Dan Liebman

Beautiful Weather For Preakness Day

What a difference a day makes. On Friday in Baltimore, the morning began with rain, wind, and chilliness. Patrons heading to Pimlico Saturday for the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) awoke to bright, sunny skies and temperatures so pleasant jackets and sweaters were not necessary.

Ashado Upset at Pimlico by Silmaril

Ashado, sent off at 2-5 and with only three competitors to beat, went down to defeat at the hands of hometown hope Silmaril in the $107,400 Pimlico Breeders' Cup Distaff Handicap (gr. III) Friday afternoon.

Zito Looks Forward to a New Day

Nick Zito ran five horses in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) -- including the favorite -- and no one has to remind him they finished seventh, eighth, 10th, 14th, and 15th. But the Preakness (gr. I) is a new day, Zito said Friday morning at Pimlico.

My Trusty Cat Springs Humana Distaff Upset

At odds of 2-5, Madcap Escapade made an easy lead and cut fast fractions, but she had nothing left in the final eighth and was passed by a group of fillies in the $281,750 Humana Distaff Handicap (gr. I) Saturday at Churchill Downs.

Battle Won Rumbles in Churchill Downs 'Cap

Battle Won, in his second start since running in Hong Kong, drew off to win the $231,000 Churchill Downs Handicap (gr. II) by 3 1/2 lengths Saturday at Churchill Downs, the first stakes race on the card that will feature the Kentucky Derby (gr. I).

Rey de Cafe Wins Thriller in Crown Royal

There hadn't been a thrilling stretch duel all day, but the ninth race on the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) undercard featured one. Rush Bay, under Robby Albarado, and Rey de Cafe, with Javier Castellano up, hit the wire together in the $114,700 Crown Royal American Turf (gr. IIIT).

Afleet Alex Favored in Advance Derby Wagering

Granted, the pool is still small, but the bettors on Kentucky Oaks day pushed more than $380,000 into the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) win pool on Friday. And they made Afleet Alex the favorite over program pick Bellamy Road.

Oaks Day Starts; Weather Gorgeous

Everyone likes to talk about the Derby gods. Their impact on racing this weekend at Churchill Downs is unknown, but they certainly have blessed the Louisville, Ky. area with nice weather.

New Dawn at the Downs

By Dan Liebman - On May 7 in Louisville, Ky., when the most famous race in the land is run at the most famous track in the land, the race will look the same as it did a year ago. The Kentucky Derby (gr. I) is still for 3-year-olds, still at a mile and a quarter, still the first Saturday in May, and the winner still gets a garland of roses.

Van Clief Named NTRA Commissioner

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association, which went outside the industry for its first commissioner, has decided to stay within the industry in keeping its second. D.G. Van Clief Jr., who was named commissioner following the resignation of Tim Smith last July, will remain in the position.

A Breed Apart

By Dan Liebman - What does is take to operate a Thoroughbred breeding farm in the height of the breeding season? In this issue of The Blood-Horse, we attempt to show you.

Pat Day to Have Hip Surgery March 30

Pat Day, the all-time leading jockey in North America by earnings and fourth by wins, will undergo surgery on his right hip March 30 and may miss the May 7 Kentucky Derby (gr. I), a race he has ridden in the past 21 years.

John Gaines: In His Own Words

The following is the transcript of a question and answer session by John Gaines with Dan Liebman, executive editor of The Blood-Horse, which appeared in the pages of the magazine in October, 1999.

Ghostly Vote

By Dan Liebman -- In Smarty Jones and Ghostzapper, Eclipse Awards voters were faced with two clear and deserving choices for 2004 Horse of the Year. Now they have spoken.

2004 Eclipse 2YO Female: Sweet Catomine

At the five-sixteenths pole in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I), Sweet Catomine was blocked and in need of racing room. But having to check was no big deal for the daughter of Storm Cat. Corey Nakatani steered her out of harm's way and she rolled by the other 11 members of the field as the crowd at Lone Star Park cheered her on.

Leading Juvenile Sire 2004: Storm Cat

In September 2004, Storm Cat set a record when he passed Northern Dancer as the all-time leading sire of seven-figure yearlings. As the year came to a close, the Overbrook Farm stallion added another impressive statistic to his résumé.

Numbers Don't Lie

By Dan Liebman -- Numbers. This business is about numbers. Big numbers... dramatic numbers...incredible numbers. The wildest number of 2004, and in fact perhaps the wildest number ever in the history of this game, is the number of stakes winners sired by Danehill. With only 19 stallions having sired 100 or more stakes winners in their entire careers, Danehill, by Danzig, was represented by 51 in 2004.

Biancone Says Azeri Will Win Classic

There are at least two trainers who think the correct move with Azeri is to run in the Breeders' Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I) rather than the Breeders' Cup Distaff – Presented by Nextel (gr. I). One is D. Wayne Lukas, who trains Azeri. The other is Patrick Biancone.

AARP News

By Dan Liebman -- In Florida for a few days this past winter, Gulfstream Park was an obvious place to spend a couple of hours. Keeping in mind Florida is a leading retirement center, it was no surprise that the average age of the patrons at the track that day was similar to that necessary to receive a "Here's Your Medicaid Card" welcome.

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