Derby Trail

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Ky. Derby Trail: Welcome to Louisville

Ky. Derby Trail: Welcome to Louisville

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.

Ky Derby Trail: Questions and Quandaries

Ky Derby Trail: Questions and Quandaries

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.

Ky. Derby Trail: Hot Brown on Derby Menu

Ky. Derby Trail: Hot Brown on Derby Menu

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.

Ky Derby Trail: Is Pyro Really Too Slow?

Ky Derby Trail: Is Pyro Really Too Slow?

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?

Ky. Derby Trail: The Cat and the Colonel

Ky. Derby Trail: The Cat and the Colonel

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.

Ky. Derby Trail: Breakheart Pass

Ky. Derby Trail: Breakheart Pass

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.

Ky. Derby Trail: A Rising Star

Ky. Derby Trail: A Rising Star

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.

Kentucky Derby Trail: Torrid Todd Takes Two...Or Was it Three?

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.

Kentucky Derby Trail: Two for the Road

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.

Minor Changes Along the 2007 Kentucky Derby Trail

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).

Kentucky Derby Trail: Five Weeks or Bust

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.

Kentucky Derby Trail: Dubai Do or Don't?

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.

Kentucky Derby Trail: Lurking in the Wings

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.

Kentucky Derby Trail: Seeing Through the Slop

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.

Kentucky Derby Trail: 10 to Watch

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.

Kentucky Derby Trail: Stevie Defeat No Big Deal

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.

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