Triple Crown

News, stories, video, blogs, results, previews for the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, Belmont Stakes

Marciano Upsets Burning Roma in Tesio

Win More Stable's Marciano rallied in the stretch at Pimlico Saturday to catch pacesetter Talk Is Money en route to a 1 1/4-length victory in the $145,500 Federico Tesio Stakes. Buring Roma came home another 1 3/4 lengths back in third. Polar Ray was last in the four-horse field.

Keeneland Race Report: Keats Wires Lexington Field

The talent pool of this year's crop of 3-year-olds runs deep, as witnessed over the last few weeks in major Kentucky Derby (gr. I) prep races. An armada of lesser crafts set out April 21 at Keeneland for the Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II) to test the waters one final time before the main event takes place at Churchill Downs in two weeks. Instead of a boat race, the majority of them found choppy seas and roiling water that all but grounded their Derby dreams on the rocks. Just the opening of the starting gate alone had several starters bailing instead of sailing.

Family Matters: Congaree's Pedigree Profile

When Arazi came to the 1992 Kentucky Derby (gr. I), it was his first appearance at Churchill Downs since winning the previous year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) at the Louisville track. He was the 4-5 favorite and was expected to play an important role in the first Saturday in May. He finished eighth that day, while Lil E. Tee earned the rose blanket.

Haskin's Report: Balto Star Will Get the Derby Distance

There has been a lot of talk about Balto Star recently. His last two races – actually, last three -- have been so mind-boggling, especially his Thoro-Graph numbers, people simply don't know what to make of him. Balto Star is the horse Bob Baffert is afraid of, despite being a gelding, a son of sprinter Glitterman, and a confirmed front-runner. If you go by logic, all three of those factors should add up to Balto Star having too much going against him. Then again, maybe they shouldn't.

Trip to Derby May be on Line in Coolmore Lexington

Ten 3-year-olds, some of which may be looking for a berth in the May 5 Kentucky Derby, will square off Saturday in the $325,000 Coolmore Lexington Stakes at Keeneland. The Lexington, a grade II event, was won in 1999 by Charismatic, who went on to win the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. He then finished third in the Belmont Stakes even though he suffered a career-ending injury.

Point Given Set to Arrive After Fast Workout; Fifty Stars Works

Probable Derby favorite Point Given is scheduled to arrive at Churchill late Wednesday morning after working a quick half-mile at Santa Anita on Tuesday. The work in :46 4/5 was the fastest of the day for 26 horses working at the distance. Meanwhile, working at Churchill Downs on a brisk and windy morning Tuesday was Louisiana Derby (gr. II) winner Fifty Stars, who finished second in the Lone Star Derby in his most recent effort. With jockey Donnie Meche aboard for trainer Steve Asmussen, the colt breezed a half-mile in :50.

Express Tour Shakes Off Minor Injury

Godolphin Racing's Express Tour, winner of the UAE Derby, is shaking off the effects of a foot bruise that has hampered his training in recent days at Churchill Downs. Godolphin assistant trainer Eric Coatrieux said the colt was "off for a couple of days" after he bruised his left front foot in training. Coatrieux expects the colt to return to the track on Tuesday.

From Lexington to Louisville for Turnberry Isle?

He's the last chance for Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas to participate in the 2001 Kentucky Derby, but his trainer says Turnberry Isle will have to earn his way into the starting gate on the first Saturday in May at Churchill Downs. Michael Tabor and Mrs. John Magnier's Irish-bred son of Deputy Minister is scheduled to run in Saturday's $325,000 Coolmore Lexington (gr. II) at Keeneland and Lukas said Monday that a good performance by the colt in that 1 1/16-mile race could put him in the Kentucky Derby. If so, that would keep Lukas' record streak of Derby participation alive. The four-time Kentucky Derby winner has started at least one horse in every Derby since 1981.

Point Given's Role as Derby Favorite Strengthened

Point Given didn't even run over the weekend, but English bookmaking firm William Hill dropped its Kentucky Derby (gr. I) price anyway, from 7-4 to 3-2. There certainly is no disputing Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) winner Point Given is a deserved favorite for the May 5 Derby. Mike Battaglia, who has made Churchill Downs' Derby morning line since 1975, said if he had to make the line today, he would make Point Given 2-1.

Steve Haskin's Derby Dozen; Point Given Still on Top

Steve Haskin, the award-winning turf writer and senior correspondent for The Blood-Horse, updates his top Kentucky Derby contenders weekly. During his 29 years with the Daily Racing Form, Haskin became known for his insightful coverage of the Triple Crown races. Haskin won the Red Smith Award for Kentucky Derby writing in 1997, 1999, and 2000.and received the David Woods Award for best Preakness story in 1997. In 1999, he co-authored "Baffert: Dirt Road to the Derby" with trainer Bob Baffert and wrote the book, "Dr. Fager" for Eclipse Press' "Thoroughbred Legends" series in 2000.

Oaklawn Park Report: Balto Star Repeats

Those who thought Balto Star's romping win in the March 24 Spiral Stakes (gr. II) at Turfway Park was a fluke better think again. It appears Balto Star is indeed a star. Under Mark Guidry, Balto Star danced away from what was thought to be a competitive field of 11 3-year-olds April 14 in the $500,000 Arkansas Derby (gr. II). Finely tuned by trainer Todd Pletcher, Balto Star went fast early and late and drew off to a 4 1/2-length win in the slop. He covered the nine furlongs in a solid 1:49.04.

Keeneland Report: Pincay, the Millennium Man

One week before the Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I), Laffit Pincay Jr. sat comfortably in a rocking chair half a continent away from Keeneland in the Santa Anita Park jocks' room. Asked to pick his biggest thrill in racing, Pincay could be forgiven if he tussled awhile with the question. After all, there have been 35 years of memories: the ascension to all-time leading rider; induction into the Hall of Fame; six Eclipse Awards; seven wins on one card; historic stakes wins on horses like Affirmed and John Henry. Yet his answer came before the question had time to dry--his win aboard Swale in the 1984 Kentucky Derby (gr. I).

Congaree Continues to Fight, From Birth to the Wood

Go ahead, tell Congaree he doesn't have the experience or seasoning to win the Kentucky Derby (gr. I). He'll laugh in your face, just as he did to those who questioned his ability to defeat the mighty Monarchos in the April 17 Wood Memorial (gr. II) off only three career starts. We're talking about a colt who literally was born a fighter, and who has been defying the odds ever since. When you have to fight to get born, there isn't a challenge life has to offer that you back away from. To Congaree, the $750,000 Wood was just another race at just another track against just another horse. And the result was just another of his resounding victories.

Lafayette Winner Griffinite Bound for Lexington

Paraneck Stable's recent Lafayette Stakes (gr. III) winner Griffinite will race next in the $325,000 Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II) on April 21 at Keeneland, according to trainer Jennifer Pedersen. "He had been training awesomely," Pedersen said. "We were very happy for the win, but we knew that it was a just a prep for the Lexington. He came out of the race full of himself. He knows he won."

Aidan O'Brien Runner Possible for Kentucky Derby

Irish trainer Aidan O'Brien, who almost pulled off the Breeders' Cup Classic last year with Giant's Causeway, is considering running Michael Tabor's Mozart in the Kentucky Derby. O'Brien said in The Racing Post if any of his 3-year-olds will be sent to Churchill Downs it will be the son of Danehill.

Monarchos Tops Field of Six in Wood Memorial

A field of six was entered for Saturday's $750,000 Wood Memorial, with the 4-5 morning line favorite Monarchos drawing post 2. California invader Congaree, listed at 8-5, will break from post 5. Richly Blended, wire-to-wire winner of the Gotham Stakes, drew post 6, and is expected once again to set the pace under jockey Rick Wilson. The remainder of the field is made up of It's So Simple, from the Nick Zito stable; Voodoo, third in the Gotham; and Paging, third in the Tampa Bay Derby.

Trainers Gearing Up For Big Stakes; Godolphin Pair Arrives at Churchill

Top trainers from New York to Kentucky to Arkansas are gearing up for this weekend's three big Kentucky Derby preps, after which we should have a good idea who will provide the main challenges to Santa Anita Derby winner Point Given. On the foreign front, the two Godolphin invaders, Street Cry and Express Tour, arrived safe and sound at Churchill Downs today at approximately 1 p.m. after clearing quarantine at Keeneland.

Millennium Wind Breezes Rapidly at Keeneland

Millennium Wind and Bonnie Scot, two colts who could compete in Saturday's grade I Toyota Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland, turned in impressive drills at the track Tuesday morning in preparation for the $750,000 event at 1 1/8 miles. Millennium Wind went the fastest of 11 horses that worked five furlongs.

Injury KO's Ommadon from Wood Memorial; Congaree Sharp in Work

Ommadon, winner of his only start this year, will not run in Saturday's $750,000 Wood Memorial after suffering a bruised foot last Monday. The son of Grindstone, winner of last fall's Nashua Stakes, will now be pointed for the $200,000 Federico Tesio Stakes on Apr. 21, which could be used as a prep for the Preakness Stakes.

Steve Haskin's Derby Top 20: Point Given Moves to Head of the Class

Steve Haskin, the award-winning turf writer and senior correspondent for The Blood-Horse, updates his top Kentucky Derby contenders weekly. During his 29 years with the Daily Racing Form, Haskin became known for his insightful coverage of the Triple Crown races. Haskin won the Red Smith Award for Kentucky Derby writing in 1997, 1999, and 2000.and received the David Woods Award for best Preakness story in 1997. In 1999, he co-authored "Baffert: Dirt Road to the Derby" with trainer Bob Baffert and wrote the book, "Dr. Fager" for Eclipse Press' "Thoroughbred Legends" series in 2000.

Steve Haskin's April 9 Derby Report: Point Given Nears Perfection

It's rare to see perfection in a young colt prepping for the Kentucky Derby, but that's just about what we saw from Point Given in the Santa Anita Derby. Frankly, we can't think of anything left for this colt to prove. Taking every factor into consideration, other than soundness, we've got a horse who has the right trainer; the right jockey; the right pedigree; is a dual qualifier; is not only bigger and stronger than his opponents, but is also quicker and faster; can come from the clouds, lay in mid-pack, or stalk the leaders; can handle dry and wet tracks; and has already shown he likes Churchill Downs.

Point Given 2-1 Favorite as Derby Future Wager Closes

Impressed with his winning performance in Saturday's Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), bettors poured money on Point Given in pool three of Churchill Downs' Kentucky Derby Future Wager, with the son of Thunder Gulch the 2-1 favorite as the bet closed at 4:30 p.m. (EDT) Sunday. Florida Derby (gr. I) winner Monarchos was the 6-1 second choice, with both Dollar Bill and A P Valentine at 10-1.

Outofthebox Is Out of the Derby Due to Injury

Churchill Downs officials received word Sunday that an injury will prevent Outofthebox from competing in Kentucky Derby 127 on May 5. The track immedicatley suspended wagering on the colt in Pool 3 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager. According to an announcement from the track, Outofthebox suffered a foot injury in a fifth-place finish in Saturday's Flamingo Stakes (gr. III) at Hialeah Park.

Lone Star Park Racing: Percy Hope Upsets Fifty Stars, 'Hoover' in Lone Star Derby

With its purse ratcheted up to $500,000, its distance stretched out to 1 1/8 miles, and its date moved to a more convenient spot on the calendar, Lone Star Park's derby became a genuine prep for the famed roseate run in Kentucky. The Grand Prairie, Texas, racetrack even created a $1-million bonus, to be paid to any horse that parlays a Lone Star Derby win into a victory in any of the Triple Crown races. It was a meaningful prep indeed--an ironic one, too. Percy Hope served up generous portions of both meaning and irony. The field, which included four stakes winners, had earned $1.2 million, or an average of $154,429 per starter, more than twice as much as the field for the grade II Illinois Derby. And Percy Hope, who previously had won the Rushaway Stakes at Turfway Park, once again made winning look easy.

Hialeah Race Report: As Track Ponders Future, Thunder Blitz Wins Flamingo

Though it is always there, shrouding the grounds like the thick Miami springtime humidity, history is never more omnipresent at Hialeah Park than on the day of the Flamingo Stakes (gr. III). The track proudly displayed the epic runs of heroes of old such as Nashua, Northern Dancer, and Spectacular Bid--the last Flamingo winner, in 1979, to win the Kentucky Derby (gr. I)--and trotted out Citation's trainer Jimmy Jones to adoring fans. However, the focus on the 2001 edition, held April 7, was on Hialeah's future.

Point Given Romps in Santa Anita Derby

The Thoroughbred Corp.'s homebred Point Given tracked pacesetter Crafty C.T. through the early going, went by the leader approaching the second turn, and pulled clear in the stretch to an impressive 5 1/2-length victory in Saturday's $750,000 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I). On a track listed as muddy, Point Given completed the 1 1/8 miles in 1:47.77 under jockey Gary Stevens.

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