With his final starter as a trainer Nov. 27, Hal Wiggins watched as Robert V. Hovelson's High Spirit closed from far back to win Churchill Downs' 10th race by a nose and pay $55.60 under Terry Thompson.
Popular Churchill Downs-based jockey Calvin Borel, who swept this year's Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) and Kentucky Derby (gr. I) aboard Rachel Alexandra and Mine That Bird, respectively, will be honored at Churchill Downs Nov. 21-22 with a bobblehead giveaway, autograph session, roast and his very own drink special.
In what trainer Chip Woolley labeled "pretty much perfect," Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Mine That Bird worked five furlongs in 1:01 2/5 at Santa Anita Nov. 2 in preparation for the Nov. 7 Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I).
There will be Jockeys galore at Old Friends Oct. 20, as more than a dozen top riders have confirmed their appearance for "Jockey Day."
Warrior's Reward, who ran fifth as the favorite in the Perryville (gr. III) Oct. 17 at Keeneland in Central Kentucky, was tentatively scheduled to return to trainer Ian Wilkes' barn at Churchill Downs late Oct. 18.
Michael O'Toole, of East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, submitted the winning bid for the three pairs of racing goggles worn by jockey Calvin Borel as he rode super filly Rachel Alexandra to victory in the Haskell Stakes-her second of three wins over the colts in her historic 2009 campaign.
Rachel Alexandra provided one of the great moments in the history of Saratoga when she scored a courageous head victory over older male rivals in the $750,000 Woodward Stakes Sept. 5.
Please note the following analysis was written by someone with a glass-is-half-empty mentality and is not meant to frighten, upset, or antagonize Rachel Alexandra fans and zealots. So, read at your own risk.
Jockey Calvin Borel was back on board Mine That Bird on the morning of Aug. 31 as the winner of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) worked a half mile in :51.16 over the main track at Saratoga Race Course.
Trainer Ian Wilkes was not bothered by the slop Sunday morning and sent Warrior's Reward out for a five-furlong work over the sloppy main track at Saratoga Racecourse with jockey Calvin Borel in the irons as he worked toward the $1-million Shadwell Travers Stakes (gr. I).
Although history would place them a generation apart, jockeys Ron Turcotte and Calvin Borel will be meeting new and old fans alike in public autograph appearances at Saratoga Race Course Aug. 15-16. Both riders will be appearing at the Secretariat.com booth set up for the weekend adjacent to the jockey silks display.
A story about Rachel Alexandra seems out of place in a column about the Breeders' Cup, but who cares. That's between Jess Jackson and the Breeders' Cup decision makers. Even though there will be no launching of the Rachel rocket on Nov. 7, it's still fun to "count down" to the imaginary blast off.
Rachel Alexandra turned in yet another dominating performance in a campaign for the ages when she captured the $1.25 million Haskell Invitational (gr. I) on a sloppy track at Monmouth Park Aug. 2.
Although Rachel Alexandra has been installed as the 4-5 favorite for the $1.25-million Haskell Invitational (gr. I) Aug. 2, she could face stiff competition from several of the six 3-year-old colts entered against her.
Calvin Borel, who won two-thirds of the Triple Crown on different horses, is among dozens of national sports and entertainment figures who will celebrate the best athletic moments of the year during the 2009 Espys.
Double Eagle Ranch and Buena Suerte Equine's Mine That Bird remains without a confirmed rider for the West Virginia Derby (gr. II) on Aug. 1 at Mountaineer.
The storybook ride of Calvin Borel and Mine That Bird has come to an end, with the connections of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner now looking for a new jockey.
In his first workout since finishing third in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), Mine That Bird went an easy half-mile in :51 at Churchill Downs on June 29 in preparation for his next start in the Aug. 1 West Virginia Derby (gr. II) at Mountaineer Casino Racetrack & Resort. Jockey Calvin Borel was aboard for the breeze.
Rachel Alexandra faced only two opponents in the $300,000 Mother Goose (gr. I) June 27 at Belmont Park but the sensational filly put on a dazzling display anyway, setting a stakes record while romping by nearly 20 lengths under Calvin Borel.
Rachel Alexandra, who when last seen was making history by winning the May 16 BlackBerry Preakness (gr. I), will make her return to the racetrack in the $300,000 Mother Goose (gr. I) June 27 at Belmont Park. The Horse of the Year candidate will face only four rivals in the nine-furlong test for 3-year-old fillies.
Stonestreet Stables' Jess Jackson, majority owner of Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) and BlackBerry Preakness (gr. I) winner Rachel Alexandra, said in a wide-ranging media teleconference June 24 that the superb filly would not race in this year's Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita but that there is a good possibility that she would return in 2010 for a 4-year-old campaign.
Nearly a thousand people traveled to Kentucky's state capitol in Frankfort June 17 to rally for a cause they have stood behind for years: to boost the horse racing industry by way of expanded casino gaming.
The Jockeys' Guild has sent a letter to Kentucky legislators stating its support of Gov. Steve Beshear's proposal for expanded gaming at the state's racetracks.
Miss Isella took a hard jolt from Distinctive Dixie when squeezing through a small opening at the top of the lane, then had the wherewithal to outduel Swift Temper in deep stretch to capture the $221,600 Fleur de Lis Handicap (gr. II) June 13 at Churchill Downs.
Morton Fink's homebred gelding Successful Dan kept his perfect record in tact when outdueling favored Warrior's Reward to win the $108,900 Northern Dancer (gr. III) by a head June 13 at Churchill Downs.
All the obvious thoughts on this year's bizarre, but memorable Triple Crown have been discussed regarding the major players. But there were unsung heroes as well who did not wind up in the winner's circle, yet contributed to the memories.
One of the strangest Triple Crowns in memory has come to an end, leaving being a flood of memories and wild and wacky moments.
Jockey Calvin Borel, who has been in the spotlight over the last five weeks as a result of victories in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and BlackBerry Preakness Stakes (gr. I), is assisting in the effort to obtain video lottery terminals at racetracks in Kentucky.
Mine That Bird, winner of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), arrived back at Churchill Downs Monday morning after his third-place finish in Saturday's Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
We tend to always knock weathermen, but they have been spot on with their predictions for Belmont week. The day before the final leg of the Triple Crown, as predicted, was as miserable as it gets, but race day itself, again as prognosticators said it would, dawned bright and beautiful.
After working Mine That Bird June 1 at Churchill Downs, jockey Calvin Borel "guaranteed" that the gelded son of Birdstone would win the June 6 Belmont Stakes (gr. I). Believe it or not, Borel is now even more confident.
Mine That Bird will face nine rivals in the June 6 Belmont Stakes (gr. I). Jockey Calvin Borel will look to become the first jockey to win all three Triple Crown races on two different horses.
Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Mine That Bird was among 10 3-year-olds entered for the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) on June 6.
Remember when D. Wayne Lukas won an amazing six Triple Crown races in a row and seven of eight from 1994 to 1996? Remember when Lukas sent out one of the most improbable Belmont Stakes winners ever in Commendable? Well, before you dismiss Lukas' pair of longshots this year, remember who you're dealing with.
ESPN and ABC will offer seven hours of Belmont Stakes (gr. I) coverage starting at noon ET--including ABC's two-hour race broadcast June 6 at 5 p.m.--as jockey Calvin Borel attempts to complete an unprecedented personal Triple Crown.
As hot jockey Calvin Borel rides a wave of media exposure, trainer-turned-money-manager Clint Goodrich is assisting him in sorting out appearance, book, and endorsement opportunities.
An exuberant Calvin Borel expressed confidence that Mine That Bird will win the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) after working the diminutive gelding a half-mile in :50 on a warm, sunny June 1 morning at Churchill Downs.
With firm knowledge that the Preakness (gr. I)-winning filly Rachel Alexandra would pass on a possible run in the third jewel of the Triple Crown, trainer Bennie "Chip" Woolley Jr. and jockey Calvin Borel are both enthusiastically looking forward to the June 6 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) and a bid to take two-thirds of the crown with Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner and Preakness runner-up Mine That Bird.
Rachel Alexandra will not be running in the June 6 Belmont Stakes (gr. I), Jess Jackson, the co-owner of the filly announced May 29.
Chip Woolley, the trainer of Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Mine That Bird, said jockey Calvin Borel will ride his horse in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) if Rachel Alexandra isn't entered.
A review of the Preakness and the Triple Crown so far, including the jockey situation, and the return of Zenyatta. Plus, special guest Jack Wolf of Starlight Stable. Watch Video
And so the racing world waits anxiously for Jess Jackson to announce his decision regarding Rachel Alexandra's Belmont Stakes status. Notice it says announce his decision, not waits for him to decide.
One day after combining to win the BlackBerry Preakness Stakes (gr. I), trainer Steve Asmussen and jockey Calvin Borel were enthusiastic in their praise of the Rachel Alexandra.
Calvin Borel made the right choice and history was made May 16 at Pimlico, when for the first time the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner not only ran in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) but won the race in convincing fashion. Rachel Alexandra finished first and Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands winner Mine That Bird was second.
With slightly more than two hours until post for the middle jewel of the Triple Crown, the filly Rachel Alexandra is the 2-1 favorite. Four other horses are single-digit odds.
Trainer Chip Woolley, who had said Mine That Bird would not have a workout prior to the May 16 Preakness Stakes (gr. I), called an audible and breezed the son of Birdstone at Churchill Downs on the morning of May 11.
Stonestreet Stables and partner Harold T. McCormick announced May 8 that Calvin Borel has agreed to ride Kentucky Oaks winner Rachel Alexandra for the current racing season.
Join Calvin Borel as he talks about his Derby winning ride aboard Mine That Bird, Rachel Alexandra's Kentucky Oaks, and more. Transcript also available.
Calvin Borel would have made a great captain of the starship Enterprise, because time and again he boldly goes where no man has gone before. What he is able to do at Churchill Downs is mind-boggling.
Well, we saw one bird fly over the rainbow. The vast majority of experts and racing fans were astounded, aghast, and amazed at Mine That Bird's otherworldly performance in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), in which he took off on a demonic dash as if he were being chased by a swarm of angry hornets.
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