Golden Ticket, who dead-heated for the victory in the 2012 Travers Stakes at Saratoga and who won last year at Prairie Meadows, returns to Iowa and is the 3-1 morning-line choice in the nine-furlong Cornhusker Handicap.
Odds-on choice Frac Daddy, making his initial foray into Canada, came away with a convincing five-length victory in the $186,614 Eclipse Stakes (Can-II) June 1 on the Woodbine Polytrack.
After an intense duel down the Churchill Downs stretch, odds-on favorite War Dancer thrust his head in front of Suntracer at the finish line and won the Louisville Handicap (gr. IIIT) May 24.
War Dancer, winner of the 2013 Virginia Derby (gr. IIT) and runner-up in last month's Elkhorn (gr. IIT) at Keeneland, is the 118-pound highweight May 24 in the Louisville Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs.
Esther Marr asks Kenny McPeek what his Kentucky Oaks contender Rosalind is like. Ken explains Rosalind's temperament, intelligence, and demeanor. watch video
Trainer Ken McPeek said the daughter of Broken Vow is fit and he expects her to be among the top three finishers in the Kentucky Oaks.
The Keeneland spring meet closed April 25 with a record 15-day meet attendance and gains in on-track wagering.
Trainers, owners, bloodstock agents and other Thoroughbred industry experts offered insights into ownership and training.
Last Tuesday afternoon (April 15), I had the privilege of going to Keeneland and visiting Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) hopeful Rosalind at trainer Kenny McPeek's barn. read blog
4-year-old earned his first graded win with an impressive victory in the Ben Ali. More
Favored Flashy American wore down pacesetter Sonja's Angel in deep stretch to register her first graded stakes win in the $150,000 Sixty Sails Handicap (gr. III) April 19 at Hawthorne Racecourse.
Magic City Thoroughbred Partners' Frac Daddy returned to Keeneland and returned to winning ways April 19, taking the $150,000 Ben Ali Stakes (gr. III) at the Lexington oval.
Landaluce Educe Stables' Rosalind, dead-heat winner with Room Service of the Central Bank Ashland Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland, worked five furlongs in :58 4/5 over the Lexington oval's Polytrack April 19.
Robert Trussell's Occasional View, a 6-year-old Silver Deputy gelding, charged from off the pace to win the seven-furlong Commonwealth Stakes (gr. II) April 12 at Keeneland. The winner was a $100,000 claim last fall.
In one of the most thrilling editions of the Central Bank Ashland Stakes (gr. I), Rosalind and Room Service hit the wire together for a dead-heat atop the race for 3-year-old fillies April 5 at Keeneland.
There was no unanimity on reactions to the April 2 announcement by Keeneland that the iconic Lexington track would replace its synthetic Polytrack surface with a state-of-the-art dirt track later this year.
Don't Tell Sophia has sailed through the early part of 2014, but faces a stout test March 15 in the $200,000 Azeri Stakes (gr. II) against multiple grade I winner Close Hatches, On Fire Baby, and Flashy American.
Palace Malice and Itsmyluckyday were among the best of the 3-year-old crop in 2013. On March 8, the two return for the first time in 2014 as part of an eight-horse field set to go in the $250,000 Gulfstream Park Handicap.
Owner Ray Struder fell in love with Landaluce back in 1982. He wants to extend her legacy by winning the Dec. 7 Hollywood Starlet Stakes (gr. I) with his Rosalind.
While the finish figures to be more difficult to predict, on paper Almost Famous looks like he will be the early leader in the $150,000 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II) Nov. 30 at Churchill Downs.
A trio of contenders for the Nov. 29 Clark Handicap (gr. I)--Golden Ticket, Bourbon Courage, and Finnegans Wake--turned in their final works Nov. 23 for the premiere race of Churchill's autumn meet.
Trainer had been weighing options for Golden Ticket that included a possible run in the Cigar Mile (gr. I) before he settled on staying home for a Clark bid.
Frac Daddy will race at Churchill Downs for the first time since his off-the-board finish in the Kentucky Debry Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) when he starts in the $100,000 Commonwealth Turf Stakes (gr. IIIT) Nov. 16.
Ray Struder, in racing as owner since 2010, has his first Breeders' Cup starter in Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) hopeful Rosalind. The Broken Vow filly is trained by Ken McPeek.
History was made last year when Alpha and Golden Ticket became the first dead-heat winners of the Travers Stakes (gr. I). The two meet again Nov. 1 in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (gr. I).
Magdalena Racing's Pure Fun returned from a five-month layoff in style with an off-the-pace victory in the $202,300 Indiana Oaks (gr. II) for 3-year-old fillies at Indiana Downs Oct. 5.
The inaugural Homecoming Classic on Sept. 28 at Churchill Downs still has reigning Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) and Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) winner Fort Larned at the top, but Successful Dan will bypass the race.
Both trainer Ken McPeek and regular rider Alan Garcia were pleased with the way War Dancer performed in his final breeze Aug. 17 prior to the Travers Stakes (gr. I). Frac Daddy was also on the tab.
With most of the big-name 3-year-old fillies on the sidelines or headed elsewhere, King of Prussia Stable's Princess of Sylmar will face only five foes in the $600,000 Alabama Stakes (gr. I) Aug. 17 at Saratoga Race Course.
Todd Pletcher, who could saddle the top two choices in the Travers Stakes, sent star 3-year-olds Palace Maliceand Verrazano out for easy half-mile breezes in :49,02 and :49.05, respectively, Aug. 11.
War Dancer got the bob in a three-way photo finish July 13 at Colonial Downs, overpowering hard-running Charming Kitten and staving off the late-flying Jack Milton to get victory in the $500,000 Virginia Derby (gr. IIT).
Grade III winner Rogue Romance, who has not raced since the 2012 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I), registered his first work in more than a year on July 9 when he went three furlongs at Mercury Equine Center near Lexington.
Two months ago, Einstein was awaiting his first starter. He now counts two winners from his first two starters, E Equalsmcsquared and Theoryofrelativity.
Grade I winner Java's War will make his California debut for trainer Ken McPeek in the $150,000 Swaps Stakes (gr. II) July 4 against just three opponents at Betfair Hollywood Park.
Charles Fipke's Java's War, winner of the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) April 13, heads a field of five or six likely starters in the upcoming $150,000 Swaps Stakes (gr. II) at Betfair Hollywood Park.
Our Double Play will try to extend his win streak to three races when the Grand Slam colt faces six other 3-year-olds in the $250,000 Iowa Derby (gr. III) June 29 at Prairie Meadows.
Atigun and Air Support head a solid field of eight older horses, including Swift Warrior, ready to duke it out in the $300,000 Colonial Turf Cup Stakes (gr. IIT) June 22 at Colonial Downs.
Trainer Ken McPeek confirmed Monday June 3 that Magic City Thoroughbred Partners' Frac Daddy will run Saturday in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park in field that could include 15 starters.
Always in a Tiz, most recently ninth in the Wood Memorial (gr. I), breezed five furlongs in 1:01.12 on the morning of June 1 at Belmont Park for a possible start in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) in a week.
Golden Soul, runner-up to Orb in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), was scheduled to breeze at Churchill Downs on the morning of May 25 but trainer Dallas Stewart delayed the work for another few days.
Magdalena Racing's Bellarmine, winner of an entry-level allowance race for 3-year-olds at Churchill Downs May 4, won't compete in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I), trainer Ken McPeek said May 7.
- By Ron Mitchell
Trainer Ken McPeek talks about Derby contenders Frac Daddy and Java's War on April 30, 2013. Watch Video
Ken McPeek talks about Frac Daddy and Java's War at Churchill Downs the morning of April 27. watch video
Frac Daddy and Java's War have five-furlong maintenance works at Churchill Downs April 27.
Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Animal Kingdom and Java's War, who is being pointed to this year's Louisville classic, are among the U.S.-trained horses being considered for Royal Ascot.
Trainer Kenny McPeek shared thoughts on Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) hopeful Pure Fun, who will take on the boys in the April 20 Coolmore Lexington Stakes. read blog
The April 20 Coolmore Lexington (gr. III) offers 20 points and a potential place in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) starting gate, but not all contenders in the last-minute prep will aim for the first Saturday in May.
Trainer Ken McPeek discusses Blue Grass Stakes winner Java's War. Watch Video
Charles Fipke's homebred Java's War overcame a troubled start in the $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes April 13 at Keeneland, closing from last to first to earn his way into the field for the May 4 Kentucky Derby.
Are You Kidding Me, second in last year's Summer Stakes Presented by TVG (Can-IIT) on turf at Woodbine, will try racing on a dirt surface for the first time in the $1 million Besilu Stables Florida Derby (gr. I)
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