Arriving in Kentucky two weeks ago, the feeling here was that there were two horses in particular to concentrate on who looked to be coming into the Derby with enough angles to make them live at a decent price. After watching most of the Derby horses work and gallop at Keeneland and Churchill, things have changed a bit, as has track condition.
The 20 starters for the May 5 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) were tested for the performance-enhancing drug erythropoietin (EPO) May 2.
Trainer Forrest Kaelin is moving quickly through the second floor clubhouse section. The local legend has seen a lot in his years training under the Twin Spires at Churchill Downs.
People may anticipating summer-like temperatures this weekend in Louisville, but those planning to attend this year's Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) and Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) had better brace themselves for the strong possibility of rain.
The post position draw is history, and it is time for racing's greatest minds to start planning strategy. Will there be a fast pace or a slow pace? Do you send or take back and see what others do? Will the outside horses break sharply and try to get to the inside or take back and hope to get lucky to find the holes? The wheels are turning.
Video race replays from Magna Entertainment-owned tracks have been restored by a new contract between TrackNet Media and Post Time Technologies.
Several of the connections of this year's Derby horses have more than one shot of winning the big prize.
In a year where multiple trainers have multiple horses in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), Bill Kaplan will saddle two longshots.
Massage helps Hard Spun work out all the kinks before Saturday's Kentucky Derby Presented By Yum! Brands (gr.I).
Retired Kentucky Derby-winning jockeys Ray York and Bill Boland are back in Kentucky for Derby week, and they enjoy being spectators this time around.
The scene at the racing office is pretty quiet. Only jockey agents Steve Bass, Joe Ferrer, and Jerry Hissam are present, chewing the fat with retired rider Bobby Ussery.
Staff members and security guards at Churchill Downs are preparing for a visit from Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip, who will attend Saturday's running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
From Aristides in 1875 to Barbaro in 2006, homebred runners have a successful history in the Run for the Roses, with 49 of 132 winners carrying the colors of their breeders into the winner's circle at Churchill Downs.
With Curlin installed as the 7-2 morning line favorite for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), it's interesting to take a look at favorites throughout history to see how they performed on the first Saturday in May.
Arkansas Derby (gr. II) winner Curlin was installed the moderate 7-2 morning line favorite for Saturday's $2 million, 1 1/4-mile Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) when post positions were drawn Wednesday.
The connections of Storm in May will have first choice when post positions are selected later this evening thanks to pulling the No. 1 pill during the pill pull at the racing office. In all 22 horses were entered. Reporting for Duty and Delightful Kiss did not draw into the body of the field due to lack of enough graded earnings.
It was 11:15, and the 11 a.m. post position selection draw at the racing office still had not begun, as owners and trainers of Kentucky Derby horses paced back and forth or just stood anxiously waiting to see if all their hard work was about to be nullified by some random, ominous-sounding number.
Although trainer Doug O'Neill has played a significant role in some of racing's biggest days, on May 5 he will experience saddling a Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) contender for the first time. After the defection of his trainee Cobalt Blue, O'Neill will be saddling two horses in the Derby, Great Hunter and Liquidity
In a year filled with synthetic surface preps and extended layoffs between races, most of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) contenders are looking to break some kind of trend.
This is the year of the Usual Suspects in the Kentucky Derby. Not in over a decade have so many horses highly regarded as 2-year-olds made it into the Derby field--and offered a chance for a Dual Qualfier to once again take the Roses.
Three Kentucky Derby contenders will be a few days shy of their actual third birthday prior to the First Saturday in May.
The pill pull at the racing office for the Derby is one of the most dramatic moments of the week.
The annual Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders' trainers' dinner in Louisville brought out a mixture of memories, tears, and honors. The post-dinner interviews with trainers of Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) hopefuls brought some insights into the running of Derby 133 on Saturday.
Fans traveled from around the world to pay tribute and honor Barbaro at Delaware Park on Sunday on what would have been the Kentucky Derby winner's fourth birthday.
It wasn't quite like a scene from Noah's Ark, but four of trainer Todd Pletcher's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) contenders arrived Tuesday afternoon two by two in separate vans.
Federico Stakes winner Xchanger will not run in Saturday's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), moving Bill Kaplan-trainee Imawildandcrazyguy to 20th on the graded earnings list.
Trainer Doug O'Neill confirmed Tuesday that Merv Griffin's Cobalt Blue would not be entered in Saturday's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), opening the door for Teuflesberg to get in the classic.
Organizers of the Mint Jubilee Derby-Eve Gala announced today that bids for the saddle worn by Barbaro in the 2006 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) will be accepted from interested buyers from both inside and outside the venue.
In 49 of the last 52 runnings of the Kentucky Derby, the winner was either on the lead with an eighth of a mile to go in the race, within a length of the lead, or running second although more than a length off the leader at that point.
NBC has switched gears, and will air "Barbaro: A Nation's Horse" Saturday, May 5, at 8 p.m. ET, an hour and a half after the network signs off from covering the Kentucky Derby.
Jim Tafel's Street Sense completed his final preparations for Saturday's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) when he worked five furlongs in 1:01 at Churchill Downs on Tuesday, May 1.
Trainer Doug O'Neill said Monday night there is a "slight chance" that Merv Griffin's Cobalt Blue would not be entered in Saturday's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas holds court for an assembling of media in front of his spotless barn. He's the only trainer without a Derby horse who can still provoke a good half-hour worth of questioning.
Welcome to Derby Week, or week 11 of the "Starting Gate," one person's look at this year's Kentucky Derby lineup. As we approach Wednesday, entry day, this how we would handicap the top 20 contenders for the May 5 Run for the Roses. Actual entry into America's greatest race is reliant on graded stakes earnings -- this lineup is based on some speculation, past performances, and potential performance on Saturday.
Summer conditions expected this weekend at Churchill Downs have led the track to relax its security measure prohibiting patrons from packing sunscreen.
The connections of Maryland-based Xchanger continue to point the Federico Tesio Stakes winner toward Saturday's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
It takes a lot to steal the spotlight from Curlin, but at approximately 8:35 Monday morning, Hard Spun made Curlin's half-mile work two hours earlier seem like a distant memory. That's when the Lane's End (gr. II) winner went out and worked five furlongs in :57 3/5, all but leaving sparks as his feet hit the ground.
Yum! Brands, presenting sponsor for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), announced Monday, April 30, that it will offer a $1-million to the connections of any horse that wins this year's Derby and beats Barbaro's winning margin of 6 1/2 lengths.
NBC, which pre-empted "Barbaro: A Nation's Horse" April 29 for a Stanley Cup hockey playoff game that went two overtimes, has re-scheduled the documentary for Friday, May 4, at 9 p.m. ET on its cable channel CNBC.
The Steve Asmussen-trained duo of Curlin and Zanjero each worked a half-mile at Churchill Downs as Kentucky Derby week got off to a warm and busy start Monday, April 30.
The work of the morning at Churchill Downs Monday was Hard Spun's :57 3/5 scorcher, but other Derby hopefuls went through their final paces over the main track just after the renovation break. Trainer Bill Kaplan sent out Storm in May and Imawildandcrazyguy while trainer Darrin Miller worked Silverton Hills' Sedgefield.
Multiple stakes winner Bwana Bull, who was added to the contenders list for this year's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) over the weekend, worked six furlongs in 1:14 2/5 at Churchill Downs Monday, April 30.
NBC will begin its Kentucky Derby coverage with a special 30-minute red carpet and celebrity interview program featuring talent from its "Access Hollywood" show.
Richard Porter's Hard Spun scorched the Churchill Downs main track Monday morning, blazing five furlongs in :57 3/5 under regular rider Mario Pino. Hard Spun worked in company, for a while at least, with graded stakes winner Wildcat Bettie B.
When I hear about the Yumfecta and Yum! Brands, I suddenly have an urge for a Root Beer Float...
Wood Memorial (gr. I) winner Nobiz Like Shobiz worked five furlongs in :59.98 over the main track at Belmont Park Sunday morning as he continued preparations for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) winner Tiago and Hollywood Futurity (gr. I) victor Stormello gave their connections encouragement for an anticipated date in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) May 5 with strong works at Hollywood Park Sunday.
Todd Pletcher's stay at Keeneland, for all intents and purposes, is over, and he went out with a bang, with three of his Derby horses - Any Given Saturday, Circular Quay, and Scat Daddy - turning in excellent works before heading over to Churchill Downs on Tuesday.
During the crisp, clear early morning of Sunday, April 29, less than a week before the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), trainer Todd Pletcher watched the final workouts of three of his contenders, Any Given Saturday, Circular Quay, and Scat Daddy over Keeneland's Polytrack surface.
Look past unknown jockeys, unbeaten starters, unfamiliar owners, and other contributors to this year's intriguing Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). More noticeable than the presence of uniqueness is the absence of three trainers who held the Triple Crown spotlight for several decades.
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