Steve Haskin's Road to the Kentucky Derby 2002--Archive

Editor's Note: Steve Haskin is an award-winning turf writer and senior correspondent for The Blood-Horse. 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 books, "Dr. Fager" and "John Henry" for Eclipse Press'"Thoroughbred Legends" series. Haskin's latest book, "Racing's Holy Grail - The Epic Quest for the Kentucky Derby," will be released in April 2002. Haskin takes readers behind the scenes and into the trenches as he examines what it takes to win the world's most famous horse race. He plumbs the secrets of successful trainers, the common pitfalls that hinder so many others, and the enigmatic nature of the race itself.

Steve Haskin's Derby Watch--Week 13 (4/17)
With all prep races complete, list of leading contenders is trimmed to 20.

Steve Haskin's Weekly Derby Report (4/15)--On to Louisville
As difficult to believe as this may seem, we're actually going to keep it relatively short this week, as everyone saw what transpired on Saturday and has formed their own opinions. We are starting from scratch and tossing the past performances. We've looked at them so many times over the past four months, they no longer register in our brain.

Steve Haskin's Derby Watch--Week 12 (4/10)
On the eve of his Toyota Blue Grass Stakes engagement, Harlan's Holiday remained on top of the Kentucky Derby contenders' list compiled by senior correspondent Steve Haskin.

Steve Haskin's Weekly Derby Report (4/8)--A Potpourri of Perplexing Preps
Time is running out for this year's Derby picture to come into focus. Heavy hitters Came Home, Repent, and Johannesburg are in the books, but the questions continue.

Steve Haskin's Derby Watch--Week 11 (4/3)
Harlan's Holiday remained on top as there were little changes this week in the rankings of leading Kentucky Derby contenders compiled by senior correspondent Steve Haskin.

Steve Haskin's Weekly Derby Report (3/29)--Turn to the Derby gods
There were no big 3-year-old stakes this weekend, and the void proved too difficult for us to cope with. We need our Derby fix. So, our mind started racing – how do we put this unwanted respite to good use? Turn to the Derby gods.

Steve Haskin's Derby Watch--Week 10 (3/27)
Horses that performed well last weekend on the Road to the Kentucky Derby moved up on the list of leading contenders compiled by senior correspondent Steve Haskin.

Steve Haskin's Weekly Derby Report (3/18)--Newcomers Move In
You've heard it said many times: the more things change, the more they stay the same. Well, things certainly are changing each week on the road to the Kentucky Derby, but we seem to be just about where we were when we embarked on the journey almost three months ago.

Steve Haskin's Derby Watch--Week 9 (3/20)
New shooters aim for top after shakeup among leading Derby contenders.

Steve Haskin's Weekly Derby Report (3/18)--Newcomers Move In
As usually happens in a year like this, a second wave hit the beach this past weekend, bringing with it some new goodies, while washing some of the old deposits out to sea. Now, we have to basically start all over again, wondering just where the lightly raced Medaglia d'Oro, Mayakovsky, and Buddha fit in the Derby picture, as well as other new faces, such as Equality, Ethan Man, and Cashel Castle.

Steve Haskin's Derby Watch--Week 8 (3/13)
Repent's Louisiana Derby victory confirmed his status at the top of the contenders' list.

Steve Haskin's Weekly Derby Report (3/11): Looking For Trouble
Repent's self-inflicted problems in the Louisiana Derby brings us to the inevitable question: can Repent continue with these follies and still win the Kentucky Derby? Just try and stop him.

Steve Haskin's Derby Watch--Week 7 (3/5)
Ready to run in the Louisiana Derby, Repent remains atop the contenders' list.

Steve Haskin's Weekly Derby Report : Lost Weekend (3/4)
For a weekend in which we had five races of note for 3-year-olds, we learned very little. Three of the five races were run on sloppy or muddy tracks, and in the highlight event, the San Rafael Stakes, we really didn't learn much more about Came Home than we knew before, other than he can now get a mile with no problem.

Steve Haskin's Derby Watch--Week 6 (2/26)
Repent, who picks up Jerry Bailey as his new jockey, remains atop the contenders list.

Steve Haskin's Weekly Derby Report : Deja Vu-saichi (2/25)
Yes, we have been here before. Two years ago, Japanese-owned Fusaichi Pegasus, trained by Neil Drysdale, broke his maiden sprinting in January, then won a 1 1/16-mile allowance race in February as a springboard to victories in the San Felipe, Wood Memorial, and the Kentucky Derby. Now, we have Japanese- owned Sunday Break, trained by Neil Drysdale, breaking his maiden sprinting in January, then winning a 1 1/16-mile allowance race in February.

Steve Haskin's Derby Watch--Week 5 (2/20)
With his victory in the Risen Star Stakes, Repent moves into the top spot.

Steve Haskin's Weekly Derby Report : Repent's Star Rises to the Top (2/21/2002)
In the wild, wacky, wonderful world of cliches, you could say Repent finally showed us a light at the end of the tunnel, giving us something to sink our teeth into; something we can hang our hat on; something to bring a smile to our face and twinkle to our eye. OK, you get the point. In short, Repent's victory in Sunday's Risen Star Stakes finally gave us something to get excited about.

Steve Haskin's Derby Watch--Week 4 (2/12)
No change at the top.

Steve Haskin's Weekly Derby Report : Singin' the Blues (2/11)
That's what Saratoga Blues' opponents have been doing in the colt's three career starts. The son of Twining captured Saturday's Whirlaway Stakes at Aqueduct for his third consecutive victory. At Santa Anita, USS Tinosa drew off to an impressive score in Friday's Sham Stakes, while stablemate Cappuchino had no trouble winning the Golden State Mile back home at Golden Gate.

Steve Haskin's Derby Watch--Week 3 (2/5)
Siphonic remains on top as there are few changes among the key contenders.

Steve Haskin's Weekly Report : Mission Imossible? (2/4)
Your mission, Jim, should you decide to accept it, is to infiltrate Paco Gonzalez' heavily armed fortress and slip Came Home a major dose of stamina builder. As much as we'd love to accomplish that mission and get this talented colt all the way to Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May, we can't help seeing all those sprinters and milers staring out at us from his pedigree.