No changes at the top of the Derby Dozen, but some new faces, including Bayern and Tapiture. read blog
- By Steve Haskin
We've already seen some stress and low tolerance building in the camp of one of the leading Kentucky Derby hopefuls. read blog
There is no doubt that Tapit is one of the hottest stallions in America, but few remember the horse when he was on the Derby trail himself. read blog
What better way to kick off live Kentucky Derby coverage than with a photo gallery of some of the major players and some early observations. read blog
View a sortable list of Derby contenders with points, earnings, and rank! view list
Tom LaMarra and Pete Denk are on location at Keeneland to handicap the Blue Grass Stakes and Arkansas Derby. watch video
- By Steve Haskin
Just seeing the name Broad Brush brought back a flood of memories, evoking images of one of the toughest racehorses I've ever been around, and in many ways the most remarkable. read blog
You're playing with fire by skipping the 50-point races and going straight from the wee little 10-pointers to the big, bad 100-pointers. read blog
Pletcher vs. Baffert? Yes, the armies are massing and they could confront each other on the banks of the Ohio on the first Saturday in May. read blog
The first Derby Dozen of 2013 is officially here! Who has the top spot in Steve's list? read blog
Not everything on the Derby trail is what it seems. read blog
New Year's Day has come and gone and that means the race for the Kentucky Derby has begun. Some are ready to become immersed in it, while others aren't quite ready to smell the roses and taste the mint juleps this early. read blog
Lenny and Steve talk about the Derby Trail, Dubai World Cup and an early HOY choice. watch video
Steve Asmussen has a trio of intriguing Derby prospects read blog
Even at birth, Mucho Macho Man showed he was no ordinary horse. Read Blog
The top five for Steve Haskin's Derby Dozen looks much different this week, Dialed In still sits on top. Presented by Pauls Mill Read Blog
There are changes in this week's Derby Dozen. A few new and a few moved, as we welcome Premier Pegasus and Silver Medallion to the mix. Presented by Pauls Mill Read Blog
It took only a week for the Derby picture to get muddled again, as To Honor and Serve's disappointing effort left a log jam at the top of the list. Read Blog
Saratoga Sinner, winner of the Jan. 31 Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III), didn't get to spend much time as a Triple Crown contender. He exited the race with a chip in his left knee.
The first morning at Churchill Downs brought sunny skies and warm temperatures, as the Kentucky Derby horses began their final stretch to racing's biggest day. From here on, there is no room for error. We'll give a brief rundown of the day's activities and continue with the plusses and minuses of each contender.
Another Kentucky Derby is upon us, and most of the talk has been about the inconsistencies and slow speed figures of this year's crop of 3-year-olds. Before we get into all the observations and analyses, and attempt to figure out this daffy Derby there is one point that must be addressed first.
By now, just about every superlative has been used to describe Big Brown's performance in the Florida Derby (gr. I). How many times do you think the word "freak" has been uttered since Saturday? Well, there is no doubt that the colt has accomplished freakish things in his brief career, but so did Curlin, and he couldn't win the Derby off three career starts.
Despite being ranked No. 1 or 2 on just about every Derby poll, Pyro, for some reason, has been branded by many a slow horse and simply the best of a bad lot. Yes, the pace in his two starts this year has been slow, and his final times have not exactly set the Fair Grounds teletimer aflame, but is this horse really as slow as many of the experts say he is?
So, did Saturday's Sham Stakes (gr. III) showcase two exceptional 3-year-olds or was it simply about two top horses running agonizingly slow early and coming home fast late over a synthetic surface? We'll know the answer when they hit the quarter pole at Churchill Downs on May 3.
There's just no escaping it. You can question his pedigree and his running style all you want, but War Pass is simply in a class by himself right now, and until someone figures out how to beat him or his pedigree catches up to him, he has to be the top dog.
- By Steve Haskin
Steve Haskin's Derby Dozen for the week of Feb. 25 is topped by War Pass, who returned to the races with a striking win in an allowance race Feb. 24 at Gulfstream Park.
The Kentucky Derby trail received the spark it had been looking for when Pyro put on a spectacular exhibition in the Risen Star Stakes (gr. III). There is no doubt Pyro is a top-class horse with a powerful closing kick, but before we get too euphoric, let's not forget that this has happened many times at Fair Grounds.
Todd Pletcher is dominating the Derby trail. Todd Pletcher is dominating the Derby trail. Todd Pletcher is dominating the Derby trail. Remember the kid in school who is forced by the teacher to write something over and over on the blackboard? Well, sorry, folks, but Mr. Pletcher is making us all write the same column over and over every week.
When outnumbered, retreat. Times are no doubt changing, and with so many leading contenders looking at only two preps before the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), perhaps it is time to loosen our tight grip on the history books and accept the fact that one of these years some horse is going to write its own chapter.
Now that we've got the first major coast-to-coast weekend out of the way, this is as good a time as any to look at the top contenders and see just how the Derby trail is shaping up.
The 3-year-old stakes schedule will take on a slightly different look in 2007, due mostly to the return of Fair Grounds and several changes to the Gulfstream Park stakes structure, which will again run the $1-million Florida Derby (gr. I) five weeks before the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Fresh is best. Those are the words Barbaro's trainer Michael Matz is living by. Whether he's right or wrong, you have to admire him for going against history and public opinion and sticking to his guns, much like another former equestrian rider, Tim Ritchey, did last with his unorthodox training of Afleet Alex.
Perhaps it is time to stop poring over every bit of minutia concerning this year's Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and just go with the flow. If you don't, your brain will be fried by the time the Twin Spires come into view and the scent of roses is in the air.
It is mid-February, and although the 3-year-olds look to be a solid bunch, there are few standouts. With question marks surrounding some of the leading contenders and the top spots up for grabs, it's time to check out the second wave, which includes several horses whose bandwagons are ready to take on passengers.
What could have been a revealing weekend at Gulfstream Park was instead a muddy mess that left us with just as many questions as we had going in. We also had to try and digest some huge performances by former claimers in lesser races and several defeats that may have outshone the victories.
It's hard to believe that betting in the first Kentucky Derby (gr. I) Future Wager pool is here already. We all are aware this is pretty much a riskier bet in January, considering most of the horses in the starting field will be grossly under-priced and many will not even make it to the race. With that said, here are 10 new faces to the Derby trail that bear watching.
Before we get to this week's races, any trainers out there happen to catch the Colts' surprising loss to the Steelers? Did the Colts look rusty, out of sync, a bit soft, not battle tough? Remember how they basically phoned it in the last few games, resting their stars? Well, it's possible that's what can happen when horses are rested too long before the Kentucky Derby.
Boy, has this Kentucky Derby (gr. I) picture changed. Suddenly, it's the year of the routs. So, what do you do when you have final Derby preps won by 17 1/2, 9 1/2, 8, and 6 lengths?
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