An interview with Benny Stutts Jr. was the highlight of the annual Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners' and Breeders' Association's Derby trainers' dinner, as the 70-year-old trainer expressed his delight at preparing to saddle his first Kentucky Derby starter - Mount Joy Stables' Smooth Air.
Poet T.S. Eliot labeled April "cruelest month," but it is not a bad month on stud farms for foaling winners of the Kentucky Derby (gr. I). In fact, over the last eight years, April foals have won three runnings of the Derby. February, the month that gives us both Groundhog Day and Presidents Day despite being the shortest month of the year, has been responsible for five winners.
Should Eight Belles run on Saturday, she will provide trainer Larry Jones with his second Kentucky Derby (gr. I) starter. Last year he conditioned Hard Spun, who ran a credible second behind Street Sense and was also owned by Rick Porter's Fox Hill Farms.
Trainer Larry Jones took it as a sign of better things to come when his Eight Belles drew the outside 12 post for the May 2 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), but all was not lost for the Kentucky-born trainer when his Proud Spell drew post 8 in the 1 1/8-mile race for the lilies on the first Friday in May.
HRTV's originally produced show on the Derby contenders. Big Brown arrives, Tale of Ekati works, Big Brown and Recapturetheglory gallop, a look at the Oaks entries, and an interview with Nick Zito - his thoughts on his two Derby contenders and the rest of the field.
HorseRacing TV will add two prominent racetracks to its programming schedule when Belmont and Arlington parks begin their annual spring/summer meetings this week.
Another group of racetracks won't be importing the signal from Belmont Park beginning April 30 because they collectively have failed to strike a deal on signal rates with the New York Racing Association.
Zayat Stables' Halo Najib appears to be on the outside looking in as far as making the 2008 Kentucky Derby field. Barring a last-minute defection, he's more likely to make his turf debut in the $150,000 Crown Royal American Turf (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs May 2, the day before the Derby.
As the Florida legislature prepares to end its annual session May 2, chances appear very slim that it will pass either of two slot machine bills being sought by the Thoroughbred industry.
Frank Stronach's 5-year-old Ginger Punch heads a field packed with talent in the $300,000 Louisville Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) day May 2. Facing the Eclipse Award winner will be grade I winner Lear's Princess, grade II winner Kettleoneup, and blacktype winner Unforgotten.
Terlingua, who made a name for herself as one of the fastest fillies of her generation and as the dam of leading sire Storm Cat, was euthanized April 29 because of complications from the infirmities of old age at the Young family's Overbrook Farm near Lexington.
Centennial Farms' Chelokee, on the Triple Crown trail a year ago, makes his return to graded stakes action May 2 when he faces six older horses in the $150,000 Alysheba Stakes (gr. III) on the dirt at Churchill Downs.
Racing Hall of Fame jockey Russell Baze, North America's all-time leading rider who passed the 10,000-win plateau Feb. 1, earned his unprecedented 12th overall Isaac Murphy Award from the National Turf Writers Association for finishing the 2007 season with the highest winning percentage of any North American jockey.
Country Star ships Wednesday; Leparoux aboard Absolutely Cindy; Rasierra supplements
Lone Star Park announced it will cut overnight purses by 10% effective May 8.
Tale of Ekati breezes, Big Brown checks out Churchill Downs, Pletcher's pair arrive April 30, Recapturetheglory gallops.
Well, Big Brown finally is here and the racing world had its first look at the likely Kentucky Derby favorite and its first encounter with his colorful trainer Rick Dutrow.
Lewis L. "Lou" Tuck, whose Go West Young Man was one of California's top runners in 1980, died April 13 in Littleton, Colo.
When Tony Lacy was signing sale tickets for yearlings last year, the Kentucky-based bloodstock agent and Four Star Sales consultant didn't know that two of the horses would distinguish themselves by having siblings running in this year's Kentucky Presented By Yum Brands (gr. I).
Janice and Robert McNair of Stonerside Stable announced April 29 that any earnings by their homebred Cowboy Cal in the May 3 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) will be donated to the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, in memory of John Long.
Janice and Robert McNair, owners of Stonerside Stable, announced that any earnings by their homebred Cowboy Cal in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) will be donated to the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.
Ten years ago Rick Dutrow was living in a tack room at Aqueduct, determined to make it on his own in the racing industry. On the morning of April 28, he faced a room full of media members intent on covering the progress of his contender for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Two-time Eclipse Award winner Mike Smith won the Kentucky Derby aboard Giacomo in 2005. Since then, he's had Derby fever even worse than before.
It's difficult to gauge the immediate effect of the ongoing dispute with Kentucky horsemen on the Churchill Downs' spring meet, as handle on racing from the opening weekend at the Louisville track was down only slightly from 2007, according to one data source.
The New York State Racing and Wagering Board approved a regulation April 28 requiring tote companies to provide for independent monitoring of all pari-mutuel pools effective Jan. 1, 2009. Roughly $3 billion -- one-fifth of total handle in the United States -- will fall under the new monitoring system.
Trainer Larry Jones and his wife and assistant, Cindy, may have found a lucky charm for one of racing's biggest weeks. It's a nine-month-old African grey parrot named Buddy.
For 70-year-old trainer Bennie Stutts Jr., coming to the May 3 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) with his first starter, Smooth Air, is a bit like getting the chance to play in another major sporting event.
As trainer Louie Roussel III feeds his 3-year-old bay colt a mint to keep him quiet during a morning bath in the week leading up to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), it isn't so hard to imagine it is Risen Star being rinsed down, not the appropriately named Recapturetheglory.
Because lack of growth appears to be one of the many issues plaguing the horse industry, the Kentucky International Equine Summit in Lexington hosted an April 28 seminar to tackle the topic and seek solutions.
- By Dan Liebman
by Dan Liebman - One night during the 2007 Keeneland November sale, Eoin Harty was enjoying a leisurely dinner when the topic turned to horses, in particular those in his Southern California stable.
by Morton Cathro - Bay Meadows, California's pioneering racetrack, has been this aging fan's delight for nearly my entire lifetime. Now, barring an unlikely last-minute reprieve, it is marching inexorably toward May 11, the final day of its final meeting.
With four days to go to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), only two classic contenders worked at Churchill Downs on the morning of Tuesday, April 29.
By Terry Conway - When Shawn Faust wanted to enhance his portrait studies in oils, the equine artist enrolled in a class with Daniel Greene, one of America's foremost artists in oils and pastels.
Churchill Downs Inc. has invested $100 million in advance deposit wagering for a reason: The company believes it's the major growth channel for pari-mutuel wagering, as well as a means to drive traffic to the racetrack, CDI president and chief executive officer Bob Evans said.
A Commonwealth Court in Pennsylvania has granted Jayne Vaders, last year's leading trainer at Philadelphia Park Casino & Racetrack, a stay of her indefinite license revocation, which was handed down by the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission last May.
Country Star to ship to Churchill Wednesday; Rasierra may supplement; Elusive Lady joins Oaks cast.
Jockey Orlando Mojica, one of the top riders at the recent winter/spring meet at Turfway Park, booted home his 1,000th career winner April 26 at Indiana Downs.
Trainer Nick Zito is holding court with a ring of media members outside his barn. The two-time Kentucky Derby-winning trainer has two starters for Saturday's running: Cool Coal Man and Anak Naktal. Zito is talking about the subject of the year: synthetic surfaces. We have a feeling he's not a big fan.
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