Evan Hammonds

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.

Pyro's Heat Re-Found in Northern Dancer

Pyro's Heat Re-Found in Northern Dancer

Pyro's form of old returned June 14 at Churchill Downs as the son of Pulpit powered to a 1 3/4-length win over five fellow 3-year-olds in the Northern Dancer Stakes (gr. III). The Steve Asmussen-trained colt covered the 1 1/16 miles of the $190,925 race in 1:43.53.

Ventura Pulls Upset in Just a Game

Ventura Pulls Upset in Just a Game

Juddmonte Farms' Ventura sat patiently off the pace, slipped through along the hedge at the head of the lane and pulled clear to win the $400,000 Just a Game Stakes (gr. IT) June 7 at Belmont Park. The victory came by three-quarters of a length over a fast-closing Lady of Venice. Time for the one-mile race over a "firm" Widener Turf Course was 1:32.75.

Clever Bertie, 17, Euthanized

Clever Bertie, the Klein family's blue hen mare, was euthanized the morning of May 30 at Fred and Nancy Mitchell's Clarkland Farm near Lexington due to complications from arthritic conditions. The dam of two homebred graded stakes winners was 17.

Belmont Profile: Tomcito

Belmont Profile: Tomcito

The jury is still out on Tomcito, but following throat surgery to correct a breathing problem, he might get another shot at stardom - and Big Brown - in the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I)

Disabled Jockeys Fund Receives $500,000

At a news conference held in the press box at Pimlico Race Course May 16, a check for $500,000 was presented by NetJets to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund. On hand at the event were jockeys John Velazquez, chairman of the Jockeys' Guild; top rider Edgar Prado; disabled rider Jackie Fires; and Alex Waldrop, president of NTRA Charities.

Commentary: Feeling the Chill

by Evan Hammonds - Cold lies the heart of Thoroughbred racing following Eight Belles' untimely end after Kentucky Derby 134. The dark side of the toughest game in town showed itself once again on the national stage, this time in the nation's biggest race.

Morning Line: It's All in the Draw

Morning Line: It's All in the Draw

The best drama in Louisville today takes place in the racing office on the backside at Churchill Downs. It's the pill pull to see what order post positions will be drawn later this afternoon in the made-for-television post position show on ESPN.

Foaling Dates of Derby Contenders

Foaling Dates of Derby Contenders

Poet T.S. Eliot labeled April "cruelest month," but it is not a bad month on stud farms for foaling winners of the Kentucky Derby (gr. I). In fact, over the last eight years, April foals have won three runnings of the Derby. February, the month that gives us both Groundhog Day and Presidents Day despite being the shortest month of the year, has been responsible for five winners.

Morning Line: Super Tuesday

Trainer Nick Zito is holding court with a ring of media members outside his barn. The two-time Kentucky Derby-winning trainer has two starters for Saturday's running: Cool Coal Man and Anak Naktal. Zito is talking about the subject of the year: synthetic surfaces. We have a feeling he's not a big fan.

Adriano Drills 5Fs in 1:00 4/5

Adriano Drills 5Fs in 1:00 4/5

Adriano worked five furlongs at Churchill Downs Sunday morning in preparation for the May 3 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). The striking chestnut son of A.P. Indy got the distance in 1:00 4/5 under exercise rider Xavier Aizpuru.

Sunday Morning Line: Twice on Sunday

Sunday Morning Line: Twice on Sunday

Mike Barnes is a big LSU fan. He can't help but hide it. The exercise rider's helmet has the distinctive "LSU" logo that adorns the Tiger's football helmets. "I bleed purple and gold," the Louisiana native says. "I've been a fan since birth."

The Morning Line Returns for Derby 134

The Morning Line Returns for Derby 134

It's baaaack. Starting Sunday, April 27, and running daily through Kentucky Derby day, May 3, The Morning Line returns to bloodhorse.com. The feature, first unveiled during the 2006 run up to the Kentucky Derby, offers a behind-the-scenes look at the participants and players of Thoroughbred racing during racing's major events.

Breeders' Cup Morning Line Begins Monday

Starting Monday, Oct. 22 and running through Saturday, Oct. 27, The Morning Line returns to bloodhorse.com. The feature, now in its second year, offers a colorful, behind-the-scenes look at the participants and players of the Thoroughbred industry during racing's major events.

Commentary: The Hearty Boys

By Evan I. Hammonds - The Triple Crown races of the spring are in the books, and the summer races at Saratoga and Monmouth have been run. The true test of sophomore runners comes in the fall, when they take on older horses for the first time.

Commentary: Surfers and Sellers

Commentary: Surfers and Sellers

By Evan I. Hammonds - One thing we should already know about next year's round of yearling sales is that there will be changes to the conditions of sale. The Sales Integrity Task Force has until the end of the year to come up with recommendations to the Kentucky legislature to address several issues involving the sale of horses in the Bluegrass State.

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