally winning an edition of the Kentucky Derby, Hall of Fame horseman Shug McGaughey savored the victory.
Stephanie's Kitten came back of the layup and got the job done May 4 in the Distaff Turf Mile (gr. IIT) at Churchill Downs. Hungry Island, winner of the same race in 2012, was second by a neck.
Florida Derby winner Orb has Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey excited about the May 4 Kentucky Derby--more excited, said McGaughey, than he's ever been. But 19 other 3-year-olds also have their sights on the Derby.
Trainer Pat Byrne had Take Charge Indy sharp for the Alysheba Stakes (gr. III), but even he did not expect the overpowering 6-length performance the 2012 Florida Derby (gr. I) winner turned in May 3 at Churchill Downs.
Prominent equine surgeon Dr. Larry Bramlage was hospitalized May 2 after falling from the back of a golf cart and hitting his head in the barn area at Churchill Downs.
Trainer Rudy Rodriguez sent Kentucky Derby contender Vyjack through a three-furlong breeze at Churchill Downs May 2. watch video
Last year's Kentucky Derby (gr.I)-winning trainer Doug O'Neill talks about post 8 for Goldencents, and also about his golf game. Watch Video
Trainer Shug McGaughey talks about 7-2 Kentucky Derby (gr.I) favorite Orb's post-position draw, and also about the colt's behavior when a horse flipped on May 1 as he was schooling in the paddock at Churchill Downs. Watch Video
Wise Dan and Point of Entry face off May 4 at Churchill Downs in the $500,000 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (gr. IT), the race immediately preceding the Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
Cyber Secret has not won on the dirt at Churchill Downs, but fresh off a 5 3/4-length victory in the April 13 Oaklawn Handicap, trainer Lynn Whiting is willing to put his unbeaten season on the line.
West Point Thoroughbreds' Flashy Gray has been scratched from the May 3 Longines Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott told Churchill Downs racing secretary Ben Huffman May 1.
Trainer Dallas Stewart talks about Kentucky Derby contender Golden Soul. watch video
Trainer Tom Amoss on Louisiana Derby runner-up Mylute's preparations for the Kentucky Derby (gr.I). watch video
Dreaming of Julia, the remarkable 21 3/4-length winner of the March 30 Gulfstream Oaks (gr. II), drew post 8 of 11 sophomore fillies and was installed the 3-1 favorite for the $1 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (gr. I).
Giant Finish has 10 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby, and bumped Fear the Kitten to the also-eligible list for the 20-horse field when it was announced he will run April 30.
Trainer Chad Brown brings 2012 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf runner-up Noble Tune to the May 3 American Turf (gr. IIT) at Churchill Downs after making a decision not to run him in the Toyota Blue Grass (gr. I).
For the 28-year-old native of the Dominican Republic, a mount aboard highly-regarded Florida Derby victor Orb in the May 4 Kentucky Derby is a natural progression after a whirlwind month.
Giant Finish, third in the Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati Spiral Stakes (gr. III) last month, will enter the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), trainer Anthony Dutrow confirmed April 30.
Trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. talks about Kentucky Derby (gr.I) contender Itsmyluckyday at Churchill Downs April 30. watch video
D. Wayne Lukas-trained contenders circle at the gap before working April 29 at Churchill Downs. Jockey Gary Stevens is in the irons on Oxbow. watch video
Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas sent Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) contenders Oxbow and Will Take Charge through their final pre-race moves April 29.
A face-off between 2012 Horse of the Year Wise Dan and multiple grade I-winning turf star Point of Entry is on for the Woodford Reserve (gr. IT) on Derby Day, trainer Charlie LoPresti confirmed April 29.
Last year's Kentucky Derby winners arrived at Churchill Downs with 2013 contender Goldencents on April 27. The duties of unloading are documented herein. read blog
Trainer Bob Baffert sent out Kentucky Oaks hopeful Midnight Lucky and potential Kentucky Derby starter Code West together April 28 at Churchill Downs. He expects to make a call April 29 on his Derby starters.
Two-time Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) winner Flat Out reaffirmed his affinity for the Belmont Park surface April 27, winning the $150,000 Westchester Stakes (gr. III) by a hard-fought head.
The Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) winner brings Team O'Neill back to Churchill Downs one year after their victory with I'll Have Another. Assistant trainer Jack Sisterson leads the colt into barn 45. watch video
Trainer Tom Amoss said he only wanted a maintanance work from Louisiana Derby (gr. II) runner-up Mylute April 27 at Churchill Downs, and that was exactly what jockey Rosie Napravnik delivered.
Wood Memorial (gr. I) runner-up Normandy Invasion has been getting 'sharper and smoother every day he's been here,' trainer Chad Brown said at Churchill April 27, after the Tapit colt breezed five furlongs in :59 flat.
Trainer Chad Brown talks about the April 27 work of Normandy Invasion. watch video
Claire Novak and Frank Angst handicap the Derby Trial Stakes at Churchill Downs. On last week's show, Frank hit a $92 exacta with the Illinois Derby! Next week, That Handicapping Show will be on location at Churchill Downs. watch video
Jockey Calvin Borel had nothing but praise for Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) contender Rose to Gold after her four-furlong work at Churchill Downs April 26. The Friends Lake filly went the distance in :47 4/5.
Vyjack, third in the Wood Memorial (gr. I) last time out, led a small group of workers for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) on the morning of April 26 at Churchill Downs. Also on the tab were Golden Soul and Falling Sky.
The long-range forecast in Louisville, Ky., calls for balmy temperatures and mostly sunny skies leading up to the May 4 Kentucky Derby (gr. I), and although Derby Day could be mostly cloudy, rain is not anticipated.
Dam of 2012 Horse of the Year Wise Dan in Lexington on April 24, 2013, with commentary by farm manager Barry Ezrine. Watch Video
An interview with new trainer Will VanMeter, Mike Smith's visit with Zenyatta, and a stop at Patchen Wilkes Farm to visit Lisa Danielle, dam of 2012 Horse of the Year Wise Dan. read blog
Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider's Departing rolled to a strong 3 1/4-length victory in the $750,000 Illinois Derby at Hawthorne April 20, proving his class after a third-place finish in the March 30 Louisiana Derby.
Alto Racing's Winning Cause got up in the final strides of the $200,000 Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. III) April 20 at Keeneland, earning 20 points on the road to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Claire Novak and Frank Angst handicap the Lexington Stakes at Keeneland and the Illinois Derby at Hawthorne. watch video
There was a time when "the other Dan" was Wise Dan, who went on to become Horse of the Year. On April 21 fans will witness the return of the original, Successful Dan, in the $150,000 Ben Ali Stakes at Keeneland.
Five days after reigning Horse of the Year Wise Dan won the Maker's 46 Mile (gr. IT) in his 2013 debut, trainer Charlie LoPresti confirmed the June 15 Stephen Foster (gr. I) as his likely next target.
It may not be worth points on the road to the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), but the $750,000 Illinois Derby (gr. III) drew a packed field of 14, including some familiar names, when entries were taken April 17
Out from the shadow of rival Joyful Victory, Brushed by a Star has a chance to shine in the $200,000 Sixty Sails Handicap (gr. III) at Hawthorne Race Course April 20.
The April 20 Coolmore Lexington (gr. III) offers 20 points and a potential place in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) starting gate, but not all contenders in the last-minute prep will aim for the first Saturday in May.