Triple Crown

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

Popular Earns First Stakes Win in San Miguel

The Thoroughbred Corporation's homebred Popular was headed in the stretch by 13-10 favorite Roman Dancer, then fought back to the lead under jockey Victor Espinoza to win Sunday's $107,900 San Miguel Stakes (gr. III) by a nose at Santa Anita.

McPeek Pair, Siphonic Work Sunday

Trainer Ken McPeek sent out a pair of Kentucky Derby prospects for exercise at Gulfstream Park Sunday. Harlan's Holiday went five furlongs in :59 2/5, handily, while Repent breezed three furlongs in :36 1/5. Also working Sunday was Derby future-book favorite Siphonic, who went seven furlongs in 1:26 2/5, handily, at Hollywood Park.

It's a Slam Dunk for Point Given in Eclipse Voting

In a year without a lot of clear-cut favorites, Point Given is the lone unanimous choice in 2001 Eclipse Award balloting. The dual classic winner received top honors as champion 3-year-old male and is a finalist, along with Tiznow and Johannesburg, for Horse of the Year honors. Finalists in each of the Eclipse categories were announced Thursday.

Fever Pitch

By Steve Haskin -- There are 2,904 hours until the Kentucky Derby. By the time I finish writing this, there will be 2,903. I figure approximately 650 of those hours will be spent sleeping, leaving 2,253 hours to think about the Derby.

Iron Deputy Takes Count Fleet; Affirmed Success Second in Allowance

Susan and John Moore's Iron Deputy opened up a six-length lead in the stretch en route to winning Saturday's $83,300 Count Fleet Stakes by 2 3/4 lengths at Aqueduct. One race earlier, Migliore and odds-on favorite Affirmed Success finished a half-length behind Boston Party in an allowance race at the Count Fleet distance after leading by three in the stretch.

Kentucky Derby 2002: Hitting the Trail

As the masses congregate at the start of the Kentucky Derby trail, there will, as usual, be lots of pushing and shoving until late February and early March when the contenders begin to separate themselves from the pack. But disappointment and frustration can be prevelant just getting to the Derby trail, as evidenced by the number of highly promising juveniles who stumbled along the way last week.

Kentucky Derby 2002: Siphonic And Other Presents

This is it, the final report for 2001. Starting next week, we'll officially be on the 2002 Kentucky Derby trail, as the major scenes shift to Gulfstream and Santa Anita, joining the already-in-progress Fair Grounds and Aqueduct meets. We close the year with the Hollywood Futurity and several more impressive maiden and allowance victories.

Officer Could be the Overlay of the Year in Futurity

He was 75 cents to the dollar in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, and could be as high as 3-1 in the Hollywood Futurity. A victory by Officer on Saturday would no doubt make him a major candidate for Overlay of the Year. Although it will be no easy task knocking off Siphonic, Officer still looks to be one of the most appetizing propositions we've seen in a while.

2002 Derby Hopefuls: Early Horse-by-Horse Rundown

Before the early (and we stress early) list of classic hopefuls gets too long, we're going to sort out the growing number of promising 2-year-olds and take a crack at where they might fit in the 2002 Kentucky Derby picture. We're sure there will be omissions, but this at least will provide an idea who might be some of the major players next spring. Horses are listed in alphabetical order:

Kentucky Derby 2002: Some Holiday Gifts

Trainers on both coasts unwrapped some exciting early Christmas presents last week, and all the gifts appear to come with batteries packed with enough charge to last well past next May. This is the time of year when the colts with Derby pedigrees make their appearance, and if you like to see brilliance and a big closing kick to go along with a very low dosage index, then you're going to love Pelirrojo, Charioteer, Axis, and Iwin.

2002 Kentucky Derby: Steve Haskin Looks Ahead

Derby fever, in November? Heck, why not. The Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner is tucked away somewhere in Ireland, and until word surfaces from the usually tight-lipped Coolmore people, he will remain out of sight in winter hibernation. Whether or not a full-grown grizzly bear is going to emerge next year, and whether he's going to come back here looking for more easy pickins we won't know for a while.

Churchill Names JettSport Artwork Licensee

Churchill Downs and JettSport, Inc. have agreed on a three-year-deal under which the Louisville sport and event graphics company will be the licensee for the track's "Art of the Kentucky Derby" series, and other Churchill Downs artwork, for the next three years.

Point Given Retired After Injury; Stud Plans Undecided

Leading Horse of the Year candidate Point Given has been retired because of a strain to the suspensory tendon of his left foreleg, trainer Bob Baffert announced on Friday. The strain was detected on Thursday morning, when Point Given had been expected to return to the track for the first time after his victory in last Saturday's Travers Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga. "I've had to retire a lot of good horses, but I never felt like this," Baffert said. "We were just beginning to tap into his greatness."

Point Given Set to Breeze in a Week; Haskell or Travers Possible

Trainer Bob Baffert said on Thursday that Preakness (gr. I) and Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Point Given is about one week away from having his first breeze since the Triple Crown. Baffert wouldn't rule out the Aug. 5 Haskell Invitational Handicap (gr. I) at Monmouth Park or the Aug. 25 Travers Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga, but said the only race the son of Thunder Gulch is specifically being pointing toward is the Oct. 27 Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I).

Grayson Foundation's Triple Crown

Although there was no Triple Crown winner on the track this year, each of the Triple Crown races represented a boost for equine research. The owners of both winning colts, Monarchos and Point Given, had each pledged 1% of the purses to Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation.

On Heels of Triple Crown Success, Imus and Francesa Eye Breeders' Cup Bets

WFAN radio sports personality Mike Francesa said on Thursday's syndicated "Imus in the Morning" show that the National Thoroughbred Racing Association has offered Francesa $80,000 in charity wagers for the Oct. 27 Breeders' Cup--$10,000 for each of the eight championship races -- similar to the promotion that the NTRA worked out with Imus and Francesa for the Preakness and Belmont Stakes.

Belmont TV Review: Missing the Point

While NBC's Belmont Stakes telecast showed improvement over its Preakness effort, there seems to be a basic flaw in the 90-minute format of these classic productions -- the race comes too late in the show, leaving little time for replays, interviews, and analysis.

Steve Haskin's Belmont Story: Point Given Finally Sprouts Wings

It was a day of princes, presidents, and Pegasus. With Belmont Park rocking from the surge of electricity generated by the presence of former President Bill Clinton and his wife, U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), Point Given finally sprouted the wings his owner, Prince Ahmed Salman, trainer Bob Baffert, and jockey Gary Stevens had envisioned all along.

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