Evan Hammonds

Five Questions: Eric Alwan

Five Questions: Eric Alwan

The Sunland Derby on March 28 will be graded for the first time in 2010. We caught up with Sunland Park publicity director Eric Alwan this week as he was preparing for the track's opening and asked him five questions.

Keeneland Books 3 & 4: Less Is...Less

Keeneland Books 3 & 4: Less Is...Less

The "blowback" moment came during Books One and Two of Keeneland's September yearling sale. Friday, Sept. 18, offered a bit of a respite, but consignors were busy sizing up the market and showing yearlings from Saturday and Sunday's Book Three.

KY Democrat Webb Wins Special Election

In a special election that had far-reaching ramifications for the Kentucky Thoroughbred industry, Democrat Robin Webb defeated Republican Jack Ditty Aug. 25 for an empty state Senate seat in northeasten Kentucky.

2009 Hall of Fame: Bullet Train

2009 Hall of Fame: Bullet Train

Three-million dollars in earnings, two Eclipse Awards, Breeders' Cup and Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) wins, and 12 years later, the champagne runner named after a light beer will enter the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame along with her trainer Aug. 14.

Oh Papa! Papa Clem in :34 Blowout

Oh Papa! Papa Clem in :34 Blowout

In an "old school" move, trainer Gary Stute sent out his Papa Clem for a three-furlong blowout at Churchill Downs two days before the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). Under jockey Rafael Bejarano, the son of Smart Strike threw down a :34 clocking.

I Want Revenge: Post 13, Derby Favorite

I Want Revenge: Post 13, Derby Favorite

I Want Revenge, runaway winner of the Gotham Stakes (gr. I) and a determined victor in the April 4 Wood Memorial (gr. I), has been made the 3-1 morning line favorite for the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). The son of Stephen Got Even will break from post 13 in a full field of 20.

Vic Carlson: The Man Behind the Musket

Vic Carlson: The Man Behind the Musket

Owner Vic Carlson leaned against the wall of Barn 41 April 29 at Churchill Downs waiting for his Musket Man to head to the track for his morning gallop. The one-time high school athletic director turned money-machine magnate has been to the Kentucky Derby before, but not with some skin in the game.

Win Willy Out of Kentucky Derby

Win Willy Out of Kentucky Derby

Win Willy, fourth-place finisher in the Arkansas Derby, was declared out of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) by trainer Mac Robertson the morning of April 29, hours before entries were to be taken.

Quality Road Out of Derby Contention

Quality Road Out of Derby Contention

Quality Road, who figured to be among the top choices for Saturday's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) will not start in the Run for the Roses, it was confirmed Monday morning by Chris Baker, farm manager of Edward Evans' Spring Hill Farm. Jockey John Velazquez will now ride Mr. Hot Stuff.

Churchill Downs Unveils Barbaro Statue

Churchill Downs Unveils Barbaro Statue

Fans entering Gate 1 at Churchill Downs may have their breath taken away when they arrive for the races Kentucky Derby week following the unveiling of life-sized statue of Barbaro April 26. The event drew a "Friends of Barbaro" crowd of about 500 who cheered with approval when the tarp was pulled off the sculpture.

Square Eddie Drills a Half-Mile in :50 1/5

Square Eddie Drills a Half-Mile in :50 1/5

Square Eddie, a top 2-year-old last year who has been playing catch up for most of his early sophomore campaign, worked a half-mile April 26 at Churchill Downs in :50 1/5. Third last time out in the Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II), Square Eddie got in his final workout prior to the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).

Papa Clem Gets Useful 7f Drill

Papa Clem Gets Useful 7f Drill

Trainer Gary Stute went "old school" April 25 at Churchill Downs, working his Arkansas Derby (gr. II) winner Papa Clem seven furlongs in 1:29 1/5. The trainer, the son and nephew of the legendary training brothers of Mel and Warren Stute (respectively), may give his colt a quarter-mile blowout a day or two before the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).

West Side Bernie Goes a Half in :48 1/5

West Side Bernie Goes a Half in :48 1/5

George and Lori Hall's West Side Bernie got a tour of Churchill Downs' main track April 25, and drilled a half-mile in an easy :48 1/5. Trainer Kelly John Breen gave rider Stewart Elliott a leg up on the son of Bernstein just after the track reopened at 8:30 a.m. following the renovation break.

Southwest Suits Old Fashioned

Southwest Suits Old Fashioned

He had to work a little harder than the typical 2-5 shot has to, but Old Fashioned pulled clear late and came out on top in his 2009 debut Feb. 16 with a 3 1/4-length victory over a stubborn Silver City in the $250,000 Southwest Stakes (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park.

Back Class, Pace Figure in FG 'Cap

Back Class, Pace Figure in FG 'Cap

The field that has passed the entry box for the Feb. 7 Fair Grounds Handicap (gr. IIIT) makes for an intriguing handicapping puzzle. The cast, which is about evenly split with horses making their first start off a layoff and those with some recent Fair Grounds experience, is long on back class, but a bit light on early pace.

2YO Filly Eclipse Award: Stardom Bound

2YO Filly Eclipse Award: Stardom Bound

Every so often a juvenile filly comes along that just dominates her competition, and Stardom Bound did just that in 2008. What makes her accomplishments even more dramatic is she was able to inhale her rivals with hold-your-breath, last-to-first moves.

Adena Springs Announces Fee Reductions

Adena Springs Announces Fee Reductions

Following a trend from stallion farms that began soon after the last hammer fell at the Keeneland November breeding stock sale, Frank Stronach's Adena Springs Farm announced Dec. 8 a number of stallions will have their stud fees reduced for the 2009 breeding season.

Stunner! Raven's Pass Upsets Curlin

Stunner! Raven's Pass Upsets Curlin

European challengers Raven's Pass and Henrythenavigator plus U.S. contender Tiago defeat fourth-placed Curlin. Despite a big move by Curlin at the top of the stretch that put him on the lead, Raven's Pass roared past him on the outside. Meanwhile, Henrythenavigator came along the rail to take second.

Lukas, VanMeter Looking 'Smart'

Lukas, VanMeter Looking 'Smart'

There's a certain feeling of deja vu around Barn 38 on the backstretch of Santa Anita Park. If Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas and owner Tom VanMeter II have the funny feeling they've been here before, they're right.

Juvenile Fillies: California Dreamin'

Juvenile Fillies: California Dreamin'

Put together by Kelly Colliver, the 26-member strong Livin the Dream partnership group owns one horse in training. That horse is Dream Empress, who figures to be a strong contender for Friday's Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I).

Seeking Stardom in Oak Leaf

Seeking Stardom in Oak Leaf

The first three finishers of the Del Mar Debutante (gr. I) have passed the entry box for the Sept. 27 Oak Leaf Stakes (gr. I). The two-turn, $250,000 race for 2-year-old fillies at the Oak Tree meeting figures to be a key prep for next month's Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I).

2YO Champ War Pass Retired

2YO Champ War Pass Retired

War Pass, last year's unbeaten champion 2-year-old male and multiple grade I winner who was injured in April of this year, has been retired to stud to William S. Farish's Lane's End Farm near Versailles, Ky.

Keeneland Forum Attracts More Than 100

Keeneland Forum Attracts More Than 100

Keeneland and HOK Sports held an open forum the evening of Aug. 25 to discuss the association's "master plan" initiative that was announced last month. Between 100 and 150 local citizens attended the meeting.

Forest Wildcat Dead at 17

Forest Wildcat Dead at 17

Brookdale Farm announced Aug. 22 the death of its stallion Forest Wildcat. The graded stakes-winning son of Storm Cat died the evening of Aug. 21 at Rood & Riddle Equine Clinic near Lexington. An autopsy will be performed to determine the cause of death.

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