They saw the potential of their futures played out in furious rallies, wire-to-wire rumbles, by the widest of margins and the slimmest of victories. Weeks like this bring back those memories.
Owner/trainer Wesley Ward's Judy the Beauty, a seven-time winner who never has finished worse than third in 15 starts, eyes consecutive grade I victories in the $300,000 Humana Distaff Stakes at Churchill May 3.
Mike Pegram, who has raced champions such as Silverbulletday, Midnight Lute, and Real Quiet, is back with his fourth Derby starter in the Any Given Saturday colt Hoppertunity, co-owned with Karl Watson and Paul Weitman.
Four days before the Saturday race, most of the trainers with horses in the classic shared a stage and a laugh or two at the annual Kentucky Derby Trainers Dinner.
Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith comments on Kentucky Derby (gr. I) contender Hoppertunity.
Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert sent Hoppertunity through his final move for the Kentucky Derby and Ria Antonia through her prep for the Oaks on April 28, squeezing in the drills between downpours at Churchill Downs.
Trainer Bob Baffert discusses Chitu's workout, Bayern's Derby Trial DQ and more. April 27, 2014. watch video
Sunland Derby (gr. III) winner Chitu worked six furlongs from the Churchill Downs' starting gate in 1:13 1/5 the morning of April 27 in his final preparations for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Trainer Bob Baffert discusses Chitu's workout, Bayern's Derby Trial DQ and more. April 27, 2014
Trainer Graham Motion said because of a fever, Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III) winner Ring Weekend is no longer being considered for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
As usual, trainer Bob Baffert has the racing world hanging on his every move leading up to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), even as he enters horses in the April 26 Derby Trial (gr. III).
With jockey Rosie Napravnik aboard, Longines Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) contender Ria Antonia breezed five-eighths of a mile in 1:00 3/5 at Churchill Downs April 23 as she continues to prep for the May 2 race.
Grade II winner Hoppertunity breezed five furlongs in 1:00 1/5 April 23 at Churchill Downs as the son of Any Given Saturday prepares for a start in the upcoming Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Chitu and Bayern, two possible starters in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, breezed a half-mile at Churchill Downs April 21 as they continued preparations for the May 3 race.
Handle from all-sources during Santa Anita Park's winter meet was up 4% when the Arcadia, Calif., track concluded the meet April 20.
Trainers Jerry Hollendorfer and John Sadler shared the trainer title and jockey Rafael Bejarano ranked as the top jockey when Santa Anita Park concluded its winter meet April 20.
Given the colt's Chicago connections, it's not surprising Bob Baffert would send Midnight Hawk to the April 19 Illinois Derby at Hawthorne. As for his plans from there on out, you'll have to read between the lines.
His reputation restored with a superb win in the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I), Game On Dude looks for a repeat victory in the $1.5 million Charles Town Classic (gr. II) the night of April 19 at Charles Town Races.
Grade II winner Awesome Baby handily completed five furlongs in 1:01.40 April 14 at Santa Anita Park as the daughter of Awesome Again continues preparations for the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) May 2 at Churchill Downs.
Leading Arkansas Derby (gr. I) contender Bayern got his first feel for the Oaklawn Park racing strip the morning of April 10 after arriving a day earlier with the contingent of California horses competing this weekend.
Tapiture, Strong Mandate, and Ride On Curlin butt heads once more at Oaklawn Park in the The $1 million Arkansas Derby (gr. I) April 12, and they'll be joined by another new shooter from the Bob Baffert barn in Bayern.
Secret Circle, a two-time graded stakes winner at Oaklawn Park as a 3-year-old in 2012, returns to the Hot Springs, Ark., track April 10 as the one to beat in the $300,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (gr. III).
Favored Chitu put away stablemate Midnight Hawk in the drive for the wire as trainer Bob Baffert accounted for the first two finishers in the $800,000 Sunland Derby (gr. III) March 23 in New Mexico.
Kaleem Shah's Awesome Baby grabbed the lead at the start and cruised unchallenged to a clear win in the $200,000 Sunland Park Oaks March 23.
Awesome Baby, a back-to-back graded stakes winner this season at Santa Anita Park, stands out for trainer Bob Baffert in the $200,000 Sunland Park Oaks March 23 in New Mexico.
Lenny Shulman and Steve Haskin talk about the Rebel, including Tapiture's trip, look at the Spiral and the Sunland Derby, discuss the Hall of Fame nominees, and talk to Bob Baffert about Hoppertunity, Bayern, and more. Watch Video
The Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park moved Steve to alter his Kentucky Derby Dozen this week. Did Hoppertunity even make the list? Read and find out! read blog
The first four finishers of the Rebel Stakes (gr. II) March 15 came out of the race none the worse in spite of the roughly-run final furlong, and three of them are definitely pointed for a return in the Arkansas Derby.
Hoppertunity might not know much about racing yet, but his pure talent was enough to get the job done in the $600,000 Rebel Stakes (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park March 15.
Robert B. Lewis Stakes (gr. I) winner Candy Boy, moving closer to the $1 million Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), worked five furlongs on Santa Anita's main track the morning of March 14 in :59 2/5.
Ria Antonia, a candidate for the April 5 Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I), blazed four furlongs March 14 in a bullet :46 3/5 for trainer Bob Baffert.
Rebel Stakes (gr.II) contender Hoppertunity gets a bath at Oaklawn with Baffert assistant Jimmy Barnes on the shank after training March 14. Watch Video
Rebel Stakes (gr.II) contender Hoppertunity gets a bath at Oaklawn with Baffert assistant Jimmy Barnes on the shank after training March 14.
Fueled by three seven-figure horses, the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co.'s selected sale of 2-year-olds in training March 11 shattered records.
Historic Big 'Cap was racing at its best. read blog
Experts thought Game On Dude had lost a step, but the gallant old gelding proved them wrong with a history-making third victory in the $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) March 8 at Santa Anita Park.
The Santa Anita Handicap became the West Coast's most prestigious racing event by consistently bringing out the best people and horses. The race's history has been dotted with gritty campaigners who just don't give up.
Bayern, an impressive 15-length allowance winner last time out for trainer Bob Baffert, will miss the March 8 San Felipe Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita Park due to a bruised quarter.
Bayern should draw most of the attention in the $300,000 San Felipe Stakes (gr. II) March 8 at Santa Anita Park following his dazzling 15-length allowance win for trainer Bob Baffert.
Last year's Met Mile winner will take on Shakin It Up and Wild Dude in 7-panel sprint
Mucho Macho Man has been installed as the 9-5 morning line favorite for the 77th renewal of the $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) March 8.
Seven-year-old gelding will try to become first three-time winner of the Santa Anita Handicap.
Undefeated colt will make his stakes debut for Bob Baffert following allowance romp in the San Felipe Stakes (gr. II) March 8 at Santa Anita Park.
Awesome Baby earned her second straight graded stakes win with a front-running score in the $100,000 Santa Ysabel Stakes (gr. III) March 1 at rain-soaked Santa Anita Park.
Awesome Baby, wire-to-wire winner of the Santa Ynez Stakes going 6 1/2 furlongs, stretches back out to 1 1/16 miles against seven other 3-year-old fillies March 1 in the $100,000 Santa Ysabel at Santa Anita.
Last year's Hollywood Starlet winner will have a chip removed from her left knee
Even with his inexperience and the possible curse of Apollo, Steve Haskin gives the case for Bayern to appear in the Kentucky Derby.
Vicar's in Trouble, dominant 6 3/4-length hero of the Jan. 18 LeComte Stakes (gr. III) at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, drew a tough outside post in an overflow field entered for the $400,000 Risen Star Stakes on Feb. 22.
Adjudged Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) winner Ria Antonia will make her season debut against the likes of Streaming and Untapable Feb. 22 in the Rachel Alexandra Stakes at Fair Grounds.
TimeformUS Weekend Plays from Santa Anita, Golden Gate and Oaklawn read blog
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